Friday, March 12, 2010

Fritter-Free Zone

You know I've been working on that no fritter challenge now for, oh, almost 3 months now. Yes, peeps, it's due to end in less than three weeks. I'm a bit amazed I've managed to last without buying a single new piece of clothing, but before you have a party for me, I should confess that the pain has been exceedingly minimal because:
  • I have no ban on sewing supplies, patterns or fabric.
  • I buy books and mags as I please.
  • I get to shop for a kid who needs things like cute clothes re: latest growth spurt. (I'm not excessive, note.)
  • I have no ban on buying lunch or eating out. I do these things as normal.
  • The weather's been crap, who wants to go out.
  • I haven't actually convinced my psyche I'm on a ban, so it's just "regular times" in my brain.

Who are we kidding: I sense I've merely diverted the funds I would have spent on clothing (I arguably do not need). Predominantly to sewing supplies, patterns and fabric.

Now, is that a bad thing?

Not in my books.

I've managed to make about a dozen garments from bra to skirt to suit jacket to yoga pants and more. OK, some of them haven't worked out so well - we might look at this as wasted money - but I've learned a lot.

I set up a sewing room without buying a single new thing. Yes, I desperately need a decent task light and a chair that actually fits my table without piling foam blocks onto it, but I've got a system going and it's essentially free.

I haven't stepped into my fashion traps with the expectation of a quick (read: expensive and potentially disposable, most definitely unnecessary) fix.

I've developed a new solidarity with my fellow blog ban experiencers (Sal, Enc, Kate etc.).

It's helped me to reevaluate why I spend money, rather than how - Here's the deal: I love shopping and the joyful high that comes with making a purchase. I don't like finding a place for said purchase, or paying for it or wasting resources. Of course, I enjoy using the purchase.

The reason that spending on food and wine is so appealing is that it is utterly functional. I use the chocolate and it's gone. Yummy, and I get to go back for more of the same buying experience! No storage required.

It makes me feel viable, alive - dare I say it, affluent. It reminds me of a time when beautiful things were an easy gesture of love. By association, it's a gesture of love to myself.

But let's get with the times. The girl I am today would rather turn her brain cells onto new artistic pursuits than fritter the time away. I'm going to stick with the ban, I think, for the next 3 months (till my 40th birthday). I believe Kate will join me for part, or all, of that time.

Let's see if it appeals to me to continue because a) if it doesn't, you know I'll find a work around... and b) I may finally be able to realize cost savings - I've bought most of the fabric and supplies a human could use for the next 3 months. I may choose to buy one RTW garment at the beginning of April, but not unless the mood strikes me.

Feel free to join. It's kind of fun. Or do let us know what you think of the whole ban idea.


  1. Kudos to you K! And I agree that one of the most liberating things about a shopping ban, in my experience, was to stop THINKING about whether or not to spend money on something. When it was expressly forbidden, there was no choice, and no hemming and hawing. Oh, the energy I saved ...

    Looking forward to hearing how the next three months go.

  2. Oh my gosh that's amazing (challenge and birthday!) and yes I'll stay with you all the way. Needs must. It was only clothing and accessories that fell into the no fritter bit. I did think if someone wanted to they could add to their pot by cutting back on other items.

    Also I've been so cold, miserable etc I haven't even gone and got your twiglet supply, this will change with a few more sunny days!

  3. I'm the opposite...hate spending time and money on things that are gone -- which is why I hate cooking, I guess.

  4. I hate spending money but I love shopping.. like butter running down hot toast.. only better... hate cooking but love the results... what the hell is wrong with me..

    You know my husband nearly dropped when I brought back the purchases...

  5. This was an interesting statement: "It makes me feel viable, alive - dare I say it, affluent." Your sentiment explains well how *I* feel about wearing and having a closet of lovely clothes (new, or not).

    Great post. Looking forward to seeing what you make with your new-found sewing focus. It has worked decently for me!

  6. I think my ban was too restrictive, as I was not buying books, make-up, music, clothing, etc. I wish I was a sewist like you so that I could have channeled some of my pent up shopping desires into making clothing. I really cannot justify buying a sewing machine when we have no space, though, and I know right now my time needs to go to other things.

    My ban has been great, though, in that it has taught me that I can go without. What I'm looking forward to most come Wednesday is going thrifting - the hunt for treasure that is environmentally and financially friendly. I cannot wait!

  7. You have done so well! Congratulations! You really must be an expert seamstress by now!

  8. I'm in. We recently became a single income household - and it is the part-time blogging/webbing/social networking job that has survived!
    Yes we have the safety net of the carers pension but things are gonna have to change for a while.

    But I am quite happy to continue with my charity shop habit - and that's all good.xx

  9. Sal: It's so true! Today, however, I looked through So Much to Come (Etoilee 8/Aja's) blog and I saw all the gorgeous things she's acquired lately. I did have a moment of wanting to go out and snatch up everything in sight!

    Kate: Don't give a second thought to the Twiglets. One day they'll arrive and I'll be thrilled and surprised. I'm in no rush! And thanks for going along with me, whatever the reason :-) It is kind of fun to have a birthday, right in the middle of the year!

    Wendy: Ha! I guess it all makes sense now...

    April: mmmmm butter and toast! OK, given your haul (which was awesome), I can totally understand your husband's shock.

    Sewn Wardrobe: Thanks for stopping by! I'm loving your blog. I am amazed by how you have gone from newbie to expert in such a short time. Isn't it interesting why we shop?

    Dora: To go through a wedding while on a ban is totally hardcore, IMO. You are very impressive. And, I hear you about not being ready to sew re: other priorities. I was there for many years. One day, the time will be right and I know you will sew well very quickly. Your love of clothing and fit will serve you well. Thank you for your lovely comment...

    Fab: You'd think so but, alas, sometimes I feel very lacking :-) However, I have come far and I'm trying to focus on that. Thanks!

    Hammie: I'm glad you're with us! (I think everything can be accomplished, as long as you're a part of it). And I"m sorry to hear about the circumstances leading to the "cutting back". I hope that everything arights itself soon. In the meanwhile, I know you have the best attitude of any human being. You will make this entirely fun, I know it.

  10. Well, you already know how I feel about bans. I think they're useful, as long as you have a reason to do them: "do I want to learn something?" "do I want to curb spending?" whatever. I set out to figure out why I was buying, and how I felt every time I had the urge. I was educated really quickly. I learned a lot.

    Best tip I can give you is to take one urge at a time. Don't think about a three-month span, think about surmounting this urge, and move on. :)

  11. E: I think you are so right. It's the moment to moment that gets you there - if you think of the whole thing, it's overwhelming.

  12. Love this, love your commenters (hi gals!)...As I'm currently going through a divorce (pretty civil, as these things go), as well as being unemployed, I'm doing most of my shopping on an as-needed basis, with most perusing occurring at the boutique of GoodwillValueVillageSalvationArmy, with an occasional Winners thrown in for good measure.

    Did I show you those red shoes?! Squeee!

  13. You did and they are gorgeous. I'm so with you on the thrifting.