Saturday, April 12, 2008

50 by April 15

Not quite there yet - and not shown are two awaiting photos, and the 7 garments made with mom this past week - of which I claim construction on 3. And also yet to come are the garments that are ALMOST finished. (if you're the type that has to count - there are 38 items/garments that are finished, wearable, hanging in a closet right now - there are 2 waiting on photos, and the rest are waiting on a hem, a waistband, a facing, a trim....)
So close, yet not wearable, so, They Do Not Count yet.
50 by April 15

You'll also notice, that a number of SWAP garments are not in the frame. They didn't make the deadline for sewing. ;(
It's really is. scroll down for my thoughts, and my letter to my sister and all who are disappointed that I didn't make the time frame.

But First, the 50 giveaway items to help start reducing the STUFF in my sewing room. I'm feeling swamped with stuff. Time to lighten the load a bit.

The process:
Click on the picture mosaic above. It'll take you to the flickr page. Spend as much time browsing as you care to.
If you see something you would like to claim to add to your collections, and lighten my collection, I will be grateful and happy to pass along the goods. I just am so far past what I can handle in terms of inventory, I must divest myself of some of it.
I will ask you to pay for shipping. I'm not making money on shipping, I'll charge you what it costs me, but I can't be paying it all.
So, back to process, If You see something you would like to claim, PLEASE
  1. leave your name in the comments under the photo - you don't need to be registered with flickr, just leave your name, or some way to ID yourself.
  2. Then send me an email at mlweaving at yahoo dot com. with a brief descript of item(s) and your address to ship to. I'll send you a paypal invoice for shipping, so I need an email addy for paypal too.
You must do both. For my part, I'll ship as soon as I rec'v the shipping $. I will ship internationally.

If an item is tagged, then it isn't available unless you've already had communication with me about it.
If an item is claimed - it's already spoken for. (My mom was here and some friends have also been peeking).

I really hope you'll take advantage of this opportunity to share the stash. I Love almost everything here...but I just can't get it all made up and I'm in a position where storing it is becoming a real issue. I would love to pass some along and then have the opportunity to see what You do with it.
Oh, other caveat: You May Not send anything at all back to me. Nada. As I stated, storage is an issue, and I'm trying to let go of stuff, not trade it for other stuff - ok!?

On to SWAP and contest discussion
When I first approached my sister "D" about making this year's wardrobe for SWAP for her, I had no idea how it would play out.
I didn't finish 11 items for specifically one wardrobe by the deadline yesterday. But I have completed close to 30 garments for her since starting on this journey, and there are many more to come.
I'm so grateful to Julie at Timmel for promoting and sponsoring the contest, and for all the encouragement I've received along the way, and to my sister for allowing me to get her into this.
I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to sew this the way I have.
What I've gained from this process:
  • My sister and I have grown closer over the last 9 months, when we first started planning and started testing garments, than we've ever been. We talk to each other now almost weekly. We've seen each other twice since last August. For this alone, participating has been worth it.
  • I've learned SO Much. This has been a real learning process for me. Fitting myself is something I've always done. Fitting someone else is something I've only started working on in the last couple of years. Fitting someone else long distance has required building communication skills and patience. I'm so happy that we attempted this. And I Think my sister will tell you that it's been a learning process on her end too. She's trying styles and combinations that she wouldn't have before. She's learning about the joys of custom fit. (She told me that she's getting spoiled now for clothes that aren't custom).
  • The plan was originally to use up a lot of my stashed fabrics - Hah! In this we were less than marginally successful. Yes, we used some stashed fabrics, But, I have to admit that far too much got added to the collection everytime something looked "just perfect" to go with the wardrobe.
  • I learned (I'm learning) to prioritize on what is important. Because of the nature of the long distance sewing, everything takes so much longer than normal. I could have banged out the rest of the garments in time (well - maybe, I had some unexpected events in the last 2 weeks), but I would have had to compromise quality for the sake of a deadline, that IRL isn't significant. We never got a dress pattern fit -and for me to make one just to fill the slot that I realized last week was still empty would have been a foolish waste of fabric.
  • I also learned that I don't want to have a zillion projects out and going at the same time. It's going to take another six weeks to finish up all that is here that is in various stages of construction. When it's done - I'm going to try the concept of starting and finishing one garment, all the way through. What a concept. I feel overwhelmed and pressured by having all these projects in transit, so to speak.
There is a lot of fabric left - we have plans for many more garments to add to this wardrobe. Not all pieces will work with every other piece, but the whole is cohesive.

