Monday, October 8, 2012

Allowances - A Refinement

It didn't take long to find me lying in bed thinking, "There are just some outfits that don't really have room for the handmade in them."  I was thinking of certain dresses, which I didn't make but love, and how, well, I'd probably just be wearing tights, shoes, and underwear with them.  I'm not making shoes (amazingly have no desire to), I'm not making my tights (although I will modify some of them into stockings, which should count), and when it comes to underwear...despite my interest in a local bra-making class, it may only result in a couple of pairs of bikini bottoms. Overthink much?

I also got to thinking about what 25% means.  No, I'm not backing out or thinking that it's a bad idea, but I also don't need to set myself up for failure.  So here's what I've decided - my goal is to have 25% of my entire wardrobe handmade.  This, obviously, will be an ongoing project; however, in the meantime, I will work to wear something handmade with every outfit five out of seven days of the week.  To keep me honest, one of those five days has to be a teaching day.  Seem like a reasonable allowance?
Meanwhile, back in the studio, I thought - hey, that fabric I bought at Britex a couple of years ago would make a great pair of wide-legged pants (see the pattern in the first image).  I made a pair of these pants in a navy linen silk, and they were great.  The fabric from Britex is a silk/wool blend.  It has an amazing hand as well as a nice drape, and I really only have jeans, a few pair of black pants, and then pants I only wear "off-duty" (aka my father's fatigues).

However, this created a new issue, a new need for an allowance refinement.  Where do notions fit in the "no new craft materials" pledge?  It seems like I have thread (actually a different thread than pictured), and I have a zipper, but the colour is a little 'meh' and it's not technically an invisible zipper.
So I conferred with the ladyfriend, and here's where I've landed:  the long and short of it should be that notions are an allowable exception.  If my goal is to use up the supplies I have, then I will need the proper notions to make that happen.  My goal is not to see how abstemious I can be.  The ladyfriend thought that the lining for the pants starts to grey the area but conceded that if I'm going to spend a few hours making a pair of pants, they should be the pants I want them to be.  These pants should be lined.  What do you think?  Reasonable allowance?

Finally, we watched a documentary the other night called "The Clean Bin Project."  It basically follows a couple in Vancouver, B.C. who decided to see if they could live a year creating zero-waste.  It came with the necessary injunction against buying "stuff" (although the guy got an exemption for work-related gear).  In addition to documenting their efforts, they highlighted facts on packaging as well as an artist who creates amazing work that demonstrates the massive scale upon which Americans throw various things away (plastic bottles, aluminum cans, etc.).  It was both provocative as well as entertaining and fit with a lot of the things I'm thinking about now.  It's out on DVD now.

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