So, I may have put a little too much on my plate since the start of the year.
The RTW fast and the Stash diet have been both exciting and manageable. My plans to create new pieces to add to my Winter wardrobe – totally do-able! Then, I added on two night school courses – Draping and Corset making (the embellishments class was cancelled due to low registration – so sad!). On alternate nights, I teach spin. I’ve also started a diet and exercise regime with my spin friend where I wake up at 5 am on school days to weight train a little bit and I have to prepare most of my meals for the week in advance (we’re trying to get to our goal weights by June-ish). And then, I got great news about a promotion at work (which is totally the most wonderful thing ever!) but the reporting structure of my group got changed – so it feels as if I’ve just started a completely new job. All these things in isolation are all amazing and wonderful things that add happiness and value to my life! But to put it simply, I’m just plain ol’ burnt out!
I’ve not been able to sew as much (from my Winter wardrobe list) lately and I’ve not been able to make time to blog (or even read blogs!). I’m sorry! I had made a whole schedule for myself for sewing and blogging, but I just can’t keep up with it right now.
But! I did want to show you a few photos of what I’ve been working on at school which is where most of my sewing time and energy has been devoted to lately.
In our draping class, our instructors wanted us to open ourselves up more creatively. I guess they know that working with patterns all the time can make us fashion students think too rigidly. So, our first project was called a “fantasy project”. If you watch Project Runway, it’s very similar to the unconventional challenges. Basically, we were to make “anything” we wanted out of “any” material we wanted – everything except fabric was the rule (even for a base). I resisted this project very much at first. “I don’t have time to make a garment I won’t end up wearing that has nothing to do with draping!!!”, I wailed. I must have said this at least one time during every single class to my classmates. So, stubbornly, I also refused to buy the materials for my unconventional, unwearable garment. Luckily I work in a lab, and we have a lot of materials that we have in bulk or things that are left over from projects that would just go to waste.
I decided to use spill pads (used to absorb solvents to either clean up or prevent spills)
and left over packaging labels. Don’t worry, I asked permission to use both.
The absorbant pads naturally have perforations and holes in them which I thought lended to a very sportswear vibe. Another cool aspect about it was that the pads were made up of 4-5 layers, so I was able to separate the layers for the option to have a thicker or more sheer textile. I decided to drape a fitted bodice and a very flirty/girly circle skirt in the original thickness of the pads.
I made a petticoat out of thinner layers of the pads.
I found these two pieces alone to be a little bit too boring for an unconventional challenge, so I decided to make a hooded cape (the hood was drafted from the Minoru pattern). My sister and I had some fake flowers we had received over the holidays to decorate our apartment with that I used to add some texture and color to the garment. I decided to braid the flowers along the edge of the hood to create a “furry-hood” look. This made the garment pop a lot more.
I’m feeling luke warm about how it turned out. It is definitely very girly and pink. This kind of challenge is not really my thing as I don’t really enjoy making things that aren’t wearable or useful. But I must admit that because we were allowed to do “whatever we wanted”, I felt less pressure to create something perfect. In turn, I ended up learning how easy it is to draft a bodice and circle skirt onto a dressform without the need for patterns. Even the cape didn’t require too much thinking and I was able to attach the hood to it with ease.
The back closure is a neon yellow zipper I bought many years ago that I never used but it matched the yellow labels really well. I braided the flowers into a lei with neon pink parachute rope that I got at Jo-Ann’s for 2 bucks. That was probably the only thing I purchased for this whole project.
Most people are most impressed with the flowers on the hood but because I’ve made so many Hula and Polynesian head pieces, leis and hip belts over my lifetime using this braiding technique, it was actually the easiest part of the garment to construct! I get comments that it looks very “Japanese street style” and that “it’s just so pink”. I’ll be putting it into our school’s fashion show in May, so it will be fun to see something I made walk down a runway on a model. But, I’m just so happy this project is over! Our next draping project is to choose an inspiration photo of any draped knit garment and basically try to reproduce it. I’m super excited because that is definitely more in my alley!
I hope you enjoyed some of my school project photos. I promise I’ll get back to my Winter sewing before Spring arrives (next week!) and show you more wearable garments I’ve been working on. Hope you’re all well and enjoying the last week of Winter!