The Sewing Place

Keep, recycle, or...?

snoozi soozi

Keep, recycle, or...?
« on: February 04, 2020, 13:54:01 PM »
I've noticed that some of you lovely lot are constantly on the make, of garments that is. What always crosses my mind is what do you do when your wardrobes and drawers get full with it all?

I regularly have a clear out of older stuff that I'm sick to the back teeth of, and donate to charity. This makes room for newer garments that I do enjoy wearing.

My bestie has lived in the same house for nearly forty years and she has one bedroom full to bursting with clothes, she has things going back to the seventies  :o Every so often she'll have a fleabay purge but she buys vintage clothes everywhere she goes so the stock never depletes.

How do you deal with ever-growing wardrobes?


Re: Keep, recycle, or...?
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2020, 14:10:17 PM »
This reminded me of my own Dallas Collection which is slowly being whittled down by mould.  :S

I find I can get rid of recent stuff more easily than I can get rid of from younger, happy times.

Must try harder!

Jessie, who is very happy to be here!!  :),  but who has far too many sewing machines to be healthy, and a fabric stash which is becoming embarrassing.


Re: Keep, recycle, or...?
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2020, 14:18:10 PM »

I have just donated a  pile of clothing- things too shabby to donate, I use as wiping rags.
UK Disaster planner (rtd)


Re: Keep, recycle, or...?
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2020, 14:29:35 PM »
I don't make clothes but do have a rule of " one in, one out " I give to charity shops.
Triumph of hope over experience :D

Fabric Lover

Re: Keep, recycle, or...?
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2020, 14:33:18 PM »
I try to clear out from time to time and while I have taken some bags to a charity shop recently I still need to do more!
Stash busting 2020
Goal: 100 mtrs
Used: 17 mtrs (includes curtains)


Re: Keep, recycle, or...?
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2020, 16:51:42 PM »
I’ve made virtually all my clothes since I was about 18.  So I don’t have a huge wardrobe.  Most of my stuff wears out.  I have had the odd clearout of stuff that didn’t fit some years ago.  And last year had to alter stuff that was now too big!   Wasn’t getting rid of silk tops and trousers and fancy bits I’d made for cruising!   


Re: Keep, recycle, or...?
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2020, 17:57:39 PM »
I have culls every so often and take stuff to charity shops. I find it easier to get rid of 'shop' clothes than clothes I've made myself though. I suppose it's because I invest time in things I make.
'One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.' Oscar Wilde


Re: Keep, recycle, or...?
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2020, 18:01:16 PM »
I tend to wear things until they're not fit to be seen in.  The sweater I'm currently wearing is 25 years old, is covered in darns (some of the darns have darns) and elbow patches.  It's a woolly of many colours so it has two layers really - the elaborate outside pattern of blocks, stripes and Fair Isle snowflakes and the inside where the different coloured threads are passed across the back.  This makes it very cosy, which is why I've kept nursing it along.  I had another one the same but I got the setting on the washing machine wrong and it shrank, sadly!

Once they're no longer fit to be seen I give them to our local Children's Society charity shop because they get 50p a bag from the rag man (and because there's good parking outside!).  I have hung onto a few garments from back in the day, most particularly a pair of Vogue Ralph Lauren early 80's trousers, even though  I need to drop about 5 inches off my waist to get back into them! 


Re: Keep, recycle, or...?
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2020, 18:51:12 PM »
I cycle through my wardrobe and have a lot of RTW.  Most of my RTW has been altered as well. 

Generally, I go through when the fashion shows start and go through my wardrobe for the coming season (February and October).  I can see what will fit into what is coming, what is worn (by my tastes), what I didn't like, etc. 

Some go on consignment (a friend of mine owns a consignment shop and takes my stuff as a special booth for a couple of months.  What doesn't sell (and RTW), I donate to a woman's shelter locally.


Re: Keep, recycle, or...?
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2020, 20:01:07 PM »
@snoozi soozi: I've given away nearly everything I have made as I struggle to be happy with them or to really find my style.  I plan a return to sewing this year and my focus will be on better sewing and a critical look at what suits my bodyshape.

