one of the pieces of advice i gave my cousin on her 16th birthday was to always have a project. dutifully following my own words of post-teenage wisdom, my apartment has been project city for the past few weeks.
my most recent creation arose when i started noticing scallops popping up here and there on skirts and dresses. i absolutely love it, but more often than not i simply cannot afford the money spending temptations all around me. i contemplated saving for a few months but decided i should first try my favorite solution - if you can’t buy it learn to make it.
enter my new red scallop skirt. it really wasn’t all that difficult, just a basic skirt pattern finished with a scallop tutorial i found here, and it only cost $29 to make.
as an added bonus, the skirt has really come in handy for work. a challenge i’ve encountered as a recent graduate is learning how to integrate my clothing into the working class world. i’ve been keeping it light this summer with skirts or dresses mixed with belts, flats and cardigans. (did you spot my contest win? love rebecca minkoff.)
being younger than everyone at work by a pretty decent margin means i have to walk a fine line between maintaining a sense of self while still evoking professionalism. not only that, i’ve got to do business casual in the swamps of south florida. frankly, the majority of office friendly clothing is hot, expensive and/or boring – it takes some creative searching, and at times the sewing machine gets involved.
purchasing something you love is great, but making it with your own two hands instills an entirely separate sense of pride. it eliminates the helplessness a lack of money can create, and replaces it with feelings of accomplished ingenuity, gratification and confidence.
i encourage all of you to pick up a project that has nothing whatsoever to do with work. sew, swim, knit, write, thrift, bike, paint, read, weld – and if you don’t know how, learn. summer is a great opportunity to try something new. the independence and pride you will glean from being responsible for a project is part of survival, for we are all in charge of making our own happiness. it’s like i told my cousin,