RTW Fast 2014 – Achieved! (and stuff I made in 2014)


2014 is over and it’s the end of the RTW Fast 2014 (Ready To Wear). I’m confident to say that I achieved the goal of avoiding buying any ready to wear clothes in 2014.

I will come clean, there was one item I did buy, a pair of waterproof reflective cycling over trousers from Aldi for my commute to work. I think these can be excused as they were something I couldn’t have made myself and in the couple of weeks before Christmas were definitely needed. So I reckon that these don’t count.

I found it quite easy to avoid shopping, since having children & less money (due to having children) I don’t often get the chance. It did make me focus on what I really needed in my wardrobe. If I hadn’t been on the fast I’d have bought some new jeans at the beginning of the year as my current two pairs are a bit scruffy but this pushed me towards wearing more skirts and dresses.

There isn’t an official RTW Fast 2015 so I’ll see how long I can go on.

Did I save money?
This wasn’t the main incentive but it would be interesting to know. Roughly totting up what I’ve spent making the items just for me and not including socks I’ve spent about £190. Add to that about £40 on patterns, Coco and Renfew patterns are a large chunk of that but I know that these will be used again and again. So I think I probably did save money. Some pieces were real bargains like this black wool Renfrew with fabric at £4 per metre at the other end of the scale was the Coco where I paid over £17 a metre along with an expensive pattern.

Sewing in 2014
The fast pushed me into making clothes I really needed and in 2014 I managed to make myself 14 items of clothing and knitted myself 3 pairs of socks. This included 3 shirts, 3 dresses, 2 skirts & 6 jersey tees / tops.

I also made 2 items for the children and during May I made 4 bridesmaid dresses, that was one stressful month!

4 bridesmaid dresses - hard work but they looked great finished

4 bridesmaid dresses – hard work but they looked great finished

The overall winners have got to be the 3 dresses, the lady skater, the Lucian Day dress & the Lady skater with the Renfrew cowl. I made the striped Lady skater too late in the summer for it to get much wear but it’s something I know will get a lot of wear next year.

from left to right: Lady Skater dress, Luciene Day dress, Lady Skater with Renfrew Cowl

from left to right: Lady Skater dress, Luciene Day dress, Lady Skater with Renfrew Cowl

There’s no real losers but if I had to pick it would be the red and black Maria of Denmark Kimono tees and the polka dot Renfrew. The issue with all 3 is that the quality of the fabric let them down. The Kimono tees looked saggy after a few washes. The grey tee I made last year still looks fine, as the fabric was a sturdier cotton jersey. The fabric I used for the Renfrew faded really quickly which was a real disappointment.

I was also a bit unsure of the ponte roma skirt when I finished it at the end of November but it’s turned out a surprise hit. It looks great with the black Renfrew and the grey tee. I took it away with me on a business trip and the fabric was great, no creasing.

I am completely converted to hand knitted socks, I still have some shop bought ones but I hardly ever wear them. Hand knitted are more expensive but they will last so much longer. I seem to be relying on self patterning yarn for interest rather than knitting a pattern. I think I need to stretch myself a bit but I can see the love of self patterning yarn continuing. Actually my favourite pair of 2014 were these plain grey socks with the contrast heel and toe.

Hermione's Everyday Socks, toe up with a short row heel

Hermione’s Everyday Socks, toe up with a short row heel

Sewing for 2015……
After all of this year’s makes my wardrobe is looking quite healthy so I don’t feel the need to put myself under too much pressure to get sewing. One thing I’d like to get to grips with are trousers. I’ve recently bought the Craftsy ‘Jeanius’ course and I’m going to tackle copying my Levi’s. I’m a bit apprehensive about this, I really hope they are a success or else it’ll be the thing to break my fast!

Many thanks for reading during 2014, I love being part of the blogging community and keeping up with what you are all making  – Happy 2015 🙂






14 thoughts on “RTW Fast 2014 – Achieved! (and stuff I made in 2014)

    • You are right, browsing for clothes is something that I’ve lost the habit for. Yep, there was a lot of sewing in 2014 and sometimes I put myself under too much pressure so I need to go easy on myself this year!

  1. Bravo Helen! You’ve made some really lovely things this year – there isn’t a single item I haven’t loved at first sight! Happy sewing in 2015, I look forward to reading.

  2. Such a productive year! And a good range too. I’ve been talking to people on FB about doing a ready to wear fast this year. I think just go for it and declare your own. I’ll join you. I think I bought only 5 things last year, (except underpants) so it’s not that much of a stretch. Oh, and one of my things was a pair of jeans. Because my other (6 year old) pair didn’t so much look scruffy as completely split. Oops. I’d like to have a go at a pair of jeans too!

    • I’ll let you know how the jeans go! I got the Craftsy course for £12.50 on the black Friday special. Craftsy courses are regularly on offer but this was the cheapest I’d ever seen them.
      As for a 2015 fast I think I’ll continue as I don’t feel the need to go out and buy anything. Underpants have been on my to do list for a while, I’ve got the fabric and elastic waiting.

  3. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and seeing your makes. The bridesmaids’ dresses are stunning. I like your style and the Lucienne Day fabric is just lovely. Good luck and happy sewing for 2015.

    • Thank you. I’m already procrastinating about what to make first this year. I need to get on with the jeans but because I can see it being a long project I’m putting off starting…..

  4. I can’t believe you made those bridesmaid dresses! Amazing! I would say you had a very successful year. I agree with your thoughts on buying that one item. Something I learned is that some things are definitely more cost effective to buy and there’s no shame in that! I’m halfway through the Jean-ius course myself. It’s easier than I thought but I’m stuck now that I’ve reached the muslin part because I don’t know how to draft a fly. I need to invest more time in it. I’m anxious to see how you do!

    • I hope you can sort out the fly, maybe a bit of help from Google will get you there? I’m glad you say it’s easier than you though. I’m going to order the organza this week so I can get started.
      I’ve also signed up for the RTW fast 2015, I’m game for another year 🙂 !

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