From 1st October, 2019 to 1st October 2020, I will design, make and wear clothing using the existing fabrics, materials and haberdashery I have collected and inherited over 15+ years. I will share the stories behind each garment and how they came to fruition. 



To inspire conscious usage, connection through creativity, pride in oneself.



The purpose of this project is to explore the relationships we have with clothes and creative self expression to better understand consumer habits.



To share the untold stories of the fashion and related industries. From the inherited to the brand new, the less known to the well known and all the rest in between. The stories will be educational with a strong focus on the quality of craftsmanship, techniques and skills involved. They’ll be uplifting, fun, entertaining, creatively communicated and respectful to the craft.


The intention is to celebrate slow fashion and create more meaning in what we wear from our wardrobes. And before you get all eye rolly on me – cool your jets! This isn’t about depriving yourself of new clothes or your creative outlet. I am allowed to buy clothes however if and when I do, they have to have the pricetag of a luxury brand. The reason for this is to really consider the purchase. (I’m quite nervous about this aspect).


Somewhere along the way, we lost sight of what it really means to enjoy and value our clothes. As the saying goes, it’s not always about what we wear, it’s how we wear it/ perceive it. Over the next 12 months, I’ll share with you how to Consciously Spend Less To Create More in not just your wardrobe but from life itself.

Below, are some frequently asked questions which you might like some answers to…


What are you most nervous about?

Finding time to create. It was my number 1 concern of my last #CSLTCM project and has risen its ugly head again. Even though I know I’ll be able to carve out time to focus on this, I also know the extreme discipline it takes to follow through. 

I’m also worried about what affect this will have on my self image, both physically and emotionally. Taking pride in my appearance has a significant effect on my mood and self confidence. I don’t feel like my current wardrobe best represents me so I have a few minor concerns about ‘stylish’ I’m going to look.


What are you most excited about?

Sharing stories with you, collaborating with individuals who I admire and having an epic “new” wardrobe.

I’m also really looking forward to designing, pattern making, sewing and creating something beautiful and sharing the lives and stories of the women who have contributed to its inception, with you. 


What do you think you will struggle with the most?

Planning and organising my events wardrobe months and months in advance. Interestingly, I am also curious to see where my thoughts and inner dialogue go over the 12 months. My thought processes and patterns went to the most unexpected places in my last project and it completely blind sided me. Rest assured, I’ve prepared for this and will introduce you to some mindset coaches along the way who will provide insight and support! I know I will need it.


What will WE (those following along at home) get out of it?

Inspiration. You’ll also receive a lot more than that, it all depends how willing you are to dip your toe in. If you subscribe to my CSLTCM newsletter, you will be the first to be notified about “products” (that’s a hint for you) and other cool news, information and resources.


Can you buy clothes?

The short answer is, Yes. As I mentioned, this isn’t about deprivation. However, like last year, there is a strong likelihood I won’t buy anything other than the gap items in my wardrobe. If and when I do, I more than likely, will let you know.


Do you have a budget if you do choose to buy clothes?

Not really, no. I don’t have a budget because I have never been a reckless consumer of fashion. Typically speaking, I pay more than the average person per item of clothing, however I buy less of it. 


How is this “consciously spending less” if the only thing you can buy has a high price point?

The idea is, an item of clothing which has an expensive pricetag will require a more considered and conscious buying decision. 


Can you rent fashion items?

No. This is project is about developing a positive, long term relationship with your clothes – not a one night stand! The intention is to embrace the “slow” in slow-fashion and not fuel the instant gratification which can come with renting. 


How can we keep up to date on the project?

The best way to stay in touch is by subscribing to the Consciously Spending Less to Create More newsletter. In this newsletter I will share stories, personal findings, practical skills and anything else I uncover along the way.


You can also follow it on social media:




Penelope Bell Illustration


Can we consciously spend less to create more with you?

ABSOLUTELY! The aim of this is to inspire consciousness, connection, creativity and pride. If you do wish to participate, please get in touch and let me know. As I have previously mentioned, this is about sharing stories and experiences. If you do come along for the ride, I’d love you to tag me in your posts and use the #CSLTCM #CSLTCMProject to make sure I can see what you get up to. 


I want to participate in this project but I have no idea where to start. I also, can’t sew. Where should I begin?

I will talk about this in my newsletter and will include resources and access to professionals within the industry, which will help get you started. It doesn’t matter if you can’t sew, this project is largely about creativity so there are other ways you can add to your wardrobe which doesn’t require sewing skills. Subscribe to my newsletter here.


To find out more about how I prepared for this project, I chose to make the month of October all about personal style and wardrobe and brought in my dear friend and one hell of a professional stylist – Anna Mabin who is not only going to be available for a live Q&A but who has also generously created a resource especially for this project. How great is that?! Find out how you can consciously curate your current wardrobe, here.


About Penelope

I’m a fashion illustrator, designer, storyteller and ambassador who helps brands in the fashion, lifestyle and travel industries, build brand recognition, credibility, loyalty, and trust whilst offering a fresh perspective.

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