Changing Your Clothes

Shopping, Sewing, Upcycling, Repairing: Make the most of your clothes!


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Read My New Article: Color in your Closet

Just published in Colette Patterns‘ sewing magazine Seamwork: My latest article on using color palettes in real life! It’s called Color in Your Closet: Discover (and Use) the Palette Within.

Features:

  • How to coax a palette out of your existing wardrobe;
  • Identifying your primary colors;
  • Ideas for using your palette to create new outfits;
  • Tips for using accent colors in unexpected ways;
  • Using your palette when you shop!
Using color palettes while you shop

Once you’ve created your palette based on the clothes already in your closet, carry it with you when you shop! (Click the photo to go straight to my article. Photo is my own, also used in the published article.)

Colormusing

This post appeared originally at my A Musing blog, here.

Want to see sewing stuff from Colormusing? Check out myBratelier (lingerie sewing, including bras!), and A Musing, covering all things color-palette-related. And don’t miss all my newest projects, including sew-alongs, at the brand-new SewColormusing blog!

Click on the dots above to visit my mother ship, Colormusing.com, where you can also sign up to receive Hue News, Colormusing’s own monthly e-mail newsletter!

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The All-New Colormusing Shop is Live!

This is the biggest newsflash item I’ve had the pleasure to post about so far: I’m actually creating my dream of a color-centric business, by combining several different areas of interest under a single name:Colormusing logoYes! Knittique (yarns, knitwear patterns, samples, & jewelry), Photo/Graphic Design (art on canvas, tutorials, & graphic files), and The Bratelier (lingerie sewing kits) are now all part of the Colormusing family— a reunion of sorts, where all the various relatives play together nicely because they all have one thing in common: color palettes. Continue reading


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We Interrupt This Blog-Cast…

… to introduce The Renegade Seamstress! Beth is an incredibly popular blogger focusing on refashioning clothes, and I love/follow/am inspired by her!

Here’s just one example of her work:

Before

One of TRS’s projects, before

Continue reading


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Who Am I, Anyway? (Part 2 of… many)

In my last post, the first of what promises to be an epic series, I confessed to a serious wardrobe identity crisis. This led to me biting the proverbial bullet by showing you pictures of what I really look like, body-shape-and-size-wise. (And thanks to all of you for your supportive and empathetic comments!) Today, I’ll show you what I was inspired to do with those photos to help this process along.

Already this process is leading me in unexpected directions. After finishing that last post, I suddenly felt much better! Could it be possible that simply facing up to what I had thought of as the truth about the way I look actually steered me straight? As I suspect many of us tend to do, I had fallen into the habit of focusing on what I perceived as the negative aspects of my body.

But after looking at those photos for a while, it occurred to me to think of it like this: What if that was a friend of mine, who had come to me for wardrobe advice? Would I be telling her that she’s too thick in the middle? Her shoulders are too narrow and her rib cage is too small for her bust? Of course not. I’d be telling her to focus on her assets, and dress to make the most of them.

So why am I not doing that for myself? Continue reading


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A Year of Change

It’s my anniversary! Today it’s exactly one year since I published my very first post here on Changing Your Clothes. And since anniversaries tend to inspire nostalgia for the year that was, here’s a recap of my first year at CYC.

First, some blog numbers:

Followers: 127 (thank you!)

Posts: 113 (this one makes 114)

Views: 7,489

Comments: 428

And some wardrobe numbers:

Clothing items made: 19 (plus 2 for my daughter)

Clothing items altered, repaired, or made over: 25 (including one at my hair salon)

Travel wardrobes created: 2 (Santa Fe and Chicago)

So I’ve averaged more than 2 followers, 2 posts, 144 views, and 8 comments per week, not to mention a total of 46 garments (almost 1 per week) that I’ve either created or altered in the last year. That’s a lot of clothes-changing (and writing) going on!

But these statistics represent just a tiny part of the bigger-picture transformation that’s marked this year for me. As I’ve changed my clothes, my blog has changed, and creating my blog has changed me, which contributes to changing my blog even more in turn.

