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Wartime Wardrobe Challenge – June roundup


Something I’ve been thinking about when doing this challenge is ‘how much is too much’. When I read roobeedoo’s argument with her mum over whether sewing 25 items a year is too much or not. My first reaction was that yeah, 25 things did seem quite a lot if you already have a fully functioning wardrobe. Then I counted what I’ve bought so far this year, and it came to 14 things, so right on track for 25 in a year. Of course, that includes two brooches and a scarf, and only 1.5 things (a brooch and that new dress from the charity shop) were new. Just the numbers hides so much!

That’s why I like this challenge, because it takes into account what things are and how much damage they do to the environment. Obviously sewing is more ethical than buying new, because you know that there’s no sweatshop labour it making your garment, but it’s not impact free either if the fabric is new and produced unsustainably. And I do wonder about some of the larger sewing blogs where they sew two or three things a week. What do they actually do with all that stuff?

However, sewing (and knitting) is not just about getting new clothes, is it, it’s also about the process. It’s a hobby and people spend loads on their hobbies. Dave is forever getting bits of modelling stuff (it must be some unwritten rule that any modelling project must be abandoned when it is a third finished) and bike stuff. So if your hobby is sewing your own clothes by rights you can count both your clothes allocation and your hobby one (if there was such a thing).

Not really sure why I’ve talked about sewing so much since I am never going to be a sewist now. I started on that Colette blouse with much enthusiasm, but now I’m actually at the stage where I’d have to use the sewing machine, and I need to ask Dave to show me how to wind the bobbin again and anyway, it’s set up in the room where Milo sleeps, so I can’t actually use it at nigh when I would have the time. So it’ll be a matter of doing it very slowly at weekends.

So, all that random sewing chat out of the way, let’s get on with the wartime wardrobe challenge reporting!


In June, despite it being my birthday, I continued to be frugally frugal with the new stuff. The only present I bought myself with my birthday cash were the glasses, which aren’t in this. I also got a couple of brooches, a couple of scarves, a necklace, a pair of earring and a bracelet as presents, but since I didn’t ask for them I don’t think I will count them. I think I would feel different if I had used presents to circumnavigate the coupon allowance, but that’s different.


I did get a couple of things used:

thrifted scarf

This scarf. £2 charity shop. Would have been 2 coupons if new.

Does anyone recognise the fabric? I swear I’ve seen people around with it, which probably means it was originally H&M or Primark, but I couldn’t find any pictures anywhere.

boden swimsuit

This Boden swimsuit off ebay. I mentioned in the last post I needed a swimsuit I could machinewash, which ruled out all ethical brands, and I had decided to go for a Boden one because they have a nice vintagey style and proper bum coverage, unlike speedos and most fashioney ones. I had been watching millions of Boden things on ebay, and unsuccessfully bid on a few of them, when I got a used red one for £16.48. I actually got a bit confused after watching so many things and the unsuccessful bidding and thought it was new, I’m not sure I really would have paid that much for a used one if I’d though about it. Still, it means, that the coupon equivalents go on the secondhand tally not the new one. I’m actually not sure how many points to assign it. I suppose fabric usage is similar to underwear, so I’m plumping for 4 coupons, like a slip.

Also I am glad I got this particular one and not others I’d been bidding on. This is a size 12, but I’d also been bidding on 14s, post baby body and all that. However, even the 12 is massive. It’s just about ok because I am so chesty now because of the breastfeeding (which I know some people love. Not me though. I’m hoping to go back to on-the-larger-end of medium after, I look at the outfit photos now and it doesn’t look like me. Anyway, I digress), so it fits fine round the top, but it’s big round the middle and even my ample bum. Not unbearably big, but if I’d get another one, I’d get a 10.


Speaking of new vs secondhand tally, I’ve made a decision on new items from charity shops: I’m going to assign half the points as new, and half as second hand. Which means that I now have used 6 coupons, 2 for the brooch and 4 (half of 7, rounded up) for the Jaeger dress from last month. Which I may still decide to sell.


I haven’t got rid of anything yet, but I’ve selected a couple of maternity dresses and a nursing top to go on ebay, just haven’t got round to photographing them yet.

So in summary:
Coupons used: 6
Coupon equivalent for second hand items: 97
Money spent : £116.63


Previous posts in this series:
Introduction to the challenge

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • jesse.anne.o 19 July 2013, 8:01 pm

    I think I forgot to update for June and now I’ll have July as well. Oh well. I’m afraid I’m forgetting things. I think I have 2 pairs of shoes (Kandals and some locally hand-made all re-used materials sandals). And a US-made dress from Mary Ink from the Renegade Craft Fair.

    I didn’t count jewelry although I don’t know if I bought anything til recently but I got a With Care ring and a vintage Avon brooch off Etsy.
    jesse.anne.o recently posted..Vegan Nailpolish: Pick Your PoisonMy Profile

  • Style Eyes 22 July 2013, 7:14 am

    Looks like you are doing really well on this challenge.It is the things like swimming costumes, underwear and sports wear that I find the most difficult to shop for ethically especially as I am on a budget. Love the dotty swimsuit, what a fabulous find.
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  • Meg 31 July 2013, 5:37 pm

    Franca, I am glad you have touched upon the question of too much even amongst the MYO brigade. Most of my home-production is knitting (which due to its time-consuming nature) will never deliver two or three items per month, let alone per week. Even so, I have really slowed my rate of knitting not least of all because I have to use coupons for yarn. That said, I have unpicked and restitched some mistakes, which feels very wartime like and responsible.

    I like the 50s style polkadot swimsuit. I always look lovingly at that style, but just cannot do halternecks!
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