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.

Friday, March 26, 2010

I hope I vwin!

Well, I've certainly never blogged about a project I haven't started before. But I was so excited I had to tell you all. I am making a ridiculously fabulous pencil skirt for the Tessuti / BurdaStyle competition to win fame, glory and perhaps a truckload of fabric. In my world fabric is a HUGE deal. I know I'm leaving it a little late as always (the deadline is April 2nd), but I needed to con my boyfriend into taking me to Surry Hills to get the fabric before I could get going on it. Did I mention I also have two assessment tasks due for uni and a few public holiday hours worth of pay to earn? Oh boy...stand by!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Nudie is better than Nude...

As a long time fan of Swedish denim giant Nudie Jeans, I have religiously and rigorously conformed to their 'code of denim', all in a bid for the perfectly kept pair. Yes, under their strict instructions I have; gone without washing them for six months, kept various shaped instruments in my pockets in order to create the perfect 'wear marks' and of course patched them within an inch of their life. I have collected 5 pairs over the years which have served me well and are still in high rotation in my wardrobe. As they age they mold perfectly to the body and start to feel like soft felt. There really isn't any other piece of clothing like a pair of jeans. Nor any other piece I would spend so much money on, or get so much wear out of. Nudie even have a blog devoted to the the 'living denim'.

These days I have become somewhat of an expert at repairing them thanks to my boyfriend, who quite frequently waltzes through my front door swinging a plastic shopping bag, containing one or two pairs and calls out 'Baby I've had another blowout!'
Now I'm not going to go into physics behind why guys wear through the crotch of their jeans quicker than girls, but suffice to say that 'someone' sat me down one day and very carefully explained why. So now I have no qualms about repairing his jeans whenever they need it.
If you would rather repair than replace, here is how to fix (and hopefully prevent) jean blowouts:

1) Using a good quality denim (an old pair of jeans is perfect) cut a suitable sized patch for the hole and surrounding area (that might have weakened).
2) On the inside of the crotch sew the perimeter of the patch while holding the hole closed. Then sew up and down the patch over and over again in the same direction until the hole is covered.
3) If any of the other quadrants are weak, reinforce them the same way you did the one with the hole (believe me eventually it will need it anyway).

Happy Sewing
P.s - Yes if you look at the photo carefully you can see that this is the 2nd time I've repaired this particular pair!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Kiara the Cat


Now here's a fun tale,
a sweet little piece.
Of a chirpy young girl,
my bold, pseudo niece.

Some say that she's fiery,
some say she's got game.
But one wink and a smile
and she'll have you tame!

Our story begins 
in a land far away.
Somewhere near Europe,
some call the UK.

Off to Reception
little Kiara did go.
In this land overseas,
'it's a cold place you know'!

This day of all days
 the one she did share,
 was none other than the
world famous 'World Book Fair'!

Did she go as an Alice,
a fairy or Pat?
She went as 'Cat in the Hat'!

Handmade project by Shannon Clements.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Swap Till you Drop!

The first Sew Swap Salvage event 'What's Yours Is Mine' was a hit on Monday night with 20 women of all shapes and styles swapping there wardrobes away while raising $300 for Shirelive's annual REACH fundraiser! Here is what one discerning swapper had to say:
'Just wanted to say thanks again for putting together what turned out to be an awesome first clothes swap event. I really love my new black jeans and was thrilled that i found something to take home. It's funny - i was so sure that there was nothing there i'd like but as soon as i started looking for things for other people i found a couple of things i wanted!' - Vanessa (24)
Vanessa told me she'd been on the hunt for some jeans for a while and was willing to fork out heaps to find some that fitted. It just goes to show you; there is a relevant alternative to shopping.
I myself snapped up some gorgeous sundresses, a leopard scarf (which I literally haven't taken off since Monday) and a dinosaur designs style necklace. But my highlight by far was finding a 70s print skirt with a matching shawl that was a fellow swapper's, mother's going away outfit (from her wedding)!
That's what I love about swapping events, you get to hear the stories surrounding the clothes and see all your old pieces go to good homes (where they will be loved and not shoved in the back of a wardrobe).
Special thanks goes to Freddy Choo, marketing manager for the Salvos Stores who donated the clothes racks and Meylia from Bali-stick restaurant in Kensington, for doing the catering.