Wednesday, January 27, 2010

waste not, want not...or something like that

I find myself really torn between opposing ideologies lately. Part of me desperately wants to buy new clothes now now now! while the other part of me spends far too much time considering the impact new shoes have on the world, the misuse of resources (my personal resources and in the broader sense too) and the waste generated by a constant stream of new clothes, and my general contempt for disposable culture. These feelings are causing me to re-evaluate many decisions I used to take for granted. Namely, it has added a massive amount of guilt to any and every shopping trip.
I've been the same size (more or less) sense high school. With that in mind, I haven't physically outgrown anything for quite some time, but rather have changed my fashion and had to acquire new clothes to accommodate my new style. Fine and dandy, I don't really want to be trotting around in those overalls and flannels any more than you want to see me in them. But aside from that, I've given away more clothes and shoes to the Salvation Army that I HAD to own a year or two earlier and thrown away clothes and tennis shoes that were spent after less than a year of wear. Looking at that waste, I've concluded that I am a rather foolish and impulsive shopper.
If you think about it, how is it that so many clothes are produced each season, each DAY for people to consume? How can we possibly use that much? Stores can't sell all of those clothes generated in wasteful quantities, but that doesn't mean the clothes are going to areas or people of need. Instead, they just generate more and more waste.
With that in mind, I need to make some changes: I need to be smarter with the clothes I already have by taking better care of said clothes, make repairs when possible, make wiser new purchases, and remind myself that we didn't always need so much. Part of this is poverty-induced, I'll give you that--another part of it is wanting to wear things that I can't always find in stores (vintage patterns, eee!). But the other part of me thinks I could better direct that money spent on new (disposable) clothes; like towards travel, owning another dog, good times at the bar with friends, my retirement, bike repairs, transit passes, really awesome food, pictures from my wedding, thrift store clothes that I will magically transform into something awesome, and a general sense of well-being. Oh, and tea. mmm, tea.
Don't worry, I will still shop, just in a less frenzied and ill-advised fashion. I hope.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Reasons I Don't Like Pattern Sewing

After talking with Michelle last week, she convinced me that I should just make something for myself since I had not (successfully) done that for...oh, about a year or more. I took this mission to heart and bought a new pattern and some fabric to make myself something amazingly cute to wear to work--something that looked fabulous and I could say, "This? Oh, I just whipped it up this weekend."
As I indicated in the last post, I was putting on my best "Meticulous Sewer" face and trying to obey 2588's commands. I measured myself and used those numbers to determine what size to use (actually, two sizes--one for the bust and another for the waist and hips--I really wanted this dress to be perfect, which meant it had to fit over the Montana known as my hips), I transferred all of those annoying notches and markings, I read the instructions three+ times, and what do I end up with?
A dress that fits Michelle practically perfectly*. Timber is so upset, he can't even look at her.
Also, take note of the pewter United Nude shoes in front of Michelle. If she weren't wearing the brown belt, those shoes could be rocking with the dress.
*The dress still needs to be hemmed; I like this length a lot, so I'm going to keep it as long as possible. I refuse to put a lining in it. Because I'm lazy.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Precise Measurements

This is what precisely measured fabric pieces look like with all of the markings transferred. Some might argue that when it is one in the morning (as it was when this shot was taken), most people wouldn't care if the markings were transferred or not. But I did, and I wanted to share that I actually followed a pattern's directions for once. Unfathomable, you say!
Here I am, en route to creating something with those precisely cut, accurately transferred markings fabric pieces. We all hold our breath with anticipation! Only Timber and I are holding our breath, really; Olive and Chris don't seem to care.
Here's hoping this dress turns out well! I would hate to have spent so much time fussing with the pattern otherwise. Ideally, I'll have an update (and a finished dress) later today.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

CJ's shirt is done!

I actually got it done in time for his birthday last week, but it was seriously great to be done with a project I started at the end of November or so.
It felt so great that I didn't even take any really good pictures of it before I wrapped it up and gave it to him. Hrm.
Anyhow, the idea of the shirt was to make CJ a nice western style shirt, but cooler because...well, I made it. I used the Simplicity pattern #6693, c1974, size 38 (I have the 40, too, just in case he grows). After secretly buying some fabric for this project, Michelle presented the idea of embroidering it. Yes, this shirt was the beginning of the past season's embroidery flurry for us. That took way longer than I thought it would since I was mostly stitching on the bus each day.
All of the embroidered pieces hanging out together.

The inner band of the collar.
After those pieces were done, I was able to start really working on the shirt. Shirts are difficult and the only advice I can offer is that if the pattern has markings you're supposed to transfer, you should transfer them. Big dots, little dots, crocodile mouths, transfer them all. For some reason I never think I need to transfer them, then I have to re-sew the sleeves eight or nine times. But, it worked out well enough in the end.
CJ was nice enough to pose for me today.
The pictures don't really highlight the embroidery at all. That might be because I was kind of in a hurry when I took these and Chris was complaining about the situation being awkward. We'll both work on that.
I intend to make him another shirt, I just don't know when or following what scheme. I have to make myself something first, a task I haven't accomplished in months!