Monday, June 27, 2011

Helz Yeah Rule #3!

Rule #3 of my eco-fashion project is to sew more of my own clothing, and after starting with the rules in February, I've finally actually made myself a dress!

This weekend was my good friend's wedding, and I decided a long time ago that I would try to design and make my own dress to wear to it. That way I've made something for my lovely rule #3, and also wouldn't have to spend $$ on a new dress. Of course even though I had this plan in my head for months, I didn't start the dress until a week ago, and I finished it the night before the wedding. It's OK though, it worked out great! I got it done!

Sewing late into the evening...
The first thing I decided to do before making this dress (and probably the reason I procrastinated so much) was to make my own slopers. For those who might not know the sewing lingo, a sloper is essentially a very basic pattern that fits my exact size. I make it customized to my measurements, and then I can alter the sloper to draft more complicated patterns. It ended up not being as hard as I imagined, and now I have something I can use again and again to make clothes that fit me perfectly!

The next step was to start drafting the pattern for the dress. The final design might not look too complicated, but believe me it took some working out. Let's just say that pattern drafting is a really good way to practice your fraction adding skills.

Stella was helping by, um, keeping all the patterns safe?
Then putting it all together was pretty straight forward, no major problems. I used this very pretty blue and green patterned polyester fabric my friend no longer wanted. So except for a couple of hours of my own time, the dress was essentially free. Oh and I conquered my fear of invisible zippers! I honestly don't know how I didn't figure them out at MassArt, but all I did was watch a youtube video and it was the easiest and most amazing experience. The zipper just disappears! Magic. Highly recommend.

And tada! The final product! I was pretty happy with it (as you can see by my grin - though that might also have to do with the awesome wedding, and a few glasses of wine).

Thanks to Eric for the photo!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

This Week's Eco Boutiques

So I just moved to Porter Sq two weeks ago, and lucky for me there are a few awesome stores in the area. I'm going to focus on two that are definitely eco-friendly.

This store is pretty much as eco as you can get. They have everything from jewelry to house hold items to bike accessories in their store. It's definitely not a clothing store - more of a one stop shop for all things green. They even have a little drop off center for recycling in the back. I'm planning on returning to safely dispose of a broken compact florescent light bulb I have at home.

When I was there I bought two of these fabulous cloth food bags which are perfect for bringing lunch to work without using plastic bags or tin foil. They are washable and totally cute! Now if I can just get myself to actually pack lunch in the morning...

Sudo Shoes
Sudo Shoes
They post a lot on facebook:
Sudo is a all vegan shoe store, which means every part of the shoe (including the glue) is animal free. So the shoes are ethically conscience (no animals hurt) and also sustainable since most shoes are made of microfibers... Ok, to be honest I'm not really sure why a microfiber is considered to be sustainable. When I went into the store the women called the shoes "eco-friendly" and I wished I had asked her exactly what she meant. I think it's because producing leather and using other animal byproducts uses a lot of natural resources and creates harmful emissions, while microfibers do not. 

What I like most about Sudo is that while they have some incredibly expensive (albeit gorgeous) vegan shoes, they also carry brands like Steve Madden and Saucony as a cheaper alternative. I didn't buy any shoes when I stopped in Sudo (because I was still dealing with my Berk's Groupon dilemma at the time), but I think this would be a great place to shop when I need a new pair of shoes.

I have to say I love having these eco options so close to home!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Instant Impluse Shopping

Hey ya'll, sorry I've been MIA lately. I've had a lot of stuff going on, moving my apartment being one of them. But now I'm all moved in and happy in my new place, hurrah!

So I think I'll go on a little rant today, because, well, why not.

I realized I have an issue with this new fad of internet email deals like Groupon, Ruelala, Living Social, Gilt Groupe, etc.. I feel like every morning when I go to check my email, it's just filled with bs emails about bargain buys. I can see why consumer like these companies, you can get great deals on all sorts of things. However how often do we really need what we end up buying? They are all impulse buys. I'm not planing on buying a new french cookware set, but there it is on Ruelala at such an amazing discount, how can I not? Because they do it under the guise of being helpful, these companies have figured out a way to invade our brains without us realizing it, and it ends up making us spend money on things we never would have purchased otherwise. It's instant impulse shopping. No longer do you walk buy a shop window and frivolously buy the shirt on display, now you can purchase whatever you want with one click. The purchase is so instant that we don't even think about it. Because of this blog I've been thinking a lot lately about not buying things I don't need, and these websites honestly just keep pissing me off. I find myself searching Ruelala every day hoping I might find something eco-friendly to buy, and then I step back and say, why? What do I need? If I need something specific, I should go to the store and buy it, not hope it shows up on this site. Plus not to mention that practically everything I buy online doesn't fit me or looks different once I get it home... and how often do I return it? Yeah, exactly. So you know what I just did? I unsubscribe from Ruelala, Yelp Deals, Groupon, and Urban Outfitters. It was actually kinda scary, but I tried not to think about - I just did it instantly with one click.