Thursday, August 27, 2020

Make It Last

I originally made these tops in 2015.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


  1. *hugs* I know how you feel about the replacing of cheap things. I'm constantly buying cheap trainers and wearing them out in a month or two of walking the dog when I know that Vans and Converse while more expensive last so much better! I seem to be making more of a switch to Vans though, I still love Converse but my little toes seem to have become angry with their shape while Vans are that little bit wider and more comfortable. Kinda gutted I missed out on a rainbow tie-dye pair in the sale :'( I have the same feelings about Dr Martens as well. So expensive but they last forever! My originals I bought when I was about 17 I think and I just turned 30 and they're still going! Wear has been inconsistent over the years since I'm a total wimp about the breaking in process XD

    I understand why you had to close the shop. It sucks but you and your health and time are much more important! I'm gutted that I missed out on the patterns you had up, it was always a "one day" thing that I never got around to :( I think a lot of it is the fact that sewing is kinda daunting when you don't really know how to. I did a textiles course in school that I've all but forgotten. I can do embroidery but clothing is a whole other ball game! I want to learn though! :D

    1. I love Docs!! I get what you mean about converse - I feel like I've had some toe issues with them as well. They just haven't been the same since Nike bought them out.

      Babe, go on Facebook and PM me your address. I'll email you a few of the patterns, if you'd like.

  2. Getting "heavy" is fine, honey. Good for you for working towards replacing crappy things with things that you love that are good, lasting quality. I've also felt the pressure of conforming to a certain look, and I'm so grateful that my company encourages personal expression, to the point where I (a 52-year-old!) can have purple hair, visible tattoos, and dress however the hell I want.

    I think you did a spectacular job of "rubbing off" (that sounds lewd!) this pattern - it's a very cute style on you.

    People will always complain about the cost of making something by hand. It's like they think magical elves do most of the work. As you don't have a Fluevog in MD (your closest stores look like Boston or NYC), I would definitely read the reviews online and contact a Fluevogologist before you purchase. If you get the chance to try them on and figure out your size in the style you want, that's optimal - then stalk the sh*t out of those babies! Lol. You know you can also find second-hand and like-new ones in the Fluemarket, right? Look for ones being sold in your area to save on shipping: - I have bought two pairs of shoes this way, both styles I'd missed first time 'round.

    Take care, sweetie. Be kind to yourself. Hi, to Megan! I have such great memories of seeing her in Nashville. :)

    1. It's actually one of the reasons I came back to blogging - I missed having the ability to express myself in a more 'essay' format? Like, my posts that I would normally get a lot of positive attention in the blogsphere for were just getting hammered to death on FB for being concerning. My friends are well-meaning. I know they want me to have a better job and a better place to live, but I also can't live my whole life feeling so entirely uncomfortable with my appearance. I hate typical office wear with a passion.

      I have definitely been lurking on the Fluevog market place, too! We have a place near me that is a dealer, so I'm hoping to start there. I think it's in the Hampden section of Baltimore and I know it's a french name but I cannot for the life of me remember what it's called.

      Megan says hi and she misses you!