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Nancy Flynn

Craft Your Wardrobe

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Written on March 7, 2007 9:52 PM

The biggest directive in my New Years Craftolutions journal is to make more clothes. So when I found out about Wardrobe Refashion from Linda, I was thrilled. What better inspiration could there be to make my spring wardrobe instead of buying it?
The Wardrobe Refashion Pledge
I pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of "new" manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 2 / 4 / 6 months. I pledge that i shall refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovoated, recylcled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that thy thriftyness brings! Signed__________________.

I signed up for 4 months and determined to follow the rules:
No buying new! (handmade is excepted; So this allows for Etsy purchases etc!!) All clothing must be Recycled, Renovated, Preloved or Thrifted, or Handmade only for the term. Employment related and special needs clothing (ie sports, school), shoes and undies are excepted from the rules, although you are encouraged to have a go at making these.
In extreme circumstances, maybe a special event, or the worlds greatest and most amazing never to be repeated sale that you simply can not pass up, you may use the Get out of Refashionista Jail Free card. You are able to use this card once during the 2 month part of your contract; ie 1 for 2 months, 2 for 4 months etc. Of course you need to fess up on the blog and display the button!
You must post on the blog at least once a week to let the community know what you've been up to. This will not only give you brag points, but inspire and encorouge others! Of course you need to display the button on your blog and have copied the pledge in at least one post, and provide a link to your pledge under the button.
You need to be honest and admit when you've fallen off the Refashionista Wagon! Go directly to Refashionista Jail, do not pass GO and do not collect $200! Apply for parole once there.

I started in February and so far, so good. I have bought fabric (which is a grey area in the rules), and patterns, but not a stitch of clothing. The community itself is incredibly inspiring-- it is amazing to see what the refashionistas make of oversized fleece vests and thrifted sweaters, not to mention being a great resource for sewing patterns to try.

Though I haven't found the courage to refashion clothing in the give-away pile (typically I'm so sick of it that it just needs to go), but I have challenged my sewing skills and made a few spring "must haves."

I merged two patterns

to make a brand new dress for any garden parties I might be invited to this spring:

I broke out some of the fabulous new sewing books that have come out recently

And inspired by cool map-printed fabric from super buzzy, and Lotta Jansdotter's book, I made a super pockety new tote for spring

and Wendy Mullin's Sew U was the genesis of a long snap-front tunic

Thanks to Susan, I discovered the fantastic Sew Stylish magazine, which seems to speak directly to my sewing level, intermediate but easily intimidated! The Simplicity pattern referenced throughout the magazine caught my fancy, so I ordered it and made the cropped puff-sleeve jacket, which may be the most well-crafted piece of clothing I've made yet!

The Wardrobe Refashion challenge also inspired me to bite the bullet and finally buy a serger. I'd been holding out for a really expensive one, mostly because I was intimidated by the idea of having to thread it, and heard that the high-end ones are easier. I decided that with patience I could probably figure out threading a regular, non-magic self-threading serger and used a Joann's gift certificate from Christmas to buy a Brother. It works like a dream, and I have visions of it bringing my sewing to the next level! But before I get ahead of myself, I used it to make a new pair of pajamas when my favorites recently gave up the ghost

The narrow rolled hem feature is so far my favorite.

I didn't anticipate one problem with taking the pledge: most of my good friends have birthdays right during my 4-month pledge period. But I was determined to follow the rules, and make any item of clothing I might want to give them. So far?

A stretchy-waisted batik circle skirt and tote bag for February birthday! Several March birthdays coming up and I'm determined to stick to the pledge.

The next challenge? To draft my own patterns. It may be a few months away, but taking part in Wardrobe Refashion has significantly accelerated my sewing progress by making me think more carefully about what I need, and feel more confident that I can make just about anything I see in a store, and make it my own. Want to take the pledge and become a refashionista? To join the fun, e-mail wardroberefashion[at]gmail[dot]com after March 15th with the length of your pledge (2, 4 or 6 months), your name, the name you'd like to appear on the Wardrobe Refashion blog and your blog address.

Already refashioning? Please comment with links to photos of your latest designs, or post them in your getcrafty blog and let us know!

comment by Christy Petterson on March 9, 2007 11:23 AM:

Wow. How amazing. I'm totally inspired.

comment by chase on March 10, 2007 8:54 AM:

What lovely clothes! Especially the garden party dress... and the terrific fabric of the new PJ's.
Way to go!

comment by bessiemae on March 11, 2007 8:53 PM:

How lovely! The garden party dress is probably my favorite; however, all of it is beautiful!

3/15, I'll be joining the challenge and making use of stashed fabrics and patterns.

comment by Knits4Fun on March 12, 2007 2:21 PM:

*gasp!* Your work is gorgeous. I love the garden party dress, tunic, skirt--heck all of it. Not to mention the totes--amazing. You are a gifted sewer.

comment by Nancy Flynn on March 13, 2007 6:02 PM:

Thank you all so much!

comment by tryskal on March 18, 2007 10:18 AM:

You do wonderful work. The dress is beautiful.

Learning to sew is one of my goals for this year. Even though I won't be joining this challenge, I have set a challenge for myself. I challenged myself to use my stash of yarn before I buy any more. I am having to stay out of all craft areas/stores right now. The temptation is just too much.

comment by alate on March 28, 2007 3:10 AM:

That cropped jacket is amazing! This post makes me want to get my sewing machine fixed and start exploring my old fabric collection.

comment by lacedwithk on April 3, 2007 10:26 AM:

gorgeous! I've been doing this as a lifestyle for years and its such a joy to see others picking it up. I realized how much clothing is wasted and even worse money in our closets that I started taking in "donations" from friends and recreating old loved clothes into beautiful new styles for all of us. Feels good to enjoy something so loved from before and know that it's impact on the earth and my wallet is minimal.

comment by ti on June 10, 2007 5:09 AM:

I love the shrug from Simplicity! Can you tell us what the pattern number is???