On 1st October 2019, I embarked on another “Consciously Spending Less To Create More” fashion project. (You can read about it here). The intention behind the project 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.


Four days into February and I’m only just beginning to feel ready to take January on… (Do you feel me, or do you feel me?) But here is the question… January – you big, elusive, smoke bomb machine… Where did you go? I wanted to do more, be more, achieve more and create more and yet, here we are, sitting 4 days into February and I’m only just taking down my Christmas tree. As I dip my quill into a quaint bottle of the finest of inks to write this blog, I can’t help but feel entitled to demand the former month of Jan for a rematch!

January wasn’t a complete write off… Oh no, hang on, it was, thanks to the bushfires. But! We’re not going to talk about them here, not in this blog anyway… however I will bring them up soon because they do tie into consciously spending less to create more. For now though, we’re going to continue to look for January and all the magical mess which erupted inside of it!


Some of the sewing mess which covered my dining room table for most of Janaury


So, what’s been challenging about Consciously Spending Less To Create More this month?




  • The oatmeal linen pants I have had for 12 years are finally on their way out (for good). I have to make myself another pair which is not a big deal if I could only remember where I put my drafted linen pants pattern.


  • I’m still not mad for my wardrobe options and feel like I’m just pulling out the same outfits over and over again which I find incredibly uninspiring.


  • Some of the clothes in my highly rotated ‘drobe are looking tired and will have to be retired to “home clothes”. This isn’t a big deal, they just need to be replaced and I need to get over the fact that the only way this is going to happen is if I make them (unless I choose to buy the item at a luxury brand price point which is not an option on the table right now). #ChallengeAccepted


This linen collared shirt has been good to me. She’s taken me over seas, on holidays and on the smart/ casual streets. However, after 5 years of being worn to death, she’s now being retired to my “home clothes” wardrobe.


  • Looking at my social calendar for the first 6 months of the year, I’ve identified at least 3 – 4 outfits which I will need to sew in the next 2 months. It excites me to think I’ll be injecting new clothes into my closet but the thought of having to make a pattern and toile it (‘toile’ is a fashion design, pattern making and sewer’s term for sewing a calico draft) for said clothes is less attractive. So, I’ve been putting off the start date which is only making things worse. Dammit.


  • Sewing On The Dining Room Table – In case any of you were under the false impression I have a luxurious, fully kitted out sewing ‘suite’ in my house, let me dispel that myth for you… Currently, I sew at my kitchen table because that’s the only place in the house which is appropriate. The closest powerpoint to the table doesn’t quite reach via the electric cord of my sewing machine so I have to drag the table across and alternate between my sewing machine and overlocker while the fight it out over who takes position on the table. It’s less than ideal and can, at times, look like I’ve been ransacked once you add fabrics and trims into the mix but this is a sacrifice I have to make for the time being. (It’s wearing thin and if only you could see the number of sew rooms/ setups I have “pinned” on Pinterest for future purposes!)


  • Focus – There are SO many things I want to sew, both clothes and other items. Of the clothes I want to sew, the “pretty pieces” always stand out over the classic, bread and butter, black pants, white shirt ect. As it was mentioned in one of Consciously Spending Less To Create More styling videos with Anna Mabin, my “basic” tends to be outrageous so I need to work hard to: Stop. Assess the situation. Design accordingly. It’s a matter of being ‘conscious’ of what I need rather than what I want. 
The easiest part of January was not going anywhere and if I did, I just threw on this outfit. An Easton Pearson dress with a bespoke turban by Martina McGrath and a necklace made by me. Perfect.


What was easy about #CSLTCM in January? I didn’t really go anywhere where I was required to dress up!

All in all, January was both easy and challenging. When I did this project in 2017/ 2018 the inner struggle kicked in around the 5 month mark, so February is going to be a month of keeping my curiosity in check and not getting carried away with my thoughts and inner dialogue.

As always, if you’d like to follow this project along on a more intimate level you can subscribe to my newsletter here and follow Consciously Spending Less To Create More on Instagram here.


Until next time, stay in your magic. 









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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