DOMESTIC STRATA // Madeleine Roberg

Over the 2016 Christmas break, I decided to take on my wardrobe.  It was a super cold winter and my wardrobe was stressing me out. Every morning I would stare at the chaos and instead of feeling good about the upcoming day, I would lose a tiny bit of faith in the day because my closet and dresser were a complete wreck.  I had seen the Capsule Wardrobe hashtag on Instagram but hadn’t given it too much thought but as with most life-altering things you have to be ready for it.  One evening I clicked on the hashtag and went down the rabbit hole.

Soon I had visions of a well coordinated, season appropriate wardrobe dancing in my head. It turns out I wasn’t in love with much of my clothes. One of the principles of the Capsule Wardrobe is to get rid of clothes that you struggle with during the day.  For a good month, I would come home everyday and announce 50-100% of my outfit a struggle. One of the most popular Capsule Wardrobe projects, recommends a wardrobe of 33 pieces that you will wear for three months.  By the end of the first month, I was left with only 12 pieces that worked.

As I started looking to rebuild my wardrobe, I started thinking about the clothes I had kept and the pieces I had discarded.  I live in Helena, Montana with a population of 31,000.  Shopping for clothes in Helena, Montana can be difficult, especially now that I have actual wardrobe goals.  My wardrobe cleanse had made me realize how much I valued high quality fibers and I just wasn’t finding what I wanted at the stores.  I had made a specific list of things that I needed to coordinate with the existing items that had survived the closet purge, but with the small amount of stores in town and my new standards it felt like I was looking for a needle in a haystack.

I learned to sew when I was young and just took to it, but as I reached puberty and my body changed, I stopped sewing.  Over the years I got back into sewing but not clothes. I started quilting and went back to school and got a Masters in Textiles, but my research focused on quilts. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I slowly started sewing clothes and really getting back into knitting.

In addition to the Capsule Wardrobe hashtag, over the years I have been following the MeMadeMay hashtag. Unlike the Capsule Wardrobe that I would occasionally stumble across, I have been watching the Me-Made-May tag for years and always thought about how amazing the women are who have these wonderful garments they have made for themselves.

Inspired by the Capsule Wardrobe and Me-Made-May concepts, I have set myself a goal of using at least one skein of yarn each week for the next year. Some weeks maybe I will use more skeins and some weeks maybe I won’t knit at all, but at the end of one year my goal is to have used 52 skeins of yarn to transform my and my husband’s wardrobes from off the racks to off the charts.


Madeleine Roberg

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