Tag Archives: High Fashion

Happy Six Months!

We’re six months into this project and already I’m seeing a real change.  I’m starting to take more pride in my appearance–learning to put on makeup, finally doing my hair (more or less; still learning) and updating my wardrobe.  

I had one of those backdoor brag moments the other day; I was at Target and realized I could no longer fit in a Jr. Size 1.  Totally bummed.  I’m a Jr. size 3 now, and at first, I panicked, because I want to be thin and pretty.  Then I tried on my size 3 shorts, and I felt GREAT.  I felt voluptuous.  I felt comfortable.  I felt really beautiful.

But most importantly, I’m learning the importance of making your partner feel special.  And that’s not just Ian, it’s Mike, it’s Matthew, it’s my sisters, it’s my father-in-law.  Everyone in every relationship likes to feel like their needs are being met.  I sure do.

I don’t think this a gendered issue and I’m not trying to make it one.  I’m not saying that women belong in the kitchen.  I’m saying people belong in the kitchen because food is awesome.  I’m learning that asking an opinion about a haircut or an outfit is important because we all crave feedback and validation.  I would want any of my friends–male or female–to say “Eh, that doesn’t really work for you” when I ask how a dress looks.  And I’m learning the value of choice.  Now if I want to put on leggings and my SVU hoodie and watch MST3K, I’m doing it because that’s what I feel like doing, not because it’s a lazy, default position, and that makes the experience something to look forward to.

And I’m revisiting things I used to love–wearing contact lenses, high heels, dark nail polish.  I’m reminding myself that I am worth the time and the energy these things require.  I like the way I look in my Betsey Johnson booties.  I like giving myself mani-pedis.  I like putting effort and energy into my outfits because just throwing on on something slopping makes me feel sloppy, and I don’t perform well unless I feel my best.  When I’m in my office in a pencil skirt and heels, I feel like working.  When I’m wearing my apron, I feel like cooking.  Maybe it’s my theater background.  Maybe it’s because I inherited my grandmother Cora’s vanity.  But whatever it is, I’m really feel like this project is teaching me.

We’ve come this far together–and I can’t wait to keep at it.

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Arts & Crafts: Ruffled Apron

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I Want to Go To There!

I have always loved making and altering my clothes.  I’ve turned tee-shirts into dresses, sweater sleeves into socks, plain black jeans into gothy D-ring bell bottoms (take that, Hot Topic!).  I made two of the dresses I wore to my grad-school dances, one disco-ball sparkle a-line inspired by the B-52’s and, for my graduation, a modified version of the pink dress Geena Davis wears at the end of Earth Girls Are Easy, because Geena Davis is my idol.

I’m a craft geek, and I’m not afraid to show it.

A few years ago, my sister Hilary bought me Megan Nicolay’s awesome Generation T, which, along with the sequel Beyond Fashion, has hundreds of ideas for what to do with tee-shirts.  I’ve made throw rugs, placemats . . . heck, the hoodie I’m wearing as I type this is just an Old Navy one with the image from an vintage XL Morrissey tee-shirt stitched onto the back.

The way I see it, If I’m going to be cooking for my man, it’s probably a good idea to have an apron so I don’t get bacon grease all over my gay housecoat.  Good thing Beyond Fashion has project #41, “Central Cooking (Ruffled Apron).”

I used my The Odd Couple (Female Version) cast tee-shirt (I was Vera) and tacked on, a la project #79 “Tattoo You,” cut-outs of Princess Peach and Gizmo from two other shirts.

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Only slightly less traumatizing than “Am I Normal”

I do all my sewing by hand.  Not because I’m retro, but because that’s how my grandma taught me.  My Home Ec. teacher in 8th grade was supposed to teach us how to use a machine, but she always forgot the materials and would pop in whatever PG rated movie she’d forgotten to take back to Victory Video on her way to school.  My take-away from 8th Grade Home Ec. was that Alaska is a very stupid movie and Thora Birch is not a very good actress.

The project was fraught with the usual peril that strikes whenever I sit down to be crafty (just because I do it doesn’t mean I’m all that good).  For starters, I cut the Odd Couple square too small, so now Peach and Gizmo sort of obscure the title, and the date, and the last part of Neil Simon’s name (measure twice cut once!).  Because it is January, and I live in upstate NY, my fingers went numb sewing the miles and miles of ruffle (96 inches, to be exact . . . and then sewing another basting stitch back through it to gather)

But despite the craft agony, the result is just as cute as the one in the book, and will keep me clean as I slave over a hot stove.  

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A nice, home-cooked meal!

Seriously, get this book.  And while you’re at the bookstore, get me a new copy of Generation T–mine’s falling apart from use.