Wednesday, June 29, 2011

C'est Fini!

Painting by Gina Litherland



My, my.  A fait accompli.  Yes, mon cher, I have deconstructed and reconstructed a tunic top of yore.  This is in fact yet another one, and not what I had mentioned yesterday and the day before that.  But it is in the same style.  So it is the learning curve I'm apparently stumbling upon. I am like a cat grinning...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Just Let Her Rip

Sculpture by Mary Tuma

Back into the fray, so to speak, but onto a new frock!  Spent my time ripping and pinning (this time) a tunic I made previously.  Sorta hippie-looking...Sgt. Pepper?  I'll have to take a pix.  Again, saved by an extra stash of fabric from the piece.

So far so good.  It looks like I have the engineering aspect taken care of, next will be the actually sewing.  It's really no fun having to remove seams I've just sewn due to faulty engineering.  Perhaps I need a better attitude.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Ripping What I Sew

Photo by Irana Douer


Argh.  Spent too long sewing and ripping, ripping and sewing - going nowhere fast...and. finally. brought. myself. to. a. halt.

Well, tomorrow is another day.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Photo Shoot Out

Photo taken by Pat Otto
Well.  Today you might say I wasted my time in service to the blog.  I actually took some pictures of clothes!  (No, not like that - of the clothes I've been altering!)  This was something I had wanted to avoid, because it just seemed too boring - both to do and to look at.  The other stuff has been fun:  the actually work, and the write-ups and the art images.  Anyway, some friends said pix would be helpful...so...I did that instead of the fun altering stuff.  I did do a great piece of artwork though!  So all is not lost. 

Anyway, there's a few things up on the View Clothes page now and I put in supporting links.  It took a very long time and I don't know if it's worth it, or if I'll keep doing it.  We'll see.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Back to the Drawing Board, and it's OK

Painting by Charlotte Salomon
While the re-constructed kimono sleeves look exceptional, if I do say so myself (and I do!), I've decided the "just let it lay the way it goes" front opening doesn't.  I mean, why stop half-way?  Off go the snaps - to be relocated for a more traditional kimono wrap.  Have I mentioned this will be the third snap renovation?  All well worth it, I'm sure...

And by the way, this is the first kimono that I mentioned on June 8 (and thought was finished) - a navy floral top with a skirt that fits just fine, thank you.  The other one recently rehabilitated was a burgundy chrysanthemum kimono top with skirt.  Both skirts are long, straight with side slits.  There's a couple other kimono tops I've fixed, but it was simply a matter of relocated those (#%!) snaps.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dazed and Confused, in a Good Way

Fashion Design by Melvin Sokolsky
How silly can I be?  Well, just enough to make it work apparently.  It all started when I decided I didn't like the way the sleeves looked on the kimono I had altered last week.  So I looked in my fabric stash, and sure enough I had quite a bit of leftover material from it.  yea!  I figured I'd double the length of the sleeve (which also seems like the width when you're talking kimono because of how they hang/drape).

Friday, June 17, 2011

Jazzed, But My Rhythm's Whacked

Nick Cave in his Sound Suit
Over-worked again...so that I feel exhausted rather than elated.  Have to get that rhythm right and I know it when I'm pushing it, but keep going anyway.  This time I neglected my artwork for the altering. Not the best of decisions - although I still have the rest of the afternoon to make my peace/piece (ha!).

So.  Completed all that jazz with the kimono skirt today.  (The kimono top was finished over the last two nights of hand sewing snaps.  Man, those take forever to sew on.)  I also completed minor alterations to a little raspberry sherbet number - a drapey, pop-corn stretchy, sleeveless, v-neck top I made years ago.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

And the Beat Goes On

Painting by Hung Lui
I can see that kimono altering is going to be a long-term phase, just like it was the first time around.  That hemming and hawing from the other day actually paid off - I ended up deciding against the doo-dads and am going with

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

This Piece is on Fire

Painting by Carol Brown
Just finishing up the final touches on my husband's kimono for his birthday today.  I couldn't wait and gave it to him early, but still had to put a loop at the back for hanging it up and some belt loops.  It looks awesome on him and he loves it.

It has a traditional blue Japanese pattern, but then all of a sudden it starts shooting out these huge stylized blue flames from the bottom of the robe and the sleeves.  Too funny. I knew I had been saving that material for something special!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Just Hemming and Hawing

Artwork by Nicole Dextras
Hmmm, I've been altering another kimono top.  Started putting it back together again in a new way after some serious seam ripping.  Luckily I also found scraps of the same fabric I'd saved (I'm sooo organized)!

