Project Minima:

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Oh No! A Moment of Clarity.

When did Project Minima turn Maxima???  I was just sitting on the couch last night when this thought came into my head like gang busters, totally unbidden.  "I have too many clothes."

~ painting by Jocelyn Hobbie ~

(You shouldn't have bid on that.  I didn't bid on it.  It just came in.)  

Out loud, I said "I am going to have too many clothes."  See, I changed it up a bit.  That went back and forth between my true love and I for a bit.  Being the practical person he is, I don't remember a thing he said, other than it helped clarify what I said, or the fact that I said it.  Meanwhile I was reeling with the ramifications.  I mean, this changes everything.  Everything.  First, I took a meandering trip down the river of deNile.  Followed by bursts of kick boxing with my shadow self.  Then got lost in a fog.  Oh, don't forget the naps.  You know, the usual 5 steps.  And here I am, true confessions.  WTF am I going to do now!?!

sigh.  sigh with arms folded across chest.  that's a little defensive isn't it?  hmmm.  Well, let's stop moaning and groaning and take stock.  It's a new world out there/ in here.  Ha!  It's a new year.  

It's not all bad.  I did stop going to stores (including thrift stores) and buying clothes.  I did get to the point where I now have clothes that fit me, I like them, and I feel good in them.  That's huge.  I was batting zero on all three when I started the Project.  And I've come to know, stumble across really, what I like to wear.  That was something I wanted to get to and I have.  yea.  I wear what I want, where I want, even at home.  I like that. 

Downside is, consumption has steadily crept in.  First with ebay shoes.  Then with sewing patterns, and sale fabric.  Now more fabric and some warm socks.  I don't need any of these things.  None.  I have enough of all of them.  Really, but I know in my soul I'll at the least buy some more patterns sooner or later - probably Tina Givens.

Monday, December 29, 2014

December Beauties

I made a few.  At least four.  Let's get the show on the road with my Rose Hips Wonder: 

Yeah, there's a whole lotta velvet going on.

I finally learned how to use the timer on my camera and thought the pictures would be much better.  Not so.  They still seem pretty grainy to me.  I don't think the res goes very high on the camera to begin with.  We'll see.  I'm a very slow evolver.

Moving on...

and just hanging around.
It has the swoosh factor.
Notice the stunning crew sox, always a fashion statement.
Also great for swooning
and swaying...or vice versa.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

State of Project Minima: Year 4, Qtr. 2

~ painting by Viky Garden ~

Time to assess the Fall Quarter here at Project Minima, even though I'd rather...
Being accountable is a good thing.  Here we go.  Let's go to the Clothes for Fall page and see what's been happening there.

Inventory is as follows:
  • 3 tops (2 were rehabs of rehabs and 1 was from a tablecloth)
  • 4 pieces of lingerie (1 cami and 3 slips to go with specific dresses)
  • 12 dresses!  (3 from Vogue designers Anna Sui, Lynn Mizono and Marcy Tilton; 6 loosely based on Tina Givens patterns, 3 of which came from tablecloths; and 4 flannel shirt re-creations)
Total of 19 items for Fall Quarter.  20 items from the 1st Qtr., Summer, of Year 4, for a total of 39 thus far.  12 dresses each quarter!  I love me some dresses.

Speaking of trends:
  • dresses at the forefront
  • tablecloths still in there
  • lovin' Tina Givens designs, like t-o-t-a-l-l-y
  • buying socks, warm knee socks at
  • big slow down on ebay shoes (although I did get a pair of red Trippens for $50 bucks!)
  • AIYIYI, bought more fabric on sale than I've ever done in my life!!!!!  Velvet, flannel, fleece, heavy cotton, corduroy, jersey knit, oh my.
I'm in love with sewing, that is when I'm not frustrated by it.  But that always passes after a good nap with a kitty.

Happy holidays to you all!  And what are you wearing?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Nothing Dramatic Here

Just a little something I hadn't posted yet.  I know it seems a little tame now, comparatively speaking.  But I like it all the same.  ahhhh, so comfy. 

~ teddy bears Mom made for kids in the hospital ~
Well, these too.  I found a whole bed full of them at Mom's house when I opened the door to my old room.

But what I'm really talking about is the first of my flannel shirt rehab experiments.  Everybody ready for a look-see?  Now, it's nothing dramatic; don't go expecting too much...okay?

grey flannel with grey corduroy and some other stuff*

drenched in bright sunlight

le back

and at rest next to the cat tree

*other stuff includes:  scraps of chiffon, lace, satin ribbon, floral drapery and cotton, hand-made bias tape, flagrant blue stitching over all holes in flannel shirt, and new old buttons.

This one probably took me the longest to put together because I didn't know what I was doing or where I was going with it.  The pants are made from the same grey-ish corduroy as the top using a Marcy Tilton pattern posted somewhere on the blog along while back.  Black suede clogs messed up and then beautified with rose appliques made from Mom's old sweatshirt.  Also blogged previously.

