Do you get Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO)? What has this got to do with sewing or sustainability?
Well, whilst our #makeyourstash challenge was running, I wrote a post on fabric shopping culture after listening to a hilarious podcast. Economist Richard Denniss poked fun at human behaviour and the way we see value and status, defining affluenza as “that strange desire we feel to spend money we don’t have to buy things we don’t need to impress people we don’t know”.
Today I want to talk about sewing FOMO and consider how social media contributes to this. I was inspired to write this after reading one of Dominique Major’s newsletters about the trouble with trying to stay original when your mind is oversaturated with what everyone else is doing.
It is not uncommon to arrive at a sewing event wearing the same thing as someone else.
– Dominique Major, Major Mondays
Sewing FOMO dress stress incident
My last dress stress incident was pretty recent. A long time ago I bought some fabric from a mainstream indie online shop (is that an oxymoron?) from a pretty well known UK brand Lady McElroy that has a range of printed cotton lawn. A couple months later, a pattern brand picked up the fabric from the same store and used it for a sample that subsequently appeared in all the promotional pictures. The popularity of the fabric skyrocketed and it seemed like everyone had it!
By the time I knew the theme of the New Craft House summer sewing party was “tropical” my obvious choice was this dress … I just had this niggling feeling that I would be matching someone else. It was an unwarranted worry but a first world worry nonetheless, knowing that at least two people I knew who were also going also had dresses from that same fabric!
New patterns and fabric are relentless
I have said before that I don’t believe that sewing can be completely disconnected from fashion. Our fabric has to come from somewhere and there are definite trends in sewing that more often than not follow trends in fashion. From my time on Instagram, I’ve noticed that every time that popular indie pattern brands release new patterns, people get r.e.a.l.l.y super excited. Particularly if it is a simple low effort pattern, within a few weeks, pictures of that garment are peppered all over the internet.
I don’t consider myself immune to this phenomenon. Once I felt the need to make almost every single pattern release from pattern brands I liked … until I really felt burnt out and couldn’t keep up anymore because there of just too much stuff coming out all the time. And what was I doing it for? Sure the pure pleasure of making stuff kept me going, but even that ended up having its limits for me.
Is sewing FOMO a thing?
So what is it that makes us behave like this? I’m all for supporting indie pattern brands but why do we get so hung up on making the latest and greatest? You could argue that if a pattern or a fabric is popular, it must be a good thing and people must have good taste. Or, perhaps, we are addicted to social media and buy in to advertising, even if subconsciously. My reasoning is in part using the #makeyourstash discussions on Instagram, where quite a few people that said they felt that a primary reason their fabric stash had really built up was seeing something beautiful on social media and wanting it as well.
Social media influencer marketing
- a person who has established credibility from an engaged audience
- someone who facilitates purchase decisions of others because of their authority, knowledge, position or relationship
- an online content creator, creating content geared to a specific audience/someone who facilitates purchase decisions of others because of their authority, knowledge, position or relationship)
In fashion, brands use influencers. Sewing is no different although the market is smaller than fashion – you’ll have seen Pfaff and Burda influencers that are heavy social media users and bloggers. Even the independent shops know this works – how often have you seen fabric shops call out for a blogging team? The blogger gets free fabric and publicity, and so does the fabric shop. Win win right? No wonder you might be sucked into sewing FOMO and feeling like you need to keep up. Even just looking at people sharing their makes tagging the pattern house or fabric shops (I often do this) sometimes feels like unintentional advertising. Regardless of whether it is to give credit to the pattern brand, show people what a made-up version of the pattern looks like, or just share because its social media and its nice to share.
Sewing FOMO vs sustainability
The way we consume media content has changed so much in recent years, especially the ease with content can be created. Because of that, influencer marketing is only going to become more important. I know I prefer to see “real” people promote stuff they like if it is in line with their own personal branding.
What I like less is the actual marketing itself, no matter whether it is a fancy campaign with models we might not have heard of, or bloggers and instagrammers. Ultimately the point is to sell you more stuff. I wrote here about how advertising was created in the 1950s – fashion wanted to accelerate obsolescence and so trends were born. Fast forward decades and advertising hasn’t changed. We are still being told that we should buy more stuff or we’ll miss out! and be less cool!
