Sunday, December 2, 2012

State of the Project Minima: Y2-2nd Qtr.

This Fall quarter production totals 30 pieces refashioned and/or made-from scratch:  12 items of clothing, 8 pairs of shoes and 10 accessories, primarily jewelry.  The items are shown on the Clothes for Fall page, under year 2012.

painting by Sharon Yamamoto

Seems I've doubled my output from the Summer quarter (14 pieces) which was the start of my second year of Project Minima.  But there were extraneous circumstances that summer to consider.  See that report for details.

Noted trends from Project Minima Fall quarter:
  • rehabbing, painting of shoes
  • putting together bits and bobs for jewelry
  • mending knit gloves
  • buying some things:
           - new fabric (although it was drastically on sale @ $1.99/yard)
           - new patterns (they were drastically on sale online @ .99 to 3.99 ea.)
           - new color tights (also drastically on sale under $4 ea with free shipping)
           - second-hand shoes/boots:  e-bay golden boots, e-bay red & orange 
              cowboy boot shoes, thrift store pink snakeskin ankle boots
  • new concepts absorbed about design and construction for refashioning clothes

Read my thoughts about that after the break...


A red flag goes out for the buying of things that has charged to the forefront this quarter.  I can say it was reasonable, or low prices, whatever, but it is not the direction I want to be going.  I do not need more.  Let me say that again.  I do not need more.  I have enough of everything.  I have more than enough of everything.  I love sewing.  I love re-creating.  I have more than enough to recreate with what I already have.  I know this.  Acting from this allows me to stretch and grow and be even more creative.

I can also buy some things, some times.  But I don't need to get obsessed   Or side-tracked with it.  And perhaps it would feel better if I figured out a frame in which to do that - a budget, or a time, or an amount.  We'll see.  But I want that to be a back-burner kind of thing, if anything.  hmmm.

Where are you at on the matter of buying new, thrifting, and/or making do?

22 comments:

  1. I've only recently discovered Project Minima and I am really interested in your project. I like thrifted stuff and refashions best but I do buy new.
    I felt I was buying too much new stuff so I challenged myself not to buy new cotton textiles for a year. The year isn't over yet but it has changed the way I look at what I need and it's definitely changed what I buy, make and wear.
    I look forward to reading more about your project.

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    1. Yes, I wanted to keep in touch with you after seeing your marvelous coat refashion. It is amazing what not buying does for you. That's how Project Minima started and I hadn't purchased anything until this quarter, a year and 6 months now.

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  2. I sure love the sound of those boots and shoes you purchased. I don't think I've seen you wear the colorful cowboy boots.
    My one rule of thumb which has been for years is to just not browse. The stores are so set up to lure and seduce that if I go browsing or shopping just for fun I'll end up with some purchase I don't need for sure. There was a time when and if I needed a retail "fix" I'd just shop on line, putting the items into a wish list or shopping cart but not purchase the things. This really seemed to satisfy. Now I don't even need to do that anymore.
    I've also slowed way down on the second hand shopping. I have a tendency to donate that stuff away after I've only worn in a few times. I think the item feels more disposable to me because I know it was cheap so it's not much sacrifice to get rid of it if I don't quite like it for some reason.
    Which leaves me to very few good quality purchases here and there with things I've really thought about and made sure I really needed it. I'm always in training with myself. ha!

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    1. Yep, I haven't worn either of the boots, just THE golden ones so far - in pics anyway. The browsing was the first thing I immediately noticed was missing when Project Minima started. And how much time I had once spent at it. It is a process isn't it? May I join you in boot camp, Joni? heehee.

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    2. Oh, but I have to get the right boots...

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  3. Dying to see the new boots! If they're half as fabulous as the golden ones I'll be in awe.
    I'm a second-hand shopper all the way. I've bought that blue fake fur and two pairs of £5 platform sandals this year and that's it. Mass produced racks of clothes of questionable ethical production bore my pants off but I can never resist the lure of a psychedelic maxi dress or something fabulously retro. xxx

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    1. I mean my goodness, the devil's thrift store just opened down the block from my house. I'm not kidding, it has a paper sign taped on the window saying "just opened, blessings, gallery 66, thrift store" - and that's not the address! I went in once and the first thing I see are these hot pink leather snakeskin ankle boots in just my size that have never been worn. $12 bucks later I walk out with 'em.

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  4. You have my total admiration - I have more than enough of everything is something I need to repeat to myself too. All the time in fact. I was doing well on cutting back and showing restraint and then it all came crashing down this month so I'm more than a bit disappointed in myself. I am having some success in making do in some aspects though. I have been taking my damaged clothes in to be mended so I can wear them instead of using their unusability as an excuse for more shopping. I have refashioning and thrift bloggers like yourself to thank for that new shift in behaviour!