How can something as apparently superficial as clothes be the catalyst for this kind of chain-reaction growth cycle?

What we choose to wear communicates who we are to the observing world. Whether we dress to stand out, or try to hide in our clothes, we’re all sending a message that’s as clear as a neon sign flashing, “This is who I am”. So as long as we’re growing, shouldn’t our clothes be changing to reflect our internal state?

Try this. Imagine you’re an actor, and you’ve just received your script for an upcoming play. Let’s say you’re  normally a casual dresser, but as you read over your part, you realize you’re playing a super-glamorous, high-profile celebrity. Imagine working through all your scenes, wearing your usual jeans and t-shirt “uniform”; now imagine your first dress rehearsal, in your character’s full red-carpet style. How different do you feel, wearing clothes that are so different from your own style?

That’s the power of changing your clothes.

You don’t have to be an actor, putting a new character on each time you go to work, to experience this power. You simply have to raise your awareness of how you feel when you get dressed. It’s simple: if you don’t feel good, all you need to do is change your clothes. It’s not that you’re pretending to be someone else; you’re choosing to allow your clothes to be an active part of your personal growth.

An example from my own blog work is the jeans I made over by adding reversible cuffs. Prior to this project, I hadn’t worn these jeans in a long time, only because they were marginally too short for me; I stopped wearing them when I realized how self-conscious this was making me. But since their makeover, I’ve worn these jeans more times than I can count, even including them in my recent Chicago travel wardrobe!

My jeans, post-makeover

My jeans, post-makeover! On the left are my “new” jeans with bronze cuffs down; at right, I’ve folded up the cuffs to reveal the lace-print side. Definitely a change for the better!

So I not only changed the jeans, but how I felt about wearing them! Sure, I could have simply bought a pair that was long enough (actually not that simple, with a 33″ inseam), but this way, I get a bonus: the sense of accomplishment from making my jeans better than they were originally.

In addition to the wardrobe work, writing about changing my clothes has also been a significant part of this year’s growth for me. I’ve not only become more disciplined as a writer, I’ve also developed a sharper focus: writing about creative ways to get the most out of clothes we already have. And I realized recently that, for me, writing about clothes has become analogous to actually wearing them: both allow me to tell the world a little about who I am, as I am right now, today, and also how I’m changing over time.

It’s funny, when I try to articulate exactly how I’ve changed, it’s hard; it seems simpler to look at my clothes for clues. Virtually all the clothes I’ve either made, bought, or altered in some way have something special about them; I think my days of buying “practical” basics are behind me. What I want now is to wear clothes that express my individuality. (Think about it: if people were to describe the way you dress in one word, would you want that word to be “practical”?) So I think I can conclude that I’ve become more comfortable with myself, with who I am, and that’s what I’m seeing in my new (and newly-made-over) clothes.

Yes, I’ve changed a lot of my clothes over the past year; my writing has changed too, all of which is reflective of even greater internal changes. So what’s next?

Maybe I can begin to answer that question… over the next year or so.


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Makeover Monday: A Tale of Two Skirts

It was the best of skirts:

Just-below-knee-length pencil silhouette, charcoal grey, substantial-weight stretch woven fabric, invisible zipper, back vent. Goes with everything.

Pencil skirt

Pencil skirt (before). Serviceable, but…

It was the worst of skirts:

Dull.

Continue reading


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Quick: Change Your Clothes!

It started like most Wednesday mornings. I caught up with some reading over early-morning coffee and breakfast, and I was just rolling out my yoga mat, when suddenly…

…the phone rang.

It was the manager of my hair salon. I had an appointment for 2:15 in the afternoon, but my stylist had had a last-minute cancellation, and wanted to know if I could run over a little early. As in right that minute: 10:05 a.m. (It so happens that I live literally across the street from my salon, otherwise I wouldn’t even have attempted to make it.) Here’s a direct quote from my stylist, heard in the background while I was talking to the manager: “Just brush your teeth and come over!” The question was, how fast could I get there? Continue reading