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Again, why go to all this trouble for old dingy t-shirts? A: for the learning experience, B: budget, C: I have a fairly good idea what types of clothes I’d like to wear, but I never see them in shops; if I do they rarely fit in all places at once and it’s way too expensive if you’re expanding too fast. So I’m hoping if I keep at it I might actually – eventually – be able to put into the world the things that are simmering in my head. In the meantime I always need clothes to paint in, clean barn in, being kneaded by cats in etc. and it makes me feel better if they start out dingy so that I haven’t ruined them when the first stain appears.

When it comes to t-shirts, you can barely get thrift shop finds cheaper than ordinary super market sales, so I’m not going to actually shop for things to alter. But what you can find is of course interesting bits of fabric that might last for several different reengineered items.

Incidentally, widening the t-shirts I showed you in my first post had a bonus effect on tight sleeves: The circumference is moved further along the arm, meaning it feels not quite as tight around my well developed triceps (ahem), without having to actually widen the fabric. However, while these t-shirts now fit, they only just fit. Which isn’t good enough long-term for the amount of work put into them. So they’re comfortable again but I wouldn’t wear them off the property. (As you can see I refrained from a self portrait. Mimi is 4″ taller than me, and for some reason even if you cut her leg off, the difference does show in photographs.)

Another thing I’ve learned: I’m already bored with trying to use these very old t-shirts, because I didn’t find anything really inspiring in my bags. It’s just too weird “I guess they work for covering indecent bits during an apocalypse“. So next step is having a look at those still in my closet and see if I can give up on ever fitting into them again, and if they are perhaps candidates for slightly prettier upcycling. Maybe I won’t work with t-shirts at all, but other clothes, such as the dress that became a skirt after my chest exploded the top part.

I’m clearly having to work harder at this project to get something worthwhile out of it. Because: in my striving to not spend money and earth resources, do I really want to own a lot of things that I don’t find the least beautiful?

New method: Throw out uglies that don’t inspire. Instead of forcing myself to create from what is “dead”, I’ll wait until I see something I’d like to work with.


Interesting quest: How long can you keep adding and combining as your clothes get rattier, like the Japanese Boro jackets? How many years to go from 10 shirts to one?

Of course, you can always just deconstruct your old shirts without putting them back together.

I also wanted to show you this designer which I came across on Pinterest. Very creative clothing, some too abundant for my desire to remain inconspicuous in public, but I love the creativity and the fact that they use real women for models. All ages, ordinary body shapes and widths, some even with muffin tops. I think that deserves some free advertising. (SORRY, THE LINK HAS EXPIRED ALREADY, I DIDN’T EVEN GET A GOOD LOOK MYSELF)


My Pinterest panel board – most of these things I wouldn’t be caught dead in either, but I like variety to my inspiration.

Pia’s panel experiment posts

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