Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Whittling down my wardrobe

Now that I've made a few things, my wardrobe is getting bigger instead of smaller! So I need to cut it down. I've resolved to cut as follows:

20 salwar and lehenga sets (60 pieces including matching scarves) - from 25
30 tops (long and short included) - from 37
10 pairs of pants - from 15
10 skirts - from 17
5 dresses - from 8

in addition to underwear and pjs. I already only have 9 pairs of footwear and 10 pieces of outerwear (sweaters and jackets), so I'm okay with that. I may get rid of one pair of shoes, too.

Although it's not that many items, whittling these numbers down is going to be difficult, so I'm resolved to cutting out two things a week. That gives me plenty of time to whine or try to trade. It also means that if I make something new, I give it away or replace something in my closet for it.

To sum up:
Toss 5 salwar/lehenga sets, 7 tops, 5 pants, 7 skirts, 3 dresses. Anyone interested in taking them?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Well, I cheated on the no-tv thing: I watched an episode of "Project Runway." It was the show on making stuff out of trash, so I couldn't resist (I'm a sucker for recycled stuff!). My penance is to get rid of two more pieces of clothing.

I also received some hand-me-downs from my mom - old vintagey clothes she is no longer going to wear and which she is passing down like heirlooms. I'm happy to have these clothes that I've grown up with. It's more gratifying to have interesting things in your closet than basic staples.

My project today was to make a coverup from a orange scarf. I topped my one-shoulder tee with it, as seen below. It's see-through, and made from two identical pieces of cloth sewn together. Not flawless, but it works:

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Tshirt to top (part II)

Here is a photo of the one-shoulder top:

I'm also converting that scarf from the curtain again. I had originally intended to make a dress, but now I am contemplating something more like the top here

The difficult part will be cutting the scarf/scarves to make the pieces right. Hmm...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Tshirt to top

I have a gorgeous skirt I have been searching for the perfect top for, to no avail. It's silver with a raised velour black floral pattern and a black ribbon belt. It needs something that is black, goes just to the waist and has an interesting neckline.

Voila - I created a one-shoulder top from a tshirt. It was pretty easy - cut, take in the sides, stitch the edges.

I've also been trying really hard since yesterday not to judge clothes, whether on real people or tv. It's much harder than it seems, as I thought. I do find myself trying to notice other things about people though, like what they're saying, how they express themselves, and what they might be, despite how they look. I think this is one of the best steps for me to take.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Delayed gratification

Well, it's been a week of under-two-minute clothing selection, and I can honestly and happily say that I've done it! There were a few close calls: Saturday, choosing something to wear to my first trip to a club in four years, I was just over 1.5 minutes. And yesterday, after a half-day of movie shooting with something I'd picked out to wear in June, I had to change, and frantically grabbed several things to wear under a surprisingly transparent outfit.

I've also crafted rule #10: Stop analyzing and looking at what people are wearing. Try not to judge others by their clothes.

This seemingly simple rule, which most of us think we already do, is a lot harder than it seems. I am so used to going around telling people how nice what they are wearing is, and how great that new top is, and how I could try to make that same dress. Instead, I will try to focus on how people ARE, not how they LOOK.

It is another part of weaning myself off of continually thinking about clothing, which despite the rules, alas, I still do!

Friday, August 11, 2006


In the interest of making as few new items of clothing as possible, I'm halting at the dress for now.

Instead, I've done two mini-projects (after getting dressed in record time - woohoo!)

1) I rescued a failed patchwork skirt made from all the fabric scraps I owned. It just wasn't falling right and was a little too short for my tastes. So I just sewed the bottom, added a drawstring, and sewed across the corners inside to make it a bit sturdier. Ta da - a nice-sized bag that hangs across my shoulders. Good for groceries or - well, not clothes shopping. You can see that the two sides are kind of different, based on what scraps I had handy. Please ignore the loose threads.

2) This is just a resize of a skirt that was TOO big around the waist and all around. I streamlined it so that it falls in a nice A-line. I just followed the line of a skirt I already had and cut off the excess.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Two minutes flat

Last night I chose something to wear in 30 seconds. That gave me a minute and a half in the morning to realize my top had a stain on it and pick something else!