FYI, I am approached reasonably regularly on whether I’d like a pattern or fabric in exchange for a review on this blog or Instagram. Normally I say no – besides not wanting new fabric, I want to keep this blog and my insta pretty free from sponsored advertising. This is because I want my home on the internet to be all about sharing sustainability messages and commentary with you (with a little sewing mixed in) and highlight what I think is worthwhile. I am not saying influencers shouldn’t exist or that advertising isn’t a bad thing, it just isn’t what I want to do myself.
Managing sewing FOMO
By now you’ll probably be telling me to lighten up a bit – its just sewing, and sewing isn’t quick and easy like handing over cash or your card to buy ready to wear, so get over it. Right? Yeah, I know.
But I really do believe that we should be conscious of the fact that advertising (intended or otherwise) is in our lives every day, and it cultivates FOMO. I get it; when interested in sewing, social media is excellent for checking out what other people are making. You too can have that fabulous top in that fabric if you want!
So what works for you? Maybe you can scroll through tons of inspiration, read all the fabric shop newsletters and not want anything. If that’s you, then please share with me your secret! I had a few people on #makeyourstash on Instagram conversations saying they unsubscribed from everything and avoided social media. For me, I love the community that it generates so I don’t want to go cold turkey all together. But I do try and remember that nice pictures take a lot of work and are often staged. Even by people like me who don’t get paid to do any of it. And finally, there will always be more patterns and more fabrics. They will always be there for you when you are ready to make them, and the FOMO will probably go away when the next new thing comes out.
Do you get sewing FOMO? Are you ok with it or does it bother you? How do you manage it? Please share in the comments!
PIN FOR LATER:
Wow, did you read my mind? I find myself seeing the latest indie pattern release, and I’m convinced that I need it! This despite the fact that I am retired and lead a simple life. Not a lot of socializing, not much need for dresses or work type clothing. How do I handle it? Sometimes I give in and buy it, then regret it. Other time I simply talk myself out of it by using logic. Or occasionally I buy it, sew,it up and am so glad I did. That happens when I am really honest with myself and stick to things I will actually use.
Hello! Glad the post resonated with you! I am aiming to lead a simple life but given that I live in central London with a young family and my office is in town it doesn’t always work 🙂 the wardrobe “need” is quite often at odds with the love of making things, but sounds like you have reached a nice balance. I find it easier when there’s plenty of non sewing related elements in my life that need looking after!
I definitely buy patterns and fabric that I’ve seen on someone else on their blog, social media or youtube that appeal to me. It’s tough to resist 🙂 I’m trying REALLY hard to slow down on my pattern purchases especially but my fabric purchasing could use some serious disciplining as well. Now if I’m tempted I dash off to look at the boxes of patterns and stacks of lovely fabrics just waiting for me and by the time I get back to my cpu I’ve calmed down and can click away 🙂 I’m definitely buying less but just the other day I ordered a jumpsuit pattern that I just couldn’t resist!
Hi Kathleen! Nice to hear from you. My fabric purchases have slowed down but I’m working on my pattern habit – its cheaper, and takes no space if its just a pdf! I have been channelling my energy into other sewing related things like writing, the Sewcialist blog, Instagram (though I know you’re not on there) – same as you as well in terms of the going away and coming back again later, often by then initial “I want!” moment has passed 🙂
I used to feel sewing fomo about five or six years ago when the indie pattern scene started to boom. At the time it was still possible to follow nearly every release and I was very envious of the ladies who managed to sew all of them. Then I grew up and had a kid so my sewing time and budget were drastically reduced. I simply cannot keep up now and it doesn’t bother me that much, it must be the effect of my old age (I’m 38) ????
I really enjoyed reading your thoughts in this subject! And we’ll done for declining offers of fabric and patterns, it is so tempting
Hi Sophie, I hear you – sounds like our journey is pretty similar. My time and budget are also reduced and because I have so many clothes as well, I don’t feel the need to sew everything all the time anymore. Took awhile to get to that point though. With the fabric and pattern offers I simply don’t have the time to give to something I’m not 100% invested in! Sure if I accept and it gets attention on social media then maybe that would increase the number of people who find me, but for what? It still takes a lot of time and effort to make something and then I’m doing someone else’s advertising in return which isn’t my preference. Glad you enjoyed reading the post!
