Embellish Knit Month: Day 16 MEET A NEW DRESS A DAY!!!!

November 23, 2010

For today's Embellish Your Knits, we are having Marisa from A New Dress A Day! Perhaps you've seen her? She's gotten some amazing attention recently!

After watching Julie & Julia she decided to start a little blogging venture of her own which changed everything. If you are new to her, she takes an old piece clothing EVERYDAY and redesigns it into something amazing! For almost an entire year now, she did without doing an ounce of traditional clothing shopping.
Instead, the only shopping that she has been doing is taking pieces of items that have been used and worn already.  Each day for the entire year, she has introduced a new piece into my existing wardrobe that she has found from thrift stores, flea markets and garage sales.  On top of this, she gave herself a budget of $1 a day.
365 days. 365 items of clothing. 365 dollars.

Now that the year is winding down Marisa is working/prepping for this to continue just in a slightly varied fashion. So keep your readers tuned!
Today she's sharing with us a sweater redo and a little bit about herself!

When did you start sewing?

I began sewing in 7th grade - Home Ec class is where I really learned how to use a sewing machine. We made sweatshirts and I chose teal.  Clearly, it was the early 90s :) My favorite crafty memory is the prom purse I made with some fabric and ribbon I scored at Fabric Bonanza (now that is a blast from the past-shocked that I even remembered the name of that place!). I hated all the typical prom options and found a DIY page in Sassy Magazine on how to make little purses. It was amazing - I just came across it again and patted myself on the back.

I got my own sewing machine about 10 years ago and started altering clothes more frequently then.  In college, I made a few costumes (Rollergirl was a brilliant one) by hand sewing, so I've been doing it for awhile.
Why did you begin to redesign thrift store finds?
I really got into refashioning when I graduated college a little less than 10 years ago.  I think that it was a mix of budgetary and creative reasons that got me started.  I got my first real job and then had to furnish my first apartment so there wasn't any money to play around with.  Being obsessed with fashion, I took it into my own hands to make and get the things that I liked on the cheap!

What sparked you to begin a blog about it?

I got laid off from my previous job last summer and had gone to see Julie and Julia right around the same time.  I got completely inspired by the film.  It was something that made me think, "What can I do that will make me feel creative and get me out of my funk."  I loved that Julie Powell found her inspiration cooking her way through Julia Child's cookbook - I love to cook, but that's not as much my thing.  I've always repurposed clothes, but only did it when I had free time (every month or so).  Making a new piece of clothing clicked for me and in that moment I knew I found the way to get re-inspired training myself to use my creative muscle on a daily basis.
What benefits (besides having a fabulous blog:) have you experienced from redesigning old clothes rather than buying new ones?
The idea that NOBODY will be wearing the same thing as me is an awesome benefit!!  I love that I'm giving a piece a second life - a lot of these are just a step away from getting tossed, so it's cool to see a mini-resurrection!  Also, I'm a total romantic and envision that many of these pieces were purchased for a big or special or memorable event - they made somebody happy at one point and I get to have that feeling with them, just in another life :)  Also, I'm saving money too!!

And now her tutorial!

A basic long-sleeved, collared, button down sweater is what I went with for today. Just by looking at it, it screamed Catholic school uniform and looks like the yin to the plaid wool skirt’s yang…if you will. As much as it fit me well, it was a little too plain for my taste, and I wanted to zazz it up a little.
First I said, off with its’ sleeves! Grabbed the Singer chompers and cut ‘em off.
Off with their sleeves!!
Off with their sleeves!!
Then I remembered that I had this awesome crest patch in my kit o’patches (yes, I have a kit that houses some patches…I even shock myself sometimes) that I got years and years ago downtown in the garment district. I’m certain that it was found in a box of findings for spare change, as I always have fun trying to pick out rubies in a sea of rhinestones on the cheap. It was the perfect complement to keep it slightly schoolgirly so I took a safety pin and pinned onto the left breast area on the sweater.
Patch Adams!
Patch Adams!
I thought that I’d pair this sweater with one of my favorite blouses in the world, which was also a one dollar find a few years back, and go jacketless on this sunny, comfortable, tornado-less Los Angeles day.


13 {comments}:

mommy Orkid Belle said... Best Blogger Tips

I visit Marisa's blog everyday and are always amazed on how she alters clothes and turn them from being a muumuu dress to fabulous! Love her and love you as well!

Adin B

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

I ADORE Marisa! She is the one and only blog I'm subscribed to via email. :) I can't bear to miss a post!

Ana said... Best Blogger Tips

She is awesome. I actually have her blogged saved in my favorites all ready. I came across her blogged when Yahoo had a story about her a few months back.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

That's pretty damn cool! ;D

kelliemorgan said... Best Blogger Tips

I haven't even checked out her site, but I can tell she is amazing. So cool~

kelliemorgan said... Best Blogger Tips

I haven't even checked out her site, but I can tell she is amazing. So cool~

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

Marisa is so creative! It is so much fun to follow her. I am thrilled to find your blog too!

tu-ki-mu said... Best Blogger Tips

her pics are bad.(if blog is only for herself, ok. I'm sorry but, not inspirational). plus, adayanewdress will be over six days later....
You are better than she.
her style is slipshod.
last word:
but she did a good job, she is resolved!

banclothing said... Best Blogger Tips

I wish Marisa had better quality photo's. After following your blog I am a snob for blog's with outstanding photo's.

Marianne said... Best Blogger Tips

I'll have to check out her blog! Did anyone else notice that in nearly every before pic her hair is up and in nearly every after pic her hair is down? Purposeful? It certainly adds to the after pic!

magdamagda said... Best Blogger Tips

yes, I know her blog, so so inspiring! haha I also went without any traditional clothing shopping for a yr now:))I totally recommand it =))

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

This is to comment on Marisa's site. I've followed her site for several months now. Note to the others who have commented: Marisa is creative, however she doesn't iron her finished projects. Wrinkle free would give her more credability. I've noticed that her hair is up in the before picture and then it hangs down over the project hiding a great deal of the finished dress. She uses safty pins which is very unprofessional. She cuts off and doesn't hem, leaving a raw edge on the length, and much of the projects are tailored the same. Marisa's site is a great idea. She just needs more professionalism to obtain more credability. The idea of her site is encouraging for others to do a project or craft each day. I have been inspired to do something, or make something each day because of Marisa.

Tess said... Best Blogger Tips

Marisa's blog/website has been a delight to follow and watch her creativity. I'm happy to have found Grosgrain now, too! Such fun!

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