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Oct 1, 2013

Out With the Old, In With the New???

Tuesday -- Day 2 -- and the ditching continues.

This oversized black hat makes me look like a guy who might sell you camera equipment at B&H Photo, let's leave it at that.  Off to the Salvation Army it goes! 

Here's another hat -- these straw summer hats were all the rage for a while and maybe they still are.  This one never fit.  Ditch!

I was very excited to find the shirt below just around the time I started sewing.  It's quite snazzy for a rodeo or a community theater production of Oklahoma! or Whoop-Up but it's just not me (not to mention the color washes me out). 

It's really sad  --  yet instructive (for those who care to learn) -- that so many of my ditches are returning to the very place I found them.

Why did I bring this striped fabric home from the MPB Day pattern/fabric swap?  It's getting dumped and please don't tell Michael, who chose it.  It's too loud, too thin, and too stretchy to bother with.

Remember this Ott Light I found at the Salvation Army not half a year ago?  The base is too wide and the light too narrow; I don't use it.  Out it goes -- actually, I may leave this one by the dumpsters as someone's sure to pick it up and it's rather heavy to lug.

Who doesn't own a scratched teflon pan like the one below?  We have a perfectly good cast iron skillet that does eggs even better, with just a little bit more pre-heating and added butter -- nothing wrong with that.  Ditch!

Tuesday's Ditch Total:  1 plastic grocery bag and assorted other stuff, not bagged.

Friends, I want to be clear about something: not all of us are ready to throw bags of stuff out at the beginning of our decluttering/healing process.  Sometimes all we can manage is to pitch an expired bottle of Iboprofen and that's OK.  The important thing is that you ditch daily, even if it's only one little thing.

Naturally, as we get closer to what feels like "muscle" (as opposed to fat) it's going to get harder to ditch.  I'm already eyeing my sewing machine collection.  Do I really need a white Featherweight when I have two (or was it three) black ones?  If Michael doesn't feel any sentimental attachment to his mother's 35 lb. Kenmore, would it be inappropriate to get rid of it?  I mean, it's a boat.  These are all questions I'm going to have to answer myself with perhaps a little advice from the peanut gallery. (OMG, I just learned this term had nothing to do with Charles Schultz: I've spent my entire life saying Peanuts gallery.)

Moving onto In with the new, if there is a downside to the Mood Sewing Network, it is that I am obligated to buy fabric every month, regardless of my state of mind or the (currently sorry) state of my apartment.  Today I picked up fabric for a (likely) October project. 

One of my challenges as the lone male in this group of gals is that men's clothes are largely predictable (at least the kind I wear) -- pants, shirts, jackets, etc., made from the same types of fabrics -- so I feel the need to make lots of individual garments.  Like, it's not enough for me to just sew a cotton shirt; I need to sew a shirt and pants, or a jacket and shorts ensemble -- you get the idea.  Plus a little Cathy thrown in to liven things up.

For October, I'm planning a sweater-shirt-pants ensemble, made of the following fabrics, respectively:

This cement gray wool knit (which may or may not be a vest combining the knit and some other fabric):

This black and white gingham shirting:

This mustard yellow Marc Jacobs cotton twill:

I also looked at the considerably brighter Rag & Bone twill below, but I was afraid it was just too bright.  Now I'm not so sure.  Was I right to pass on the French's mustard and go for the spicy brown Gulden's?

Reader's that all for today -- I have bags to unload at the thrift store, fabric to preshrink, and dogs to walk.

Have a great day, everybody!

PS -- How's your ditching going?


  1. I probably sound like a broken record but I want to say again that I really admire your effort in de-cluttering and simplifying your life. The peanuts gallery is funny :).

  2. If I were you I'd hang on to Dorcas' Kenmore a little longer. You seemed quite excited when it arrived, a good solid machine, with lots of accessories and a known, family, history. That kind of thing doesn't come along everyday and once it's gone it's gone. How I wish I had been able to keep my Gran's rosewood stereogram. Ditch a featherweight instead but maybe not the white one.

  3. In general I'm pretty good at ditching things I don't need but I just can't seem to with fabric. I was always told if you haven't worn a garment after 1 year, you've got to ditch it. I might make it a 2 year rule for fabric then so that I'm a bit more at ease with the idea. Very much look forward to your October ensemble project, the mustard cotton twill looks very pretty against the black&white gingham.

  4. Me moved south with only what fit in the trunk of our car, plus six suitcases that came on a couple plane trips. Almost ten years later, we have a 2600 square foot house full of stuff! I have been decluttering for a few years now. I make progress, then someone offers me something that I can't resist or I buy fabric for a project that never happens.

    This is still a step up from the 10x10 shed that I had stuffed with fabric and craft materials. It was hard getting rid of all that stuff.

    Your complexion is like Husband's and the spicy mustard is better than the brighter. A good rule when choosing colors is that you wear it, it doesn't wear you. I think the brighter one would have overwhelmed you. If all you see is the clothes or the color, it's wrong for you.


