Saturday, November 27, 2010

BLACK FRIDAY.................268 days to go!

Well, faithful readers and friends, I have been very remiss in my posting.  Around this time of year, I always become lost in the holidays and in school (the pre-finals rush! Yay....?).  However, now that there is a calm before the storm of Christmas and Finals, AND it is Black Friday, I figured I should write SOMETHING!

So, Black Friday. I did not shop for ANYTHING today. I didn't buy a single Christmas gift, I definitely didn't buy anything for myself, and I actually didn't buy anything as small as a cup of coffee.  I guess I remember Black Friday's rise to fame. It used to be an occasion only the bravest of the brave traveled out to enjoy. But now it is a retailer's heyday, and everyone participates. I guess I have trouble getting behind that, unless there is a truly phenomenal deal to be had (and let's be honest, no one wants to get up at 5 a.m. after a giant Thanksgiving feast to acquire any deals).

I suspect it is time for a real CHALLENGE UPDATE since I'm almost 100 days down (I think? Bad at math...why I'm in law school....HA!). Aside from the fact that I have most of the Christmas gifts for people that I need, I've felt lately like it all just doesn't matter that much.  Somehow, this no-new-clothes challenge has really made me realize how little I need all that. I already have good clothes, I don't need new ones. It's turned off the consumerist switch that corporate America installed inside of my brain (Yes, I'm gonna blame corporate America here:)).  Today, I was brainstorming a few final gifts to get....and I realized that I hadn't thought about buying clothes for a long, long time. I didn't even miss it. And that, my friends, felt FABULOUS :). 

In the meantime, I found much joy in hosting Thanksgiving dinner for the first time.  Also, for the first time, most of my husband and my families gathered together on a holiday.  It was very special, and I had a wonderful time preparing a good dinner, and setting a pretty table.  I enjoy few things more than having time with my loved ones, and serving up some good eats! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, with another wonderful holiday to come in a month:)

My First Thanksgiving Table (Before dinner was served!):

(I got a great deal on some napkin rings that you can draw on with markers....they double as place cards because you can write everyone's name on them! It was a fun little table addition).

Thursday, November 11, 2010

T-Shirt Makeover!!!........................284 Days To GO!!!!

Well, true to Law School fashion...just as things slowed down and I thought I'd have more posting time, things sped right back up.  However, with the day off of school today in honor of Veteran's Day (thank you to all who have served or are serving!!), I figured it was a good chance to do some sewing.

This sewing project shouldn't take a long time, but it will be a fun one.  In a garage cleaning effort, my husband found a box of old clothes.  He didn't want this shirt for my FAVORITE sports team in the world: The University of Montana GRIZZLIES!!! So, I claimed it. It is football season, and I could use a long sleeve tee to wear to the games! And, I can't buy a NEW one, so, I am gonna do a makeover on this Griz shirt!!

This project will be a good example of how to make over any t-shirt that is too big. I've always done this with all of my t-shirts, especially the unisex, shapeless t-shirts you get for free at various events/jobs. 
(p.s. For some of these shots, I had to put the shirt on our pool table...and our pool table is old and not in perfect shape. That's why it looks dirty..the felt is just really uneven. Ha ha:))

Also, in this project I use a washable felt-tip pen liberally. I use this pen because I know that it will come out of the fabric I am using it on.  ALWAYS make sure to use a pen that will wash out, or use pencil, or a sewing pen or pencil.  TEST IT FIRST!!

Here's the shirt, the "before" shot.  It is a men's large:

You will notice that, as with most unisex t-shirts, there are NO side seams.

This is kind of a messy way of doing it, but it works for shirts like this that I really don't mind having a less precise look. 

1)  Turn the shirt inside out, and try to find where the side seam WOULD be. I usually hold up the arm and rotate the torso until it creases in line with the underarm seam. As shown here:

2)   Pin both side where the side seam WOULD be, based upon where you found it in step 1. (shown in next step)

3)  After the faux side seams are pinned, I carefully free-hand a line where I want to sew to take the sides in.  I just kind of know how big I am and how things will fit, so I don't measure anymore.

But, to measure for your own alteration, just try the garment on and pull the garment as tight as you want it in the front.  Measure the amount you pulled in, and divide it by 2.  After dividing, take that measurement out of each side seam. 

The free-handing is why I consider this project more "messy" than my usual work.  However, I have a lot of experience free-handing these alterations, so, if you prefer to measure these things out more precisely, please do!!

When you draw the line where you will sew, draw it on the side you will be sewing on. So, on the right side, I drew the line on top, then I flipped it over to draw it on the left side.  You'll see what I mean when you start doing it.

4)  Next, pin the fabric where the line you will be sewing on is. That ensures that it will not shift around while you follow that line. (shown in next step)

5)  Sew along the line, as pictured...

 Here's what it will look like when done (at the last minute, I decided to take a little less out towards the bottom of the shirt, as shown.  You can do it any way you like though)

6)  Trim the excess fabric off of the seams (after trying it on inside out to make sure that it fits you well)

***If you are happy with just taking it in on the sides, stop here. I decided to spice up the neckline by doing an open neck that will lead to kind of a flash-dance look.  Here's how that went.

7)  Measure how far you want the neckline from the shoulder seam, on both sides. 

8)  Draw a new neckline with your pen.  I freehanded it, but you could measure it all the way around from the original neckline. (shown in next step)

9)  Cut along the line

10) Sew close to where you trimmed the fabric, so that the neckline does not totally fray out. Plus I like the look of the stitching (you don't have to pin or anything, just make sure it is an even stitch line)

11) Wash the garment to get rid of the pen marks, and to give the garment its finished shape. Here's the "after"

I am utterly in LOVE with my "new" shirt, even more so than I thought I would be. I'm gonna wear a maroon tank top underneath, to accent the flash-dance look with school spirit (our colors are Maroon and Silver).  Here's wishing you many happy t-shirt makeovers:)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Having Fun With What You Have....291 Days To Go!!

It is important to make the most of what you have. This week my husband asked me to "model" for him in a photoshoot he has to do for a photo course he is taking. Of course, I agreed...I mean, ya gotta help your hubby out, right? I decided that we should have some fun with it....

Even though I don't have any new clothes, I decided to make a fabulous outfit out of what I have. I wanted something kinda retro, and something that is very chic. So, I went with a Tulle's ( pairing...I got the dress for $2 from a Tulle's sale, and I got the coat for $5 from a Tulle's sale.  I stalked the shoes for months, they are from Nine West. They are $90 shoes, and I found them for a very nice price of $26. I thought that the pairing of a dressy outfit with some fall colors would be really fun.

So, here are some of the I said when I posted these on Facebook...I know it is kind of vain to post so many pictures of one's self. But, I loved the photos my hubby took SO much, I just have to share them. And this is a clothing related blog, so I thought ya'll would appreciate that part of it! So anyway, here's a couple of the photos....

And of course, one of the requisite silly photos...

So there you have it. It was SO  much fun, and it really made me appreciate the wardrobe I have. So, if you ever have a chance, I HIGHLY recommend a fun photo shoot, with a concept behind it that involves a fun pairing of your own clothes! I guarantee you will have a fabulous time, and probably get some great photos out of it, to boot:)