Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Last day of MMJ'11, and some thoughts

Yeah, so inwardly I was cheering as I set up to take my last daily photograph for this challenge.  I might look kinda calm and faraway here, but on the inside I'm throwing a party!
(for those who like to know: 10C-18C and quite quite windy today...)

Top; (just the end of the sleeves can be seen) the top part of Burdastyle magazine 08/2009, dress 128, charcoal marle wool-mix details here  (I have since removed the zip as the fabric is slightly stretchy and the top can just be pulled on...)
Skirt; Vogue 7303, bottle green cotton velveteen, details here
Coat; McCalls 5525 view B, charcoal wool, details here
Tights; Metalicus
Socks; handknit by me, details here
Shoes; Francesco Morichetti, from Zomp shoes
So, as promised I do have a few thoughts on how this month-long challenge went, which I shall now attempt to summarise in a clear and coherent manner, ahem...
Firstly and most importantly, I think the Me-Made challenges that Zoe organises are a fantastic idea.  On a roughly seasonal schedule, she sets up a Flickr group where seamstresses, seamsters people who like to construct their own clothing can all join in wearing their own creations for the month and share in the creative inspirational aura of "the group".  I have found everybody involved to be constructive in their comments, and very supportive of each other's efforts.  It can be difficult to make oneself wear one's own clothes... often people feel their stuff isn't "good enough", or that other people might judge their (real or imagined) less-than-expert construction or finishing details on their handiwork.  So any plan to get us out and proudly wearing our own stuff has to be a good thing.
However, there are some negatives... I'm not going to dwell on the eventual exhaustion of taking one's own photograph on a daily basis, everybody who has tried to do this challenge will be well aware of that.  For me the honeymoon was over at about the middle, when I had a few very busy days and found it hard to get into it.  Then I got a new little burst of enthusiasm for a few days, which then waned, then waxed, and waned again...
Another negative was the creeping suspicion that I was turning into a fashion blogger, an unsettling thought.  I never set out to be a fashion blogger, and have very little desire to become one.  True, I love fashion with a passion (hehe, I'm a poet, etc...)  I love playing about with my clothes, and trying out new and different combinations of matching different pieces together (simply because it is fun)  and the picture-taking process has proved an unbeatable tool for seeing how an outfit really and truly looks.  Everybody who has tried taking their own photos in this way knows that the outfit you dreamed up in your head doesn't always look super wonderful when you actually put it on.  Even your own image looking back at you in the mirror might appear pass-able, but then when you look at a photo of yourself, walking out and about in the real world, you might suddenly notice some problem that you didn't before.  You have a sudden flash of insight; hmmm, those jeans; way past their use-by-date, or what?!
So taking your own photo can prove useful in this way...  But still, fashion blogging doesn't sit super comfortably with me and I lived in fear that I would be spotted taking my own photo and mistaken for one.  One can only hope the fact that I made all my own clothes with my own hands somewhat alleviates the shallowness of documenting one's outfits...  and ups the interest factor just a touch?
As far as my wardrobe went, I coped fine with my all-me-made pledge, and only resorted to RTW tights, and most days a camisole or a scoop-necked Tshirt underneath, for thermal purposes.  And one particularly windy and cold day I wore gloves.  Yeah, I do have me-made gloves, but I had a lunch and shopping date with my son for his birthday, so I wanted to look smart, and my me-made gloves did not fit the bill.  Occasionally I had comments noting that I was not dressed warmly enough for winter, but I wasn't sure if those commenters realised that A. I was limiting myself to all me-made clothes and couldn't just pop on a few extra (visible) layers without breaking my pledge; and B. winter in Perth probably isn't as cold as people might think.
The usual lack of me-made tops made itself felt; if I am going to do this again I should concentrate on making more tops.  And especially white tops.  I wanted to reach for one of my small collection of white tops, like at least three or four times a week.  What can I say?  I'm a white top lover... so I am going to get onto that one.  I also wanted to wear my little brown hand-knit cardigan a lot, and I wore my trench coat on a daily basis as a dressing gown substitute, as my real dressing gown is not me-made.
My favourite, bar none, aspect of the challenge turned out to be that I chose this spot to take each and every photo.  I just love that I have this little daily snapshot of the winter weather; reflected in the sky and the river.  So glad I stuck with that plan...  The light might not always have been great (like today) for taking a good photo and I am usually a perfectionist in that respect, but meh.  That's the nature of light.
So that's it.  Would I do this again?  Hmmm, dunno.  Right now I'd say no, but ask me again in another few months...

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