Hi Kate, very interesting. This is something I have struggled with for a long time. When a new pattern is released from a popular brand we are flooded with images from testers saying it’s the best pattern ever. I have got sucked into this in the past but this year I have been much more consciously resilient to this. I have whittled my patterns down to those I will actually sew at some point. When a new one is released I question whether or not I have something similar already, whether I really need it (don’t I already have dress patterns I haven’t sewn?), Am I likely to make it quickly because if not I don’t need it now and there will probably be new patterns I like that are released in the interim period. I also question whether it will suit me. Is it something that can fill a wardrobe gap or is it superfluous?
I am more resilient to buying fabric. I have a resolve to use what I have already unless I have nothing suitable in my stash. I consider fabric purchases more carefully as they are usually more expensive and I feel guilty of I buy stuff I do not need or have an immediate use for.
I think sewing has succumbed to a lot to the fashion industry – people end up sewing the same patterns in the same fabrics. The fit is generally better though. I want to sew something unique.
I like bloggers who use unusual or recycled fabric: those who do not follow the trend.
Hi Lisa! Thanks for your comment. There is a big thing around pattern tests isn’t there? I’m quite sure I read a popular pattern brand saying they had a few hundred applications for testers. For me it would be so much work for something I’m not necessarily invested in, if I was to do it properly. Then as you say after the pattern release suddenly all these pictures come popping up. Maybe because I own so many patterns already and nothing ever fits straight out of the packet I am at a stage where I feel pretty indifferent about new things. And I think you are completely right – people end up sewing the same patterns in the same fabrics, this is something I’ve noticed as well. Recently I’ve headed towards vintage for interesting styles and fabrics as well as altering and remaking things in an effort to be unique. It doesn’t sit in the “popular and trendy” box when it comes to sewing, but by now, my wardrobe and writing is more important to me!
I struggle with this too. That’s one of the main reasons why I quit IG and I do miss the community spect but not the constant stream of gorgeous images giving me sewing / fabric envy!
I can manage FOMO so much easier via blogs because I tend to catch up on those when I am at home on my laptop and usually chilling out on the sofa at the weekend and, most importantly, quite a distance from my purse, so the inclination to have a splurge takes so much more effort. My immediate pattern lust or FOMO has usually passed by the time I am anywhere near my purse. Of course, I am only a sewing human and I have moments where I buy something I don’t need but want. I am improving my less-is-more approach everyday with practice.
Hey Caroline, nice to hear from you… and not surprised you quit IG! That is a good shout to keep the purse at a safe distance from the computer. Takes the initial temptation away for sure. Talking about being human, I have an unbelievable amount of pdf patterns, most of which I haven’t made. Somehow I feel less guilty for buying patterns rather than fabric (no physical thing in hand unlike having to think about what stuff is already in my fabric box) – but my bank balance doesn’t thank me for it!
When I see a new pattern or fabric that I really like I just shop my stash first! I have so many patterns now that inevitably I find something similar and fabric that I already love. If I really can’t resist then I wait two weeks, if I still love it then I buy it if not then it’s money saved!
As a family we do a no spend week/ month and as part of this we list anything we didn’t buy but wanted to, after the no spend week we look at the list and decide what on there we still want to spend money on. It’s all about delaying that instant buying ‘fix’. I’ve tried planners and lists but they feel stifling and I want to have fun and be creative when I sew this way I can without feeling guilty that I’m just adding to my stash or producing something that’s the same as everyone else, being unique in my clothing is part of the reason I started sewing in the first place.
Good shout to shop your stash first and do the waiting game – I’m the same. My wardrobe is large and quite often I find random things in the back of it which makes me happy. Or I look at my pile of UFOs and think – am I being realistic? Will I start this project then leave it when I get bored, or do I love it so much that I really want to finish it and wear it out?! Its taken ages to get to this point and its only arrived after doing several years of sewing. I’m also embracing sewing as a creative process and making whatever I want without the lists. My office wardrobe is largely my old RTW as making say black trousers or a blazer just don’t inspire me much. In the quest for uniqueness, I’ve recently been getting into vintage which is altogether a whole different rabbit hole! Thanks for reading.
