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Midland, Texas, United States
I write. I make stuff.


Friday, December 31, 2010

Stuff In Progress

So this morning I made a list of the various garment-altering projects I've got ready to go, along with the dresslets I've got lined up to finish. The list looks like this:

Now, before you get all discouraged and say you don't have time because you have to work and stuff, let me say that this is what I do in my spare time. I don't work on this all day every day--it's what I work on in the morning when I'm having coffee and making the daily to-do list, and I work on it in the evening after dinner. It's what I do instead of playing computer games or talking on the phone or going to movies or hanging out with friends--all those things I've talked about when I say "you can't do everything"? This is what I've chosen to do instead of those. It's what I pick up when I take a break or need to change my posture and do something else. Instead of going in and having a snack, I sew a seam or add some beads. Instead of hanging out on Facebook for half an hour, I cut out another dresslet. In those random pockets of time, this is what I do. You can, too.

And here are some quick shots of some of them: 
I have a whole nother post to write about The Cat's Meow, the local antique store with tons of vintage clothes. He has amazing prices on many things and has had a 50%-off sale all this week. I've been three times and scored some cool coats. This one was $24 and is a wool/cashmere blend from the 1950's. It has buttonholes but no buttons, and I'm not sure how I'm going to handle that. I don't know if I want to cover up the buttonholes, add buttons, add buttonholes on the other side, too, and then add four buttons. I'll have to think about it a while. I like the way it hangs and want to emphasize that. It's not heavy, so I don't know that I'd ever wear it buttoned up, anyway, except that it looks cool that way, too. It's just a cool, lightweight (albeit wool) coat.

This is the fake shearling, on sale for $7.50 a yard. I wanted a cape/shawl thing and cut it out, but then it looked like I was just wearing a blanket, which was very tacky. So I've got to figure out how to trim it and add some sort of closure. I have an idea but am not sure if I can make it work structurally. If I can, it will totally rock; but I'm not that good, I don't think.

To-Do-Immediately pile on one of the tables. 

Denim dresslet on the left (was a long dress I got for about $1--nice and heavy, with good pockets). I cut it off and added way-cool Blue Fish buttons someone sent me long ago, and now I'm stitching it randomly. I'll show more as I work on it.

I'd been wanting a leather vest and found this one in the storage building in our backyard. Yes, I realize that's pathetic.
 Apparently it came with some other stuff at a garage or estate sale
 and I got it to cut up and use as fabric. Maybe for binding books--I don't remember.
 But it fits, and all it needs: much cooler buttons.
 These are totally tacky plastic crap buttons but are sewed on well, with backing buttons on the inside.

This is the current project--meaning of all the ones I'm messing with, it's the one I reach for first thing in the morning. It began life as a cream shirt/jacket with some sort of stain on it, I think. It's a fabulous heavy silk--I'm guessing it's a heavy sand-washed charmeuse, but I'm not completely sure. Someone remind me, please, to talk about fabric identification and how to go about that. But that's a whole nother post.

Anyway, I bought this for a couple dollars, brought it home and dyed it in the next batch of chartreuse. I probably picked that color to hide the stain. It's been months, so I don't remember. The buttons were already perfect--domed, padded, self-covered--so I left them. The front edges rolled--the interfacing was just pressed back, not stitched, and it kept rolling and puckering. So I top-stitched that, and then it lay kind of oddly at the bottom, so I had to stitch it closed down there. It still hangs oddly, but it's OK. It's been hanging in the sewing studio for months, waiting until I was ready to bead. I started this week and will show more soon. What I love best about this is that it--miraculously--doesn't wrinkle. Not a bit. Ever. Even when I leave it in a pile overnight.

OK--back to work. If you're altering something, give us a link so we can see it, please!


Boot ~C said...

I love lists, thanks for sharing yours. I am really enjoying the sewing posts(btw did you ever finish/show the apron you were working on that was your dad's?)& works in progress. Happy New Year!

Ricë said...

thanks, Boot~C--i'm so glad you're enjoying them. nope--i haven't finished that apron. i got a good start and then started stitching through the pocket, and it was tough going through all those layers, and something else caught my interest--it's in a bag, with all the red and pink floss, waiting for me. sigh. i have so many, many projects. i need clones! thanks for asking--it reminds me of something fun awaiting me in the future~~

Zom said...

Exciting to see the list. I have been putting stuff and ideas in my art journal, you know shapes I like, styles I like. I have written down possible ideas for clothes I want to redo.

I have also downloaded Evernote. Do you use that? A notebook on my desktop where I can download images and ideas that I like. It is great. You can tag stuff and look it up later. It is like you have some online fileclerk, teehee.

It is so great to read how you think! That is what is so great about process stuff. I get to share how another artist thinks and I learn a LOT from that. How you look at the thrift store piece, think about what you like and want to emphasize.

When you start to bead something, do you ever have a plan beforehand? Can you post more of your clothing that is beaded or embroidered? (Feel free to post finished altered clothing too!) I used to be a big beader, but never as embellishment. I did beadweaving. So much fun, but I didn't like wearing the stuff that much. Don't you ever find that, certain stuff is really fun to make but not necessarily your style. I like wearing clothes that are simple.

Oops, talk about too long of comments...

Zom said...

If your cape out of the shearling doesn't pan out, you could always cut it off and make it into one of those cool capelets (to wear over your dresslets, haha!)

sorry about all the exclamation marks, I am just excited.

My link for stuff I am in process with
I know you already commented, but in case anyone else is sharing.

Monica said...

When you buy these garments are they in your size and how much altering do you have to do?

Ricë said...

yes, they have to fit. i don't enjoy altering things--i don't know how to Do Real Sewing, so that's no fun for me. i will shorten things or remove sleeves, but i won't alter something that doesn't fit.

Lainey Parker said...

Love this post! For a while now I have been working in those random pockets of time. Was a bit hard to get used to but now I get so much more done and never wonder what happened to my week. Great post and you are making me want to break out my sweing machine. I really enjoy your blog and videos!

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

Karen Wallace said...

Hello. I wanted to thank you for connecting with me over the past year. You are a generous, creative and kind soul and I am very grateful to know you. Hugs Karen

Sherman Unkefer said...

Love this post! Happy New Year!