365 days without shopping!

Let's be honest girls...we buy too many clothes. This year I have decided to put an end to my constant clothing consumption and re-invent, re-work and recycle my own wardrobe and the wardrobes around me. I will only wear clothes made by my own hands, exchanged / borrowed from a friend (or friendly stranger) or salvaged secondhand. And so starts my good fashion choices, even if I'm only making them for myself.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Fashion Week across uni campuses everywhere!

Laptop - check...petrol in the car - check...lecture room number - check...coffee - double check...thermals - bring just in case...

Like clockwork every year, the first day of Autumn and the first day of uni semester meld together to make the perfect storm of all Mondays. And in case you hadn't noticed, let me inform you that fashion week has started across university campuses everywhere! As I sat in gridlock this morning, cold, wet and late for my 8:30am lecture in WOLLONGONG, I had to make a concerted effort to avoid running down a first year. Don't get me wrong, I love the little dears. But they are slow, take up valuable car spots and still clump together in clicky groups, that spill into corridors and block entrance ways! And don't get me started on wearing Lady GAGA style heels to uni! It will only end in mascara drenched tears.
I think my distaste for first years stemmed from recognising one a few years back, then realising it was because I used to babysit her!
So now, technically in my FOURTH year at uni, I sit at my laptop and observe that the temperature on campus has indeed dropped since this morning and the only thing consoling me is my newly-made tights (the ones my dad coined 'ohh look Avatar legs'). Finally it's cold enough to wear a synthetic fibre on your bottom! And if that didn't put a smile on my face, the line of 'P' platers getting booked outside the western carpark certainly did.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Diva Trash Bag

Ever cleared out your jewelry box only to find the majority of it is tacky, tarnished trash? Well I have. Who'd of thought that buying a cheap necklace here and a massive pair of glitzy earrings there would amount to a kg (yes that's right 1 kilogram) of unwanted, costume chaos! Imagine my pain when I thought of all this in landfill! Finally my bower bird ways had trap me in a nest of excess consumption.
I believe my addiction to bling started with a fruitloop necklace in preschool (but even that was handmade and biodegradable). So I think I'll have to blame my tacky tweens and my extended student years for the expedient growth of this disastrous collection.  
Here's what I made out of the salvageable pieces...
What's in your jewelry box? I wonder...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Swap Event at Berkelouw Books In Leichhardt!

Well here it is, our first ever clothes swap event! 
Finally shopping is completely guilt free!
Come along to The Wine Bar @ Berkelouw Books, bring a friend (whose wardrobe you covet) and relax with live music, light refreshments and a whole lot of laughs.
Offload all those dresses you wore once to a wedding. Banish those jeans you can't fit into. Say goodbye to all those pieces taking up valuable space in your wardrobe! The more items you bring, the more tokens you'll have to spend (bring a minimum of 5 items). Don't be scared to bring your expensive items either, we will have a special category just for them.
ALL PROCEEDS WILL GO TO REACH an annual fundraiser and community impact strategy for Shirelive//

RSVP is essential! Please email me at ameliasammut@gmail.com to register. 
See you there ladies!

p.s. If you are a guy and would be interested in a similar event (just for the boys), leave a comment in the box below. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Vintage presents from Amy!

There is nothing like a good blog to bring great friends together! The above items represent my first official 'Blog Pressies', courtesy of my brillant friend Amy and her large collection of vintage treasures. Even though Amy has moved to another state recently, it's comforting to know that I'll still be able to have her around by way of wearing her preloved goods (well the vest at least, as the dress still has the Vinnies tag attached - AMY!)
     I'm thinking of turning the dress into a snazzy top and it's twin sister RaRa skirt (not to be worn together, Obviously). But I'm open to suggestions... 
Look out for much more vintage coming soon! 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Andrew James Photography

Yes, very pensive

It's true, I love bubbles...

If you need a great photographer or just wanna check out some amazing pics go to

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Push it to the limit (but no further)!

This week I began reading The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason. On the back cover the blurb states: '...this timeless classic holds the key to all you desire and everything you wish to accomplish.' That's quite a statement, I love a confident blurb, and so couldn't wait to find out the answers to those questions; what do I desire and what do I wish to accomplish?
I'm up to chapter six (in what I've discovered is a 144 page, ancient parable on attaining wealth) and while I'm still hazy about the above questions, a paragraph about budgeting has me seeing things very clearly:

'The purpose of a budget is to help thy purse to fatten. It is to assist thee to have thy necessities and, insofar as attainable, thy other desires. It is to enable thee to realize thy most cherished desires by defending them from thy casual wishes. Like a bright light in a dark cave thy budget shows up the leaks from thy purse and enables thee to stop them and control thy expenditures for definite and gratifying purposes.'