It’s so interesting isn’t it? I don’t get FOMO myself but understand that others do. I enjoy seeing people enjoy their crafting and making in general so when I like posts on social media it’s because I like that the person has made it whether it be to my taste aesthetically or not (usually not) but I appreciate the sharing of creativity all the same so it’s rare I have a big wow must have that moment. When I joined IG 18 months ago it was to expose myself to patterns really as I’ve always free cut and self-drafted so wanted the discipline of trying other ways. It’s a bittersweet learning curve and I bought many patterns that are unsuitable to my taste on reflection and have since been sent to the charity shop. I subscribe to 5 indie pattern companies now and no fabric shops. I’ve bought 6 patterns so far this year and made 3 so the situation is improving but my consumption has been about patterns and since it was what I was hoping to get influenced by on IG it has worked but I’m slipping back into my own groove again and readjusting after the initial blast. I think things are find their natural order eventually. I’m seeing lots of people slow down probably because they’re bored of sewing now too because it was a new thing to try and now that’s ticked off the list. The FOMO may also be a group bonding thing, a way of fitting in in a community and feeling accepted? I think it’s hard to generalise because we are all driven by loads of different factors, backgrounds and needs but FOMO is prominent in all social groups from an early ages, think must have latest toys? Kate your blog always gets to the nitty gritty and I enjoy it hugely. Thank you so much for bringing up these discussions.
Hey Josie, thanks for the comment and support! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your thought process. Why did you feel the need to go down the pattern road if the self drafting and free cut was working just fine? I think I must be following a different set of sewers to you as the ones I have don’t seem to be doing much slowing down. But agree, there are so many factors and motivators its not really possible to pin down one cause of FOMO. Advertising (casual or deliberate) and desire to be popular are the ones that most resonate with me. Honestly I don’t think sewing is that much different from fashion. As you say, its a desire to have the latest thing. New garments, especially if its a popular fabric sold in all the independent shops, or a new pattern from a well known brand – always seem to get the most attention on Instagram. So if you’re looking for internet fame, that is probably the way to go (and good photos of course). I’m happy that when I started IG at a similar time to you that it was an enabler to find my sewing friends many of whom I have now met in life! As time goes on I find it harder to do that and keep up.
You’re so right about that, it’s been a great way to connect with a new family in stitch, though catching up and keeping up with it all is a real challenge! I think the reason I wanted to try the patterns of others is that I wanted to stretch myself and pick up new techniques, sharpen up my skills and learn. I definitely have benefited from things technique wise but on the whole I’ve felt bound by trying to make the patterns fit rather than being free with my own designs. I’ve come to that point lately of trusting myself again and am gradually thinking when I see a pattern that I could do it for myself and would know exactly how to draft or cut it freestyle without having to fix a load of issues as it’s a constant battle and seems such a waste of time and money just to be disappointed. I’m big and tall so everything has to be upscaled. I’m so glad though that I did join IG as I’ve found lots of lovely humans with great intentions driven by a wonderful creative spirit. I’m basically sticking around for all the good that people are, not really what they make or how they look or owt like that. Just a supportive maker’s community. I don’t follow too many curated feeds, well there’s a few who really style their photos and such but there’ll be another reason other than this that I find them interesting. I’ve generally stopped following business feeds and folk touting their wares as I generally don’t want to buy anything nowadays. I’m an advertiser’s dream aren’t I?! Yours is one of my favourite blogs and I’m certainly glad to have found you in this sphere!
Ha, you and me both are the advertiser’s dream!! 😉 I don’t want to buy anything either, especially after watching a lot of documentaries on fashion and reading a lot on it. And the BBC ones on the factories we discussed. Well, I’m happy to hear that you’ve come full circle on the pattern cutting thing. Time to go forth and sew your own way!
I’m fairly new to sewing (14 months in) so I have a lot of wardrobe gaps, a small number of patterns and a tiny stash. I’ve been using Instagram since May 1st and I definitely feel that force/message – look at that pretty, expensive fabric or lovely new pattern. And pressure to produce beautiful photos! But, I’m very picky and I know what I like and will wear in my actual life and limit my fabric and pattern purchases to what I can make (and wear) this month. This is largely because I hate clutter, have ltd storage and budget. I was always someone who would return almost all the RTW I bought because it wasn’t quite right! I use money to buy sewing supplies rather than clothes, so if I won’t be able to wear it, I don’t buy it! That’s just my personality and I’m sure my family think I buy too much fabric, despite all I’ve said ????
Hi Caroline, glad to hear that someone here has a small number of patterns and stash!! And I am even happier to hear that you are ignoring the pull of fabrics, patterns, as well as the photos (they are SO MUCH hard work) – well done for not getting completely sucked into the sewing rabbit hole and being true to yourself and your style. I also return a lot of RTW, I’ve just replied to someone else to say that these days I’m into vintage. If I buy online I find myself returning a lo. The things I keep rarely have a superb fit so I’m applying sewing skills to do alterations. Whilst alterations aren’t sexy, for me the sustainability angle of buying second hand (as well as dreaming about the history of the garment) more than compensate me for the satisfaction of making something from scratch from new fabric I bought in a random shop.
