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Coco’s Closet – My 1 Year Sewing Challenge

I’ve been planning this challenge for some time now and I’m ready to take it on.I’m pretty sure this is the mother of all challenges I’ve ever been in (or at least the mother of all sewing challenges I’ve ever created for myself), mostly because it’s the longest challenge I’ll have ever committed to.

The challenge?  For one year, I am not going to purchase any ready-to-wear (RTW) clothing*.  None.  Instead, I’m going to sew any new clothing that I will need or may want.  (The line between need and want often gets very blurry for me, by the way.)  I’m calling this challenge Coco’s Closet because it’s all about filling up my closet with clothing made by me and Coco is my nickname.  Well, at work anyway.  But I think “Coco’s Closet” sounds so much better than “Corinne’s Closet”, so I’m going with it.

*This challenge excludes socks, stockings & maybe bras & knickers.  I am planning on attempting to make my own but I CANNOT bring myself to go commando or bra-less if it doesn’t work out.

My clothing budget will now go to patterns, fabric and whatever notions are required. For one whole year, there will be no clothes shopping for me.  (Secretly, this isn’t as big of a deal for me as not being able to fabric shop for one whole year.)  Um, this may be a good time to mention that I don’t know how to knit or crochet so if I want any new sweaters or cardigans, I’m going to have to figure out how I’m going to make my own.  (Translation:  I may not be wearing any new sweaters or cardigans for the next year. ) 

I’m sure you’re wondering what the point of this challenge is.  Well, mostly I’m just trying to up my sewing game and push myself outside of my sewing comfort zone and I can’t think of a better or more fun way to do that.

I will not be doing a pre-challenge shopping spree in order to load my closet with clothes.  In fact, I’m getting rid of any clothes I haven’t worn in the last year.

Ground Rules

Okay, so here are the ground rules I’ve created for myself:

  1. No purchasing any RTW garments (except of course those listed above) during the challenge.  Any new clothing must be me-made.
  2. At least one of each of the garments I listed in one of my earlier posts, My Sewing Bucket List must be made during the challenge.
  3. A minimum of at least two garments must be made each month & a blog post for each garment made must be written.
  4. Budget for patterns, fabric and sewing notions can not exceed clothing budget already in existence .
  5. The challenge begins on September 1, 2013 and ends on August 31, 2014.
  6. Have fun!

And of course to give me a little motivation, I’ve decided there should be a prize if I complete the challenge.  (Which I admit may be a little lame since I’m the only one participating in my own challenge.)  So what’s the prize going to be?  I haven’t actually decided on that part yet.  So please post suggestions if you have any!  It doesn’t need to be extravagant, just a little something I can look forward to as a celebration of sorts.

So tell me, would you ever do anything like this?  Have you ever done anything like this?  I’m interested in hearing about your experience so please share!

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11 Comments Post a comment
  1. Cindy #

    OH Coco, What fun! So happy for you and so excited to see your creations.

    August 20, 2013
    • Thanks so much, Cindy! I’m actually really looking forward to it.

      August 20, 2013
  2. Great idea! Best of luck with it! Look forward to seeing what you’ve made 🙂

    August 21, 2013
    • Thanks so much for the words of encouragement!

      August 21, 2013
  3. Great idea … look forward to hearing how it all turns out. Looking forward to meeting you at the Sewing Group … 🙂

    August 24, 2013
  4. Donna Van Gundy #

    I am doing something similar, though informally, and trying to force myself to make clothes that I will want to wear, even if I have to redo them repeatedly! I hope to bring my skills from beginner/intermediate to intermediate. Thanks for the inspiration!

    September 3, 2013
    • Donna, that’s wonderful! We can support each other – good luck! 🙂

      September 3, 2013
  5. Jayne Slovick #

    I would like to do the challenge with you. How has it been going? I just read this so will start in November. I wondered if there is a plan, or just make whatever. Jayne

    October 31, 2013
    • Hi Jayne! It would be great to have someone do this challenge with me so please do join in! I have only just started in September so November is a good time to jump in. I am not following any particular plan other than committing to sewing two garments a month for myself. There is no list of particular garments I’m making, just whatever I need and whatever appeals to me. If you do decide to follow along, be sure to check in and let me know how your progressing! I’d love to see what you make. Good luck!

      November 1, 2013

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