Saturday, June 5, 2010

Guidelines for the Sartorial Adventures of Ms. May

I will be making a functional wardrobe, which will consist of a collection of "basics" (even though I hate that term in ways that will reveal themselves as I proceed, I'm sure). Ideally, these pieces will coordinate with one another a-la Oprah fashion special (only less hokey... Oprah, you know I love you). The main attempt here will be to execute the concept of "basics" without things being lame. We'll see how well that goes.

This project is meant to be a challenge. This means that once I announce the item to be made, I will try in all good faith to stay true to any photo examples, renderings, patterns, etc., provided as inspiration for the article. This may result in absolutely horrible clothes being created and blogged about. This should not be a shocking development to anyone familiar with the internet.

As this is a challenge, I will push myself to attempt things that will be a pain in the ass. Things like formally tailored jackets, hand-knit items, and things made out of velvet/chiffon/directional patterns/anything-that-isn't-a-medium-weight-quilting-fabric all fall into this category. When I attempt such things, I might put the item aside for a while (read: douse in lighter fluid and store next to a box of matches until I've had some cool-down time). This may result in my taking on more than one project at a time so that I don't just chalk this whole thing up to an epic failure and delete the whole blog.

I will be using a combination of purchased patterns, draping, drafting, copying, and nonsense to create this collection. I will assign a time limit to all projects and try to stick to it in an attempt to avoid this project taking me years. I have a problem with commitment and motivation, and hope that this will light a fire under my butt.

The following articles of clothing will be a part of my collection:

Pair of dress trousers (because I like that word)
Pair of casual trousers
Pencil skirt
Casual skirt
A "crisp white shirt" (because all the lists I Googled say so, and I have a feeling they're right)
Long-sleeved casual top
Short-sleeved casual top
Dressy top
Dress jacket
A "little black dress" (I know)

And that looks like a really long list. So, away we go... I will start the process in no particular order. Step one: research.

Ms. May

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Friggin' do something already...

What have we got here...? What we have here is: one 31-year-old with an itch in her pants to friggin' do something already, one freshly organized work studio that is the pinnacle of said 31-year-old's dreams, one janky old sewing machine, and an idea. Okay, there are actually three janky old sewing machines and half an idea... But anyway, through the over-use of ellipses (that's the "..." thing, it has a name - who knew?), parentheses, and dashes, I'm going to put this half-idea out there and hope that exposing it to the light will make me eff-ing do something about it. Because, kids, I'm done talkin'. I'mmunna start walkin', too, dammit.

This half-idea? To create an entire wardrobe for myself and document the process as I fumble through what I think is an okay understanding of sewing and related techniques.

The hitch? I've mostly only ever sewn really ridiculously massive projects. I cut my sartorial teeth on 1920's period reproduction evening gowns (really, really bad reproductions, but still), learned how to set zippers by making prom dresses (really, um, interpretive prom dresses), and developed my draping and drafting skills through a trio of (not at all simple, and actually pretty decent) wedding dresses for three of my nearest and dearest (yes, that includes me - what?). I am drawn to the epic, the challenging, the nearly impossibly complicated. A glance at something sideways from me turns even really simple things into the epic, the challenging, the impossibly complicated. I repel simple. The thought of, say, hemming pants makes me break out in a sweat. I've never made the ubiquitous wrap skirt. I don't think I've ever used elastic... And, I get bored really, really easily.

So, there you have it. The details of the idea are still a bit vague - hence the halfness of it. The details will most likely be my next post. We need details, yes? Yes.

Peace out,
Ms. May.