Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

Guest Post: The No-New Clothes Challenge

I am so inspired by fellow blogger and journal-maker Katie of Making This Home.  Her great blog is full of tips, ideas, and philosophy for simpler living.  She even did the "No New Clothes Challenge" two years ago and is still going strong!  And, she splits her time between a recycled tire house in Montana and a hip apartment in Berlin.  Have fun checking out the archives of her blog...

And, I was just able to share a tutorial with her readers on how to take in a baggy sweater.  Check out her blog and the tutorial here!

Here's some more about Katie:
Katie is American; her husband is German. They split their time between a 480 square foot apartment in Berlin, Germany and - get this - a house made out of hundreds of recycled tires in the Rocky Mountains. They ride their bikes just about anywhere they can, hop into teensy airplanes, and have an enormous passion for seizing life... which Katie blogs about and constantly journals with Gadanke about!
Here's more about Katie!

Hi! I'm Katie from Making This Home. Call me crazy: one day, I decided to stop buying clothes. It was a cold turkey, what-the-heck sort of idea I came up with in May, 2009. My husband and I had just moved back home after life abroad.

I told my husband, "We're not buying clothes for the next three months. No matter what."

But then those three months came to an end; I wasn't sure I wanted to go back to shopping for clothes.

For the first time, I was appreciating my body and the clothes I owned. I was happier without clothes shopping.

Advertisers are very good at making us feel like we'll be happy if we have this piece of clothing. We'll be prettier. We'll be more liked. Everything will just be better.

But that's so untrue. I was just unhappy every time I went shopping because it made me feel unworthy and less.

It didn't seem to matter where I was living - Germany or the US.

Obviously, you can't exactly go no new clothes for too long without some sort of plan. So that's why I'm so excited to be here on Adventures in Dressmaking because you guessed it - I've learned how to darn socks, patch holes, and reattach buttons. I've sewed my own clothes and cut apart thrift shop finds and our own old clothes. Pretty sure I've flagged half a dozen of Suzannah's tutorials, too. (wink)

There is something incredibly powerful about making your own clothes. They fit your style. They fit your body. They become a symbol of you. What pride a girl has when she does every day things in the clothes she's made herself.

Another awesome benefit of the No New Clothes Challenge has been in our pockets. Our clothes budget is so small now (for jeans, socks, and very needed items). It's actually gave me the financial ability to start Gadanke - my handmade journal and writing prompt shop.

Suzannah offered a sweet little Gadanke giveaway just recently. You might remember. ;)

Not buying clothes. Loving myself more. Celebrating stories. Writing and building sooo many journals.

Gosh. I didn't realize my strike against new clothes could bring me so much goodness. We're at the two year mark and still going strong. What a wonderful journey!

So what about you? Think you'd attempt a No New Clothes Challenge yourself? Or is it something you're sort of doing already?

Thanks, Katie!
Readers, check out Katie's blog!!


  1. Although I haven't made the pledge.. I have not been buying new clothes for our family in about 2 years now.. I buy all clothes from thrift shops and either wear them as is.. or refashion them.. or refashion what I have.. Very rarely do I buy new clothes from stores.. and even then only if they are less than $10.. I think in the last 2 years I may have purchased a total of 10 pieces of clothing from the store.. and it feels GREAT!!

  2. Awesome idea!! :) the majority of my clothes come from op shops and recycled clothing stores now, I find it hard buying anything in a normal store because it's so current and I can't see me wearing it down the track. I try to only spend money on nice jeans, jackets and the occasional dress, then get all my other daily basics from second hand shops. I love when someone asks where I got something - far more exciting! :)



  3. I know exactly what you mean and think what you are doing is great. I have bought very few new clothes the last couple of years and these were mainly basics like tights and bras (I don't think I will be able to make tights or bras myself not underwired ones anyway) I haven't done the pledge but It basically started with not being able to find anything I wanted in the shops for quite a while as the fashion went all eighties. I have always bought things second hand but it really helps to be able to sew.I refashion a lot.Unfortunetly Charity shops are getting more expensive all the time and have less in them. I am currently doing a wardrobe refashion on my blog. The idea is that I'm taking patterns from the clothes I love and using them to take apart and remake the clothes I don't love or don't fit at the moment.

  4. Great to read about this. I made a pledge to myself only to buy shoes and accesories, but no clothes. This way you still have the feeling you're wearing something new, or giving it a new look. It's also fun to re-discover all the old clothes in your closet and try to make something new out of them. I really think it's great people are starting to get more conscious about what they buy.

  5. Due to a temporary 2 year super duper tight budget with very low income happening, I haven't bought clothes in one year so far and I've got one more year to go. I feel like I'm betraying my old self (haha) because I went to college for Fashion Design and then worked in the industry for a few years! Odd to go from being obsessed with clothes to buying ZERO clothing items in a whole year. I started the year out with a pretty full wardrobe so it has been okay, and actually, I have been going through it every so often and even getting RID of things!! I've been embracing less is more with open arms and it feels really good. I find new ways to wear the old clothes and actually, I don't even like shopping at malls anymore.

  6. This is a dream of mine - to be able to forgo new clothes shopping all together - or at least stick to handmade. I've been making dresses for myself and avoiding the mall - but I had to go the other day to buy new underwear. The department store almost gave me an anxiety attack - I kept thinking "if only I had more money, if only I had a different body type, if only, if only, if only..." I love that Katie talks about appreciating herself more when she makes her own clothes... I completely understand that! You stop wanting what you don't have and start appreciating the great things you have.

  7. I've done it. After 5 babies and nursing, nothing fits most of the time and everything is stained. I would rather make my own. Then maybe it would fit. I think I am afraid of wasting fabric out of failure, but I do have some waiting.

  8. this guest post really excites me as a frugal gal and a crafty gal. will share on social media, it's an important topic.

  9. I am short. I have unusual short arms. Retail only sells me shirts, which I have to alter. I recently figured out how to sew my own shirts. They fit me. I feel comfortable. And most of all: I appreciate them. The fabric is not expensive but I value them because they are unique and I know how much effort I put into them. The term "favorite shirt" became a whole new meaning since I started making them myself.



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