It fits and looks better.  Just hemming-and-hawing (what a phrase!) about fasteners for it now...so I've taken a break.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Zen of Seam Ripping

Sculpture by Carolyne King
So many days have slipped by, but not to worry, I've still been putting my time in!  Lots of seam-ripping action going on.  Don't even know if I can count all the things I've been working on.  Removing lots of snaps from my kimono tops, and darts, fasteners of all sorts, ties, pockets that "don't work," side seams, etc.  Anyway, it's been very satisfying as things gradually become wearable again.  Ripping out seams has become a regular night-time ritual.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Art of the Kimono

Sculpture by Janet Pines Bender
Decided to move the few items of summer clothing that actually fit (and that I like) to their own area so I can readily find them. They had been interspersed with everything else, yikes! There's just a handful of items, but that's cool.

Anyway, I found an old kimono-type outfit I had made awhile ago and tried it on to figure how I might alter it. Turned out that if I just let it fall naturally without wrapping and tying it, it looked really lovely. So I just took off the ties and sewed on some snaps, and voila. I was on a kimono-esque kick for a long time, so hopefully the others I made will be amenable to adjustment too.  We'll see.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Easy Does It

Painting by Hollis Sigler
Today, took it easy and just sorted through the off-white pile of pants/shorts/skirts and found 2 pair of capri pants (pedal pushers?) that fit as is.  yea, since it's nearly 100 in Chicago today!

Yesterday I also sorted through my sewing embellishments to see what I had available for altering stuff - again it's mostly white, black and navy, with a few colors in-between.  But it was exciting to think about the possibilities.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Enough Already!

Indian Miniature, Faqirullah Khan, artist
Freer & Sackler Galleries
I dove into the depths of my closet this morning to retrieve some baskets of unidentified objects.  Spent a little too long at it - have to learn to stop sooner, than later.  omg!  Emptied 2 laundry baskets full of pants, mostly jeans, of every size and style imaginable.  How embarrassing if nothing else.  There's still one more basket to go and then the closet will be completed excavated (except for the shoes which I will deal with at a much later date).

So at this moment, I can barely get into my dressing room for all the stacks of clothes sorted in different places.  I even brought up a rolling clothes rack that now holds all the t-shirts I've found.  Seems I have many, many white and black ones with a smaller variety of colors.  Looks like the same color scenario holds true for all the rest of the clothes I have.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

More and More

~ Painting by Lori Field ~
Yesterday I made several forays into the dressing room/closet to gather clothes together.  Sorting like things with like - just like in the thrift stores.  All tops together by color, etc.  Moving winter stuff into the back and summer into the forefront.  Not trying anything on, just sorting by season, type, and color.  Absolutely shocking how much of everything I have and in every color too!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Learned a Lesson

Collage by Jung Jong Mee
... from last time and spent a shorter time on a couple designated pieces to alter/mend.  Much more satisfying and productive.

Accomplished repairing a pair of summer pants and a belt, and simple mending of another pair of jeans.

Maybe I'll even do more later...just keep it light-hearted, remember.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Win Some, Lose Some, and Then Some

Sculpture by Magdalena Abakanowicz 
Spent too much time today altering and mending stuff - 3 tops and a pair of pants.  Not very satisfying, since I met with minimum success.

One shirt I can go ahead and wear now.  The other...I don't think so, not quite yet, but I don't know what else to do with it yet (and I even scorched it when ironing!)  The 3rd one, nope, needs more major work at this point, not to mention the fact that I created a teeny hole with the seam riper.  Didn't even try the pants on, they were just there by my sewing machine waiting to be mended, so I Just Did It.  Ah well

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Evolution of the Concept

"Emergence of the Ganga on the Earth," Hindu Painting.
Had the thought, after looking at some of the "sites of inspiration" listed, that perhaps my framework might be to use only what I already have in reforming my wardrobe.  Originally I was thinking to ultimately have everything working/going together with everything else, as well as being minimal.

Now perhaps, it's more me, more reasonable to start from where I'm at - that is use what I have to get to where I want to be.  The same plan would be involved, but I would not buy anything for this year of the project, not even fabric to make something.  It would be about using

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Okay, This Is It!

Polished and Cut Agate
Day 1 of Project Minima and I've already deviated from the so-called plan a bit.  That is to say, I've spent my 15-minutes + this morning, spontaneously altering a top I made awhile back.  Originally it was too big and I altered it smaller.  Well today it was a reverse procedure.

Success and I liked the colors - light gray-blues - kind of like this agate.
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