Getting back on the Seamless Pledge wagon with a new challenge


One of the best things about sewing is having complete freedom over your wardrobe.

You don’t have to make concessions for fabric and fit when you’re the one making the things you’re wearing.

But, I don’t know about you, I find I still have a long “no can do” sewing list of garments and techniques I won’t touch.

Sometimes it’s because it’s too time consuming, other times it’s because I feel like I’ll make a right old mess of things.

And when you’re taking a pledge not to buy any new clothes, it can lead to some difficulties.

Confession time: while I haven’t returned to my shopping habits of old, I have broken the pledge a few times in the last couple of months.

It all started when I foolishly decided to do the Cardiff Half Marathon (I DON’T EVEN LIKE RUNNING ARGHH).

My running gear is threadbare to say the least – basically, I’m the person who will happily run in her pajama bottoms if they can pass for joggers at a distance.

Yep this is a pretty accurate depiction of how I run

Yep this is a pretty accurate depiction of me trying to run

And that is totally fine when you attempt a half-hearted run around your local neighbourhood before returning 10 minutes later, panting and wheezing even though you stopped every 30 seconds.

A half marathon is serious business. Holey pajamas and my brother’s stolen hoodie would not do.

Except I ended up getting beyond frustrated hunting for the right fabric and patterns for what I wanted, simple as it was… and one lunch break I popped into a sports shop and gave in.

The guilt is pretty much going to power me through those 13 miles in a few weeks. I didn’t even break my pledge on something pretty – I broke it for some cutoffs and fluro racerback.


And it’s amazing how quickly you can start slipping into old habits once you’ve had your first lapse.

Never fear! I’m back on the wagon now – but it got me thinking.

I basically gave in because I thought to myself: “I just can’t make this.”

And the more I thought about it, the more I realised just how long my “can’t sew” list is.

Let’s see, we’ve got trousers, sequin fabric, coats and jackets… I’m all about the “make do and mend” ethos, but I haven’t exactly got a can-do attitude when it comes to sewing.


So I wrote all my “no can sews” down and popped them in a jar – appropriately labelled as the “Can’t jar”.

The plan is to pick out one at random until I’ve got through the whole thing – and hopefully come out a better seamstress by the end of it.

I won’t lie, I’m a little daunted! One of the challenges in there is to sew a faux-leather jacket – probably the most complicated thing I’ll ever attempt.

Oh, and for those of you who may be wondering – sewing fitness stuff is most definitely in there!

Over to you: what would you put in your can’t jar?

Although before you respond… beware! I may well rope you in to the challenge too…

17 thoughts on “Getting back on the Seamless Pledge wagon with a new challenge

  1. Jo says:

    Good idea, and good luck! I don’t think I’m really afraid of the actual sewing, I’m just afraid of taking on more than I’ve got time to do – I don’t want my sewing to get bogged down in trying to sew jeans, for example, when I could just buy some and sew something for fun instead… But then that’s not really the point is it? I can never find jeans that fit anyway, and I’m thinking about seamless pledging… so, um, I’m not sure what my point is actually 🙂 I do know that I’ve learned the most and the best things from sewing when I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. Nothing like stubborn determination to get some new seamstress skills learned!

    • Elena Cresci says:

      I know exactly what you mean! Basically, I think: “Oh, I’ll never have time to do that!” And I think most of the things in here will take me ages, but like you said, I’ll probably just slip back into bad shopping habits again. The pledge is fun, honest!

  2. sewexhausted says:

    I started in January and have not broken it BUT I can totally see where you are coming from. Right now I have PLENTY of jeans to wear- but what about when they are all worn out? I tackled the “underthings” in May and was happy with them… BUT I need a few sweatshirts and have a coat half finished. Thank goodness I don’t live n the snow! Trousers are on my list and I am afraid but determined. Sequin fabric- another scary one! Good luck! ~Laurie

  3. Stephanie says:

    I have tried so hard to do the seamless pledge and have only purchased probably 4 items of clothes since January as I don’t know how to sew them. For me it is the fitting that I have problem with, not so much the sewing. I get to a problem and then don’t know how to fix it.. so I have quite a few WIP’s . Trousers or anything with legs would be my biggest challenge.. Wouldn’t know where to start. I really need to learn as I struggle getting jeans etc to fit me. Big bum small waist… pear!


  4. Michelle says:

    Craftsy sewing with knits opened up work out concepts for me! Conquered the button hole, and invisible zipper.

    Afraid of jeans, lapped zippers, bras & jackets.

    Ive stuck to the pledge since May but longingly I look online at clothes and think it would so easy to use the ‘add to cart’ button.

    My local sewing store has a bra class but they want $225 for the registartion – which is SO outta my price range!

    I like your new I cant jar.

  5. Kate says:

    Very most definitely bras (and sports bras). Honestly, I don’t even feel like sewing them.

    Skisuit might be another one. But then, I don’t live in arms reach of the Alps (or Rockies) anymore.

  6. bettym says:

    What a brilliant idea!
    Although I’m waiting until the end of the month to take the pledge, preparing to take it has already make me try making a coat (just finishing putting the lining in now), lapped zippers (just starting my “fall for cotton” challenge thing)
    I try to choose not only a pattern I want but a technique I’ve never done before, even if the pattern doesn’t call for it.
    I was terrified of French seams until I tried 4 weeks ago……now everything possible has them lol.
    I think I’m going to list all the things I “can’t” do, and try them out!
    First on the list is button holes!

  7. joellestlaurent says:

    Oh I know the feeling. One Minute i feel like a sewing superhero for making a pretty frock and the next i think well what’s the point of it if I can’t make my own pants, training gear, underwear? I really want to make bras, for example, but I always chicken out. And I live in dresses now cause I really can’t be bothered go and try some on and fitting scares me…

  8. Vicki Kate says:

    Ooh, fabulous idea! My biggest can’t (but want to) is bras. They’re feats of engineering when bought, can I actually recreate that? Particularly as my bra size is practically a post code!
    I also run scared from trousers that aren’t PJs and a proper wool coat. I have the Lady Grey in my pattern collection and want to do it properly with pad stitching etc following Gertie’s sewalong.
    Good luck with your challenge! I’ve also broken my pledge recently to restock my knitwear as I was in desperate need and drawing a blank in the charity shops. It felt really strange though and it wasn’t Primarni!

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