Project Every Day

Project Every Day

Day 1

Yesterday, I wrote a blog post about what an AK SAQA meeting looks like. At the very end of the post, I mentioned that I was going to start a special project today. This morning, as a formal journalist, I thought to myself–way to bury a lead Shell.

Maria Shell Project Every Day Day OneI realized that while I am super excited about this project, I am also so unsure of what is going to happen, that I probably did subconsiously try and bury the news at bottom of the story.

Here is what’s happening.

I have been a sewer all of my life–I started when I was four. I am a serious quilt maker, but only a not so bad seamstress. I want to change that about myself. I want to, well, I want to make ALL of my clothing, and I want it to look really good. I want to be as good at making garments as I am at making quilts.

Maria Shell Project Every Day Day OneToday is my 50th birthday. I really wanted to do a year long celebration to mark this milestone, and I kept coming back to this notion of wearing only clothing that I have made–day in and day out. This idea just would not go away. But how to get there?

Maria Shell Project Every Day Day OneWell, I’ve finally decided on a cold turkey approach. For 2016, I am going to box up all my store bought clothes, and I am going to wear only what I have made starting today.

When I first started considering this idea, I was determined to have all my clothes ready to go–like a movie star–just one glam photo shoot after another of me in my fancy pants outfits. I wanted to have already had the jean making and coat-making and maybe (I’m still on the fence here) bra-making adventures of an accomplished seamstress. But truly, where is the story in that?

This morning, I woke up and had a serious discussion with myself. Do I wear joggers all day because I can’t find the one pair of tights I have made? What am I going to do about the lack of trousers in my life?

And of course there the elements–ice, cold, snow, dark, winter–you just might freeze in tights. The fact is I live in a subarctic climate. I can’t cruise through this journey in sun dresses. So, I’ll be thinking about as well.

Maria Shell Project Every Day Day OneFor starters this adventure is about regular clothes that you wear indoors. I am going to wear manufactured outer and under wear. I hope by the end of the journey I will have a coat or two to keep me warm and dry and maybe, I don’t know, maybe some panties. We will see.

I will be documenting my progress on a seperate blog on my website. Get ready to see lots of repeats and odd ball combinations.

Maria Shell Project Every Day Day OneToday, I am wearing a pair of wool jersey pajama bottoms. The wool is vintage, and the pattern is from back in the day when I taught fifth grade girls how to sew.

Maria Shell Project Every Day Day OneUnderneath, I am wearing a Prism tunic by A Verb for Keeping Warm. It is an odd length which I might have to change. I had two one yard cuts of the fabric–which is a great ikat purchased last year from Marcy Tilton–but the weird yardage made for a weird length.

Maria Shell Project Every Day Day OneFor the final layer, I am sporting a wool jersey sweater. The fabric is New Zealand Merino Wool from the LA Fabric store. I got it on sale last year and I bought ten yards. This felt like a life time supply, but it is actually going fast as it the perfect layering weight. The pattern here is the Linden Sweatshirt by Grainline Studios. You will be seeing lots of different versions of this sweatshirt.

Maria Shell Project Every Day Day OneAnd that’s it. For Now.

This will be the only duplicate post–I am sharing this info here and on the Project Every Day blog on my website.  I still have some tweaking to do with that, but it is up and out there, and it is still my birthday, so I officially did it.

This entry was published on January 15, 2016 at 9:11 PM. It’s filed under Project Every Day, Project EveryDay and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

23 thoughts on “Project Every Day

  1. Wow–you made tights?! I’m looking forward to reading your posts.

  2. Wow!! You sewed a sweater? We will all be in awe of you this year. I did not do well in my eighth grade home ec class, and I have not sewn any clothing since then.

