09 September 2010

self-stitched-september update

mustard cowl

So, hi. I am a week into this Self-Stitched-September thing, and also a week into school and fall hockey and having a hundred things to do. So far, everything (all at once!) is going great. Well, SSS is a bit weird. I thought wearing 2 self-stitched or thrifted items would be a manageable challenge; turns out it's way more than manageable. I have no photos to share (I'll get to that in a second), but I have quite easily managed to wear mostly non-new clothes. Yesterday, I went almost entirely non-new (black self-made skirt, awesome striped polo that I got a few weeks ago at Goodwill, awesome striped cardigan from a summer Goodwill trip). So this challenge has not actually been especially challenging, which shouldn't surprise me as I haven't bought new clothes (except for basic & on-sale items at Target) in probably 2 years. However! It has been making me think a lot more about what I wear, so that's good, I guess. It has definitely made me realize that I would really like to make some more clothing and finish refashioning some of the thrift store clothes I've bought recently. (I've found two different vintage wool skirts in the past few weeks!)

It has also made me realize I am not nearly as okay with my body as I thought I was. That sounds dramatic, I think, but what I mean is that taking photos (or, trying to take photos, really) of my SSS outfits was... calling it traumatic would be an insult to actual traumatic situations, right? I hate feeling superficial like this, but between the normal 10 pounds and the other pounds which are coming off SO SLOWLY, me on camera is not a version of me that I like. Soo yeah, I don't know. Probably there will not be many outfit photos this month, which makes me feel like a jerk. But there will be some, eventually? Maybe that will be the actual challenge for the month--wear at least one entirely self-stitched outfit that I actually like, in person and on [digital] film.

Yikes. I don't know. For someone with a blog, I really do not like talking about myself. Feelings, gross. The photo above is the cowl I just finished. Yellow wool/acrylic yarn, boring stuff but cheap. I entirely fucked up the cast-off the first time around, so I had to improvise. Totally messy, but it is technically a finished thing that won't unravel, so whatever. I will definitely do better next time. I've been a knitting fiend lately; in addition to this I finished my first Christmas present scarf, with five or six to follow. I'm determined to be prepared for Christmas this year; everyone is getting handmade presents this year! I'm making socks for a few people, so I'll need to learn how to make socks. I will totally have time to do that and the eight hundred other things I have on my plate, right? Right. This did not finish where I thought it would when I started, but whatever. Tons of things going on, but I'm keeping up with all of them. Self-stitched-September is a pretty cool thing, and with any luck, I'll have a few more self-sewn items to wear by the end of the month.

01 September 2010

tmi maybe?

FlickrDroid UploadOkay, so maybe this is weird, but today I made some underwear. Small photo to the left, because posting a photo of my underwear is weird enough. Normally this is not something I would post (didn't tell you about the yellow and black pair I made in the spring, did I?), but is that not the best fabric that has ever existed, ever? EVER? It's t-shirt fabric (is that a thing? It has a weird sort of texture, not jersey or anything else I've really seen) purchased at Hancock last spring, around the time I bought my serger. I think it was $1.50 a yard; I bought two yards but wanted to buy 10. I don't know what the hell I'm going to do with it; maybe just make more underwear?

I made them from a pattern I drafted myself, based on the instructions at So, Zo, which turned out fairly well. I did not adjust for the fact that you have to fold the elastic over, so they ended up a tad short but otherwise super comfortable. I think the materials were probably under $1. I bought the elastic at SR Harris in Brooklyn Center, MN; I want to say it was $.15 a yard (before their normal 50% discount on everything). Once I adjust the pattern a bit, I will likely be able to crank out at least 4 or 5 pairs this week, which will make my Self-Sewn-September thing much more realistic. And while making my own underwear is admittedly something I feel a bit weird about (I am turning into such a dirty hippie, for real), it also sort of gets directly to the point of why I want to focus on either sewing or thrifting all of my clothes. During college (and after...) I definitely got into the habit of just buying more socks and underwear when I didn't have time to do laundry (I'm sorry, that's gross, I don't do that anymore), so I now have roughly fifty or sixty pairs of boring underwear that was probably mass-produced in factories with awful labor practices. I like the idea of getting out of that cycle of unthinking consumption and making my own underwear, preferably out of fabrics with awesome star-burst patterns. Or polka dots? Or maybe dinosaurs? Someone must make knit fabric with dinosaur prints. Whatever, I like the idea of having my entire wardrobe, underwear and everything else, made up of a few things that I really, really love and have a direct connection to, rather than having so much boring crap that I wear because I'm too broke or busy or whatever to find anything else.

Does that make sense? I've been alone in the apartment all day, working and sewing, so I'm starting to feel a bit stir-crazy. It was worth it though, not only did I make a new pair of underwear, but I finished two weeks of prep for teaching, and I'm nearly finished with my thesis reading list for the semester. Exciting stuff!

i can do it all

It's been awhile! Sorry, I have been stupid busy. My sister and her boyfriend moved to Milwaukee a few days after my last post (I didn't post during August at all?), and I spent most of August helping them move and settle in. I also had to finish one of my summer classes, and I had hockey games every week. (I also tried out for the fall league and made the 2nd team at my club. Still got it!) Oh, and I did a craft show in the middle of the month. Holy hell, it was a shitshow. Not the show as a whole, just my entire participation in it. I was completely unprepared, and the audience at the show was not the audience who will buy what I make. The less said the better, but I am definitely going to refocus on other things for awhile.

Okay, but hey, that is not why I'm posting. I'm doing this thing, Self Stitched September. Basically people commit to wearing either entirely handmade clothing, or perhaps some compromise amount of handmade/refashioned clothing, every day for the month. For me, this is more about having a reason to make more handmade and refashioned clothing (since I have almost none), so I am actually going to throw in thrifted clothing too, otherwise I don't think I could commit to it. I really want to start making more of my own clothes. I already have thrifting down--I can't remember the last time I bought new clothing--but there are so many things I've been thinking about making, I'm hoping this will be the push I need to actually finish some pieces of clothing. So, my pledge--

'I, Marina, sign up as a participant of Self-Stitched-September. I endeavour to wear two  handmade, refashioned, or thrifted  item(s) of clothing, accessories, or jewelry every day for the duration of September 2010'.

So yeah, this will be interesting. Hopefully by the end of the month, I can do two pieces of handmade clothing with relative ease. I've been working on some tank tops recently, so that should help. Of course, in addition to this sewing thing I've committed to, school starts this week. I also have a whole lot to do to prepare for going to Laos in January, there's a hockey clinic this month that I said I'd go to, and practices for fall league start at the end of the month. I'm double-rostered on the 1st team as a backup, so I'll have two sets of practices to go to. Okay, actually that doesn't sound so bad, does it? I'll totally have time to do all of those things. It's too humid to sew today, so I think I'll go do some schoolwork.

(Oh, and I think part of the point of doing this whole Self-Stitched-September thing is that you take photos of your outfits every few days. That seems horrifying, and I sort of want to back out of the whole thing now that I realize that's the case, but I will try to soldier on. Maybe I'll just post photos of the really good outfits? Ugh.)