Search Results for: me made may

Hints to Help You Make Do and Mend

Hints To Help You Make Do and Mend, the artyologist

October is Slow Fashion and Fair Trade month, and although I haven’t taken part until now, I didn’t want to let the month pass without contributing my voice to the discussion going on around the internet. When I originally planned¬†to write this post, I thought that this week’s prompt was “long worn”. Apparently I got my weeks mixed up though, as this week’s prompt is actually “handmade”. Oops. Well, I guess this post will not only be long worn, but long overdue as well. ūüėČ The term “long worn” refers to the clothes that are already in existence, here on our planet, and how we can make the most of them. I thought that this would be a great time to share some of the garment care¬†tips that I have picked up over the years, that will help to increase the longevity of your clothing, as well as including a few tips from the reprinted copy of Make Do and Mend that I purchased last year while in England. (I’d been wanting to get my hands on one for ages!)

Taking care of the clothes that you already own is a great first step to creating a conscious wardrobe, and there are so many simple things you can do to increase the life of your clothing. It is really only in the last 10-20 years that our society has drifted into a more “throwaway” attitude towards what we wear. Mending, altering, maintaining and preserving your clothing is actually a rather “vintage” way of looking at your closet, which is evidenced by the ingenuity of people during the Great Depression, and the rationing years¬†of the Second World War (which is when the pamphlet Make Do and Mend was published). So, without further ado, here are some helpful hints for caring for your clothes, and some excerpts from the book Make Do and Mend. (excerpts are indicated by “italics“)

Wearing:

  • Wearing scarves when you wear a coat keeps the collar off of your neck, to keep it clean longer. Instead of having to continually wash¬†your coat, you can simply wash the scarf instead.
  • Wearing slips, undershirts and underarm shields can help to keep your clothes cleaner for longer. We tend to wash our clothes more than is actually necessary, and constant washing shortens the life of your clothing. By extending the period of time between washes, you can significantly increase the life of your¬†garment. By keeping your skin away from direct contact with garments, especially delicate ones, they don’t soil so quickly. Just make sure to remove the shields before putting away your garments
  • It is best to wear clothes in turn, as a rest does them good. Shoes too are better for not being worn day after day.” This gives them a rest, and a chance to completely dry out. It is also better for your feet, as it prevents them from rubbing too much in one spot etc.
  • “Always change into old things, if you can, in the house, and give the clothes you have just taken off an airing before putting them away.”¬†

Hints to Help You Make Do and Mend, the artyologist, essential tools

Storing:

  • If you are going to be storing a garment for any length of time, such as off season coats, it is nice to cover them with a garment bag, so they don’t collect dust and dirt while in storage. That way, when it comes time to wear them again, you won’t need to clean them first.
  • Hang delicate garments on padded hangers to protect the shoulders¬†from stretching out of shape. “A hanger that is too narrow will ruin the shape of the shoulder and may even make a hole.”¬†It is also a good practice to store clothing off of hangers, as hanging garments¬†long-term can distort them.
  • “Do up all fastenings before hanging clothes. This helps them to keep their shape. And see that the shoulders are even on the hangers and not falling off one side.”
  • “Put away clothes in the condition in which you will want to wear them when you take them out again. Make quite sure they are absolutely clean; dirt attracts clothes’ moths.” (And who wants to wash clothes first thing when you take them out again?)

Cleaning:

  • Deal with stains and spills right away. Taking a few moments to wash out a stain as soon after it happens as possible, is much better than waiting until you do laundry¬†only to find that¬†the stain won’t wash out.
  • If a garment is not dirty enough to need a washing, you can deodorize by using vodka. This is a practice that is still used today in theatre costumes (according to my friend who is an actress). For a garment such as a blazer or a delicate item, which is not easily washed, simply turn the garment inside out, spritz the inside (especially the underarms) with vodka, and then leave¬†until dry. This neutralizes any odours, and keeps your garments smelling fresh without having to constantly wash them. (I suppose you could use rum instead of vodka, but then you might smell like a pirate! ūüôā Don’t worry, the vodka leaves¬†no scent, so you won’t smell like alcohol.)
  • Washing your clothes in a delicate, cold wash, is easier on them than hot water. Also, air drying your clothes, rather than putting them through the dryer, extends their life. This is especially true for knits (such as t-shirts, sweaters, or jeans with Lycra in them.) Dryers are extremely hard on stretch fabrics.
  • It is better to hand wash your sweaters, so they don’t stretch out of shape. Use a gentle soap, rinse, and then lay them flat to dry. By hand washing your knits, you will help to avoid the dreaded¬†pilled sweater! Putting your sweaters through the washing machine, even on a delicate cycle, leads to pilling. Although you can fix (some) pilling, it is easier to just avoid it in the first place.

Hints to Help You Make Do and Mend, the artyologist, tools for mending

Mending:

  • Fix places where seams or hems have come undone, or buttons are loose. It is so much easier to fix right away, than waiting until¬†it turns into a much bigger problem. “Watch for thin places, especially in the elbows of dresses, seams of trousers, heels of socks and stockings. Reinforce a thin spot with a light patch on the inside. Choose material that is strong but rather lighter in weight than the original material. Scraps of net darned lightly inside thin heels of stockings make an excellent repair. If you have to patch or darn and have no matching material or thread, sacrifice a collar, belt or pocket if it is merely ornamental, or unravel a thread from the seam. You could unravel the pocket of a knitted garment to provide thread for a darn, and a patch made from a matching belt may save a frock from the bits and pieces bag. You can replace the belt with one of contrasting colour.”
  • “Always carry a needle and cotton and mending silk with you- this will¬†save many¬†a ladder in stockings or prevent the loss of buttons; your friends will thank you too. How many times have you heard someone say, “Has anyone got a needle and cotton?”
  • Take care of the pills on your knits with a sweater shaver. Nothing looks nastier, and cheaper, than a pilled sweater! It is amazing what a shaver can do for making things look fresh. One of the winter coats I got from a coworker came to me in terrible condition (it looked as though she had thrown it through the wash) and I wasn’t sure if it could be saved, but I used a sweater comb, and now the wool looks brand new!
  • Keeping your leather shoes and purses polished, and hydrated with a conditioner of some sort, will keep them from cracking and drying out. Also, they just look nicer. And, of course, if your shoes are past the point where you can do anything with them, take them to the cobbler. Those people work magic! I have had many a pair that I thought were gonners, and they have brought them back to life.

So, there are my tips and tricks for keeping your wardrobe spic-and-span! Would you like to hear more tips from the Make Do and Mend pamphlet? And do you have any garment care tips of your own? Do share!

Gathering Flowers in Floral: A Summer Uniform

Gathering Flowers in Floral: A Summer Uniform, the artyologist

I don’t like uniforms. I once worked in a job that required me to wear all black, and that was enough uniformness for me. I think that’s why I love vintage- just so I can be different from everyone else. ūüôā Thus, I am hesitant to even use the word “uniform” to describe my default summer look, but . . . well, it is a commonly used term. . .

Back in May, after participating in Me Made May, I decided that I needed more knee length skirts, as this black floral one is my absolute favourite and it is in constant rotation in my closet. So, I made a few more (the dutch wax, the vintage sheet, and I am currently working on another in denim), and they are getting their¬†fair share of use over the past few months. Thus, I realized that I do, after all, have a¬†summer uniform, er, “signature look”, and it consists of: a solid coloured t-shirt and a knee length full skirt.¬†For the casual¬†days of summer, it’s just perfect.