Great article! Yeah, I think this is definitely a real thing, and I’m sure I have it. I’m heavily considering a capsule wardrobe so I’m starting the process of planning my sewing seasonally. I think this will really help keep my sewing FOMO in check. Without a clear plan it’s so easy to end up with tons of patterns, and tons of fabric, and eventually tons of garments that all feel like a jumble. I’m not positive, but I really do think having a sewing plan made out a season ahead will help some. Maybe I’ll write a blog post on the results!!! ????
Hi Whitney! Thanks for your comment. I’d be interested in reading your sewing plan / capsule wardrobe. So far a capsule hasn’t worked for me though I’ve entertained the idea. I’m a mega prints lover and plains I find a lot less inspiring to sew. Doesn’t mean I can’t buy vintage or RTW though, so maybe I just need to try harder. But I have so many clothes I’ve really slowed down my sewing and channeled energy into other things. Having said that I have 3 things to make for other people so my plans are more than sorted for the next few months….
On the other hand, FOMO (never knew what that meant!) helps you get out of a sewing rut, and can be inspiring to try new things – the Ipswich bathers, the York Pinafore, silhouettes I thought i would never try – but I love them! (With a few tweaks for individual preference of course).
Hello! Yes, inspiration can come from everywhere. I must admit I don’t actually have sewing ruts anymore – must be a combination of having too many clothes and also embracing sewing as a creative process which I’ll do when I feel like it (rather than feeling like I want or need to make everything I have). My version of trying new things is vintage! A whole different kind of rabbit hole for sure. Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂
It’s true that it’s a lot of fun creatively to try something new – so I will stalk certain patterns on Instagram until I see a version and think – actually that could suit me! My experience is that so little fitted me in RTW (very high waist, full tummy, slimmer hips) that I still think that most styles won’t suit me, sewing my own is helping my to realise that if it fits it’ll probably look good – and without seeing what differently proportioned sewists make (and hack from) patterns on instagram I wouldn’t be so far along that journey…and if you’re into vintage you can make alterations to this end too I guess!
Oh Kate, I felt like I have been caught red-handed. It’s not FOMO for me, but I just bought a few indie patterns (the urge could have been partly the consequence of fabric ban). In my defence they are all older ones, and I’ve always liked them for the shape/design/suitability for me rather than being new (the shine has rubbed off by now, months to years after their release). Nevertheless, I am not immune to the influence of social media and its overt/subtle advertising messages, although I can spot them from a mile and usually avoid getting sucked in. I sew best at my own pace so rushing to keep up does me no favours anyway – this has helped me not get caught in the sewing community rat race. I love looking at other’s creations though, and if I like a pattern a lot I might buy it …a year later. ????
Haha, don’t worry, I have a mega pattern problem and it definitely took over from my fabric shopping ban. Though if I took the time to draft my own blocks then I wouldn’t have this problem at all, right?! I don’t know. I like your description of the sewing community rat race. It does feel like that sometimes even if its all in the mind, and there is actually no one to keep up with besides yourself. Funny how it gives you that feeling even thought we’ve moved on from being teenagers…
Though I’m recently one of the Burda Influencer team…I have never really been approached by fabric companies or Indie patterns….most likely because they know I have always preferred to do my own thing. I simply don’t get FOMO… I much prefer to be original. I prefer to get my inspiration direct from the runways and to make trends my own. I’m very much into style and fashion but I wont get pulled into the latest craze. Thanks for a thought provoking post. Loved reading everyone’s thoughts too.
Hi Di, yes I think you are one of my few sewing friends that doesn’t tend to sew the new indie patterns and I am so glad that you are uniquely you! I wonder if there’s a feeling of accessibility around the indie pattern or fabric companies as well – unless you have a lot of sewing skills and have been doing it a long time its really hard to be able to mess with hacking things or drafting your own.
As for the Burda influencer – well, you’re a dressmaker, you’ve often talked about Burda patterns long before you became an influencer so I think it makes sense if that is where your niche is and where you want to be! Whereas for me with the sustainability stuff I write about, it would be out of step to be suddenly advertising a fabric or pattern company. I’ve decided I’m going to try and reduce my fabric / pattern tagging too, because of this unintentional advertising.
