Happy New Years, everyone!
I thought it would be interesting to start the year by asking the Our Social Fabric community about their plans for 2014. Do any of you make New Years resolutions? Has anyone resolved to improve their sewing skills or shop less or start “refashioning” clothes that no longer please you?
I’ve been looking for a new challenge. I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet. I’ve been looking for inspiration in a few of my favourite textile-related projects. Some of these projects are big and some are smaller, but they all start with a year-long resolution.
In 2013, Australian blogger Carolyn resolved to only wear clothes she had made herself, including underwear, swimwear and coats. Shoes and boots were the only exception to this rule. Fortunately, she had plenty to choose from after three years of sewing clothes for herself and her family. Carolyn’s sewing skills and seemingly endless passion for making her own clothes is impressive, and I’ve always like her relaxed but expressive style.
Vancouver’s own Natalie Purschwitz took the idea of making your own clothes even further with the MakeShift project. From September 01, 2009 to September 01, 2010, she wore only clothes that she had made herself–including shoes and anything else she might need to protect her body from the elements. As a fashion designer and fine artist, Purschwitz explored this idea with a more experimental style of dress. If Carolyn shows how I could dress in my current life, Purschwitz suggests how I might dress in my fantasies.
Both these projects resist “easy clothing” by making everyday dressing something laborious, thoughtful and creative. They also exempted themselves from clothes shopping for the year. In 2012, Toronto-based illustrator Sarah Lazarovic embarked on something similar when she decided not to buy any clothes for the year. When confronted with something she longed for, she made an illustration of it instead. These images are collected in the beautiful visual essay, “A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy.”
Finally, there’s the Uniform Project, where New York’s Sheena Matheiken decided to raise money for an Indian charity by wearing the same reversible black dress for a year (she had a couple dresses for the sake of laundry). This was a styling challenge, and Matheiken created a new look every day with thrifted, vintage or hand-made accessories, many of them donated by supporters of the project. These accessories were later auctioned off. The project raised over $100, 000 for an Indian charity.
Do you have any favourite projects that came out of someone’s resolution? Are any of you planning any grand schemes in 2014? Or even any little schemes? We’d love to hear about them!