A week of handmade clothing…

On Tuesday of this past week, I realized I had worn my own (made by me) clothes to work two days in a row.  I decided to keep up the trend and wear something I had made every day for the rest of the week:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

Made by me!  (With the exception of the black tee and three pairs of pants.  Why don’t I ever make pants??)

I’m still working towards my all handmade wardrobe, but I’ve been a little pressed for time lately since I started working full time.  Being able to come up with a week of outfits makes me feel like I’m a little closer to that goal than I thought.  Yay!

 

 

 

 

Handmade Wordrobe progress report

Wow!  I feel like I’ve been gone for a long time!  I have made some progress in the “making my own clothes” department and I wanted to share some pictures.  I thought at first that I should start with cold weather clothes because it was winter, but I decided it made more sense to work a season ahead so that I would have a collection of garments ready to go when the weather gets warm.  One possible down side to this is that it might be difficult to motivate myself to work on a wool coat when August rolls around…

I’ve been on a real shibori dress kick:

baby doll dress

Bell Sleeve dress

dolman sleeve tunic with pockets

v neck dress

Patchwork dress

I put my scraps to good use:)

 

Well, that’s it for now.  If anyone else is working towards a handmade wardrobe I would love to hear about it!  The challenge continues…

 

P.S.  I just wanted to add–I put my own tags into everything I make, even if it’s just for me.  I have a stamp with my name and logo on it and I use fabric paint to stamp it on a piece of fabric, then sew it into the neckline.  It makes my garments feel more professional and complete and let’s the world know who made them:)

 

 

Before and After

I’m working on my handmade wardrobe and getting new garments together to photograph.  In the mean time I thought I would post some “before & after” pics of past pieces.  I’ve been taking pictures of my shibori fabric as I finish dyeing it, and then taking pictures of the finished garments and putting them side by side.

khaki shibori bubble dress

shibori tank top

I started doing these to keep track of my progress and stay motivated.  Sometimes I feel like I’m not getting enough accomplished, but when I look back at these I feel better:)

Handmade Wardrobe Challenge

One of my goals for this year was to make more garments for myself, but I’ve decided to take that a step further.  What I really want to do is make most, if not all, of the things that I wear.  I know it will take time to transition to an all made-by-me wardrobe, but I think it will be really fun and exciting to try.  I love to make clothes and I always feel happiest when I’m wearing my own designs.

I put together a collage of the things I’ve made that I wear most often:

handmade garment collage

So far most of the clothes I’ve made are lighter warm weather clothing, so I’ve definitely got to get to work on some pants and long sleeve tops.  I would also love to make myself a new winter coat, but I’ve been saying that for three years now so we’ll see…  OK, wish me luck!

 

 

 

Belated 2013 Reflections, Inspirations & Goals

A few weeks ago I joined in the Top 5 of 2013 blog series started by Gillian at Crafting a Rainbow.  I posted my top 5 hits and top 5 misses of 2013, but I’ve been procrastinating on doing the rest of the lists because I couldn’t think of five things for all of them.  I’ve decided to stop being a perfectionist and just post what I have.

Reflections:

1.  I work slowly.  I know this about myself, and most people who know me know this too:)  I want to someday support myself by making and selling clothes, but I need to think about how long I spend working on a garment when it comes to pricing it.  Because of this I’ve been trying to simplify and streamline my patterns and my work process on things I intend to sell.

I’m also focusing on developing a collection of go-to patterns.  Pieces that are simple but flattering and can be remade in a variety of fabrics.

Inspirations:

1.  Alabama Chanin

Alabama Chanin black embroidered coat

I love Alabama Chanin.  If I’m in a slump, I’ll take a look at their website and I’m always inspired to get my hands on some fabric and get back to work.

2.  Isobel Toledo

Isabel Toledo dresses

The best.  I interned for her when I was in college.  She runs a tight ship.

3.  Grainline Studio

The Grainline Studio blog is a constant source of information and inspiration for me.  I have been sewing for over 15 years, but there are still things that I shy away from when sewing (set-in sleeves and zippers to name two).  Jen’s tutorials are so helpful and easy to follow, they really make me feel like I could tackle any sewing issue I have not mastered yet.

Goals:

Ok, I feel like I’m rambling on, so I’ll keep this short.

1.  Make my Etsy shop more cohesive.  So far a lot of what I’ve made has been the result of me experimenting with new dyes, patterns or fabrics, so the pieces are a little all over the place.

2.  Try selling at a handmade market.  I’m a little scared of doing this, but I think that is why I need to do it.  I refuse to be intimidated!

3.  Sew more clothes for myself.  My wardrobe is kind of pitiful at this point.  I feel silly buying clothes when I could make them, but I also put a lot of pressure on myself to make things to sell, not for me.  So I end up wearing the same three shirts and two pairs of jeans all the time.  My goal is to make more clothes for myself because I need them and because it’s fun!

Ok, that’s it.  Done and done!

Dharma Trading Featured Artist

I just wanted to pop in quick to say that Dharma Trading put up my Featured Artist profile on their website today.  I get all of my fabric dyeing supplies from them–they have everything.  I submitted my work a few months ago, but I wasn’t sure if/when my profile would show up on their website and then I saw it there this morning!  Thanks Dharma Trading!  Happy New Year!!

Featured Artist Dharma Trading 1-1-14 resize

My Top 5 (3) Misses 2013

Yesterday I posted my top 5 hits of 2013, and in keeping with the rules of the challenge, today I’m doing my top 3 misses (I could only find three to photograph).  I am actually rather happy with all of the garments I’ve sewn this year, but a few of my shibori pieces came out pretty awful.  Most of the time when a piece comes out badly I’ll try over-dyeing it until it looks better, but these three just annoyed me.  I’m putting them aside until they stop being difficult.

Miss #1

Blah.

Blah.

Miss #2

Mneh.

Mneh.

Miss #3

Blarg.

Blarg.

My Top 5 Hits 2013

I’ve been wanting to restart my blog lately, but I was having a little trouble getting going.  I found the Top 5 of 2013 post on Crafting a Rainbow (via Grainline Studio) and thought it would be a great way to get started.  Sometimes it really helps me to focus by organizing things into lists–it’s fun in a very nerdy way!  In no particular order…

Blue striped drop waist dress:

It's versatile!

It’s versatile!

Charcoal and purple layer top:

Perfect for spinning around in.

Perfect for spinning around in.

Mint and maroon kimono:

I shibori dyed the silk for this, the pattern came out totally psychedelic!

mint kimono

Black and red silk shibori scarf:

black and gray scarf

Blue circle tote bag:

This bag sold through my Etsy shop, I keep meaning to make another one for myself.  The buyer was in Paris–I take that as a huge compliment:)

Tres chic.

Tres chic.

That’s it!  I’ll do my Top 5 Misses next, thanks for reading:)