I look forward to some balance in my sewing room.
At the beginning of the year one of my goals was to sew more for other people. Well, between projects for various kids - 5 of the above projects had kids names on them, and the clothes for my sister, and then the past week when my mom was here, and the two of us got 7 items made for her, I've accomplished that.
Going forward, I'm looking for balance. I'll spend the rest of April finishing up some jackets, dresses and another couple of skirts, Then I want to sit my butt down and KNIT!
Going forward, I want to complete one, maybe two items a month to add to D's wardrobe. The fabric is all here. The patterns are here. It's just the execution.
And I want to sew some for me.

I want to congratulate all those who did finish their SWAP wardrobes. Can't wait to see them and go vote. And in all honesty, I'm ok with the fact that my collection is sitting out the judging table.


Nancy K said...

I am sorry that you didn't get to finish the swap, because I know it would have been gorgeous but you have shared the wonderful fitting process with all of us who follow your blog. I can only imagine the growth in your communication skills!
Process is a wonderful and equally important learning experience that sometimes gets lost in the rush to the finish. I completed my swap, but I want to get back to 'slow sewing' too.
I am interested in what you learned about fitting another person. I have been fitting my dd and it is really different than fitting for myself.
I hope that you will be posting all the clothes as you finish them.

Alexandra said...

Well, the SWAP may not be finished, but what an incredible journey! And you've shared it with us - that's huge!

PS: I was going to sign up for the chocolates but then I saw that they're actually wooden buttons :-)

ACorgiHouse said...

Hi Marji, there are some great pieces here but alas, I'm trying to divest myself of extraneous stuff as well. Not finishing the SWAP is no big deal given what you got, so often the process is worth much more than the end result! karent

RuthieK said...

Marji, what you have done for your sister (and for you both in developing that bond) is worth way more than meeting certain criteria to finish the SWAP.
What a fabulous job you have done and I shall read ALL the details with interest as you finish each thing.
I'm coming more to the conclusion that we should all sew what we need/want to do and if they also fit into various contests then great, but its kinda pointless sewing stuff you don't need for a contest - so I agree you did the right thing not making up the dress.
Cyber hugs for a GREAT job

kbenco said...

Marji, I have been really looking forward to seeing your SWAP for your sister as your posts about the process have been so interesting, so informative and real eye candy. I hope that you can post an almost SWAP on your blog when you are ready. I would be very interested to see which garments you would choose as your "final cut". I agree that there is no point squeezing in a garment you do not need or are not happy with just to meet the requirements of the contest, but I think the contest will be poorer for your absence on the web page.

Vicki said...

You have accomplished so much and inspired us along the way. Now that the deadline has passed you can stop and take a deep breath!

Shannon said...

Marji, you are such an incredibly kind person. The fact that you undertook this huge project for your sister is inspiring and wonderful. Although I am sad that you won't be in the running for the SWAP contest, I believe you have given yourself (and your sister and your Mom) a far greater prize. I think it is so amazing that the women in your family could band together and become closer because of sewing. Thank you so much for letting me (and hopefully continuing to let me) be a part of the whole process.

Mardel said...

Marji, what you have accomplished has been just amazing and so worthwhile and I thank you for sharing so much of this with us via the blog. I think your accomplishments are so much more important than just SWAP, and it sounds like you have gained a lot through the process, not just work for you and a wardrobe for your sister. What a wonderful, kind, generous thing to do. And I think it so wonderful that this process has bound you more closely together.

Morzel: said...

Hooray for you. What´s a deadline if there are more important things to consider and gain?! Well, enjoy finishing up everything! And knitting!

Reethi said...

Marji - I so admire that you'd sew an entire wardrobe for your sister. I can't even begin to fathom this...

Ann's Fashion Studio said...

Wow Marji, what you have accomplished is a-m-a-z-i-n-g!
Both in sewing and bringing your family closer - that is Priceless :)

Marjie said...

Marji, you've probably gotten it before, but I've passed my E for Excellent blogger award on to you. I am in awe of your 50 garments (well, almost) in 150 days!

Brigitte said...

You do beautiful work Marji, whether it be sewing or knitting! I just love the pale blue skirt, and the gold/white stripped top.