Friday, November 23, 2012

Stop Shopping, Start Sewing

Remember Take Back the Night?  I say, let's take back our right not to shop, consume, over-indulge, etc.  Sounds good the day after Thanksgiving, or on the so-called Black Friday, or the __# of shopping days before Christmas, doesn't it?  Yeah.  Let's mark Today as Buy Nothing Day (Acquire Few Needs.)  How about the idea of wanting what you already have for a start?  Or being who you are so you can do what you want in order to have what you need.  Something like that, rather than the other way around.

painting by Ray Caesar

Anyways, not that I'm a saint about it all, but let's get it under some control already.  How much does a person really need/want/have to have?  Of any thing?  Breathe. 

Okay, here's what I made today and the week before (after the break)...


Speaking of breaks, I bought some patterns for 99 cents and some super soft, fine wale corduroy for only $1.99 a yard.  After my speech, I'm confessing to buying patterns and fabric recently.  It's been a slippery slope here at Project Minima since I took that step out of bounds at e-bay.  I'll be writing more about that and my commitments in the State of the Project Minima Report coming out at the end of the month.

Meanwhile, here I am in my new corduroy pants and top that I made this week.
I just love how comfy it all is!
A look down:  I used the selvage edge for the pant leg.
And I made up the neckline on this one as I went along.
Must note my lovely red accessories, the lost and found Doc Martens and a necklace I bought in Egypt a zillion years ago.  If you'd like to see more about the clothes I made, click on the bold items, or just go to the Clothes for Fall page, under "Stop Shopping, Start Sewing."

24 comments:

  1. I hear you, lady! Am so ready to get out my sewing machine and make some clothes that really fit! So impressed by your industry and cool projects :)

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    1. Hey, I'm singing to the choir Lynne. And that's okay. By the way, you are fast!

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  2. You're so totally right. I do sew, but it's still ultimately cheaper for me to thrift. I have no where that sells fabric any cheaper than I can thrift something for. I'll stick to my re-fashions than from scratch fashions.

    However I do admire those who can make their own clothes.

    Your top is incredible. I love the proportions and the awesome collar.

    I am planning to commit to less shopping come 2013. I've spent too much this year to consider 'counting' anything I've done, but I have tried to make a conscious effort to support USA/Canadian based companies and companies who have good policies that I support. I think smart consuming is a good step in the right direction, but I do want to reach the point where I'm not shopping as much.

    When I start getting the itch to shop, I now dig through my clothes and try to pull together some new combinations. Even if I just take a quick photo of stuff laying over my chair, I keep in my head what I do already own.

    I will admit, I ordered a handful of socks for black friday, but I stayed home and away from the shops.

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    1. That's the thing, just really seeing what you already have and utilizing it, that brings out the creativity (and thrill). Shopping is too easy and fast of a fix. Thrifting is a little slower, but for me it's the same thing. When I have an urge for shopping, I know it means I need to get into the studio and be creative.

      I don't think sewing from patterns and new fabric is the answer either. I feel mildly guilty buying it new when I have a fabric stash and all these old clothes waiting to be reborn.

      But I can make choices to be more conscious of what I are doing, right?

      Refashioning and restyling is the new tool!



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  3. How romantic on Christmas morning to open a card from X to get a money voucher for Store Y, and you give X the same amount in a money voucher for Y. Doesn't this all cancel itself out? I know about math stuff, a bit... LOL. I have a couple of sewing projects on standby but mostly they are upcycles - one is a bonafide scratch thing. I don't use patterns, they make me irritated, but the things I come up with make me irritated-er I think.

    Your outfit looks comfy and designer at the same time - not always an easy thing to do. The neckline is awesome and I love how you used the selvedge instead of hemming.

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    1. Your sewn outfits always look terrific, Melanie. I don't think they seem irritating in the end, do they?

      I end up altering the patterns I start off with so they're not recognizable by the end. I guess it just gives me a starting point. But it's much more fun to wing it and go with what's needed on an upcycle - that's more like painting, you have no idea where you're going til you're there.

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  4. Once I crochet 3 whole bed blanckets for my children Christmas present. I brought them up in making things rather than buying.
    You are brilliant!!!
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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    1. That's a lot of crocheting! And they'll remember it forever. I still use a crocheted afghan my grandmother made. It's in every color imaginable because she was using up her leftover bits of yarn.