  3. Good luck with the seamstress goal! I’ll read your blogs with great curiosity. Strange that more and more women I talk to have the thought of sewing their own clothes. That in includes me. Sustainability? Regards Jantine

  4. I used to make a lot of my clothes. In college I was notorious for buying a pattern and fabric on one day and wearing a new dress the next. When my daughter was little, I made lots of twirling skirts and fun dresses (she went through a NO PANTS phase). I even learned to smock! I don’t garment sew much anymore but have hopes of helping to outfit my grandson (expected in about six weeks!!!).
    It will be fun to see the results of your adventure. Looking good so far! Maybe I’ll get inspired to try some of your ideas for myself…
    Hope your birthday was amazing!

  5. Lynn Savage on said:

    Happy Birthday Maria! Looking forward to watching your wardrobe grow.

  6. That is one ambitious project!I can’t imagine that you are adding more to your already busy schedule, but I commend your trying!I’ll look forward to seeing what you come up with!Hope you use some of your quilting techniques on some of them.

  7. Justine Malinski on said:

    Maria, you are truly an inspiration!

  8. happy Birthday Maria, and I look forward to watching your wardrobe grow. I’ve just the opposite feeling about sewing clothes.I up the third of four girls., learned to sew very early, to make something other than “hand me downs”. I admire your goal,and look forward to watching your success.

  9. I’ve been thinking about sewing clothes again, too. Like you and several other commenters I used to sew for myself and family. Many years since I’ve done it. Congratulations on your outfit. And tights? Wow. I’ve long forgotten how to sew knits.

  10. Lesley Turner on said:

    All the best with your new project.

  11. Happy birthday to you. I bought a Jamie Joseph ring on my 60th birthday. It was a totally spur of the moment purchase, and I still love it years later. You will, I am sure, have an amazing wardrobe. Good luck with this project.

  12. Have a a happy birthday midlife crisis. You know your generation is slated to live to be 100. I hope you will repurpose some warm woolen thrifted sweaters like you did last year to add to your repertoire and I love the idea of quilted garments too which are so warm, especially after you wash them to make softly comfy. Colorful vests and jackets for layering and cute hats and scarves. I know you won’t abandon your quilting skills so we are all excited at your goals and hope you accomplish much. I envision a whole passel of patterns you come up with too. The world is your oyster.

  13. What a wonderfully ambitious idea, look forward to following your progress!

  14. wow — can’t wait to see how it goes ….
    happy birthday!

  15. You are a brave woman! What a commitment! Love the outfit, by the way.

  16. Pam Rocco on said:

    You look so cute in anything you wear. If I wore all those layers, I’d look like Frosty the Snowman (meaning round). I hope you don’t give up quilting–with clothes you get notoriety, but with quilts, you get fame.

    At least, i think so.

  17. Mickey Beebe on said:

    Happy Birthday Maria!! I made all my clothes all through H.S. and way into my twenties. Then it was more fun to make clothes for my kids. I made every thing from a bikini to a tent and even leather sandals. Now it costs a LOT more to make clothes than buy it, I think. I can’t wait to see your outfit at QuiltCon. I might made something too.

    I’m glad your a sewer and not a sewist!!

  18. Mickey Beebe on said:

    P.S. I love your repurposed sweaters! They’re really unique!

  19. sewserena on said:

    Very exciting! I think the cold turkey approach is courageous. I look forward to following along.

  20. Brave woman! Bravo for taking on such a challenge. I can’t sew clothes so save my life so I’ll be admiring everything you make that you can also wear. Wow.

  21. Great post, Maria! I look forward to your progress reports.

  22. Hi Maria: I love what you are doing, but I wonder if you could take pictures in better light (I know, I know, it’s Alaska) but it’s difficult to see the fabric texture and sewing details. I do love the overall looks…but the pics are a bit dark. Thank you my friend!!

    • Dear Anne-

      You are right! I am working on it. It will be get better as the light gets better, but I also need to learn more about photography outside. And I will tell you a small secret. The photos will eventually be made into a video, so I am trying to take them in the space everyday that I can. So, the video is also about the seasons up here. Right now we don’t really see the change but it is happening. Thank you for your support. In some ways it is hard for me to do this, so thank you.

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