The Self-Made Wardrobe Project

building a wardrobe to house the world that is me

Day-73 smallWhat is the Self-Made Wardrobe Project?

The Self-Made Wardrobe Project, was a 365 day project where I only wore clothes made by me, for a whole year. It spawned from the questions, “can I pull this off?” and “what would it be like?”

As the year progressed more questions spawned, like why do I wear what I wear? why do I make what I make? and why does what I enjoy making differ from what I gravitate towards wearing?

The project started on August 1, 2014, and finished on July 31, 2015.

I documented the project through daily photos, weekly outfit blog posts, and regular finished clothing pieces posts.

At it’s heart this project was about curious questioning, a love of making, a love of clothing, and a healthy heaping of stubbornness.

What were the boundaries of the project?

This project had 2 rules:

Rule #1 – undergarments & accessories don’t count.

This rule was to keep the focus on clothing, and the help ensure I didn’t run into days when I had nothing to wear.

Rule #2 – if it feels like cheating, it probably is.

This is my favorite catch-all rule. Basically I understand it as “if it doesn’t feel inline with the spirit of the project, it’s probably not.”

Extra Rule #3 – a garment isn’t finished until it’s photographed.

I added this rule on Week 31 of the project, in the hopes that it would get me into the habit of thinking about photographing & documenting projects as part of the making process, rather than as a separate thing all together.

It more or less worked – I did get a bit more conscious about taking photos of my makes.

Explore the Project:

Weekly-Updates Finished-Garments

Frequently Asked Questions:

How many clothes did you end up with?

I ended up with 27 pieces of clothing, plus a handful of handmade tank tops, plus a winter coat. I wrote more about the number of pieces and how often I wore each one, here.

How expensive was this project? And is it cheaper to make or buy clothing?

Not as expensive as I thought it would be. I dived into the whole money thing in this post.

What about laundry?

At the beginning I hand washed everything, because I never had enough dirty clothing for a full load of laundry. This also meant that I could wash a handful of pieces every couple days, and always have clean clothes to wear, rather than waiting until everything was dirty.

Did you ever get sick of your wardrobe?

Yep. But I always fell back in love with it.

Did anyone every comment on the lack of variety in your clothing?

Most people in my life knew about the project (or learned about it fairly quickly), so there weren’t every any odd questions. Plus, most people I interact with on a daily basis (friends, family, colleagues, etc.) are makers of one sort or another, so I could say something along the lines of “I’m doing a project where I make all my clothes for a year” and they would understand the time investment.

Did you ever hate any of the pieces you made?

No. I certainly made pieces I never would have even looked at, or thought about wearing if I hadn’t made them, but I didn’t made any pieces I downright disliked.

Where can I find the clothes? 

Right here.

Where can I find the outfits?

Under this category, just scroll down to page two.

Alternatively, here’s Week 52, and here’s Day 1. You can click through the rest of the weeks at the bottom of the post.

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The Self-Made Wardrobe Project was a relatively spontaneous project. I thought it up, planned it out, and only a couple months later was doing it.

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