This got me thinking about limits. Since starting this project I have become very aware of them. My limits of time, energy and yes even my emotional capacity. But this has caused me to make a lot more deliberate and thought out decisions when it comes to my apparel. If I want something it's not just a matter of running out and getting it. I either have to make it myself or seek it out secondhand (not an easy feat when you have your eye on the new Camilla and Marc 'Nikolai' metal link jacket). 
The extra energy required means I only get what I really need (or really, really want)! Everything else falls by the wayside. Gone are the days of the impulse buy or the wear once and chuck items, but I can't say I'm devastated. I get a lot of satisfaction out of creating my look myself, knowing that I've thought it out and that it will not go wasted in the future. I've also found that flipping through fashion magazines doesn't come with that confused aftertaste. When I've finished the last page and the dream is over I'm not bombarded with choices. Only what is most essential is left in my mind.
I have reworded the above quote to create a new mission statement (of sorts) for this blog. I may not know what I want or what I wish to accomplish but at least I know what I want to wear!

The purpose of this project is to help thy mind to widen. It is to assist thee to have thy necessary pieces and, insofar as attainable, thy gorgeous one offs. It is to enable thee to realize thy most cherished fashion dreams by defending them from thy casual impulse purchases. Like a bright light in a dark cave thy project shows up the leaks from thy purse and enables thee to stop them and control thy expenditures for definite and gratifying purposes.

What have you purchased on a whim and it turned out to be disastrous? 

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Karina's Gorgeous Gold Skirt

     Well you were promised and who am I to keep you waiting. Ladies and gentlemen I would like to present to you....Karina and her gorgeous gold skirt!
Not only is she the first collaborator to the SSS project but she's sewing up the first SSS original, designed from scratch. Designing, pattern making and sewing it ourselves meant that we could tailor this skirt to suit Karina's shape and create a look that is totally her own.
Before you go complaining that you don't know how to pattern-make, let me tell you that after an hour of flat pattern making we had created, wait for it...a perfect rectangle! So clearly I don't know how to do it either.

We measured Karina's waist, hips and height before drawing up the pattern. We pondered, re-measured, consulted and worked out that the best shape for her was in fact a straight rectangle.
My advice to anyone starting to make their own pieces would be:
1) Start with something simple or modify a pattern you have already worked with.
2) Make it up in calico (or a cheap version of your final fabric), you can always make alterations once you've tried it on.
3) When you finally have it right unpick, lay it over your fabric and cut it out. Afterwards you'll have a calico pattern, custom-made for YOU.
4) Still not confident? Then find a friend (who hopefully knows what they are doing) or visit a sewing blog (like this one), where hopefully someone can give you a few pointers. Or there is usually sewing and pattern making classes at your local community college. If you live in Sydney check out Tessuti for quality lessons in the Surry Hills area.
Happy Sewing!
P.s Yes the belt shown in this post is the same one from the 'New York Sundress' and the 'Prairie Top' posts. As the title suggests I can't exactly go buy another one. So if anyone would like to donate a belt to the SSS cause, please let me know in the comment box below!  ;)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Prairie Top

     I know that my projects of late have been more 'alterations'  than anything new and exciting, believe me, my wardrobe is feeling it!
It's only February and I am already having Frequent Fashion Fatigue (or FFF for short). Fashion Fatigue is where you stand in front of your wardrobe for 20mins, in your bath towel, and can barely muster the energy to flick the coat hangers back and forth. Frequent Fashion Fatigue is where this happens everyday for over a month! Sound familiar or is this just me...?
Well my last episode was enough to motivate me to sew into the wee hours of the morning. I started this top at 3pm and finally finished it at 1:34am!
The pattern is Simplicity 3964 but be warned it is deceptively complicated! Luckily I had my sewing buddy Karina on hand for moral support. Credit is also due to my long suffering mother who eased in the front insert for me (while I sobbed in her lap).

 I have been sewing with Karina for years now and every time we get together, I end up finishing in the first hour, while she perfects every seam till we both wanna throw her project out the window. The roles were quite reversed in this case and I sent Karina home early so she wouldn't see the dark side of my sewing. I just couldn't go to bed till I had a new top!

Look out for her gorgeous gold skirt in my next post...