The nice thing about a simple combination like this, is that each time you can change it up with different accessories. On this occasion, I added my new leather obi belt, which coordinated perfectly with the cinnamon browns in the skirt, a long pendant necklace of a Victorian lady in a ridiculous hat, some flat comfortable loafers, and my¬†woven straw¬†carryall. (And no, the straw bag did not work very well as a flower gathering basket, but it was all I had, and it looked pretty, so that’s all that matters- right?)

summer uniform, new belt, the artyologist

Speaking about flower gathering, a few weeks ago, the county announced that they were going to be mowing the ditches, which was pretty sad news, as the country lanes¬†are so much prettier overgrown with wildflowers, but I guess it had to be done. (Nooo! Why did it have to be done?!) Before they could get out with the mowers though, I decided to go and gather a few bouquets of flowers. I don’t usually go and pick wildflowers along¬†the roads, as if everybody did that, then there would be no more flowers left¬†to enjoy in nature. However, if the flowers¬†were going to be sacrificed to the lawn mower, then I was going to save them! ūüôā And I also decided to take advantage of the beautiful backdrop it would make for photos. Although, what you do not see in these romantically styled, pastoral images is. . . the mosquitos! They were out with a vengeance that night, but the photos made it worth it . . . maybe ūüėČ

Do you have a summer uniform? Or a winter uniform if you are not in summer right now? What pieces do you always find yourself reaching for?

T-Shirt: Company by Ellen Tracey, Made in Canada, and strangely enough, it’s from Costco

Skirt: Made by me

Shoes: Hotter Shoes, it looks like they don’t have them anymore?

Necklace: Chain from a thrift store, pendant from Michael’s craft store (they sometimes have really great pendants!)

Basket / purse: flea market

summer uniform, gathering flowers, the artyologist

gathering flowers in floral, a summer uniform the artyologist

a summer uniform, the artyologist

country lane, gathering flowers, the artyologist

a summer uniform, the artyologist

fleabane, gathering wildflowers, the artyologist

cutting flowers, a summer uniform, the artyologist

gathering wildflowers, asters, the artyologist

gathering flowers, a summer uniform, the artyologist

 

 

Favourite Internet Finds Lately

shoes coral bells and canola field

Happy Saturday everyone! I hope you are enjoying your weekend, whatever you are doing today. As for me, I am painting, blogging (obviously-haha) and hopefully doing some sewing later on. (The skirt that was supposed to only take a few hours and I was to have finished two weeks ago!) I thought that today, I would just share a quick post with some online articles and such that I have found recently. And these photos which I have taken lately, some of which I have shared on my Instagram, but not here. Have a great weekend everyone!

  • Fashion Revolution and Future Learn with the University of Exeter have joined together to create a free online course called, appropriately, “Who Made My Clothes”?¬†I don’t believe there are too many more days to sign up for this course, as the free one expires in August, (you can upgrade to $39 for the course, which gives you unlimited access to the course) The course is designed to help you find out for yourself where your clothes are made and what “we, as active global citizens, can do to enable change.” I have just barely started it, but it promises to be really good. So, if you are interested at all, hop over and enrol now! There are not very many days left to join.
  • This interview with Elizabeth Cline, the author of “Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion” is a really great read. (If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, you’ll remember that her book is what started my interest¬†in ethical fashion. Seriously, this book should be required reading!) She’s also got some links to other helpful resources to evaluate brands. Have you read Overdressed?

storm clouds and books

  • I always like finding new blogs to read. A few months ago, I discovered the blog Mr. and Mrs. Rat, when “Mrs. Rat” left a comment on my blog, so I went over to hers- and immediately went through her¬†entire archive! She and her husband make many of their clothes (and recently participated in Me Made May), she has such a great sense of style featuring many 70’s-does-historical inspired looks, and is an extremely talented artist as well. Their¬†blog is now one of my favourite to follow. Seriously, go and check it out!

shoes and desktop

  • These blog posts are a couple of years old, and I first stumbled upon them¬†a couple of¬†years ago when the live action Cinderella first came out, but I reread the posts¬†recently (after watching Cinderalla again). I love costume design and it is so interesting to see all of the details that go into creating really good costumes that enhance the story, and emphasize certain aspects while being subtle about it at the same time. Read the articles here: Cinderella Style Part 1 and Part 2. Do you like finding out about¬†the behind-the-scenes of movie costuming?
  • Klara from A Robot Heart recently dyed her hair platinum blonde- it looks so great!!! And, it is really making me want my platinum pixie again. . . (Pre-blogging days, though you can see the remnants of it here.) I won’t chop all my hair off again, as it has just gotten to a really nice 20’s bob length, but boy is it¬†tempting! Do you go back and forth between what you want for your hair, or do you tend to stick to one tried-and-true style?