  5. I see mustard pants, a gingham shirt and grey sweater/vest coming down the road : )

  6. Definitely the Guldens is the right color choice and in my opinion gingham is always right and classic. And that bag of striped fabrics is definitely ditchable. I am wavering on separating from my Mom's old Elna...too expensive to repair the zig-zag and it weighs a ton.

  7. SeamsterEast@aol.comOctober 1, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    -------- One of my challenges as the lone male in this group of gals is that men's clothes are largely predictable -------

    A suggestion? A bias cut men's shirt? Such are rare in RTW, and usually striped, and even then usually just the front panels. Perhaps a uni-color cotton or linen? Probably not good for the office, but maybe more dressy than regular casual. Hey, I'm just thinking outloud.

  8. PeanutS Gallery. LOL That's funny.

    I don't find you predictable at all. We all sew tops/bottoms etc. It's what we do with those that makes it. You're always interesting. :)

  9. I still have to find a thrift store nearby to dump all my newly unwanted things from the move. It makes me feel a little sheepish that I haven't done it yet!
    Yum to the mustard fabric! I think you chose right, I like the weave of it. Maybe you could take requests for things to make? I love the simplicity of menswear but I really love when there are small unexpected details thrown in, and I think you totally cover that.

  10. Good luck with your ditching. I need to join you.

    Love your fabric purchases!!

  11. I am really inspired by your ditching posts, and as soon as I get back from vacation it's starting at my house too!

  12. Did you say "ditch sewing machines"?!!! Is that allowed?

  13. Agreed that ditching isn't the easiest thing. My last one really did get down to "muscle" and it was brutal (I even ditched my job!).

    Unexpectedly it was relatively easy - the more I got rid of, the more I realised how burdensome and distracting unnecessary stuff can be.

    To keep your analogy going, getting down to "bare bone" is the truly liberating moment because it can reveal who you are and what your life is about (without stiff). Of course that can also be very confronting.

    "The more you know the less you need." (Australian Aboriginal saying)


  14. Always, but ALWAYS go for the spicy mustard!

  15. Congratulations on the decluttering, and thanks for detailing it - I need the inspiration. Now that we have five tons of stuff in what is charitably a two-ton flat, we have a lot to do. We're still at the ditching a box a day, but that's going to peter out soon enough. We're hopeful about finding a group sale we can participate in, but if that falls through we'll be taking a couple of car loads to a charity. Sometimes I wish we were down to a suitcase each, the dogs, and an iPad apiece.

  16. We have a yard sale coming up (across the street, but she always invites us to join her-- very neighborly!) The stuff that didn't make it to the Salvation Army is going to the yard sale next weekend. We've even got a box of free hardware-- stuff we're not using, but someone may want it.

    I would keep the Kenmore and sell the white 221. But then I've got a treadle and a 15-91 to give away and I haven't been able to do it. Mostly because I sewed dozens of garments for my daughters on the treadle.

  17. So inspiring! I find myself with some unexpected time off, just having just been furloughed, and I need to do some ditching.

  18. As far as getting rid of machines, I would definitely ditch the duplicates first. Then narrow down to your favorite 3.

  19. Keep the white Featherweight. They're worth it.

  20. On several occasions I've given stuff to the nearby Saver's, stopped by a few weeks later, pulled my own stuff from the rack and had to remember that I had once owned it, had gotten rid of it and should definitely not buy it again. "Wow, look at this great sweater, the color doesn't quite work but it's so cheap..." I think to myself, and then away we go.

  21. To your point about men's clothes being predictable -- I agree with Leigh that we all make the same basic clothes, men and women. But when you take the time to add special touches and embellishments, they aren't just basic clothes. Even on your recent sweater you appliqued the little V piece at the front -- small details make the look.

  22. There are three reasons to keep things: 1) it is beautiful, 2) it is useful, or 3) it has sentimental value. I would keep this in mind as I ditch. Otherwise, everything is fair game. Leave the things that you are unsure about until most of the clutter is removed. I think it will be clearer then what to do. Now that I have given you this unsolicited advice, I LOVE that sweater knit you got. It's going to be terrific for the October project.

    1. I agree. I got rid of all the clutter I was sure of first, because the sentimental value things are the hardest to let go.
      For some things it took me two years before I was finally ready to ditch them.

  23. I have to do a large-scale "ditch", going through clothes, yarn, fabric, and patterns. I'm not looking forward to it, even doing it piece by piece.

    In the meantime, I have a designated spot where I put things I'm not going to keep as I find them. It will at least lessen the upcoming sorting process.

  24. Great choice with the Gulden's! :)

  25. Yes, yes, the Gulden's -- so rich and gorgeous!

    And as for the ditching, I reserve a corner of a room for giveaways. Anything that doesn't fit my life is immediately put into a shopping bag and left there. Friends and family are welcome to take whatever they want at any time. When a few bags fill up, the whole pile goes to Goodwill. It always feels so good to come back to an empty corner!


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