I am really relieved to hear that not everyone else gets FOMO. I get it when I am in a fabric shop because there’s not one near me so when I find one I want to buy all the fabric. I don’t find it so much with patterns though mainly because I have so many patterns that I have all the variations on a bodice and a skirt and a sleeve that I could dream of and all I need to do is just cobble them together in the right way to make the garment I want. I have never bought an indie pattern and I don’t wear patterned fabric I only wear plains so I think that really helps too. I follow people because I want to learn the techniques rather than see the finished garment, but I am pretty certain I am going against the crowd there. I tend to unfollow advertiser’s, whether the shop themselves or those who seek to be influencers. All that said, I have never really cared about fashion…good quality clothes that suit me? yes. Fashion? Never. It definitely helps avoid the FOMO ????
Personally I have found that finished garments tend to get more attention on social media than techniques or things in progress. Blogs I think are better sources for techniques and tutorials. It took me ages to get to a point where I don’t really care too much about the newest thing, I just file it away in my mind for later if I like it. I went on social media to make friends and its really worked for me, but I don’t see myself as seeking to be an influencer – I have sustainability messages I want to share, and if people want to read and engage thats great. After reading all the comments here and on Instagram I think I’ll be reducing my tagging from now on because of the unintentional advertising! I’m also getting into vintage these days in the quest for interesting shapes and textures in clothes.
@Fraggle, I really feel I could have written the exact same words! I hate prints, I don’t care about the latest trends and I didn’t sew with indie patterns for a very long time. Other than getting them in PDF, which is convenient, I feel I can easily stay away from FOMO. I’d really like to see what you make, very curious if we have a similar style as well as a similar approach.
FOMO is a real thing! Thankfully, I’m only rarely affected by it. My FOMO desires are kept well in check by limits I have set for myself. I have three bins of fabric. Not huge bins, mind you, but three medium large bins. I have an agreement with my husband that my stash will not progress to a fourth, or even overflow the three to the point of breaking a lid or latch. I want more fabric, I have to sew what is in those bins. One of those bins is devoted to knits, which is beyond me how I have managed to accumulate so much of something I practically never sew. In fact, in order to sew any of the fabric in those bins, I would have to buy a pattern (or six) for sewing knits. I seriously do not sew knits of any sort, but still have accumulated an entire bin of the stuff. I have been known to swear at that bin. Another bin is full of “special” fabric, or fabric I wouldn’t sew for every day stuff. Like the four yards of flocked taffeta or the silk I swear you can tear by looking at it wrong. This stuff will get sewn when an event (Christmas dresses!) calls for it. The third bin is my go to fabric and never gets lower than half full. 😀 With these limits, and one other, I only buy/get fabric as a gift on one of the four gifting holidays (Birthday, Mother’s Day, Anniversary, Christmas). Yes, I only buy fabric four times a year. I have similar limits for myself on patterns. When the local JoAnn’s has a sale, I don’t buy more than 5 patterns ($10 in patterns on sale) and because even PDF indie patterns exceed my $10 pattern limit, I have the magical powers of resistance. I don’t want to talk about Black Friday sales. Black Friday has a special exclusion from most self imposed limits. 😀
As I only get to sew on the weekends, the amount of fabric and the number of patterns I can realistically sew at any time keeps me sane. Now that my daughter is very close to my size, I do go through a few more than I used to, but often, she just adopts whatever I’ve sewn as her own right about the time I’m putting the finishing touches on it. Considering the terrifying fashion choices available in RTW for 12 year old girls of adult size, I’m totally okay with her stealing my makes!
Hi Veronica, thanks for sharing. I don’t have bins but I have 3 boxes which is probably not that different to you! I did a big destash recently so I’m down to 2 boxes if I cram it all in (but I don’t – what else am I going to do with an extra storage bin?!). My head felt a lot better after that but the 2 boxes still eats away at me. Have you thought about destashing / donating the knit fabrics if you aren’t going to use them? Or do you think you will get to it one day. The patterns are a funny one. I go for the digital ones and send them to the printers when I want to sew them. I now have 3 files (the lever arch ones) full of patterns on my bookshelf… As for the terrifying choices of RTW fashion for a 12 year old, my goodness yes! I see girls that age on the street and I just don’t understand why brands think they either need to look super sexy or super grown up. Happily your daughter has you to steal your makes, lucky girl!
