Planning ahead: my Fall DIY style

This fall brings a limited clothing budget.  It also brings – thanks to the other half of my career – a need for a very different wardrobe for my usual. The audience from that other part of my life tends towards tie-dye and tattoos whereas these days I prefer unstamped skin and calf boots.  While “dress for the life you have” is great, women almost all have at least two lives – no one is just a mom or just an office worker or just a single gal. Men might have home and work but the pressures on women are real, oppressive – and at this point in history, either to be fought directly or neatly subverted. I still go with subversion… because I like pretty things. I just don’t like the extra twenty pounds everybody else’s baggage gives me.

Fortunately, I have a third aspect to my life that bridges the gap between fatshion and authorship: geekdom. I’m a well known geek in my city – my Doctor Who Meetup just had its 700th member join. This is my middle ground, as exhausting as excess attention to detail might get. Since these days geek is chic – and I legitimately earned the title by authentically suffering for my enthusiastic nerdiness in high school – I can draw from my nerdy influences and my style influences and represent fully my whole self. It also speaks to my green tendencies. I love new clothing but I have Catholic-level guilt over my failure to upcycle – and over the retail industry’s failure to reuse cloth from discarded clothing. (Seriously – there’s an abundance of it. What’s the problem?)

I’ve dabbled on and off with T-shirt surgery over the years and also with sewing. I have made the commitment – this fall, I take a sewing class. I learn the basics of basting, pleats, ruching, all of it. In the meantime, I’ve learned some ironing tricks from damncutekitty, I have scissors and a rotary cutter and I have a pack of nerdy T-shirts that are just a touch too big for my frame.

For actual direct sewing, I plan to try this:

But after some thinking – and making notes of looks that caught my attention when binging watching television my partner encourages me to avoid publicly admitting I watch – I realized I really do like the dancer looks. (I still think Dance Academy is great. Pffft!) Most of those involve shirts chopped up to show off a bit of shoulder. So over the week, I plan to have a go at looks like these:

The next phase will be sewing a simple pant to wear under the shirts. I may also have to add some length to the shirts – having a belly does create that dilemma.

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