Project Minima:

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The State of Project Minima

Sculpture by Kiki Smith
It's been just about 4 months since I started Project Minima as a concentrated effort to reduce my consumption in the clothes industry to zero.  So far, so good.  I haven't even wanted to buy anything apparel-wise.  Once I switched consciousness and started to see my existing wardrobe of ill-fitting, unwanted stuff as potential supplies for reconstructing clothing I liked, I was off to the races! 

I started off slowly, spending a few minutes (15 or so) a day to gather, collect and sort

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Two-For Today

photo by Otto at Art Chicago 2008
First one up was a store-bought Asian-esque top that needed to get roomier.  After some debating I decided to go for the side insert trick.  (Rather than the labor-intensive, de-construction of the fabric button loops, the collar and side facings, removing and resewing all the buttons, etc., etc., etc. - that was done for the previous Mandarin top.)  Since this particular piece was made from a drape-y fabric and already patch-work looking, I thought an insert that also flowed would work just fine.  So, funky leopard skin meet Japanese print. 

The second piece is a redo of a redo that I wasn't satisfied with as soon as

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Name That Color

photo by Amira Fritz
Skirt update.  Seam-ripped two panels of an old button-down straight skirt in a linen-esque fabric.  Hard color to describe...a cross between taupe and greenish-gold.  Needed to do something to make it fit again: thought of adding a panel of contrasting color, but wanted the same weight and texture as the original material.  Actually found it in my stash.  And who knows what

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Skirting Vogue, Vaguely

Needlecraft June 1914 skirt pattern
Made a skirt today.  It had already been cut out awhile ago from a Vogue pattern and just needed to be sewn up.  Pretty simple.  I liked the fabric - an old fashioned cotton floral, and the style - a little odd while still being somewhat old school too.

When I finished it, however, the Vogue styling was a bit more subtle than I was expecting.  Perhaps I'll need to slim down the upper part so the lower skirt "bowing" is more exaggerated.  We'll see.

*Also check out Clothes Collages: All Floral All The Time

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sew Asian

image from Japan Talk
Re-constructed a cotton tie-dyed jacket I made when I was in my Asian-esque phase, oh seven years ago or so. 
It used to have a mandarin type collar and those corded loop and ball closures.  I kinda hated to take it apart because it was

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tricked Out Pony

Sarah Moon, photographer
A mini-rehab for the time being.  Especially after my time consuming flop of previous days.  More on that another time.  (It's not soooo bad really.) 

So this one went smoothly over a couple days, some ripping, some additions, some decision-making on fabric.  And it turned out well.  Looks good and fits nicely.  What more can you ask for?

It was already pretty tricked out to begin with...See for yourself.

Friday, September 16, 2011

It's a Wrap

Photo design by Mia Mala McDonald
Finished some of the "waiting in the wings" pieces I spoke about last time.  Easy-breezy.

The skirt I "made" was a piece of fabric I just wrapped around me to see how wide it was and then thought, hey! that looks kinda neat.  I fooled around with it a bit more, this way and that and then, the next thing I knew - it was complete.  I tried to see if I could find any fault with it, but no, it just looked good tied and draped like it was.  So, a no-sew skirt.

I put it on and wore it that evening with a pink silk slip, my new taupe silk and lace top, and my taupe tank top under that.  woohoo. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Remove Stuff And Then Add Lace

Designed by Marchesa
Hmmm.  Been using my new dress form to drape on a million possibilities.  So cool.  Unbelievable how straightforward it is now to cut up and re-format old clothes, or figure out something from scraps of fabric, etc. Biggest problem is focusing on one thing at a time and sticking to it.  One thing inspires another and another - like popcorn kernals when they finally get hot enough to start poppin' --  you can't stop 'em.

I did finally focus on down to one thing, eventually, I guess... I spent all day ripping apart an old silk mandarin-style top, size S(!).  Ripped out the collar, loops, buttons, and let out the facings.

The fabric was a great taupe color with a embossed floral print.  Decided to add pale pink/salmon lace to the extended facing turned lapels.  That also took forever because I had to piece the lace and hand sew it on since I didn't want the stitching to show.  Days.  But I think my silk & lace top looks really nice and I have a whole ensemble waiting in the wings to be made/ re-created to go with it.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ode To A Grecian Slip

Fashion by Madeleine Vionnet
I started (and finished!) a Grecian goddess-type slip yesterday.  It just sort of came into being as I was working on it.

I wanted a sheer slip to wear with that dark navy shift that I made previously - and found a scrap of black nylon/ chiffon in my bin.

I took the piece and sewed it down the side so that I ended up with one long tube shape with the selvedges at the top and bottom.

At that point it seemed easier to just make a

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hand Me Downs

My baby kimono jacket made by Mom
So.  I was at my Mom's this holiday weekend and she gave me the baby clothes she had hand-made for me when I was born.  pause.  yeah.  What can you say?

So I took them home and took pix.  Here's a kimono-type jacket (don't ya think?).  And wait 'til you see the rest.  No wonder...