not shopping, and a chambray skirt

Thanks to my “no shopping” post being featured on the WordPress homepage, a lot of new faces have showed up around here in the last two days! Welcome! Even though I said I wouldn’t be posting daily outfit photos, I will be occasionally sharing photos of items I’ve sewn, and possibly particularly interesting outfits remixed from items in my closet. Though seriously, I need to get a tripod and some self confidence, because I feel sublimely silly posing while my husband snaps photos with our 5 year old digital camera in my kitchen, home to the only bare wall I could find (I like art), while also trying to keep two large dogs from hopping into the picture (I was standing near their food bowls and it was almost dinner time, so they got rather excited).

I thought I’d clarify a bit on what motivated the no-shopping challenge. I identify as a follower of Jesus, and I’ve been thinking a lot about how my consumerism lines up with that identity. I read Shane Claibourne’s Jesus for President with a book group at my church, and I’ve also been reading a lot of Pete Rollins. Basically, I think I undermine my statements about following Jesus and trying to love people like he loved when my dollars every day are a) going toward my own comfort instead of those in need, and b) are perpetuating a system of slavery and oppression in other parts of the world, where the poor are exploited just to make my clothes. And yet: there’s no other way to say this, I want to look cute. Yesterday, while out buying a must-have hair product, in an apparent act of self-torture, I wandered into Forever21, “just to look.” I saw about 20 things that I really wanted. “Wouldn’t that little dress be a great beach cover-up for my upcoming trip to Costa Rica?” I didn’t buy anything, but I realized what an addict I am. I can’t say that I’ll swear off buying clothes forever, and only buy from thrift stores or make my own, though that would probably be ideal. I can’t even say I’ll never buy something from Forever21 again. But I am going to spend the next several months abstaining from buying clothes (I have a feeling trips to Target are going to be torture! I also spotted a gray striped jersey dress there yesterday that I really wanted.),  and I hope to learn something from the experience.

One area I do hope to improve are my sewing skills. I am confident that I can learn to make a lot of the clothes that I want, for myself, for less money than I would spend in retail stores, and in the process, with confidence that my clothes weren’t made in a sweatshop. Now, when I want an item, if it looks “sewable,” I pin it to my Sewing Inspiration board on Pinterest. One thing I had been pinning a lot of lately was chambray skirts (click image to be taken to Pinterest page which links to original source):

So, armed with several skirts under my sewing belt, I decided this covetable item was something I could make myself. And sure enough, I followed this tutorial to make myself an adorable (if I do say so myself) chambray skirt:

I used a double layer of chambray for the skirt, to prevent sheerness and give the skirt more of the full look I was going for. I have to say, I think it turned out just as cute as several of the skirts I had pinned!

14 Replies to “not shopping, and a chambray skirt”

  1. Your reasons for not shopping are about the same as mine – I am also a follower of Jesus, and I was really starting to feel convicted about spending so much money on myself. A friend of mine did “thrift for a year” and only bought clothing from thrift stores, and I think that’s a good idea too – in fact, I’m considering doing that for 2012 – though we’ll see how I do not buying things for the rest of 2011. I don’t want to be unrealistic, but I think I can do it.

    Very nice job on the skirt, by the way! :)


  2. My husband is a pastor and I am often conflicted knowing that a) my finances are way too much about me b) there is sheer gluttoney present in my closet and c) there is pressure from the church to look a certain way on Sunday mornings. I pray often for wisdom in buying and appreciate you sharing your journey. I can’t even sew a button, but am inspired to once again take a closer look.

    Oh, and cute skirt!


    1. Olivia: If it helps you feel better, I’ve still never sewed a button! My husband thinks it’s hilarious, and in fact, when I first said I wanted to learn to sew several months ago, suggested maybe I should start with learning to sew on a button first. So far, I haven’t had to! Though I did use an online tutorial to learn to hand-sew in a zipper.


  3. The skirt looks great! Way to go!

    I love Shane Claiborne’s work. Irresistible Revolution sent me from a Music Major to an Urban Ministry major in college. It was truly life changing. I’ll have to check out Pete Rollins as well! Thanks for the tip!


  4. The skirt turned out great! Very adorable. With your skills, I think you can definitely reach your goal of no new clothes until December. It’s actually really inspiring; maybe I should teach myself to sew.


    1. Rebecca: you should try some sewing! I’ve been sewing for only the summer, and with each garment, my confidence grows. I recommend starting with an easy skirt pattern.


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