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Shortcut Sewing: Closet Close-up

Do you have a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear?

Don’t make another garment until you inventory and clean out your closet. I know that it's almost impossible to discard those beautiful garments you have made with loving care; but if you are not going to wear them, at least move them.

You will need six boxes to do the job properly. Label them Wash, Dry Clean, Mend, Give Away or Sell, Store to Wear Again, and Store for Reference.

The Store-to-Wear-Again box is for those garments which you don't want to discard but don't intend to wear anytime soon. This includes those outgrown garments you plan to wear when you lose ten pounds. Ideally, you will hang them in a spare closet, but who has a spare closet? Store them in an under-the-bed box.

The Store-for-Reference box is for the garments you have made in a sewing class that reflect your learning experiences.

Look at every garment in the closet honestly. Does it still fit? Is it in style? Does it look worn? Is the color or fabric passé? Do you need it for your life style? Do you plan to wear it this season? Place it in the appropriate box or re-hang it.

Once you’ve cleaned your closet, take an inventory. Do you have a lot of unrelated garments? Plan your new wardrobe to tie them together. Start with the item or items that will update your wardrobe the most.

Decide which garments to make and which to buy. Sew the easy styles and buy the difficult-to-make ones.

When you sew you don’t have to be a slave to fashion, but you do want to be informed. Shop around—look at the ready-to-wear in the better stores. Are the new colors and silhouettes flattering to you? If not, can you adapt them so that you will look lovely and be fashionable?

While you are in a cleaning mood, go through the drawer, chest, closet, or room where you store your hoard of beautiful fabrics. Some fabrics never go out of style; others do. Unfortunately, an out-of-date fabric makes an out-of-date outfit.

Have a garage sale or give away those lengths which you’ll never use. Be realistic—you know some of them will never be in fashion again, and you can not make a fashionable garment from a passé fabric; however, good-quality fabrics made of natural fibers will eventually come back into vogue. If your tastes have changed, and you’ve decided some of those lovely fabrics just aren’t for you, sell them.

If you can’t bear to part with your fabric collection, try to use it. Go through it carefully at the be ginning of each season, select the pieces that can be made into fashionable garments, make those garments before you buy any new fabric, and don’t buy anything unless you’re going to sew it immediately. Last, but most importantly, repeat to yourself, “I’ll never be a fabricholic again!”
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Tuesday, 2009-10-06 6:21