Steely Seamstress

Sewing for life

Can I see a wardrobe improvement? Aka Disney Declutter


Perhaps this post is better suited to the December slot where retrospectives are regarded as par for the course, however, I felt I couldn’t wait till then. September is here and Master Steely, is back at school, taking his associated chaos with him. This means I have some time in the house to organise things, without any organisation being undone within seconds.

What I want to do is a thorough wardrobe sort out. Already this year, my items out has exceeded my items in. I think that at last I’m truly letting go of my old clothes. Now I feel I have the ability to make all manner of garments, I don’t have to keep holding on to an item that is worn-out and old because I can’t replace it. But, I’m still finding it a hard process. I never thought I was one of life’s hoarders, but I find it hard to let go of old clothes.

Anyway, my plan is as follows:

  1. Give myself a clear couple of hours with a playlist and snacks to do the work
  2. Empty a drawer at a time onto my bed
  3. Classify the items according to the chart below
  4. Make sure the items reach their destination (keep, donate, set-aside for repair / refashion work etc.)
Classification Name Description Destination
Golden Goose

In frequent everyday use and still looking good Keep
Hansel and/or Gretel (alone and lost)

In use less frequently, Used with only one or two other items in my wardrobe Keep

In use unexpectedly, had been lurking neglected Keep

In use, but is old, worn out and ready for recycling Textile recycle / Use for rags
Mini-Donkeys In use, but is old, worn out. Want to make a direct copy of the garment Set aside

(Make a pattern from item)


In use less frequently (Smart office attire) Keep
Swan In use less frequently (Party attire) Keep
Glass slipper

Never used, doesn’t fit Donate
Glass slipper Never used, doesn’t fit, but want to create a pattern using this item as inspiration Set aside (Look through pattern collection and on-line, is there a pattern that is similar?)
Ugly Ducking

Never used, unsuccessful make or choice Donate
Emperor’s Old Clothes

Not used anymore, no longer wear this style, not likely to refashion Donate
Emperor’s Old Clothes Not used anymore, no longer wear this style, waiting for refashion or replacement Set aside

(Decide whether I am still likely to do the work)

As examples, here are a couple of items from my wardrobe and how they fit with the “Disney” descriptions.

Item Description Colour type RTW/ me-made Classification Comment
1 Grey wide-legged trousers Neutral (grey) Me-made Swan Frequently used trousers for meeting customers
2 Red ponte biker jacket Accent (red) RTW Glass slipper Never used and doesn’t now fit. May create a similar garment

So why I have used these “Disney” classification?

Just because it is easy to label my groups with a snappy name. I started off thinking about “Ugly ducklings” and “Swans” and then realized that I could harness a fairy-tale name for all my groupings.

I’ve now attempted one drawer, a small effort on my part, but it’s a start. I’ve separated the clothes into my classification piles. This drawer in question was mostly trousers and bed clothes.

Classification Count
Glass slipper 1
Donkeys 4
Mini-donkeys 6
Golden geese 12 (although 1 needs a new waistband)

It’s interesting to see that almost half the drawer is full of donkeys, essentially items that are old and worn and need to go. Do you know that several of these date back to my teenage years! So it isn’t as if they haven’t had loads of use.

I have found four out-right donkeys in here. Surprisingly I found it quite hard to even part with these (my usual failing), but 2 of them are definitely going. The mini-donkeys (6 items), could also go, but I need to make some provision for their replacements, at least find a suitable pattern for each or take them apart and make a pattern from them. Although, I can see that this is going to take a while. On the plus side, I already have the fabric for a replacement for one of my mini-donkeys and it is next on my list to make.

The glass slipper is a fantastic little biker’s jacket, but it doesn’t fit. I’m still debating whether I  would like a jacket of this design in my wardrobe. Realistically I don’t think it is a project for the near future, so that may be for donation too.

Disney Declutter

I’m hoping to go through another drawer this week. It will be great to have more breathing space in my wardrobe and drawers so that I can actually find the things I want to wear. Do you find it hard to let go of worn-out items?


Author: steelyseamstress

Sewing a new wardrobe

8 thoughts on “Can I see a wardrobe improvement? Aka Disney Declutter

  1. Heh, I like your classification scheme 🙂

    I don’t have a problem throwing out worn out stuff. I have a category of former ‘golden geese’ which I have stopped wearing and am not likely to start wearing again, but which are in reasonable condition. Those I really struggle to get rid of because I want to know they’ll be used, and my fear about donating them is that without size labels or care instructions they’ll just end up being destroyed.

    • Thanks. I’m only just getting to the point of donating my older me-mades. It would be a pity if yours were unloved. But, if it’s any consolation, I went into a vintage shop the other day that sells a lot of 70s clothing and one lady was buying a home-made top (no label in it, raw edges finished with a normal sewing machine) and I couldn’t believe how much she was paying for it! Keep them for a few more years and they’ll sell as vintage!

      • My mum gave me a few of her home made dresses from the 60s and I certainly wore them with great pleasure in the 90s 🙂

      • Yes, I definitely have picked up vintage items and realised they’re homemade garments by seam finishing, types of facing, lack of labels, etc. I have often donated my unworn handmade garments both sewn and knitted (when they’ve come out too big for example). I don’t think everyday charity shops will differentiate (although maybe the upmarket Oxfam in Harrogate would lol) and quite honestly I think someone’s going to get a

      • Ha, love the idea of “bargain couture”! Crumbs, sometimes it is, when we sew up a designer pattern!

  2. bargain ‘couture’ piece. Especially true in Catherine’s case 😊

  3. Oops sorry for disjointed comment, accidentally hit send half way through!

  4. Pingback: An update – Christmas party clothing plans and decluttering action | Steely Seamstress

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