You can view this grey flannel dress/ top on my Clothes from Fall page, up close and in detail.  Meanwhile I'm joining Patti and all the Visibles at Not Dead Yet Style.  Don't miss it, I tell ya.  Maybe I can even fit in with Spy Girl's 52 Pick me up: Frozen, that is, if it's about keeping warm rather than Disney...

Sunday, November 30, 2014


...and a traditional Thanksgiving portrait.

~ in the sun-drenched library ~

It's a golden brown flannel shirt plus a plaid tablecloth with roosters on it.  Oh my.  Dear Reader, Dare I say more?  Yes, yes, yes!

I am simply beside myself with this dress, the 4th of the flannel shirt recons.  It was my old shirt.  The tablecloth was given to me and is a heavy weight woven.  The armlets are made from the 2 pieces of silk brocade cut from the center front of the yellow flannel shirt dress.  The shoulder caps are scraps of embossed velveteen trimmed with lace. 

Here I am in the light (& wind) of day

ooo, see that silky slip showing?  I made it from some sari fabric that was given to me.  It really was trashed, but I managed to salvage a portion to make a full slip that peaks out at the hemline.  You can see it up close on my Clothes from Fall page, along with the flannel shirt dress, in detail.


and cat views

The fabric scraps necklace is one of many made previously, and the very cool boots/ shoes are from ebay.  I'll be joining Patti and the Visibles at Not Dead Yet Style when the time is right.  I'm early for once.  See you all there.

Hey, Sacramento is having Share-in Style: Plaid.  You just can't miss that.  Ooo, and Rhonda's Me Made Monday is back, so check out all the sew sisters.

Linking up to Spy Girl's 52 Pick-me-up: Amber way in the future.  Check it out!

Friday, November 21, 2014

She Wore Blue Flannel

~ I am telling you... ~

all I need is a date for the Prom and I'm ready to go.  And maybe a wrist corsage.  Wanna see my dress?  Of course you do, right?  yeah.


The latest in flannel shirt re-creations:  just add tulle and old drapery scraps and some other stuff.

just can't keep still

Wearing pantaloons I made that you haven't seen yet, boots from you know where, and a necklace made from fabric and old jewelry bits.

a dramatic side slit

Wherein you can see the loverly drapery ruffle, the pantaloons pleats and my stone-colored lace-up boots.  woo-hoo.
attempt at back shot

Lettuce not forget the obligatory boot shot:
ok then.

This was so much fun to make.  You can see the blue flannel dress up close and in detail on my Clothes from Fall page if you want.  I've got two more that are waiting in the wings for their photos and a third in process.  Rolling, rolling, rolling...on over to Sheila's Shoe Shine.  Let's go!  And I'm ready to go for Patti and the Visibles at Not Dead Yet Style.  See you there.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Flannel Shirts: Better Than Ever

~ song by leGoodLum ~

I'm on a new kick.  From recycled tablecloth dresses to rehabbed flannel shirts.  This is my second one.  The first one hasn't been photo'd yet.  I love flannel shirts, always have, but the problem is they just aren't very cool to wear anymore, now are they?  Well, wait until you see my new Flannelstein top!

a yellow plaid flannel shirt I had

with a silk brocade curtain given to me by a friend

 a leather bow with buckle from old sandals

scraps from my op-art stockings for collar, pocket flaps & center closure

It took a week to figure it out & put together.  Things you can't see very well in my blurry pix are the skirt pockets that came from the sleeves of another dress I made and the ruffled cuffs.  They were the border trim from an African print tablecloth-turned-dress.  You can see all the details clearly and up close on my Clothes for Fall page.

I'm wearing the Flannelstein top with an ombre gray to black dotted skirt (fabric given to me by a friend), gray & black houndstooth tights (given new in a swap), and my black leather/gray suede XOXO boot/shoes from e-bay.

Oh, here's some shoe shots...
looking down

looking askance

and sideways.

With that I'm ready to join the Visibles at Patti's Not Dead Yet Style and Shelia's Shoe Shine.  Then, tomorrow I'll be at Rhonda's Me Made Monday and Sacramento's Share-in-Style: Shoes.  Hope to see you all there!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I've Got a Beautiful Red Dress

And you'd look really good standing beside it.   Yeah, I love that song by Laurie Anderson.  Actually,  I love all her work and see her whenever she's in Chicago.  Speaking of being in Chicago, I saw the premiere of the Advanced Style movie on Friday with my girlfriends.  So fabulous.  But this isn't supposed to be about that, it's about the new red dress I made.

~ sewn from slinky, sheer, mesh knit ~

It was the devil incarnate, I tell ya.  The pattern I used was relatively simple, the fabric, however, was decidedly not.  Every inch was roundly cursed, repeatedly.  and then some.  Just sayin'.

more of my signature blurry pix

It was like sewing on semi-liquified jello.  Anyway, the back hem has elastic and the front has folds and tucks.  There are no shoulder seams, just 2 seams down the center front and back.  The fabric just pours down and over you like a liquid jello too.  2 holes are cut in the middle of the fabric for the sleeves to attach to.

nice drape job, huh?

