Project Minima:

Thursday, May 31, 2012

State of Project Minima - The First Year

Yes, a year has gone by since I decided to launch Project Minima and I'm still as involved as ever.  Let's look back and see if I accomplished my original goals and what other doors have opened along the way.  hmmm.
illustration by Clare Owen.

Well, the main goal I had written on Day One was: "...everything works, everything looks good, it all fits and I like it."  I would say I have achieved that - although in ways that I had not envisioned at the time.  In terms of my starting with the clothes list, I have favored the "play with to be altered" item rather than the "give away the not wanted."  The significant refinement came for me in my second post when I decided to go on a shopping free ban for the year.  I haven't bought a single item of apparel (new or used) in all that time.  This allowed my creativity to flourish -

 both in putting together outfits to wear, and in refashioned my clothes or making new ones from my fabric stash.  I also had a shopping ban on fabric due to my huge stash of it and sewing notions.  I even played with redoing my shoes!  It was all so empowering.

I saw how much I had used shopping as a leisure (and mindless) activity.  And how I didn't need anything in terms of clothing (I mean I wasn't going to starve).  And I loved rehabbing my clothes and not using patterns.  It was way more creative to work with what I had and see where I could take it, step by step.  More like art-making, less like paint-by-numbers, if you get my drift.  I started dressing more creatively, more interestingly - in terms of colors, textures, shapes, patterns.  Like art-making.  I had more fun with it.

One of the most amazing things (really) was I began taking pictures of myself wearing the clothes I put together.  A friend called them my clothes collages and that's how I thought of it too.  I really didn't think of these as pictures of me, but as pictures of my clothes put together and I was the one wearing them.  And I took them like I take pictures of my artwork, then like I play with artwork, so they're evolving in their own way - and that might be interesting to see as time goes on...  As soon as I started posting these pix in April 2012, I began getting comments which was another interesting phenomenon.  I began sharing them with Patti on Visible Mondays at Not Dead Yet Style and I was off.  From there I found myself on the Style Crone's Blogs We Like and then the Citizen Rosebud's 40+ Bloggers.  I was in full community and enjoying the diversity. 

Hey, initially I wasn't even going to take pictures of the clothes at all, even on their own.  Just a post and an art image that seemed relevant.  But friends said I just had to do that.  I thought it would be boring to see a shirt laying on a bed or hanging on a hanger.  But that was me, then. I first branched out with Refashion Co-op learning to share what I rehabbed within that community twice a month.  I learned what people were interested in (and not).

This last quarter I've completed 20 items, making a grand total of 114 pieces in one year.  That breaks down to a little over 2 per week.  Cool.  The other major accomplishment this quarter was the reorganization of my studio - dressing room - supply room - enclosed porch.  Hallelujah.

Oh, and least we forget here - speaking of rehabbing - I'm back on the wagon with exercising!  Proving my commitment to the coach/owner of the fitness center down the block, I've been doing my program there 4 times a week going on my second week now. We'll see what she has in store for me in terms of employment opportunities in my time of need, so to speak.

And I don't want to stop now, I've added another year to my commitment to Project Minima.  I may lift my shopping free ban from time to time.  I have had a desire to buy bright colored sox...but maybe I can just make them or do without!



  1. I'm SO GLAD you started taking self portraits! LOVE THEM!!! (To such a degree that I want to sketch you for my Fashion Icon series)
    Clothing as art - I am so there with you. Your refashionings have been a huge inspiration. I'm still at the "sorting things into piles" stage. Soon, however... Snip, snip + sew, sew!

  2. Hey Anne,
    You were one of the first people to comment on my clothes collage page when I started in April and I was so thrilled!

    Wow, your Fashion Icon series - what an honor. Is that like what was in your Sketchbook Project 2012? That was so cool, man.

    Well didn't you already sew a dress and scarf out of your own artwork from fabric you had printed with it?! (did I say that right...?)

    Cheers to art and clothes and sewing!

  3. Congratulations Pat. What a wonderful batch of accomplishments! Thanks for being an inspiration with what you create and how you show up in the world. You give us all more permission to play.

    1. Thanks Tisa, to one who knows all about the creative process and how to rock it!

  4. Very impressive goal and achievement! Your persistence amazes me.

    1. Well Ms Judith, your grace and charm, whilst not foregoing persistence, has become my gold standard.

  5. And thank you so much for the mention!

    1. Oh I was soooo honored when I found my blog listed on your site. I remember when I was way too intimidated to comment on yours...and I couldn't believe it when I saw you had said something on one of my posts. Seems like ages ago now. smile.