When it comes to wardrobe gaps, it’s often easy to figure out why they exist. I’m always short on nice looking neutral colored cardigans because I don’t knit them very often and wear them to death when I do. I currently have too few dresses with pockets, but that’s because I only really started finding pockets useful when I began working in an office a few years ago, and I build my wardrobe slowly. And I still don’t have the perfect bra.
The first two are relatively easy to deal with. I like sewing dresses, and it’s simple enough to add pockets, so I’ve cut them out for my next two dress projects. (That said, I don’t get much sewing done in a year, so I’ve also added it to my criteria for picking out dresses at the thrift store.) To get myself to knit more neutral colored cardigans, I’ve been working on them during KALs because I get the extra fun of a KAL to make up for an unexciting color. It’s also not the speediest method, but that’s okay! I’ve found a balance between what I need and what I want to make that works nicely.
That perfect bra, however. I just have zero interest in sewing something that fiddly that won’t really get seen. So for now, I buy them and have to settle for less than perfect. It’s hard to find bras that give a retro silhouette and play nicely with low cut tops, but I’d rather compromise on shape and style than take the time to make my own.
Crafting should be fun, and at the end of the day, you should choose the projects you enjoy. Strive to find a balance between what you want to wear and what you want to make, but don’t fuss over projects that won’t bring you joy.
On another note, when it comes to talking about building a handmade wardrobe online, it’s easy to feel pressured to take it to the extreme. There are people who want to make absolutely everything they wear and that makes them happy, but if the idea of sewing your own winter coat doesn’t excite you and you’d rather buy one, that’s more than okay! In online communities, there are always extremists and more casual people, and the extremists stand out, which can make it intimidating for newbies who have no interest taking it that far or are interested in it but aren’t ready yet. But casual people are always the majority and not unwelcome. I see people who are afraid to use the handmade wardrobe tags on Instagram because they haven’t made enough of their wardrobe, and this kind of hesitation isn’t unique to crafts. The vintage community can make it seem like you need to have fully “true vintage” outfits to participate. You don’t! As a vintage-loving crafter, I’m never going to have a fully vintage wardrobe OR a fully handmade one, but my participation has never been treated as unwelcome, so don’t be afraid to join in, too. Me Made May is coming up, and I hope you’ll participate if you’re interested, even if you can’t do it every day. I love seeing everyone putting their handknits to use!
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