I also finished up a project I was dawdling on. (No before pictures, sorry). I had a tube top I'd made from a dress, but knowing how tube tops are on me, had set it aside. I also had a long and weird-shaped mid-calf drawstring skirt. Well, I put the two together with seams showing, shortened the skirt and added gathers, and added poofy straps I can also wear off-shoulder. I think it's quite flattering, but I don't know when I'll wear it. Like?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Finished shirt, progress on the steps

Window shopping was fine until last weekend, when I had to return something and exchange another. My excuse is that I was helping a friend of a friend find something for graduation. After all that, I got my exchanging done (see three posts back) and my returning done, but she bought nothing! So much for my help.

That's the progress on step 8, and other than the above "work," I wasn't tempted at all! I actually seem to have willpower.

On to Step #9: Choose something to wear in under two minutes.

This is REALLY hard. I used to spend a LONG time trying on things, rejecting them one by one, before deciding on what to wear. Now it usually takes me about 5-10 minutes. That is still quite a waste of time. For the Defashionista, practical considerations should supercede fashion, and a time limit helps you not obsess. Still, two minutes is plenty of time for me to try on one thing, reject it, and choose another. Just in case.


I also finished the shirt, seen here on the left. As you can see, the stripes are in maroon, though a different (and softer) material. It definitely makes this almost-girly shirt look more masculine, though I need to press out the seams to make it hang better. All in all, a success, I think. Amazingly, husband loved it too!

Updated curtain and next project

The curtain did not sit well with certain others in my household, so it has been replaced with another one, as shown. I have to admit, I actually like this one better (don't tell anyone!) It matches the wall better, didn't need hemming and has pretty tassels on the bottom.

My next project is to salvage a shirt my husband received from my parents. It's TOO small for him, so I'm going to try to add fabric to the sides and sleeve bottoms in a contrasting color to make it big enough. Let's see how that goes. Here is a before picture.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Gifts and exchanges

I am not sure if gifts or exchanges count as buying something new. I received another top as a gift as a belated birthday present. I also exchanged a top I bought in July for tshirts at the store because it fell very badly and I didn't like the print after all.

That leaves me with little need for recreating, although I have a few ideas. I passed on several salwar sets to my mom, and got rid of one. But it DOES have a GORGEOUS scarf, as seen here.

Now the question was, what should I do with this scarf? I have considered: handkerchief hem skirt, long flowy skirt, caftan-like top, cut it into strips to make more scarves, but they all seem a waste. IIt would have also made a beautiful dress.

Finally, I decided, enough clothing. I made something more practical. My bathroom connects directly to the bedroom and needed a door (I'm a little squeamish that way), and so I made a sheer curtain. One seam, and voila.



Thursday, August 03, 2006

Rejecting Gifts

Technically, gifts don't count, but it is in my best interests as a defashionista to accept as few gifts as possible.

Rejecting gifts is a really delicate balance, though. It's hard to say no to someone who wants to give you something out of the goodness of their heart. I usually accept and either secretly give it away (if I can't wear it) or get rid of another similar piece of clothing. This is how I got rid of a red top when my friend who was going away got me another red one (prettier in this case).

My mom just bought me a piece of clothing REALLY similar to one I have already. In this case I liked the original better so I told her to keep it and use it while I keep the old version. Thank goodness it's my mom - I couldn't do that with anyone else.

I also tossed a couple of other things - tube tops, mainly. I was very uncomfortable in them, so good riddance.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


I posted something on Wardrobe Refashion today - my first!

Finished making the tshirt into capri pants. I had a couple of mishaps with it (put the waistband on backwards) but then managed to fix the error. The overall waist is a little lower than I would like, but it works. I put a drawstring in the waist that ties on the side - much better to hold it up!

Here is a picture.

Right now I don't NEED any other clothing. I found a pair of my grandmother's shoes which fit me just right. They are black loafers and don't look too bad, so I'm okay for shoes. I may need to buy/make some gifts, however. Let's see.