About The Sew Weekly

The Sew Weekly documents my attempts to sew all my own clothes. In 2011, a large mission of the site is to get more folks involved in sewing and provide a community to share the results.

From 2010, the original mission of The Sew Weekly:

By the end of 2010, I hope to have a closet filled only with clothes that I have sewn myself (with a few exceptions). This project began in Fall of 2009 but I began documenting it in January 2010. The Sew Weekly is all about my attempt to meet that goal by sewing something, well, weekly.

Some Background

About a thousand years ago (more like eight) I started a blog called "Sew Wrong." The tagline was "Mama didn't raise a seamstress" and it documented my attempts to sew dresses for myself. Although my sewing adventures for the blog didn't last long, I have always wanted to return to sewing.

In the fall 0f 2009, while planning to attend The Gatsby Summer Afternoon, I started sewing again. With age comes patience, I guess, because I was able to sew three dresses with relative ease. Soon after that, I started making dresses for everyday wear. My goal has been one dress a week. 

Realistically, the one dress a week goal seemed a bit ambitious. And I certainly didn't want to start a blog for a project I couldn't sustain. It wasn't until twelve weeks had passed -- with twelve dresses created -- that I decided to start The Sew Weekly.

The Sew Weekly Project

Greening & the Slow Clothes Movement: Modern convenience has dictated that most everything in our lives is store-bought. As a population, we've lost our skills to make things for everyday use -- the sort of things that were handmade by our grandparents and great-grandparents and all those folks before that. With this modern convenience comes waste and, often, less-than-stella manufacturing processes. Sew Weekly is about breaking out of the common practice of shopping and wasting. After resolving to do this project, I donated six black garbage bags of my clothing to Goodwill.For most of my projects I try to use vintage fabric, vintage patterns, vintage notions (zippers, snaps, buttons) and any other items that are on their second or third lives.

I Like Vintage Styles: It's a fact: I like vintage clothing more than modern clothing. If I could wear a hat daily, I would. My entire life has been filled with a fascination of styles from yesteryear. All of this has contributed to my desire to have a wardrobe of outfits that were older than me. Vintage is expensive, however and it's often difficult to find dresses that fit my curves in the right way. Sewing solves this problem and allows for a flexibility that can't be found at a vintage shop. So far, all of the dresses I have made have been created from vintage patterns -- my favorites being from the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Pride of Ownership: There's something really rewarding about wearing something I have made.

I Like a Challenge: Can I really do it? Can I have a closet filled with only items that I have made? Is it even possible? There are a few exceptions to my everything-in-my-closet rule. I'm not going to make undergarments or jeans. I'm a mother to a two-year-old so I need practical mom clothes once in a while (actually more than once in a while). Luckily I live in San Francisco and do not need any extreme-weather clothes. This project is more about creating a wardrobe and not creating some rigid vintage lifestyle I can't sustain.

About Me

Now you know a little bit about my project, here's a little bit about me.

My name's Mena Trott and I've been blogging in various forms since 2001. I co-founded Six Apart (now SAY Media) with my husband around that same time. I've spoken at things like TED, D: All Things Digital Conference, SXSW and Blogher. Media-wise, I shared a cover of Fortune magazine with a few other blogging folks and even had a Wall Street Journal piece written about our company (with a woodcut illustration and all!) While I don't have a day-to-day role at SAY, I'm still active as a member of the board. Nowadays, I'm a stay-at-home mom raising a three-year old named Penelope in San Francisco.