Monday, December 14, 2015

Effects of the 2015 RTW Fast

Friends, I know that I haven't talked about it a lot throughout the year, but most of you know that I was a participant in the 2015 RTW (that's "ready to wear" for any new to sewing blog readers) Fast hosted by Sarah Gunn of Goodbye Valentino.  What that means is that for the entire year of 2015 I did not purchase any clothes.  I made everything.

Luckily, I didn't need a new bra this year, because despite the luck many of my sewing friends are having with bra making...I am not interested!  Whole engineering classes are built around bra design, so don't tell me it isn't rocket science.

I have done well with the fast.  I haven't purchased any clothes for myself all year long (but there are some sweaters on my Christmas list).  My husband bought me a beautiful red Calvin Klein dress for our anniversary, and that is the only garment that I have received this year.  I have to admit that it was a nice fit.  Could have used a small FBA, but other than that it was divine.  Please ignore all the garage junk in the picture!

Dress by Calvin Klein

When I thought about joining the RTW fast at the end of last year, I thought that I would end up buying a lot of accessories.  Shoes, purses, jewelry.  My thought was that while I couldn't buy clothes I would bulk up those areas of my wardrobe.  The truth is the RTW fast has curbed my consumerism as a whole.  I think that is a trend I see happening in our life more and more anyway, and I will expound on that more at a later date.

I haven't purchased a lot of fabric.  I certainly haven't been hoarding it the way I was in 2014.  The fabrics that have been bought have been sewn into garments almost immediately (for the most part).

As the RTW fast is coming to an end, I have started to peruse some of the places I would buy clothes in the past.  I realize that I may now be ruined for buying clothes off a rack.  As I look over the sea of clothing, all I see are shoulders that are going to be too big, combined with hips that will be too small.  I see issues that no amount of tailoring will fix.  Will I ever be able to purchase RTW again?  I am sure that there will be items that I will feel fine taking what is offered on the racks, but for the most part, I will be making my own clothing from here on out.

I never got around to making my dream bathing suit.  That will have to be one of 2016's projects, I suppose.  There were a few other items on my sewing list that didn't get made as well, and they too will be pushed to 2016's list.

All in all, the RTW fast has been very positive for me, and I encourage any of you who are considering it, to take the leap.  It's only a year, and there aren't any RTW police coming around to give you a ticket if you have to buy something.  Your sewing skills will grow, and you might even save a little money.


  1. So glad this turned out well for you! As someone who had to buy some RTW this year, I miss wearing all me made clothing! And I've had to be very careful about what I purchased because of the fit issues. Can't wait to see what you sew in 2016!

    1. Thanks, Carolyn! I think you have done a fantastic job of mixing RTW with your own makes for some great outfits this year. It has been a joy watching your style transition!

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  2. It's great to hear your thoughts on this. I've been thinking a lot about a RTW fast, especially since I've already been in a de facto RTW fast since summer. I had to buy some interview clothes and some pants for work in the earlier part of the year, but I dislike them all so much that I either avoid wearing them or spend the whole time that I'm wearing them thinking about how much I hate the fit, fabric, etc. A lot of the time, the labor of actually making something for myself feels much less intensive than the labor that would go into finding something in the store that I genuinely like!

  3. Outside of two pairs of RTW shorts that I bought during a heatwave and two jackets that I got at a phenomenal price from Zulily, and underwear, I haven't bought any RTW this year, even though I wasn't technically fasting.

    After sewing most of my own clothes, I just really can't bring myself to buy RTW now, for all of the reasons that you've listed. My me-made clothes might not fit perfectly, but they're better than RTW and are in the styles/fabrics that I want. One of my goals for 2016 is to tackle bra and panty-making and to hopefully say goodbye to buying those RTW.

  4. I have totally gone off buying RTW. I really haven't had much time to sew in the last couple of years but I haven't bought much either. I think that it is amazing that you have gone a whole year without buying anything much. That is fabulous. I am really going to try to follow your lead in 2016. I have a new job so I need to have a very smart wardrobe but the thought of shopping for it is making me sad. The stuff in the shops is really so inferior in fit and fabric to home-sewn. Sewing a bathing suit sounds like fun but a bit scary. Xx

  5. My RTW fast two years ago changed my whole outlook on clothing. I, too, am hesitant to buy off the rack, mainly because the stuff is just garbage and meant to fall apart. Although I have cut out many items and sewn some, this coming year I need to focus more on what is truly "me" and not what the blog world considers the next best thing. I encourage you to tackle a bra. I bought the class by Beverly Johnson on Craftsy and it is SO easy to follow her instructions. You will be amazed at how easy it is to sew and will be kicking yourself for what you have paid for bras up until now. I still have some tweaks for fit, but it is like any other sewing - you add some to the seam here or you take some out there. And it is miles better than store bought. I promise!! I am looking forward to what you sew in 2016!!

  6. You have inspired me to try the RTW fast for 2016. Thanks!

  7. A great initiative for oversize women. Thanks. I use to face enough trouble in getting the right clothes for me until I found "attire plus size online store Glad you are on the list too. Will love to share with my friends and recommend this blog.