desktop and clover lawn

Rural Holiday

Rural Holiday, the artyologist, a roman holiday outfit

I do love a good Instagram community challenge! Last year I took part in Me Made May, but this year I decided not to take part. I just don’t have enough homemade pieces in my wardrobe right now to make¬†it¬†significantly different from last year, and though I am sure no one else would have noticed, I would have gotten fairly bored with it. Thus, I was excited to see that there was another challenge being hosted this month, called “The Vintage Fashion Challenge”. (It’s nice to see a vintage focused event¬†on Instagram). This one is being hosted by Carla of tinyangrycrafts, jennylee.knits and iliveinmylab and these three ladies came up with different prompts for each day of May. I have not been posting every day, but have been taking part¬†when I have something for¬†the prompt of¬†the day. At the beginning of the month, as I was looking through the monthly overview, I saw a couple of prompts that I would need to sew something for. One was “Me Made Style”, (which I will be sharing next week) and the other was “Movie Style: A Film Inspired Outfit”. I decided that I would combine some of the prompts with blog posts, and to finish in time,¬†I have been doing a fair bit of sewing this month- maybe at this rate I will be able to take part in Me Made May next year after all! ūüėČ

I was quite¬†excited about the “Movie Style” prompt, and started brainstorming for that one, before the challenge had even started. I love old movies, (actually I love new movies too!) and one of my favourite things about movies is the costumes. Costumes can make or break a film, don’t you think? It can be a great story, but if the costumes are off, it just ruins it. Conversely, sometimes I watch movies just for the¬†costumes- even if the storyline isn’t that good. ūüôā I always enjoy good costumes, and then dream about “someday” sewing similar pieces for myself, but rarely do I ever actually end up creating those pieces. Having a challenge to create a specific film look was great, as I knew that it would force me to actually come up with something. (If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you might sense a trend here- I need deadlines in order to finish things- otherwise I procrastinate!!!)

Before anything else, first came the hard part of deciding which¬†film look to recreate. So many old films, feature elaborate garments which I don’t have the skill or resources to create, and I also wanted¬†to find a look that would be¬†a valuable¬†addition to my wardrobe. I mean, I do love the costumes from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, but where am I going to wear a sapphire blue evening gown¬†or a leopard cape and muff.¬†¬†Ok, never mind- if those¬†were in my wardrobe, I would¬†find a reason to wear them! But, while so many costumes from movies are extremely glamorous¬†and elegant, they aren’t very¬†wearable for my lifestyle. Thus,¬†I started combing through¬†old movies, to find a¬†film inspired look that would be both useful and versatile to wear, and reasonable to recreate.¬†When I came across Roman Holiday, I knew I had found what I was looking for!

Rural Holiday, the artyologist, a roman holiday outfit, skirt detail

I haven’t seen the movie for ages, (if you haven’t seen it, I definitely recommend it) but I knew that Audrey’s Roman Holiday outfit would be¬†perfect to recreate¬†as all I needed was a circle skirt. The colourized photo versions of the costume show a blue skirt, but I found this image which shows a tan skirt. I believe that the original costume was tan, which for some reason was colourized to blue in the photos. Tan is a great colour for my wardrobe, so I decided to make a tan circle skirt, though I thought that¬†if I couldn’t find any suitable tan fabric at my local¬†shop, I would make it out of blue chambray. I did find fabric, but since I really like how this skirt turned out I might end up getting some chambray anyways.¬†I have been wanting a circle skirt for a while and this¬†tan circle skirt has¬†proven to be a great addition to my wardrobe already. It goes with everything. I made it out of a tan slubbed cotton/poly fabric. I wish that it was 100% cotton, but they didn’t have any nice cotton fabric, and so I decided to just go for it anyways.

