I originally made these tops in 2015. I’d gone to Mango in Chestnut Hill and fell in love with a gray top there, and after purchasing it, I went home and traced it. I made so many of them over the years, but this is the actual first one I made from that tracing. (They call that type of pattern making ‘rubbing off’ of something you already own and I think that’s hilariously dirty.)
I never got any real good pictures of it. During my last few years in Philly, the neighbor man who drank with my boyfriend in the evenings had taken to being outside at all hours of the day so if you followed my blog you’ll know I stopped taking outside pictures and started taking them in my kitchen. The week I made it was a tumultuous week in my relationship (it was very close to our break-up) and I might have even been crying in the original shot? I posted it, but I deleted the post recently.
I’m so glad I’ve been able to retake the pictures because I really do love this fabric. It’s a little faded than it was originally, but it’s a well-loved piece.
I am, of course, as I ever am, perpetually broke. My living situation is in the process of changing and I’m in the interesting place of having car payments and student debts to pay off, but recently I’ve felt this… change taking place. Maybe it’s a way of distracting myself from the current political and health climate in the world, but I’m so tired of having broken things. I just want solid things, things that I wear a lot, and that last me a long time. It’s expensive to be constantly replacing pleather boots or polyester tops that last one wash.
I’m taking my time and trying to make things I genuinely love out of soft, sturdy fabrics. I’m saving for a pair of Fluevogs. I’m hoping that I can slowly, very slowly, upgrade my wardrobe into the aesthetic I’ve always wanted instead of just whatever the appalling world of fashion dictates.
It is hard, however. I feel that the atmosphere in Philly was more embracing of alternative personalities, where there’s been a lot of pressure in the DMV for me to fit into a ‘professional young woman’ mold. But banker-chic-a-la-What-Not-To-Wear has never been my goal. I want things that are unique and last and I abhor looking like everyone else.
It brings me back to why I shut down Mad Rabbit Couture. I was tired of having to constantly whip out refashions and store them while they waited for their new homes. I was tired of “Well that’s too expensive” after I put hours of work into design and sewing garments. I was tired of the pressure to constantly be making. I’m going to shout out my friend Megan - a year after closing Mad Rabbit Couture (for the time being, anyway) - she’s still listening to me have panic attacks when every waking hour isn’t spent sewing. Learning to relax is hard. Learning to make things that I want to make, just for me, with no pressure to make them for other people, is hard. But I feel better about not consistently contributing to the clothing crisis we face- we have enough clothing already made to clothe the next six generations. It feels really nice to know that I’m making do and mending things that mean the world to me versus just randomly buying things to fill a psychological hole I’m not dealing with, if that makes sense.
Sorry it got a little heavy there. I’m signing off before I ramble on. Until next time, xoxo - Meghan