Fast Fashion Fasting & Favourite Feathered Tee

How is it almost the end of 2017 already?? I’m looking forward to the break between Christmas and New Year to do a lot of sewing and hopefully catching up on posting some of the stuff I’ve been sewing lately. Truth be told, I’m also going to be doing a bit of shopping during that time, in preparation for the Ready-to-Wear Fast of 2018! I’ve thrown my hat in the ring and pledged to not buy any clothes for the whole year! And as a nervous addict facing withdrawal, I’m going to go buy at least a pair of jeans as a kind of last hurrah.

What is the RTW Fast? Here are the rules, as posted on Sarah Gunn’s Goodbye Valentino blog:

What exactly is the Ready To Wear Fast?

The Ready to Wear Fast is a vow to abstain from buying clothes for one year. You will give up buying clothes from January 1 – December 31, 2018.  You may sew anything, and you may fabric shop as much as you would like!  The purpose is to Save Money and Improve Your Sewing Skills, but believe me, the rewards of the commitment will exceed your expectations.


1.May I buy sweaters since I don’t knit?
No, you may not buy sweaters.

2. What about bathing suits?
No, you may not buy a bathing suit.

3. I’m attending a ball this year. May I buy a ball gown?
No you may not buy a ball gown.

4. Do I have to make my wedding dress?
Please buy the wedding dress of your dreams. A wedding dress or bridesmaid’s dress is the only exception.

5. What about scarves?

6. What can we buy during 2018?
You many buy underwear, socks, jewelry, handbags and belts.

7. Can we buy shoes on a Ready to Wear Fast?
Y E S !!  Shoes are allowed – Enjoy 😉

8. Can I wear the Ready to Wear clothes I bought before the Fast?
Yes, absolutely.

9. May we accept gifts of clothing?
Of course.

10. Can we buy thrift shop clothes to refashion?
No. I encourage you to refashion clothes from your closet.


Here’s why I think this fast will be good for me:

  • I have a tendency to shop a bit mindlessly as a stress reliever, whether online or in person. A fast will force me to quit!
  • I have more clothes than I need already anyway. For 2018, I’ll be required to use what I already have more thoughtfully.
  • I’ll need to be more deliberate about what I sew and the fabric I buy. Instead of buying that loud printed fabric that catches my eye — guilty as charged, for sure —  I’ll need to think about what exactly I need in my wardrobe and which fabric will be necessary to fill that gap. I’m sure this will mean more solids and more basics.
  • If I need jeans, I’m gonna have to sew ’em! (Eeeeek!)
  • I’ve been knitting clothes since 2009 and sewing clothes since 2013, so I feel like I have enough experience and skill to be able to make the things I need or want during 2018. And if I need a type of garment that I haven’t sewn before, I’ll have to step up and learn the new skills or go without.

So, CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. But I must admit I am definitely nervous. Will I be able to break the shopping habit? Will I have the time to sew the things I need? 2018 will tell. 🙂

And now here’s my new (well, new back in October as you can tell by the seasonally-inappropriate pictures — I’m definitely behind on the blog posts) Favourite Tee by Patterns for Pirates.feathertee1

I used a Robert Kaufmann feather print cotton knit, which I love, although the black does fade with washing, which sucks. I have a tendency to buy really soft, drapey knits such as modal and then I find I don’t love wearing a lightweight, drapey garment all that much. I like my tees to have a bit of heft for the most part. Cotton jersey seems to do the trick for me.


The pattern has a lot of options for necklines, hemlines, and sleeve lengths. I chose the scoop-neck and curved, top-length hemline with long sleeves.

Screen Shot 2017-12-21 at 11.04.53 AM

I did end up shortening the back hem by about 2 inches, and I still find it a touch too long.


I’m sure I’ll be using this pattern again in 2018. Basic long-sleeve tees are the type of thing I’d normally just go buy rather than spend precious sewing time on a ‘basic’ — but no doubt my Ready to Wear Fast pledge will change that.


Oh, just standing around holding up this fence.