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  5. I so admire your skills - beautifully done! Your necklace and neckline are fantastic. It is a challenge when one's values differ from the dominant culture's which we are yet marinating in. I look forward to hearing more about your process.

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    1. Yes, but there is a new brew happening, don't you think? Or maybe it's an old recipe being re-appreciated. No, it's more like we're on an ever-evolving spiral of consciousness raising...

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  6. I don't sew at this point but I do love to shop my closet and adore the pieces that I've gathered over the decades. I admire you and your project, and it gives me inspiration.

    Another great ensemble, enhanced by the gorgeous Egyptian necklace.

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    1. Being creative is what's important I think, or I simply couldn't survive. And having less, or having limits to work within gives me the structure, focus and desire to become more creative with what I have and what I can make of it.

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  7. I don't really like sewing - like Melanie says, it's irritating. But I love when I end up getting more use out of something I didn't think I'd wear anymore. I just added a fake fur collar and swapped the buttons on a boring gray coat, and now it's fun to wear!

    I also borrowed my sister's sewing machine, and I'm thinking she might not get it back for a long time now!

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    1. Hi Val, thanks for stopping by Project Minima. I'd love to visit your place, but you don't link back to your site...

      I agree, just tweaking something you have, can make all the difference - taking it from ho-hum to wow is always the coolest.

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  8. Love the new outfit! I have that pants pattern too and I need to make them some day soon. And I totally hear you on the shopping thing. Just finished buying jammies for the grandbeasties (the only ones who get pressies from me) and it was a pretty horrible experience. I should have made them myself...sigh.

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    1. Then again, you probably appreciate what you make for yourself more than they would their homemade pjs, the little beasties. Perhaps you could just get them online and avoid the whole shopping thing.

      I love the pants, although they turned out way too large in following the sizing on the pattern. I ended up re-doing them by cutting out 6 inches on each side I think it was. Let me know how yours go.

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  9. I do love to buy, cause you know I ain't no seamstress. Haha. But really, as far as consumerism we don't celebrate much in the way of holidays just for this reason. No tree, no decorations, no over the top crap or credit card spending, etc. This is my way of cutting back on unecessaries and I love it. We do what feels good to us and not what the media or tradition suggests. Some people think we're boring but I don't feel like I'm lacking at all. In fact, I feel more satisfied as I'm sure you do too.

    I watch people who shop and shop. There's always a shadow of dissatisfaction that follows them. I hope the wrong person isn't reading this right now. ;)

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    1. I think you're the only one I've heard of that has the same holiday attitude as we do, Joni. How cool. We don't do a tree or any decorations, or x-mas music, buy gifts for anyone, etc. Just not interested. We send a few cards to people, maybe a dozen tops. Cook a meal. It's very peaceful. We might buy each other a book or something like that. Well happy holidays to you, dear.

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  10. That top and pants are just fabulous and I love the beads. My sewing is limited to repairs at the mo but I have some fab 60s psychedelic cotton crying out for the right pattern when I've got the time.
    I hate Xmas and all the consumerist crap it comes with. The TV is nothing but adverts for stupid perfume and horrendous jewellery. xxx

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    1. Tell it like it is Vix. I still have some psychedelic paper "fabric" from the 60's when I made some paper mini dresses! Don't know if I'll be ever doing that again...ha!

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  11. I plan on doing more apparel sewing next year. That way I can get what I WANT that fits me. I'll still thrift stuff to alter and refashion, though! My sewing pile is NEVER empty!
    Love yur new outfit and the necklace is stunning!

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    1. Yes, that's the thrill of it all, actually having things fit you well. The back enclosed porch is my sewing pile - very well organized, of course!

      And I'll be over to visit your place now. Cheers!

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  12. You've created such a funky top from that mainstream pattern. I love stripes. And the pants are pretty cool (knee darts?).
    You're definitely an inspiration. The only things I've purchased retail recently are vegan boots. And am sickened by the hordes of people I see in the shopping areas who are piled up with bags. I keep thinking that there is so much used stuff available, it kills me that they are buying new.
    Thanks for your comment on my Pre-Raphaelite post. I did see the mini-series you mentioned and enjoyed it.

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    1. Yea, I use the patterns but then I end up deviating so much from them anyway. I guess it's just a starting point.

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