This year I have a couple of different challenges in the works. A Month Without will have a different thing I’m going to give up each month; everything from gluten to driving to wearing store bought clothes (yes, I’ll have to make my own underpants to wear). Feel free to check it out.
I admit it. I had never seen Project Runway before last week. All of my friends always told me that I would love it, but for some reason I never got into it. It may have been because I worked Thursday nights for probably the last 9 years, or it might have been because I hate when people tell me what I will or won’t like, but now I realize I shouldn’t have been so stubborn.
Every Thursday my friend has a Project Runway viewing at her apartment. It’s all about watching the show, judging people and drinking. Sounds awesome huh? Well the first week was amazing.
On the commercials my friend went through my blog and judged all of my Dollar Dresses from last year. As far as a judge goes, she is brutal. I think she quite likes being blunt because she proposed a challenge that will keep her judging for the next 22 weeks. I will be following the challenges on Project Runway every week and wearing each new creation the next week.
If you didn’t see the season premiere, the first challenge was for the designers to make a companion piece to a previously made outfit they had brought to the show. For my first challenge my friends picked out the dress from Project Fifty.
For my companion piece I made something that also had a retro feel to it.
My judges were kind to me. They wanted it to be more fitted in the waist but liked it overall. I’ll actually wear this one again too, so overall it was a success.
We will see about next week though. It’s the candy challenge. Ugh.
I am a lover of free things. I spend a lot of time going through the “free” section of Craigslist looking for items that people are getting rid of that I can repurpose into something cool. The only problem with Craigslist (beside the murderers that are trying to trick me into meeting them so I can take their free fabric or whatnot) is that it takes some effort. There is tons of calling or emailing back and forth and then there is the whole driving to pick up the prized item. Because of this I have only ever gotten free stuff a few times.
Now a week or so ago I was walking home from the gym at 11pm. I walked by a store that was relocating about a half mile from my house and saw a bunch of stuff on the sidewalk with a “free” sign on it. The thing that caught my eye was a huge folding table that had been used for displays.
The table was 5 feet long and weighed about 40lbs if it was a pound. I am only 5’5″ and had just gotten done working out for 2 hours so to say it was a struggle to get it home is an understatement. I did have a few offers from strangers on the street for help, but since I don’t have the wish to end up in some dude’s trunk I declined the offers. I had enormous bruises on both of my hips for days.
After I got it home I gave it two coats of chalkboard paint and decided to keep it leaning on my bedroom wall as a changeable piece of artwork until I need a table.
I am a calorie counting fool. Every night I make my lunch and dinner to take to work the next day. It saves time to cook the night before but every morning I’m still scrambling around looking up calorie counts online for the items I cooked before. Now if I cook out of boxes and bags counting those calories is pretty easy. I’m more of a bulk sort of girl.
Every time I finish spaghetti sauce or jam I wash the jar, remove the label and use it to store my bulk grains and beans. It always drove me crazy that the lids were different but I dealt with it.
Today I bought some chalkboard paint and decided to makes the lids not only match but also make them functional too.
After several coats of paint I had a cabinet of matching jars.
Now I can easily find the calorie content of my food and also change the labels when I empty the jar.
I thought that making 16 projects out of men’s shirts would be fun and easy. That is kind of why I picked it really. I knocked that pillow out really quickly but then I lost inspiration. I got it back though last night when I was going to bed.
I am not a person who typically wears cute pajamas to bed. I tend to wear sweats until I get into bed and then get down to minimal clothes after that so I don’t strangle myself in my sleep (I’m sure that is how a lot of Victorians died. Well, that and childbirth).
Last night though I cracked open my window and there was a lovely breeze. I was reminded that spring was here and soon there would be nights that were too hot for sweats and I was inspired to make a cute sleep top.
It’s a pretty simple top with a low back.
In all it took me about 2 hours to make, the majority of it making my own bias tape out of fabric scraps I had from old dresses.
There was one shirt of the bunch that was unwearable. There was no way I could fashion it into something I would want to be seen in so I had to think outside of the clothing category for this one.
Honestly, this project took me about 15 minutes and was aggravation free so I kind of feel like I’m cheating. I mean, shouldn’t projects be filled with lots of swearing and throwing crap across the room before you end up with a finished project that you sort of hate?
Anyway, what would make a horrible dress or shirt can make a cute pillow. I cut out squares from the front and back leaving the button and pocket details and assembled my pillow. I did do one other little thing, which was to sew along both sides of the button placket so the stuffing didn’t fall out.
I’m quite pleased with the final result.
I have had a couple of months to recover from my year-long dress making challenge. I had this idea in my head that once I didn’t have to make something each week I would have all of this inner creativity freed up and I would be making clothes left and right. Well the truth is I barely even touched my sewing machine until about 2 weeks ago and what I have seen has taken me too long and has been very difficult. I have not had a creative purpose and that leaves me bored and without a healthy outlet for stress.
Then this bag came into my life…
My friend, and previous shirt supplier, Kelly sadly moved out-of-town recently. Before he went he asked me if I wanted a few shirts of his to upcycle. I pictured 3 shirts. What I got was a bag of 16.
My challenge is to upcycle the 16 shirts. I have no rules about what I can turn them into and I have no timeline, though I would be happy to get about one project a week done. Wish me luck.