Upcycling Clothes

So, my clothes are old. Like really old. Ok, not that old, but they are old. 

I told myself I would not buy any new clothes until I lost weight. I failed. So I have a closet full of clothes I can't wear because of my girth. And I have nothing to wear that makes me feel pretty.

Clothes that Fit My Personality

I'm on that trend where I want clothes that feel comfortable against my skin, are functional and represents my personality. I don't need monkey suits for work anymore. Now don't get me wrong,  I love a nice tweed blazer, dress pants and a beautiful dress. I just don't need to maintain a closet full of dry clean only items.

I also have taken some time to study garment construction, learned to sew, though I still need more classes & practice, and am now presently researching knitting. I looked at the construction of my knitted clothes and realized that the knit construction is just cheap. Instead of seamlessly attaching panels and sleeves, they were sewn quickly with thread. Not even with a special knitting machine that joins panels with yarn to make seamless seams. Or using the new whole garment knitting machines that do not have seams nor needs to be joined. That doesn't bode well for me.

So, I want exquisite garment construction without an exquisite price. And I want lush & posh fabrics without paying a premium for them. To get the blouse, pants, dresses, etc. constructed how I want them I would be spending hundreds if not thousands per piece. Thus, I'd rather learn how to construct/sew these garments and make them myself and add my own brand of whimsy to them.

I think really I want a custom piece of clothing. I am tired of looking at dated pieces in my closet, or clothes that I can't fit. I still like the colors and patterns of many of the garments and honestly, I need to practice sewing more to be proficient. I don't know if this path I am going down will be one in which I make most of the clothes I wear, a throw back to the turn of the last century when most people did just that. I just know that since I got my first little pink sewing machine for Christmas when I was 6 and started sewing clothes for my Barbie dolls that I always wanted to make my own clothes. 

Picture from my Scrapbook

I even wanted to make clothes for my children when I grew up and started a family. Well that didn't pan out, but I can still make my own clothes that reflect my personality.


I do need to make a sloper and that's where it all starts falling apart. I just don't trust me taking my own measurements. For starters I don't have enough arms. And it is difficult taking back measurements. 

image from here

When I took a sewing class at Houston's Community College, I asked around to find someone to take my measurements. Folks acted like I was speaking alien gibberish. I don't understand how a fashion design program that has a runway show would not recommend someone to take my measurements. I took that class years ago, like 4  or 5 years. I should be really proficient in making basic garments for myself. I am not because I got stuck on that sloper thing and never got farther than that, and now we are in a pandemic and I don't want ANYONE in my face.

Fashion Ideas

I have loads of fashion ideas. Not that I want to sell garments or construct garments for patrons/customers. Nope, I just want to make some clothes that I see in my mind or elsewhere. I am hamstringed by lack of ability & limited resources. Yes, I can watch YouTube videos and some are really great. But nothing beats that hands on instruction and a community of crafty people to motivate you.

In an ideal world I would just drop that $120,000+ for a whole garment knitting machine, tens of thousands for the print to garment machine and others and just have a studio where I can fabricate and construct clothes, housewares, tapestries and fabric art. Until that financial windfall comes to finance that dream, I am just a frustrated, struggling, starving artist.

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