This Monday was day two hundred of Project Every Day. That means I am officially half way through this project.
On January 15—my 50th birthday—I began to wear only clothing that I have made. What I tell people is no outer or under—just the regular clothes. Someday I am going to make a jacket, but I am really not that interested in underwear.
For several years, I have wanted to do this. I used turning 50 as an excuse. Right? You should do something outrageous when you turn 50 and maybe every year afterwards. That is one of the things I have learned from this project. Don’t let fear of making a fool of yourself every stop you from doing the things you want to do with your life. Just announce your intentions and then go about your business. You will be surprised by the magic that follows.
When I started the project, I did not have very many handmade clothes. Originally, I wanted to launch the project with a complete and fabulous wardrobe. But then I realized two things—1. I would never feel that my wardrobe was adequate enough to begin, and 2. Where is the journey in that?
In the beginning, it was hard for me to face my closet and try and create outfits when I had only one pair of tights and two pairs of pajama bottoms. But limits, as many of you know, can result in interesting things happening. On more than one occassion, my knees were exposed to freezing temperatures. I wore wool knee-highs and kept going.
The first few months were about getting the wardrobe up to speed. I needed pants. I needed layers. I needed more color.
About the color. Well, if you only have a few garments, you want them to all work together. I started with black and grey and then I added blue. I acknowledge that this might be boring for the viewer, but I can build lots of different outfits with garments made in a limited palette.
My garment sewing skills are way better than they were at the beginning of the year. Practice—this is true with almost all things in life—will improve your ability to do the task at hand.
Artist and blog writer Kathy Loomis has long been an advocate of daily art projects. This has always fascinated me, and I actually tried a couple of times to start a daily art project, but it never stuck.
At some point, I realized that Project Every Day was an daily art project, and I was doing it every day.
I also knew that the wearing of handmade clothes was the easy part of the project. I wanted to properly and publically document each day. I had no idea how hard this was going to be. I got terribly behind in the beginning and spent a good part of May catching up. The most important thing with a daily project is to NOT GET BEHIND.
The first step of the documentaion process was to find a photographer. In the beginning, my husband and sons would take turns. They hated it. “I did it yesterday! Make Ozzy do it.” Finally, son number three made a deal involving some new computer parts, and I had a permanent picture taker. This is him pretending to be me.
Tripp takes approximately 60 photos every day. As he takes the pictures, I turn in a complete circle. Hopefully that daily turning will eventually have a meaning of its own.
I write down each day’s clothing in a calendar along with the “number” day of the project and the name of my photographer—sometimes Tripp isn’t around when I need him.
I post one image daily on Instagram.
I then write a weekly blog post which you can find on my website. This post provides links to all of the patterns I used in making the garments. So, you too can make these clothes.
I compile the weekly blog post using my Master List Of Garments. As I make new garments, I add them to the Master List. I also document when each new piece is added to my wardrobe.
I don’t like to think about this, but the first 100 days of the project where a bust. We had been taking the photos very close to the house and the snow and ice hid the ugly terrain underneath. When the snow melted, we realized what we had done. We spent several days trying out new locations in the yard.
We finally settled on the road we live on. It is a very short dirt road maintained by us and our neighbors across the street. Here is the first full week of shooting in the road. Now that is a way better visual.
At this point, it became clear to me that the road was actually part of the project.
I stand in the middle of the road and turn around slowly while Tripp or another photographer takes my photo dozens of times in the hope that when this is all done, I will have a cohesive project to share with all of you. If it takes two years, so be it.
A friend told me that wearing my own handmade clothes may bring me notoriety but quilting would bring me fame. I know. I am quilter maker at my core. Still, there is still something that compells me to do this project. Roads, clothes, and turning like the earth in a full rotation every day, may or may not amount to what is in my head, but I am going to keep at it until I figure it out.