|What's that strange pillow holding up my computer?|
And whatever could it be stuffed with?
I want my closet and drawers to represent my personal style rather than my handmade disappointments. And most of these garments have been documented on the blog so it's not like I'm completely forgetting about them.At home, my few cabinets were overflowing with fabric scraps and me-made clothes I no longer wore -- experiments gone bad or well-meaning efforts that simply didn't work out.
I didn't know what to do with all this fabric. My local thrift stores said they didn't accept fabric scraps and my me-mades, well, if I didn't want to wear them, who would? They bear the marks of a new sewer -- wonky hems and zippers, patched up and jerry-rigged. I know: I should embrace their imperfections, but at a time when I want a streamlined, perfect-for-me closet, they were on the chopping block, too.
So I cut up an old chartreuse tablecloth to make an enormous pillow and it became my personal me-made graveyard and a useful, albeit in progress, piece of furniture. And let me tell you, it's a relief to feel less pressure (given my emotional attachment to me-mades) to wear clothes that make me feel self-conscious.
Don't mean to get all touchy-feely on you, but I've been thinking about how I want to feel. To let the feeling be the end goal and work backward from there.
And in the context of this blog, I want the clothes I put on my body to feel: good to the touch, made for my body, made for my lifestyle. I want to feel confident and carefree. I want to feel connected to every object I own. My life is not set up to be making sacrifices for my clothes (the fashion expectation of "no pain, no gain"). Rather, clothes equip my life.
That's what I'm looking forward to Me-Made-May. It's really a celebration of the clothes you have a personal connection with (through sewing and refashioning) with everyday wear (hooray for usefulness!).
Upping the Ante?
Zoe asked us veterans how we can challenge ourselves this year, which varies person to person. I participated in the first Me-Made-May 2010.
I was new to sewing and blogging and that first year, I think I was really learning how to sew garments. I wanted to try and sew every type of garment and it was a good education. Year Two: I was learning how to fit garments, adapt patterns, and learn more about fabric. It's an ongoing process but now, finally, I feel I can confidently make a garment that will be wearable.
So how to balance all these elements into a challenge? We've got sewing skills but a massively decreased wardrobe. To give you an idea, I sewed 28 garments last year, and I just counted 9 me-mades in my active wardrobe.
Bear with me here as I sort this out.
I don't want to:
- Make clothes just because I can, as I've already built up that skill
- Make duplicates of things I already own: They fit fine, look fine, etc. Making a duplicate just because it's a me-made feels wasteful, especially if I have to go out and buy fabric
- Wear me-mades that I know I don't like just because of the challenge. There's all sorts of reasons I don't like them (too tight, too short, terrible color, awful drape)
- Make the most of the wardrobe I have
- Continue sewing to fill in the gaps, ideally using my stash -- I've got a number of UFOs hanging around, this would be a wonderful incentive
- Sew things I really want to wear or sew
- Own my style. As much as I love all the vintage and feminine loveliness in the blogosphere, I really like knits, basic colors (black/gray/dark denim) and warm colors (red/fuschia). Minimalist and slightly tomboy-ish.
- Heed my non-sewing life. Monthly air travel and daily bike commuting also has me narrowing my options to clothes that are versatile, easy to pack, easy to launder and easy to move in.
'I, Ali or wardrobereimagined.blogspot.com, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '12. I endeavour to wear AT LEAST one handmade garment each day for the duration of May 2012'
I've capitalized AT LEAST because I want to wear more, but again, I'm working with a small pool of clothes so I want the flexibility to also use this as a styling opportunity in a small wardrobe. Here's to versatility and clothes that keep on giving!