I still have a few ready to wear pieces that are a hangover from my working life and wore a dress to my Brother's 60th birthday celebration last November.  I'll have another look, but I don't see me pruning any further as I kept the less formal clothes some of which are right for summer.
What goes around comes around.

Renegade Sewist

Re: Keep, recycle, or...?
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2020, 04:14:04 AM »
I find I can get rid of recent stuff more easily than I can get rid of from younger, happy times.


True for me as well. I was about to write that I finally last year got rid of a black velvet evening gown with glorious silver sequin encrusted sleeves, bought in 1989. I then turned around and noticed it's hanging behind other things on the back of the office door.

@snoozi soozi my most prolific year was about 10-12 garments so no real danger of it taking over. But like some others I've got an array of old clothing. I also used to collect true vintage, some 50' to 60's custom made for two friends Moms, some beaded confections from the 20's and a few Edwardian and Victorian pieces.

 I used to be a snazzy dresser. Now we're lucky if I'm clothed when I leave the house.


Re: Keep, recycle, or...?
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2020, 06:25:52 AM »
I struggle with this too.  I love to sew, I love fashion and creating stuff for me but wearing it all and keeping it is a major problem.  I lost a lot of weight a few years ago which meant I 'had' to have a totally new wardrobe  ;) so all my clothes are newish.   I do go through them when changing from summer to winter etc and take those things I haven't worn at all or much or which no longer fit (lovely menopausal changing body shape, grr) to the charity shops but to be honest I have tons of stuff.

I'm trying really hard to be sensible about what I make now - instead of falling in love with impractical but beautiful items I'm forcing myself to (a) use the stash and (b) only make clothes I will actually wear.   Still struggling with that though; I like to look pulled together and well dressed, but don't really have a lifestyle any more that warrants it.  So, in essence, that means that every bedroom in the house has a few (well, a lot) of hangers full of my clothes draped in it.  :S


Re: Keep, recycle, or...?
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2020, 07:34:07 AM »
I used to struggle too and had lots of clothes from previous lifestyles tucked away across upstairs rooms THEN we invited builders in to extend the rear of the house, both floors. Only one bedroom remained untouched, and was used for storage, the other three were gutted. This not only meant all wardrobes and cupboards had to be emptied and packed away but , as we slept on a mattress on the lounge floor for six weeks, I had a rail only on which to hang a few items and a plastic tub for smaller items. When we finally got to re-inhabit the upstairs and new wardrobes were delivered I left a lot of stuff packed and got rid of it 'sight unseen' as I know that if I'd unpacked it would never leave the premises. I can honestly say that I've not missed anything and now I follow the ' one in/one out rule' mostly ;)
Not so much patchwork as personal dressmaker to DD


Re: Keep, recycle, or...?
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2020, 07:39:57 AM »
One tip is to pretend you are going away for a seasonal ten day holiday. Then select the garments to take.
A friend donated bags of stuff after doing this, once she realised how much she was  just holding onto.
I think of how much wear another person can get out of my not very loved clothing.
UK Disaster planner (rtd)


Re: Keep, recycle, or...?
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2020, 11:04:31 AM »
I use the wash 65 times rule, if it starts to look sad and weary, out it goes, or if,  as sometimes happens, I never really love it.  The only thing that niggles me on this is that sometimes, the fabric has been expensive.

At the moment, I think, the oldest thing I have from the  early 80's is a pure silk jacket that I made from silk bought  by my mum from Thailand/Hong Kong (can't remember which).  She got miffed because I made a jacket instead of a dress, which saved it's life.  Up and down in weight yet it  still fitted me.  Only thing is that since there are years between each wearing, it has never been washed.  I kept the leftovers, I ought to try washing a piece.

I have also kept a  skirt, lovely summery fabric, which at one time I must have used for painting (again early 80's).  Every now  and again I hold it up and admire the size of the waist :S
Stash extension 2020 - 4.7 meters
Left at the end of 2019 - 39 meters