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The End of Suitcase Challenge II

7 Feb

Once upon a time I made pants. It just so happens that they fit, right now, so for my last day of travel on Round 2 of my “Traveling Seamstress Handmade Suitcase Challenge” I am featuring my who-knows-how-old pair of handmade green pants, together with a cropped cardigan knit of Noro “Yuzen” multi-colored yarn.

AND, although my shell (worn under the cardi) is a factory-made piece, the bracelet on my wrist is one of my own fabric bangles.

Also, although you can’t see them, I think I get some extra-credit points, because under my boots I’m wearing my very own hand knitted socks.

Plus I’m wearing this outfit all the way home, which is always a good feeling, to be at that stage in any journey…it’ll be good to be back at my sewing machine once again, creating new things.


Suitcase Challenge Failure

6 Feb

It had to happen sooner or later. I just don’t have a full wardrobe of handmade goodness, at this stage, yet.

I’m wearing a handmade skirt (the one I called here my “Marginal Folded Skirt”) but the top is wholly off-the-rack and readymade.

I know 50% is a failing grade, and it’s going to bring down my “Handmade Suitcase Challenge” travel GPA, and I promise to try harder, tomorrow. But there’s only so much sewing I can squeeze in, sometimes.

(I admit, though, I am rather pleased with the way vivid teal looks next to navy. This skirt is a mostly-new color in my wardrobe palette, so finding things to wear with it is a bit of a challenge all its own. Sometimes it takes work even to get to that 50% mark!)

On the Road Again: Suitcase Challenge, Part II

6 Feb

Barely did I have time to unpack my suitcase and do laundry than I was off once more, anew. I wish I’d had had time to sew one more quick jersey fabric shirt, in between, or work on my blazer a bit more, or start my cape…but…such is life. I did not.

So I’m sticking to my resolution of wearing only handmade, as much as possible, whenever I leave town, so here I am, doing my best. Today, for travel, I’m wearing the corduroy skirt I made recently (and posted here) with the whipped-together cowl-neck tee shirt I made two weeks ago, for last week’s trip.

Meanwhile, sewing plans and creative projects pile up in my mind (and in my pocket-sized notebook) but I will have to wait to get to them for a few more days.

This is a short trip, anyway: three days, three outfits, and then hopefully I’ll be able to work on something brand new.

Meanwhile, I think I want to re-make the waistband on this skirt. When I wear something store-bought, I just make do with however it fits. When I wear something self-made, however, I fuss over every detail, never quite content. After wearing it a while, I always think I can improve on a thing.

I suspect this is why so many garments end up in my mending basket, as just  more work to be done.

Handmade Suitcase Challenge, on the way home!

1 Feb

Last hotel-room outfit update, for this little trip. (Off again, next week, though.)

When I packed, I thought this outfit was the most boring of the batch, but it turns out to be my very favorite of the week.

“Wear the Shift” shift dress, made by me.

“Que Sera” cotton cardigan, made by me.

-Bowtie Pendant, made by Cheri Lewis, of San Francisco.

I like that even though it’s all neutral colors, the textures play well together and the patterns keep it from being boring.

Houndstooth fabric against patterned tights and lacy knit cardigan, even the scalloped pattern on the bowtie necklace adds something similar, yet different. I will totally wear this again, and am happy that my mini-challenge led to new wardrobe discoveries.

Handmade Hotel Fashions

31 Jan

Today’s Day 3 adventures left me barely any time to snap a documentary snapshot of my handmade outfit. So here’s me squeezed into the barest corner of my hotel room, but I’m wearing my personal favorite of my “Wear the Shift” shift dresses, along with the faux-tortoiseshell chain necklace I posted about a couple of weeks ago. I find I can put up with inconvenience easier when I’m wearing fun handmade fashions.

Mess in a Suitcase, Day 2

31 Jan

Day 2: I wore a red skirt that I made last fall, copied off the pattern of a manufactured skirt in my closet…

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Handmade Mess Hits the Road

29 Jan

I told you when I traveled, I was going to pack/wear only handmade, as much as possible.

Well, I’m off!

I had to start off in pink, in homage to my TWA Lady of Vintage Suitcases.  First off, though: trains, not planes (this time, anyway.) Secondly, my life is woefully lacking in pink suitcases. (I’d remedy that in a heartbeat, if I could.) Also, this real-life contemporary lady doesn’t go anywhere without coffee.

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The Traveling Seamstress

19 Jan

I’m going on a short business trip at the end of this month. I’m tempted to give myself a mini-challenge, and pack and wear for the trip only clothing I’ve made, myself. A sort of test, if you will, to see how well I’m laying down the groundwork for the larger project: can I, by the end of January, get by for just a few days with nothing store-bought?

It’d be easy if I stick to shift dresses, I have enough of those by now! But I’m not sure how many days in a row I want to wear just a shift dress. Harder, if I try to do separates. Harder still when limited to things that coordinate with my most comfortable walking shoes!  I have some good work-ready hand-knits from years past, but what this idea reveals, even in its conceptual phase, is a lack of handmade tops: while I have some knitted overlayers, I still rely on basic shells and tanks and shirts along with my handmade skirts.  And there’s the shoe thing. I foresee a lot of forced pairings with black.

Still, I’m tempted to try it. I like the idea of living out of suitcase filled with items that are unique to me. I’m planning on making a number of short (2-4 day) trips this year, and if I do it consistently, each trip, it may be a good measure of progress along the way.

In the fantastical world of my imagination, this all looks glamorously like an old airline ad. A carefree, jet-setting lifestyle of freedom brought about by modern technology and fashion.  Reality, of course, has a way of turning out somewhat different.

I suppose now that I’ve written it out, I’ve as good as committed to it. Well, I’ll let you know how it goes! You can have hotel outfit updates, and grade me on my success or lack thereof. We’ll play “count the retail items in Julie’s suitcase.”