The skirt took me a few¬†days to sew up. I sewed it in one evening, left it to hang for 24 hours, and then went to finish it two days later. Of course, despite all my meticulous measuring, I ended up having to take 1.5 inches out of the waistband. I hate having to pick things out, and it took me a while to redo it all, but I still ended up finishing this project relatively quickly. The most time absorbing part was the hand stitched hem- this is how I prefer to finish my garments, but it sure is time consuming! I hand stitched it with lace hem tape, but did it while watching¬†movies (over two evenings), so it went relatively quickly, and at least I got to enjoy a movie at the same time ūüôā I also made a separate slip to wear underneath as the loose weave of the¬†fabric is slightly sheer. I decided to make a separate slip, rather than just lining the skirt, so I can wear the slip¬†with other dresses and skirts.

All in all, this¬†turned out to be a very quick sewing project and the only part left was to style it as a Roman Holiday look. I didn’t want to take this outfit literally, and copy the shoes, the belt, the scarf etc. exactly as it was in the movie,¬†but rather¬†took the basic formula¬†to¬†create my own look.

Rural Holiday, the artyologist, roman holiday outfit, portrait

I chose¬†this tie front blouse, which is actually quite similar to the one Audrey wore, with the rolled sleeves and collar, because the colour of tan in the leopard print pairs perfectly with the colour of the skirt. I think that this shirt goes so well with the skirt, and as I haven’t had much¬†to pair it with so far, I am excited about¬†being able¬†to wear¬†it more often.

Rural Holiday, the artyologist, a roman holiday outfit, shoe-detail

Next was¬†the shoes. I have these brown shoes which used to have a zigzagged elastic which made them into a slip on shoe. However, by the end of last summer, the elastic in one of the shoes had stretched out, so I had been thinking of replacing the elastic with proper tie laces. This look is quite trendy right now, but is quite a vintage look too, as illustrated by Audrey’s look in¬†Roman Holiday.¬†For these photos, I used black shoe laces (that’s what I had), and tied them around my ankle for the same look. I am planning on getting some shorter brown laces, and not wearing them looped around my ankle. (I don’t think it is the best look for me, though it was fun for this outfit)

Rural Holiday, the artyologist, a roman holiday outfit, detail

The final¬†touch to this movie inspired Roman Holiday outfit, was adding a vintage off-white sheer scarf. In some of the pictures you can see I’m¬†wearing it tied around my neck, while in others it is under my collar. I decided after a few photos, that it looked like a neck brace in some of the photos, and having it tucked under my collar looked better¬†ūüôā

The only thing left to do to finish my¬†Roman Holiday outfit, was to bring out my bicycle. As I don’t have a vespa, like in the film,¬†a bicycle will have to do¬†for my own “Rural Holiday”. ūüėČ

Have you seen the movie Roman Holiday?¬†Have you ever watched a movie¬†and then wanted all of the outfits?¬†If you were going to recreate a movie look, which would outfit would you choose?¬†Share in the comments, so we¬†can all look up¬†your favourite movie costumes. . . ¬†and then add them to our¬†own lists too ūüėČ

 

Rural Holiday, the artyologist, a roman holiday outfit, sunny-standing-beside-bicycle

Rural Holiday, the artyologist, a roman holiday outfit, scarf detail 2

Rural Holiday, the artyologist, a roman holiday outfit, riding bicycle 2

Rural Holiday, the artyologist, a roman holiday outfit, tie-shirt

Rural Holiday, the artyologist, a roman holiday outfit, riding-away

An Almost Vintage Skirt of Recycled Fabric

an almost recycled skirt of vintage fabric the artyologist

This¬†could also be titled¬†as “The World’s Easiest Skirt Pattern”. ūüôā¬†When I sewed up my dutch wax print skirt, and refashioned my black floral, I realized just how much I love pleated skirts. After completing Me Made May, I decided that I needed more of these skirts in my life as they are so easy to wear, and are comfortable and practical for everyday. When I was deciding what fabric to use, I remembered¬†this vintage sheet I picked up a a flea market a couple of months¬†ago, so I decided to recycle the fabric into a skirt. I absolutely love the pattern on the fabric- is it just me or were vintage linens so much nicer than today’s?

