About two years ago I began replacing all my daily wear with hand-sewn items from vintage patterns. Like most home sewists, I have a gigantic stockpile of fabric I’ve collected over the years. Some vintage and lots of reproduction prints. My husband used to ask me why I’d buy so much fabric that I didn’t use right away and I’d tell him “I’m preparing for the Vintage Clothing Apocalypse.”
Because some day a dress from the 40s is gonna be 100 years old and only a real asshole would wear that to work or cleaning the house, sweating into it and risking damage. Not to mention plain old disintegration. Natural fibers break down. Someday all these clothes in our closets will gone.
That honestly freaks me out sometimes when I think about that. What will I wear when I’m 50? I’ve been wearing vintage clothes in some manner or another since I was 12 and it haunts me to think of the number of lovely old handbags and shoes I carelessly destroyed from daily use. I love vintage clothing too much to keep doing that. So it’s my mission to keep making new ones. Authentic, accurate clothes that a normal person would have worn.
I still collect and wear vintage clothing, but I generally relegate wearing most of it for special occasions now. To me, if I can make something from a vintage pattern (which brings up a whole other issue of tissue paper preservation, but that’s another topic) from vintage or reproduction fabric, then that’s what I’ll wear every day in the grimy, muddy, exposed nail, x-acto knife and adhesive-filled, coffee-spilling world I live in. Life is messy. Well, my life is, at least.
Someday, all those lovely vintage clothes will be dust and threads or just too damn fragile and ancient to justify wearing. And that will be horrifying. But I will be prepared.