Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Project Free Wardrobe

I must give most of the credit to my new project to Pinterest, and a whole slew of mommy-blogging/tutorial-writing/bargain fashionista types. These Pinterest-worthy bloggers make adorably cute, trendy clothes to fit their adorably cute, trendy, teensy weensy bodies. For those of us who actually LOOK like we were ever pregnant and gave birth to our brood (I have 5), this can be a little intimidating...so I decided that SOMEONE needed to pull some of these ideas together for the rest of us.Well, that and the fact that I have lost enough weight this year to need new clothes - but not enough to want to invest any money into it yet & needed a solution.

Solution: Project Free Wardrobe

This is my effort to make myself a new temporary wardrobe - for free - with as little effort as possible (because, come on - that's the way I roll!). I am also not naturally a trendy dresser - I am perfectly comfortable in a pair of jeans and a T-shirt, generally barefoot. "Clean" and "not falling off" are wardrobe wins in my book. However, I am realizing that I will get a lot more mileage out of my wardrobe - and not look as tired as I feel - if I put a little more effort into things. Therefore, I am going to try to learn a little more about how to not always LOOK like I gave birth to 5 kids and don't have any clothes that fit. I will share with you my finds and efforts!

So....here we go!

Part 1 - pants. I dug out a pair of two-sizes too big cords that I LOVED back in the post-partum period, but had marked for the reject pile. BEFORE:
(do you like the lotion fingerprints on the mirrror? thanks kids...)

 I'm sure there are more professional ways to alter pants - but this is my TEMPORARY wardrobe, and I hope to alter these again in a few weeks as I lose more weight, so this works for now! SO...all I did was turn them inside out, put them back on and mark with pins where I wanted to shrink them up (along the outside seam). I just sewed up my lines (being careful to not catch pockets, belt loops and snaps in my seam), all the way to the waistband (I'm sure if you were using heavier fabric, you'd want to remove the waistband first - I didn't really care with these...), tried them back on for fit and then serged the seam to finish it and reinforce it a little once I was happy with it. I'd forgotten how much these stretch out during the day (thanks, Old Navy), so I should have made them a titch tighter than I'd want them to end up...I will definitely be taking these in further later.

Part 2: I had some knit striped fabric I'd gotten from a "free to good home" pile at church. I started using this tutorial at Merrick's Art. See how cute she is? Let's just say my first attempt showed me that teensy, weensy mommies and tall, notsoteensy mommies probably shouldn't be wearing the same shirt. SO - I Sandyized it.

First, I added a wide band to the bottom (two layers of fabric, fits tight across hips). Then I opened up the neckline a little and added a very easy cowl neck (I will do a tutorial on this eventually - first I have to figure out how to do it without HAVING to wear a cardigan over it to hide the sticking out seam...).

Adding a cardigan from my stash (because my kids call this "the jail shirt" and because I wasn't super happy with the way the sleeves turned out...) and pinning down part of the cowl with a pin that my Mom and daughters made for me out of felt and hot glue, and whala! I may have actually created my first possibly on-trend outfit ever. If its not actually on-trend, just don't tell me...I promise its better than what I have on right now :)
 And here we go - shirt (oh yeah, I also tied a piece of leftover fabric around my hips - I'm not sure if that's a helpful addition or not, but I liked it), cardigan and newly smaller cords:
Now I just need a haircut, a camera (I am ashamed to say that I had to borrow my daughter's...) and some new shoes and I'm in business! Note: shoes don't count towards Project Free Wardrobe, since I am not going to be making my own shoes...something about size 12 shoes made out of T-shirt fabric - in the snow - just doesn't do it for me...).

So, what do you think? So far so good? Next step - cutting apart some old maternity shirts to make some non-maternity clothes. This could be awesome - or totally a disaster. I will show you either way.  :)

Anyone else want to join my project? You don't have to be much of a seamstress - if you're using clothes you were going to get rid of anyway, you have NOTHING to lose! Grab some scissors and a sewing machine (or hem tape) and get going!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The post where I hang my head in shame and promise to do better...

Oh, my poor blog. So sad, so lonely, so neglected! I am bound and determined to get back on the blog-wagon and grow this thing this year! I have been making all kinds of things - some successful, some not - and can't wait to show you what I've been up to!

Our house is neck-deep in projects - a little hallway revamp that features some chalkboard paint, new faux-roman blinds going up in the dining room, some cool old-picture-frame stuff...there is lots going on!

Lately, I have totally fallen in love with Pinterest!! I struggle keeping track of regular bookmarks on my computer - I never remember what's what, and as a super visual person, its hard to sort through a bunch of links to find what I need. Pinterest has been a GENIUS solution for me! I can save PICTURES of what I want to look at later, and then find things easily. SIMPLIFYING MY LIFE! Yes!

Along with all the cool Pinterest-ed ideas, however, can easily come that overwhelming, "OhmygoshIcouldnevermakethat" feeling, followed by the "thathugeto-dolistmakesmefeelguilty" feeling. That's where I will come in - specializing in making things look harder than they really are is my SPECIALTY!

Watch for my upcoming "Pinteresting Knock-offs" posts to check out my take on all the cool things I find on Pinterest...and suggestions for simplifying and easily creating these ideas on your own...

Talk to you soon!!