How about you? Ever thought about going a whole year without buying clothes? Last February I interviewed Tif, aka Madame Tifaine on the Clothes Making Mavens podcast about her year-long clothes-buying fast if you’d like to hear about how her year went.

And Helena and I have a new episode of the podcast out now for you to listen to while you binge on holiday sewing. And we want YOU to be part of our next show. Details on how to participate are on Helena’s blog here.

So Naomi, Barbara, Mads, Kathleen, and Mertxelasierra, I know you’re reading this, so go on — click on that link above and send me your recordings! lol

Thanks so much for stopping by, and enjoy your holiday sewing!

— Lori

7 thoughts on “Fast Fashion Fasting & Favourite Feathered Tee

  1. I broke the RTW habit some years ago…or the crapness of RTW did it for me! I’m a funny shape, and have never fitted well into RTW even before I got my granny belly shape, so it hasn’t really been a problem. My wardrobe is way nicer now than it’s ever been, and nearly everything I make goes into heavy rotation, as I’ve mostly cracked what works even though I buy and sew completely impulsively. I would recommend starting with some serious planning though- The Stitchers’ Guilds SWAP and 6pack challenges are great for that. Go take a look!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. YOU’RE NOT MY SUPERVISOR!!!!!!!! 😉 But I will definitely head to Helena’s blog and see what’s up–hooray for a new episode, too!

    Good luck with your RTW Fast! I think you can totally do it, especially if you stock up on a few things you know you’ll need *before* the challenge starts. You definitely ought to try making jeans in 2018, because why not? 😀


  3. I am so impressed by peoples’ dedication to the ready to wear fasts. I definitely buy way, way less clothing than I ever did before sewing. But my eyes/sewing queue get so much bigger than my sewing pace allows for and I always end up having to go out an buy something (usually super basic I just can’t get the sew jo up for).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, I thought of joining the RTW-fast, after having just done a no-fabric-buying year. My pregnancy and subsequent change of bodytype/lifestyle really forced me to do a Capsule-Wardrobe, but honestly I still have enough to live a year without shopping OR sewing, especially if I mend a bit here and there.
    But…. I am a really slow sewist, and if some special occasion came up, and if I lose or gain weight (likely) and I’d need ALL the basics it would really stress me out. Also, sewing black leggings sounds like a bore.

    P.S. for the fading fabric: cottons that are printed on always fade. You can recognize (and avoid) them, by one side being white-ish. It also helps to wash them inside out and hang dry them that way too.


  5. Gillian and I should just send you all of our accidental cotton jersey purchases, because we both hate it and yet it keeps finding it’s way into my stash! And in return, you can send me all your modal, because I love drapey rayon knits that are super soft. 😉 That said, I love this feather print tee, so cute! It’s even making me rethink spending $9 on a pattern might be worth it.

    Good luck on your RTW fast, I think it’ll be easier than you think, and I sewing dare you to try making your own undies for the year too! 😛


  6. I did Sarah’s RTW fast in 2014! I really enjoyed it and completed the year. It gave me a new perspective, and while I’m not planning on doing it again anytime soon, my initial thought now when needing is clothing is whether I can make it or not. I far prefer to make my own clothes…. and that is the route that I go if I can. Shopping hasn’t ever really been for me. The fast also really helped me improve my skills.

    Regarding your comments about having to be more thoughtful in what you make, I had the same thoughts. Someone commented on my blog post to check out Dressing Your Truth. Google it…there’s a free course you can take and it has helped me immensely…not just with what I wear and how I wear it, but also in understanding others.

    Have fun with the Fast!


  7. Well I hadn’t thought of doing the RTW fast until now. Thanks. I think.

    But seriously, I am now thinking of officially doing this challenge. Possibly because in thinking back over the year I can only recall one retail clothing purchase…and that, truthfully…was due to a social outing to a thrift store. Not feeling guilty about that at all.

    Your tee looks perfect! Spot on fit…so you don’t need to ‘miss’ buying them.

    I think you can sew your own jeans too, but I understand if one challenge in the year feels enough for your plate! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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