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    1. Making do and mending is the new cool. Conspicuous consumption is so old school. How's that for mantras?! I know, I know, it's an ongoing process, and that's okay.

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  5. I've been shopping so much this year. More than any previous year. I've found amazing deals and steals, thrifting and swapping, creating. I think next year will be a challenge because I have other important things on the horizon that I need to pay for and I feel confident in my current things that I think I can make it a year through. I don't even consider shopping at Target or Walmart.

    I do want to find some local people to support maybe make some very targeted purchases from people who are making their art.

    I have to second almost everything Joni said. I'd love to see your pink ankle boots. Also I have a tendency to redonate my GW purchases because they were cheap and I don't feel like I'm missing a lot by wearing them once or twice. I've tried to stop buying things just because they were cheap, instead holding out for cheap AND pieces that were my style. Now I can't bear to part with most things.

    I still really like New New New so I'm trying to challenge my own closet to see how much *new* I can create out of what I already own.

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    1. I simply do not go into stores at all anymore. Nor do I crave it. There's just no point. And luckily there are no GW's in Chicago proper. (It must be a suburban or country type thing?) There are all kinds of antique places in my neighborhood, but I've never visited them. I figured if they call them antique they're probably too expensive. New doesn't do anything for me, other than new to me and I get that when I refashion something or mix up something differently from the old closet. It often amazes me what comes out of there when I have my eyes wide open.

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  6. I admire your ability to be so methodical regarding this project. I do buy vintage and second hand clothes to wear and to re-fashion but my list of new purchases looks very similar to yours - a few yards of fabric, one new pattern, 4 pairs of tights and a pair of new boots (purchased at discount) in the past two years. And some underwear. I just don't go to retail stores anymore.

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    1. I haven't even had to buy underwear yet! I was planning on trying to make em when it gets to that point. Ditto on ixnaying the retailing. Where's the fun and creativity in that?!

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  7. I've had to almost replace my entire wardrobe the last year and a half due to weight loss (YAY) I'd have to say 90% is thrifted. I had gift cards to Kohl's so I've gotten some new stuff.
    I try to shop secondhand for everything but underclothes and some shoes (my size is hard to find secondhand)
    You've inspired me to look at stuff to refashion!

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    1. Hey good for you, that's admirable. Losing weight is so difficult with us women of a certain age, it seems to me. That's one reason Project Minima started, refashioning my clothes to fit me rather than buying it all again - only not because I lost the weight!

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  8. You are a constant inspiration to me and I think there should be a feature about you in a magazine or online publication. I almost always buy used, and am a fan of estate sales. However, I too have enough of everything. I am involved in some serious downsizing right now, and find that I feel relief as I let go. It makes room for the new, and not necessarily the physical.

    I ALWAYS enjoy your creations, no matter what they are.

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    1. Oh my, how about on my blog? That seems focus enough! It's a cool realization to come to, don't you think - that you have enough.

      And I always look forward to seeing the ensembles you so lovingly create from your vintage wear, Judith.

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  9. Pat, you read my mind. I do not NEED anything either. I've filled the need for one size smaller bottoms and dresses, and roaming 'round thrift stores is really just mostly a super fun hobby. In addition to Bella's secondhand pledge, I'm thinkin' about a limited cash budget for 2013. And definitely having my neglected sewing machine come forward.

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    1. I know, the thrill of the hunt. But when I stopped shopping, any kind of shopping, cold turkey with Project Minima, I was amazed by how much time I had available. blah, blah, blah. It slowed me down, let me appreciate things more and in different ways, pushed me to be more creative, made things more gratifying, satisfying. And I found this blogworld. It's all very interesting.

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  10. Wow, have you ever been churning out the masterpieces! So interesting to read your state-of-the project summary, I love the evolution of what's right for you.

    These days I'm thinking harder than ever before about each purchase, especially because they of course are not need-based. So many of the bloggers I enjoy, and the process of blogging, really contribute to this. My shopping is greatly-reduced, I'm way less likely to buy retail -except for shoes and hats- and I am much happier enjoying what I already have.

    P.S. "Sorry" to hear about the devil's thrift store! I look forward to seeing the boots. :)

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    1. That's what so fascinating about everyone's blog, isn't it? - how it evolves for them and reflects their unique style. Blogworld is the greatest! And being able to appreciate it all, including oneself. wanna take ya higher, yeah...

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