Time for the big project 333 reveal!
In reality the time it has taken me to sew and then blog about the projects means I am actually packing away this Summer 333 capsule and getting out my autumn capsule at the moment.
Project 333 is all about dressing with less and on her blog Courtney Carver outlines the rules and gives lots of ideas on approaching it. She also runs a course to help people follow this project to simplify life. The thing I love about her approach is that although there are suggestions on try it is very much up to the individual to adapt the project to fit them. I don’t follow the strictest regime and it has altered over time!
Initially, when I started last year, I followed Courtney’s advice to clear out all the clothes I didn’t choose for my capsule into my storage areas (where I keep off season clothes). When I started I was actually doing project 663 as I would have 33 items of clothing for work and 33 casual for 3 months. The fact that I still had clothes in my storage areas shows that I have too many clothes! My quest was to simplify my wardrobe with the aim of gradually whittling down to having only well made items I love in my wardrobe. However, I want to do this over years. Although I want to cut down on my clothes where possible I want to reuse or recycle items so I want to think carefully about it. I am now doing project 333 to cover both work and casual but don’t necessarily include accessories or shoes in the 33 (in reality I rarely wear accessories and tend to stick to 2 pairs of shoes during a season).
At the end of each 3 months I assess the clothes I have worn and those I am choosing for the next season to decide if it is time to let items go. Over my first year I have found that I usually prefer to use non-traditional neutrals- I’m not big on wearing lots of black, brown, grey, white or beige! On me they tend to be a bit meh! They obviously have their uses so I haven’t necessarily thrown them out. However, I have found that I tend to be choosing my own non-traditional neutrals as I put together my capsule. While doing Project 333 I have become more confident in the colours I like to wear and want to wear- most of the items I’ve recycled or repurposed have been those in colours that don’t really do a lot for me. Where I loved the material and cut of an item I’ve dyed it a colour that suits me better. I have also sorted out any clothes which I feel are aspirational and don’t suit my current lifestyle. Where possible I am restyling these to fit my requirements so I actually wear them.
When I look in my storage areas now I have a restricted pallette of colours but all ones I like to wear (the same for my fabric stash for sewing). Just before the next season starts I have a quick look at colour trends online and in shops. I usually find a few trends which fit in with colours I have and these are usually the colours I tend to use for my capsule. My Summer capsule is unusual since most of it can be casual wear so I decided to minimise my neutrals. When it is not Summer I will usually have a more traditional neutral in my wardrobe. I generally pull out all the clothes suitable for the season in my proposed colours onto my clothes rack. I then try and choose about 40 items- a mixture of plains and prints in these colours. After a couple of days I re-examine and whittle down to 33, making sure they can mix and match as much as possible. I also put together a list of any items I think need replacing or that I know I haven’t worn so much. I plan to sew or refashion these items. As I make the new items I replace the old ones during the project so by the end of the 3 months I should find I am happily wearing all 33 items.
For my summer wardrobe I decided to use mainly pink and purple with some aqua and berry plus the odd neutral item. When I made my selection I realised that I really needed more shorts- initially I used a beige pair while I made two new pairs. I wanted some more patterned tops and I also really needed summer skirts (a lot of these were replacing tops and skirts that were getting very worn, some because they were second had when I got them). I made a list and made the new items.
Once I had finished my sewing my Summer capsule was as follows
Of these tops 7 were ones I had bought new and 4 had been bought in charity shops (all bought before the project). 3 were sewn by me (pink and berry tunic, pink and berry gypsy top and knit purple and pink top).
Of these skirts 2 were bought new, 1 from a charity shop and 5 were made (Pink & berry with flower embellishment, pink wiggle skirt, purple flower knit, reversible pink satin/ purple and multicolour flower).
This is the first Project 333 I have done where I hadn’t filled up gaps by buying new clothes and sewed them instead. Hopefully these will last well! There is only one of these items that still needs to be replaced- the purple t-shirt from the charity shop (£1) isn’t in very good condition. I do have some purple knit fabric so I should be able to sew a replacement.
Anyone else trying project 333? Have you tried moving away from traditional neutrals?