I’ll admit that I am not feeling inspired in my writing lately. I’m hopeful that the warmer months will bring forth more creative writing. For now, I’m still trying to anchor myself in some solid signs of Spring and find ways to settle my heart and mind when my work and love lives threaten too much stress. Yesterday, I found inspiration in the Weekly Photo Challenge: Color and decided it was high time to take on a recycled clothing project that would infuse some color into my life.
A while ago, I came across ReFashionista’s makeover of her intended wedding dress and was struck by how she was able to re-purpose a dress that carried so much emotional weight. In my own life, I have always been drawn to clothing with past lives. As the seventh of eight children, I learned early to make peace with hand-me-downs and find ways to make clothes my own. My mother used to embroider flowers and decorative details to spruce up denim and regularly made by hand the dolls and purses and little whatnots that children delight in. At home and at convent school, my sisters and I inherited the simple skills needed to play doctor to our torn stuffed animals and stitch together things like handkerchiefs and small pillows. Even the most domestically-challenged girls like me all learned to knit and sew in Ireland; working with my hands in these ways were early lessons in coordination, patience, and working through problems that appear during a project.
I’ve always wanted to develop my simple skills, but I don’t usually have the time, except for summer, when the outdoors calls me to other pursuits. Spring is the perfect time to take something up, however, so I decided to start small and work on a vintage slip that I bought on a whim one day while antique shopping with Newman.
There was something in the details, however, that made me return twice to pick it up and finger the delicate lace.
I had no idea if it would fit, but I bought it anyway and brought it home, where it hung in my closet until yesterday. Years ago, I made a vow never to buy new clothing that I would have to make any major changes to, and it’s a policy that has served me well. Even when I go thrifting, it’s usually not a good idea to buy something that requires anything beyond adjusting a strap length because it just simply doesn’t get done. This dress, therefore, represented a bit of a challenge; if I didn’t do something to it soon, it would be a reminder of my inability to follow through on things.
I did follow through this time, and I have proof.
If you have any clothing makeovers, I’d love to see them!