I made a separate cowl because the one attached to the dress was just too skimpy and couldn't hold its own to all the hem action.  I think the beefier one works better...

here you can see how sheer it is

Which reminds me, I made a slip to wear with it  You can see it, and the pattern for the dress on my Clothes for Fall page.  I'm also going to slip on over to Rhonda's Me Made Monday while I'm at it.  Come on and check out what the sewistas have going on.  Oooo and Sheila's Shoe Shine, if I'm not to late...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Another Accidental Animal Encounter

Yes, I wasn't looking for any.  It just came my way as these things are apt to do.  And I made the best of it.  What was I going to do, refuse?  Nooooo.

So here I am, showing...
~ my multi-animal print, stretchy mesh, dress ~

I don't really seek out leopard print, but I can't resist sheer stretchy mesh, because it just might become stockings.  That is if it stretches both ways, turns out many don't, like this one. 

Now if only
I knew how
to do a gif

You'll never believe the pattern I derived this baby from.  See the Clothes from Fall page for close-ups of the clothes and pattern.  I'm also wearing one of my fabric stash necklaces and some Wolky sandals from you know wear where.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

David Bowie: Fashion Icon

~ You Know Who ~

~ Where? ~

~ Here!! ~

Yep, the only stop in the U.S. is in my backyard, Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art.  It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood too.

But the process was not unlike the airport.  Dated and timed tickets had to be purchased in advanced.  And must be picked up 1 hour prior to the time stamped.  You were not allowed to enter earlier, nor later, than your scheduled time.  When we arrived as instructed, there was no line anywhere and not too much of a crowd inside either.

I wore the accompanying headphones for the first time ever at a museum.  (I hate being told what to see).  But in this case I knew they'd just be piping in Bowie tunes, so yeah, let's do it. didn't take long for me to "whisper" over the headphones to my true love that I was just not interested.  It was obvious he wasn't either.  We wandered around the perimeter of each darkened room, hearing blurps of Bowie tunes abruptly start and then fade off.  Then there were the usual curatorial pronouncements summarizing arbitrary concepts/phases/milestones of the artist's career in mile high typeset on each wall of each room.  These I always ignore.  (I don't like being told what/ how to think either).  yuck.

Seeing his costumes was sorta cool.  But without Bowie's moves and voguing, they really lose their glamor and look rather sad or silly.   They had his house keys there, I think that's what they were.  woo-hoo.  4 paintings of his, that was cool, but ony 4.  And a little book under Plexiglas that was opened to a page with his measurements written down for tailoring.  26 1/2 inch waist, oh my!

Perhaps the best part of the exhibition was at the end when you were emptied out into a big room which held the majority of his outfits and was surrounded on 3 walls, floor to ceiling, with speakers behind screens playing segments of him on stage.  It was like big you tube videos all playing at once, fading in and out, in the dark.   And one, no two, benches to sit on.  We stayed there until it repeated and made our way out.  To the cafe, of course.

If you've made it this far, do go on to see my Bowie ensemble in which I garnered 3 distinct compliments from people at the MCA.

Monday, October 6, 2014

May I Present to you...

...another tablecloth dress!

Lest their be some confusion, two items are being shown here.  My reversible kimono vest and my tablecloth dress with drawstring hemline. 

Yes, now you get the picture.

and a side view close-up.

I think the striped socks with the shiny black clogs add a stabilizing factor to all that dizzying floral/ pattern jazz, don't you?

Friday, September 26, 2014

It Was Twenty Years Ago Today...

that I was here, wearing this, oh. my. 
You're looking through the gallery window at my opening reception.

Can you guess which one is me?  Hint: the hair is the same even after 20 years, but all else has drastically changed.

Shelley, of Forest City Fashionista fame, recently posted about a book she's in that sounds like a must read/ have:  Women In Clothes.   The question she threw out made me immediately think of this particular dress.  (sigh)

with lace armlets, no less

"Tell us about something in your closet that you keep but never wear.  
What is it, why don't you wear it, and why do you keep it?"
monkey in the middle

It has, unfortunately, grown much too small for me over the years.  Nevertheless, I still have it.  And the unitard I wore under it too.  woo-hoo.  Perhaps it's because of the exciting things that transpired  due to the event.  Maybe I'll do a follow-up post about that another time...we'll see.

All I gotta say is enjoy it while you can.  It's amazing what 20 years will do to you down the road.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Speaking of Big Clothes

~ Woman Reading by Malcolm T. Liepke ~

Here's a big tablecloth that I've already rehabbed before I even posted it the first time.  Originally made in the summer, I've since made it a little bit smaller at the shoulders, neckline, sleeves and raised the waistline.  Other than that, it's the same.  But since you never saw it, here it is now....................

So, do I look like the Woman Reading above?
Joni James of An Artful Closet told me about the artwork saying it looked like me and asked if I'd seen it.  Nope, but I looked it up and voila, there it is for your perusal.  Thanks Joni. 

This is a big dress...

Made from a big tablecloth as well as 2 other ones.  Can you guess which is where?

Well, that's a give away.
I wish I knew how to type upside down on here so I could give you the answers...hmmm.
ahh, answers after the break.