sticking with a project that has high burnout potential – The Self-Made Wardrobe Week 30!

The Self-Made Wardrobe is a project where I only wear garments I’ve made.
It’s sort of a year long experiment in getting dressed without clothing labels.


DAY 204 – Friday, February 20th
purple sweater// black tank top // black maxi
grey cowl // black tights // brown boots // various rings

There’s something poetic about a project that last a year.
One year. No more, no less. Birthday to birthday.

A year, being both a really long time, and absolutely no time at all. It turns out the number of things you can do in a year, or that can happen in a year, is pretty astounding.

To have a project that lasts a year, is to have a project that is going to run alongside (or against) all of the “stuff” that happens in that year. So the rules/guidelines/conditions for the project have to deal with that in some way. You can try to foresee all of the stuff that will happen, or you can keep things flexible.

I went the “keep things flexible” route – 365 days of adhering to stringent self-imposed rules isn’t really my thing.


DAY 205 – Saturday, February 21st
handknit sweater dress // black tank top
black scarf // black leggings // various rings

Elise Blaha, one of the only lifestyle bloggers I follow recently announced her latest birthday challenge, “Make&Give30.” When she first introduced the project, she wrote a brief FAQ, which included this gem:

Yes, but so does blogging. So does everything. This is why the rules are flexible and the concept is tremendously broad.
(original post here)

I love that answer!
Everything has the potential to burnout. Especially if the fuel for the project involves finite resources. And especially, especially, if the main finite resource is you: your time, your interest, your mental space.


DAY 206 – Saturday, February 22nd
handspun handknit sweater // black tank top // pirate skirt
grey tights // various rings

For me, one the the keys for avoiding burnout with this project is the flexibility of my self-imposed “rules.” I only have 2 rules.*
*I recently added a 3rd “sort of” rule, but I’ll talk about that later, possibly next week.

1. undergarments & accessories don’t count.
2. if it feels like cheating, it probably is.
(And by “cheating” I mean “going against the spirit of the project.)

And that second rule is the important one. That’s the rule that is preventing this project from flaming out.

It’s also the rule that forced me to define why I’m doing this project, and the angle I’m looking at it from.


DAY 207 – Monday, February 23
handspun handknit sweater // black tank top // black maxi skirt
long necklace // various rings // black tights // brown boots

There are numerous angles I could be doing this project from. Each angle would change what “cheating” (going against the spirit of the project) means. I chose the angle that’s possibly the hardest to explain, and that I thought was most interesting.

I’m doing this to a) see if I can, b) ask questions about what I wear and why, c) use it as an angle to look at creativity & making, and d) I thought it’d be fun. (PS. I was right.)


DAY 208 – Tuesday, February 24th 
handknit sweater dress // black tank top
black leggings // rings

I want, and have always wanted, this project to be light and fun and playful – because otherwise, I would have burned out a long time ago.

200+ days in, and it’s still fun & interesting.


DAY 209 – Wednesday, February 25th
handspun handknit sweater // black tank top // graphic silk circle skirt
black tights // brown boots // rings

Of course there are days that aren’t fun. There are days my life would be stupidly easier with jeans, and days when I wish I wasn’t limited to these same 20-odd pieces of clothing – but those days aren’t the whole picture, they’re blips on the radar.

When those days for multiple days in a row, I can pull back, find a different angle, come back to center, and re-discover the joy. And this room to pivot seems to be (at least for me) one of the main keys to sticking with an intense projects that has a high burnout potential.


DAY 210 – Thursday, February 26th
purple sweater // black tank top // black maxi skirt
black scarf // black tights // brown boots // rings

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2 Responses

  1. I’m curious, have you had reactions from friends/family/acquaintances about wearing the same 20 items over and over? I’m curious what kind of feedback you’ve received.

  2. Holly

    Feedback has mostly been positive. Everyone I see on a regular basis knows about the project, so no one’s like “ummmm… why do I only ever see you in two skirts?” 🙂
    And, most of them also practice some sort of craft (not necessarily sewing/knitting/etc. but something) so they have a pretty good understanding of the time & effort that goes into making things by hand. So, I’m super lucky that everyone has been supportive of project. 🙂

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