DIY Fashion.

In these tough economic times what is a fashionable artist to do, especially if your a starving one?! One of my two jobs is at the mall, so I look longingly at the fashion displays in the store windows as I pass by to make $7.25 an hour. Most times I think the fashions in stores look pretty much the same, but there’s always that one thing that I wish I could splurge on. Since I wear a uniform at both of my jobs its tough to rationalize buying more clothes. I try to tell myself I don’t need those clothes, the ones I have are perfectly acceptable. I know I’m lucky, I do appreciate the things I have. I know there are people who don’t have one pair of flip flops never mind seven, in seven different colors! Yet every week, I stare in disbelief at my paycheck: how am I to pay bills, put gas in my car (so I can drive to work), buy necessities and still keep up my art, music and fashion habits?!

Lately I’ve become quite the seamstress. Reconstructing old clothes mostly.. though I have gotten ambitious a few times and started from scratch. I don’t even use a pattern when I start from scratch. I once tried to use a pattern to make a circle skirt and ended up throwing the pattern to the side and figuring out the skirt myself. When I was about 9 years old, I told the popular girl in school that I was going to be a fashion designer – who knew I’d do it out of the sheer desire to have something ‘cool’ to wear to my art openings, a hot date, or just a lazy day doing errands?!

A few months back my best friend had given me this dress that used to belong to his sister. He claimed the pattern was ‘crazy’ and that he thought I could make something with it. The pattern reminds me of Gustave Klimt’s work. Originally the dress was a basic sundress. It was longer than I would normally wear in the summer, but I loved the ruffle that was in a contrasting pattern on the hem of the dress. I threw the dress at the bottom of my closet while I contemplated what to do with it. I was thinking of doing a total overhaul of the dress, which I knew would be totally time consuming.

As I was wondering around the mall the other week, I noticed that the dresses that were out for spring/summer had very similar qualities to the one residing at the bottom of my closet. I also recalled that in British Vogue they were proclaiming that asymmetry was totally in. I love making asymmetrical wears. That is when the idea for the dress came into focus for me. I still thought about cutting it shorter and reattaching the ruffle, but I knew it would ruin the pattern, so I left it as is. Though I did cut off a strap on the dress, leaving only one strap for that asymmetrical look.
Turns out my breasts are big enough to hold it up, and the material is kind of heavy for such a thing. So it was on to plan B: which was to make the second strap a spaghetti strap that crosses over my chest. I used a black shoe lace, that I just happen to have, for the spaghetti strap.

It took about four hours, now I have to wait for the weather to get warm enough to wear it…


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