skirt construction the artyologist

I used the same easy method as the other skirts, which pretty much involves creating a curved waistband to fit your waist measurement, plus seam allowances. I have found that a slightly curved band is better than a straight rectangle, as bodies are typically not straight,¬†so¬†if it is curved in, the waistband will not gape on you. I didn’t use a pattern for this, I seriously just “eyeballed” the curve for this band and traced to create a mirror image for both sides. To this, I cut a front and back rectangle, and pleated it into the waist circumference (no real math at play, just pleating and fiddling until it fit!)¬†To create something different, so all of the garments in my wardrobe are not exactly the same, I decided to add ties to the waistband this time. I think they give a bit of a fun twist. I sewed the two ties separately, and then inserted them between the zipper (which I had saved¬†off another garment, hence the title of this post) and the waistband when sewing them together. Thus, the raw edges were encased, and the ties wrap around to the front. The skirt took me only about 4 hours start to finish. Well, not including the time that it took to cut the material, I guess. When I went to lay out the fabric, I discovered that somewhere along the way someone had used this sheet as a dropcloth or something, and there was orange paint splattered across¬†it! I had to do some strategic measuring and cutting to avoid all the splatters- but it was successful, as none of the paint shows on the final garment! The joys of vintage material I guess. ūüėČ I actually love projects like this as they recycle something¬†that would otherwise be discarded. The skirt turned out nicely and qualifies as a Make do and Mend garment, I think, as well as almost being vintage, as the materials to make it were. . .

waistband detail the recycled skirt the artyologist

So, onto the outfit! The skirts debut, the very next day, was for an afternoon of shopping on Edmonton’s Whyte Ave. My best friend came for a visit (as I already mentioned before), so we took the opportunity to go shopping, and Whyte Ave is a pretty fun place filled with lots of lovely little shops and restaurants.¬†(I also found the best little store called Rowena, which carries a whole host of vintage reproduction brands I’ve never been able to find in a brick-and-mortar store! I was like a kid in a candy shop- and I have an outfit post with the¬†dress I bought, next week!)

the entirely recycled fabric skirt the artyologist

the entirely recycled skirt the artyologist

We had a lovely time shopping, but I didn’t get any outfit photos while we were there, which is too bad as there are so many historical brick buildings that would’ve served as¬†a nice backdrop. I was too busy catching up with my friend, though, to stop for pictures, so we got these pictures later. I paired the skirt with a modern ruffled blouse, and my lovely vintage straw boater I got at an antique sale a few years ago. The lining in this hat is so shredded I can barely pick out any of the label, the only words left¬†read “Knox New York”. I did a google search and came up with this article about the Knox hat company, but as it appears they made men’s hats, I’m not sure of the history of this piece. ¬†It is lovely though, and in very good shape too, despite the label being in disrepair. I would’ve liked to have paired this outfit with my cognac kiltie loafers, but as they are not broken in yet, I thought an afternoon spent walking would be better suited to my tried and true brown flats. Sometimes style must be sacrificed for comfort, as much as I hate to admit it¬†ūüôĀ

Anyways, I’ve already worn this skirt several times since I made it, and it is quickly becoming a favourite in my wardrobe. Do you ever¬†find yourself gravitating towards sewing or wearing¬†the same things over and over again?

Outfit details:

Hat- vintage from an antique sale

Shirt- secondhand

Skirt- made by me out of a sheet from a flea market

Earrings- Joe Fresh from a year ago

Shoes- Josef Seibel

Purse- bought in England

vintage knox straw boater the artyologist

the entirely recycled fabric skirt the artyologist

an almost recycled skirt of vintage fabric the artyologist

vintage straw boater the artyologist

vintage knox boater the artyologist