Life is so hard. I have huge quantities of fabric and low quantities of motivation. What a conundrum. A total first world problem.

What’s worse is I’m well aware this problem will multiply if not handled in a timely manner. Soon, fabric is going to be stacked to the ceiling and will occupy the bathtub. It’ll cover the ground until no sign of carpet is visible and I’ll be sleeping in a tiny vacant corner. Soon, I’ll be crazily yelling at my family that I don’t have a problem, and that my fabric infested house and I are just fine!

My name is Allie, and I am a fabric hoarder.

Despite an obvious problem, I am continually hunting for fabric at the thrift stores. And about a month ago, I really lucked out.

This geometric print is a breezy polyester/silk type blend, says my mama. The combination of orange and purple look somewhat vintage, and it smelled old. But so does everything at the thrift store. Still, I’m betting this print was made into an awesome 70’s women’s blouse with the neck ties and all.

After perusing my new favorite blog, I stumbled upon this awesome pattern by Grainline Studios. I immediately used Oh Sweet Joy!’s discount code and purchased it, and it was in my inbox not long after.

And then you know what I did? The next day I took that vintage silkyish material and I whipped up that tiny pocket tank, sans pocket, in no time flat. Yep, that’s what I did. You betcha.

Photo credit: one adorable, little mama Olson. Thank you!!

Besides a few printing snafus, which were entirely my fault for not reading the directions before printing the pattern, this sucker was a breeze to make. And except for one rather violent button pushing, due to a machinery malfunction, my frustration levels on this project were nonexistent. Next time I’ll sew the size 2, but this pattern is definitely a keeper.

Secondhand fabric made into a brand new piece of clothing? This year of nothing new is the bee’s knees. Too much fun friends. Too much fun.

Oh friends. I have such grand dreams. Such ambitions, but sometimes little motivation.

My life feels like a constant battle between what I should do and what I want to do. I’m letting go, more and more, of the shoulds, and embracing the wants. And trying to feel less guilt.

It’s working. Slowly.

Enter my new project.

I’ve had a grand dream for a while now. It was conjured up during a walk on a Hawaiian beach with my amazing little mama. It has been lodged firmly in my brain since that November day, refusing to leave. It feels less like a should, and more like a want. So I’m going with it.

It’s probably going to be hard. And frustrating. And I’ll probably think about giving up more than once.

But, lately I’ve been loving that little quote, “They didn’t say it’d be easy, but they said it’d be worth it.”

This is going to be so worth it.

Confused? Yeah, I figured. So here’s the scoop.

Starting today, July 1st, I will not buy anything newly manufactured, firsthand. No new clothes, no new sporting goods, nada. Clothes will be bought secondhand. Broken items will be fixed, rather than replaced. And for those items that I use so rarely, I will simply borrow them from friends or family. For 365 days. One year, folks.

Of course, there are certain items that will have to be bought new. So my small list of excludables is:

-Food: No brainer. And kind of gross to think about used food. This includes the beagle’s eats.
-Toiletries: Also a no brainer. This includes anything found in a typical girl’s shower or under her bathroom sink. For hygienic issues, obviously.
-New edition textbooks that can’t be bought used.
-Possible purchases for a new entrepreneurial endeavor next spring. These are even grander dreams that we’ll save for another post.
-Digital files: Music, audiobooks, movies. Because if I didn’t buy these firsthand, I’d be considered a criminal. And I ain’t no law breaker.

That’s it.

This next year will be full of craigslist scouring, ebay auctions, and lots of Facebook posts searching for items I need. I will be spending many hours in thrift stores, and many more hours behind my sewing machine. I am so excited. Pumped, one might even say.

It’s not all butterflies and rainbows though. I’ve quickly realized that I am going to have to plan ahead for EVERYTHING. And I don’t do that. Ever.

No longer will I be able to hop on over to Target for a cheap basic tank for a particular outfit. New climbing equipment can’t be picked up at REI on my way to the mountain. My dreams of a shiny new ipad? Out the window.

Why am I doing this you ask? Good question.

For starters, I spend way too much money on things I just don’t need. Having to spend several hours or even days looking for, buying, and acquiring an item that I deem necessary will force me to reevaluate a need versus a want.

Also, I’ve found my creativity repurposing thrifted items has, well, rather blossomed in the last year, contrary to this post. This challenge only makes me feel more inspired. This might be the year my wardrobe gets an overhaul!

I’ve received some mixed feedback about this project. People are skeptical. Most don’t understand why. At this point, this project is for me. My soul feels like it needs this. Something to call my own, and something that will be so gratifying.

That being said, I’d love some support. Can you do nothing new?