2010 – my challenge in review

2010 was the year where I decided it was time to stop spending on clothes, and spend more time sewing.  About a year ago I decided to not buy anything new. This would allow me to:

  1. I will be more creative – since I can’t buy new clothes, I will have to make them myself instead if I “need” anything new.
  2. Hopefully, I will find what part of my wardrobe I actually use, and the part that is still hanging there unused by the end of the year I will give away.
  3. I will have more money to spend on charity, and I hope to be able to give regularly to my favorite charities.

I also gave myself a little opening for buying socks and hoisery and to be able to spend some money in thrift shops, because that money would go to charity.

What did I buy?

Sri Lanka skirt

The first thing I bought was a skirt. I bought this in May.  It´s a wrap skirt, and is quite special to me. I have inherited a wrap skirt from my mum, that she bought back in the 70´s, when a friend of hers had visited Sri Lanka, and brought home clothing that they could buy, and send the money to the Sri Lankan women who had made them. The skirt I bought (on the Salvation Armys charity shop) was obviously of the same type. Constructed in the exact same way, and with a beautiful wax print. I used it a lot this summer, and I love it!

The second thing was some stockings, from Tights Please, as I really needed some tights for the autumn and winter.

The third thing I got was a winter coat. I searched and searched for a great pattern, or a great fabric to give me inspiration for making my own winter coat. But nothing really excited me. Then, again at the Salvation Army´s charity shop, I found the perfect winter coat. It is from the late 50´s or early 60´s, has kimono sleeves, and is extremely warm. It´s fantastic!

My winter coat My winter coat

Here it is modeled by first Betty Grace, and then my me.

I think I cheated once, but I´m not sure. I bought a girdle dress at La Magia. It is brand new, and strictly speaking it is underwear that one could argue that I didn´t need, but, the Christmas Dress looked a million times better with this one underneath, and I hadn´t made a clear rule for buying underwear, so I think I´m good. Or I don´t know. Maybe.

The last thing I bought was a silk/cotton blouse, also at the Salvation Army, I refashioned it to fit my size, so it was almost like getting fabric. Almost.

Vogue 8604 trousers

This is the blouse I bought. I love this color.

All in all I spent 580,- SEK on clothing, and then about the same amount on underwear and tights, so I think I did good.

I have managed to give away six or seven bags of clothing to charity, and I have gotten a whole new approach to my wardrobe. When Jaunary came around, I did some window shopping on ModCloth, Etsy and Shabby Apple, to see if there was something there I wanted – and surprisingly, I got tired of looking at ready-made, and started looking at vintage patterns and fabric instead! So I definitely have a whole different way of seeing things now than I had a year ago.

I have made a lot of new clothes for myself! Many items replaced ill-fitting pieces that I had given away, others are made just for the fun of it.

Day Tweny-six Day twenty-five SSS: Day 10

The anchor top (Burda WOF 2009-02-108), the 70´s buttoned top (Burda spring 1976), McCall´s 5388 and Beignet in white all got heavy rotation during the summer months.

SSS: Day 8 SSS: Day 17 Sencha 2.0 & Vi MĂśnster 3324

The knitted tunic dress, Beignet in blue and the Vi Pencil Skirt are other items that I often go to.

When it comes to charity, I´ve decided upon donating regularly to Women for Women International, I truly believe that women can make a change, if they get the rights, security and education they need. A great cause, I believe. I have also decided upon placing my money in a small bank instead of in the big ones, there is a Swedish bank called Ekobanken, that have full transparency. This is their statement:

EKOBANKEN IS AN ETHICAL BANK open to all who want to encourage possibilities for people to take free initiatives. They enrich our society in the form of a wider variety of health care forms, educational methods and artistic expression.
Ekobanken considers money to be a social medium through which co-operation among people and groups is made easier. The human being is the starting point for Ekobanken´s operations.
The public good and the benefit of our members is our main driving force and the reason why Ekobanken finances initiatives within the social economy. We are also interested in sustainable business that takes the environment and human being into account.
Ekobanken is a member bank. This means that when you choose Ekobanken you know what your savings are used for and can even influence which kind of loan projects are financed through the bank.”

I love the fact that this way, my money will never go to, say oil companies or the weapon industry. Other than these two I love the work of Doctors Without Boarders, Amnesty International, 5gyres.org,  Care International and Framtiden i vüre hender and hope to contribute to these organizations as often as possible. What about you? Do you have any favorite charity organizations?

All in all 2010 was an eye-opening year for me. The great thing is that, my new way of approaching clothes, affects the way I see other things as well. I only buy vintage shoes, I only want used or handmade things for our home, and I want quality if I must buy something new.

My participation in activities like Zoe´s Me-Made-May and Self-Stitched-September, Nikki´s Wardrobe Refashion, Sarah´s The Hepburn Hepburn Project and Ali´s Summer Essentials Sew-Along, all gave me encouragement and motivation to continue sewing.


For 2011 I hope to continue make clothing for myself, but also for friends and family. I´d love to explore drafting patterns and making my own designs, and continue to develop my sewing skills. But more on that next time!

At last, but not at all least, I must give a big cyber hug to you all in the online sewing community. How would this year have been without the continuous support and advice from you all? Hurrah for that! 🙂


  1. Sarah on 16/01/2011 at 20:35

    What a fantastic post, Solvi! I love how you approached clothes buying and sewing, and I especially love everything you created. I love your Beignet skirts and your knitted tunic! Fabulous! I’m so happy that you are sewing along with me in the Hepburn Hepburn Project. You are a gifted seamstress (not to mention awesome knitter), and I love seeing what you make.

    Thanks for the link to Women for Women International. I’m going to keep that one in mind and definitely donate this year.

    Sarah 🙂

    • Sølvi on 25/01/2011 at 14:32

      Thanks, Sarah – I loved your links to different good causes the other week too, it´s so great that there are so many ways one can give back to the community! 🙂

  2. Kristen on 17/01/2011 at 10:04

    congrats on such a great year! My self-stitched-september was so uplifting and eye-opening towards making my own clothes, and after that month I felt the same luckluster feeling towards clothes off the racks as you. I am so impressed by the dedication you have and hope to do the same. thanks for the inspiration!

    • Sølvi on 25/01/2011 at 14:30

      I agree with you on the impact of SSS (and MMM), it really is an eye-opening experience.

  3. Roobeedoo on 21/01/2011 at 14:12

    That was a very successful year! You had good clear goals and you stuck to them – woo hoo! Underwear is allowed! Definitely!

    • Sølvi on 25/01/2011 at 14:26

      Thanks, alright underwear is allowed. 😉

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