I have thought about destashing my knits, but at the same time I feel oddly obligated to sew them up! I bought them, I really should put a needle to them. At least that’s what my brain says. My brain also says I am not to buy any more knit fabrics until I sew up the ones I have (or possibly ever, whichever comes first)
I feel like I see the FOMO more in people who are nearly fully on the Indie train? Including all the fabric sources like Art Gallery, Cotton + Steel, etc, etc. I rarely buy the “hot” patterns and when I do, it’s because I want it. Like, the Felix is getting some backlash. I like it. Its cute and fun and a little different (I hate that horizontal back seam but, easy fix). So I don’t care about whatever reception it’s getting, I’ll sew it because I want to.
Sometimes it seems like there are two sewing worlds running parallel. The popular fabric houses! The popular Indie sewing patterns!! The hashtag of the moment! Tag the designer! Tag the pattern! Blergh.
I just like to sew…and like most sewing junkies I like to talk about sewing and see what other people are sewing. So no FOMO, thankfully.
Hi Kate, great topic and I really enjoyed reading through all the comments. I rarely suffer from FOMO, mostly because I hate prints, so the latest whatever just does not register with me. In terms of patterns, I think that sometimes I just get stubborn and refuse to sew a certain pattern just because everyone is making it. That’s why I like Burda so much, there are so many options that most likely very few people will have made the exact same one.
What I do suffer with is the thrill of the chase. Before Indie patterns came on my radar, I used to spend hours on the McCalls/Vogue websites looking at every single pattern. I don’t buy clothes, so in a way it’s the equivalent of online browsing. That’s how I ended up with boxes and boxes of Big4s and Burdas. But even that gets old after a while.
Similarly, when I go to my favourite fabric shop, Abakhan, where they have the fabric bins, I get an insane thrill of going through them. I don’t get that at all in a normal shop with rolls. When I got to a regular shop, it’s usually with a particular purpose in mind and I rarely get swayed. That’s why I don’t get fabric shopping trips, it’s just a way to get peer pressured into buying things you might regret.
You and both on the pattern stubbornness! Or I have to wait for like a year before getting to making it when all the excitement has died down. Patterns are easy to buy – cheap, instant and satisfies the shopping craving. Your hours spent on pattern browsing is probably quite similar to me (and sure many others) losing hours on instagram checking out indie patterns (where do the big 4 girls all hang out)? Good shout on the fabric shopping trips. We need to think of something else to do during sewing meet ups.
I think I have some FOMO but it is regulated by a tight budget and almost always falling at the tail end of or completely out of size ranges for many popular indie designers. Recently, I’ve figured out my typical wardrobe/preferred silhouette which I think will banish most FOMO now or will help to regulate it. Do you think FOMO is more common to new sewers or is it a universal thing?
Hi Alex, thanks for reading. I think that the cycle of learning to sew and discovery of the online world leads most of us to FOMO – just like we probably get FOMO if we were really into following fashion trends. Especially in a typical sewing blog where people write about what they made (or in fashion about what they wear, and then the affiliate links to what they are wearing inside the blog post). Glad to hear that you have worked out what it is you like to wear, well done you!!!
“its just sewing, and sewing isn’t quick and easy like handing over cash or your card to buy ready to wear”
Yes,but . . . Buying patterns and fabric can be as quick as buying ready to wear. And if the fabric and patterns sit unused, that’s just as wasteful and unnecessary as buying RTW that never gets worn. Which we’ve all done, so no need to beat ourselves up too hard. Some of that is part of the learning process – I’d be stunned if a 15 yr old made great decisions every time; it would be good if the same person’s decision making had improved by say age 45.
I find a clothes plan and a strong desire to avoid waste help me. [PS My somewhat capsule wardrobe has lots of prints in dresses and skirts. Capsule can be minimalist in quantity, needn’t be minimalist in look].
Hi Vanessa, very true that the patterns and fabric also satisfy the shopping hit, though I have observed some feeling that it’s ok because its not fast fashion clothing – which as we know is just one part of the equation.
As you say we can’t reverse what we’ve bought and its down to each of us to decide how much we want to shop and what to buy. I don’t have a clothes plan but I’ve decided to only buy the fabric when I think I’ll start it in the next week… these days I find having too many projects on the go at once I find rather stressful! If nothing else it slows me down a lot!