Monday, 18 April 2016

But is it still a T-shirt?

Finding your art oomph after it's been lost for weeks can be a religious experience. I had been wandering listlessly through a haze of bleh, pfft, and meh. I was practically drooling in lethargy. Daily I would stare with blank eyes at my art materials and fabric carefully arranged all over the living room floor in emergency preparedness and as hopeful prompts for a fark attack. (See glossary below for clarification.)

Upcycled T-shirt, Bag and a Beret, Mel Kobayashi

Then, WHAM!!! Turn down the volume!! I got the fever. I farked a T-shirt! Hurrah!! This white XL T-shirt is now a kimono-y T-shirt with dual-purpose sleeves - short or extra long. It was a transcendental farkathon. 

It's a mysterious world. Oh yesh. 

Upcycled T-shirt, Bag and a Beret, Mel Kobayashi

This calls for some singing: "I can bring home the bacon, ba-rah-da-dum, Fry it up in a pan, ba-rah-da-dum, And never ever let you forget it's not spam..." Cause I'm classy like that. Getting my fark beat back makes me feel almighty. I want to sing like Peggy Lee.

Blue brows above. I wore them that morning with a manly outfit and my black moto jacket, no lipstick because I was digging the sallow pallor. When I finished the shirt in the afternoon, I decided to team it and the brows with my farked rocker pants and boots for a shoot in the concrete box round about midnight. Lipstick was essential.

Upcycled T-shirt with big sleeves, Bag and a Beret, Mel Kobayashi

Note the hair cut, courtesy of O. Above is a jeans photo I took today, when I actually wore the T-shirt outside for the first time under a vintage ivory Asian-style silk jacket. 

:: DETAILS - START ::
[Skip to the end if this stuff bores you. There is no test.]
I sliced the T-shirt up the front middle, overlapped the two sides and stitched them in place with contrasting thread. I had an old blue cardigan and I cut off the sleeves, then separated the front and back pieces. I folded the front piece in half length-wise, keeping it buttoned, and sewed it shut to make a tube. Then I sewed the waistband end to the T-shirt sleeve. Now I can easily stick my arm through wherever I like.

Upcycled T-shirt with big sleeves, Bag and a Beret, Mel Kobayashi

I did the same for the green floral shirt, except in reverse - I sewed the green shirt collar end to the T cuff. I also kept the short-sleeve on the green shirt so I can have short sleeves or long.


The slit opening at my right wrist used to be the cardigan V-neck. And there's the green shirt armhole at my left elbow. I turned the sleeve up in this photo - they are both very long, which I like. 

I also took up the shoulder of the white T on the left side, added a black patch for detail, and slit the side seams a little bit. The tag came off so I had to sew it back on because I like that mess.
:: DETAILS - FINISH ::

I love my new T-shirt. I was originally going to write all over it - "I am not a brand!" - but I hesitated at the last minute. Some things are done when they're done. I'm not sure about this piece yet. 

There's something slightly zombie about this photo.

Zombie in upcycled T-shirt with big sleeves, Bag and a Beret, Mel Kobayashi

The blue cardigan and green top were already bagged for donation, too small, I shouldn't have bought them in the first place but I was seduced by their colour and the pattern. I was sad to see them go, so I enlisted them in my T-shirt project figuring if I make a mistake, no big deal, they were goners anyway. And of course, that's exactly the thinking I need to cozy up to the sewing machine and sew like a madwoman!! 

And have a blast! Threads flying! Machine wheezing. Pins poking and sproinging pell mell. It was quite a vortex of energy. O hid.

Upcycled T-shirt with big sleeves, Bag and a Beret, Mel Kobayashi

You should see me whip those sleeves around like little helicopters. And note the cowlick in my hair. It comes from my whorl. When cows tongue-bathe their young, they create swirls in their hair, hence the word. Lovely. Ain't nobody going to be licking my hair!

Anyway, I proclaim this:
INTERNATIONAL LOVE YOUR WHORL MONTH

Glossary:
art oomph - creative spark
bleh, pfft, meh: words that kind of mean blah with a negative edge if you can work up any emotion whatsoever
fark - farked, farking, farkathon, words I made up, a combination of f*cked/faked/farted, in reference to altering, upcycling, or refashioning an existing item, especially clothing, with unexpected results
digging - member of the groovy, heavy, far-out family of words only dorks like me use these days, meaning loving
whorl: the twirly part of your hair usually on top of your head, which you curse and hide or, like me, play up like it's meant to be there - can't beat 'em, join 'em. Question: Do whorls goes the opposite direction in the Southern Hemisphere, like water going down a drain?
the lyrics: From a song made famous by Peggy Lee. Instead of "spam" the real lyrics say "man."
pell-mell: Means here and there in a chaotic way.

Blue brows with upcycled T-shirt, Bag and a Beret, Mel Kobayashi

My blue brows and my green sleeve and blue sleeve, shoulder patch of olive mesh and black fleece. That's a ring O made me from scratch. See, yes, I do get wife bonuses all the time (in reference to last post). O is awesome.

I'll link something here up with Patti's Visible Monday, Not Dead Yet Style, and Catherine's #iwillwearwhatilike at Not Dressed at Lamb. And a big thank you to Catherine for her post this week HERE on how more brands should be enlisting 40+ blogger women in their campaigns. And I'm happy to see Claire get this exposure for her brilliant designs. Thanks, Catherine! 

And I can't believe with all these colours I'm not wearing amethyst, Anne's prompt at SpyGirl for 52-Pick-me-up. Oh well, go have a look anyway and link if you're wearing amethyst.

What have you been up to lately?


49 comments:

  1. Melanieee! I love the random fabulosity of your shirt. Always so clever! I had you firmly in my heart yesterday when I ventured out into my urban environment for a photo shoot. OK so I had a real photographer with me because my camera game is...non existent. But such fun, can't wait to post them!!!

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    1. A real photographer! Ooooh, how fun is that? I look forward to seeing your shots!

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  2. I think I need to be infected for your kind of fark attack and sew something, as soon as I find my sewing machine (a mountain of boxes still to be unpacked)
    Loving your brows and tshirt, loving your fab pants and fab jeans, and loving your double-use green sleeve!, fabulous sleeves are always cool!!
    besos

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    1. I am highly contagious, so I hope you catch this. I know that you have often shared this kind of infection with me as well with your fabulous projects. Good luck digging out your sewing machine!

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  3. The farked tee goes so well with those painted pants. But you already knew that.

    I'm glad you explained how you created this. I will start my own tomorrow right after building my rocket ship.

    Ahh...spam. What is more special that meat carefully prepared from a can?

    I'm pissed because I have no whorl. Just a bald spot. I thought I could blame that on sleeping but I'd need to be sleeping on the top of my head.

    People with whorls should be obligated to give some to those without. It'd even everything up in the end.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. I almost didn't post those photos with the painted pants because they were matching just a little too well! Hahaha. Seriously. Yes, I'm not even sure it's meat in the can, a protein product, shall we say. I have never eaten Spam though.

      No whorl? Actually, I just found this one with my haircut. It was hiding. I'll share my whorl with you, Suzanne. What are friends for? Heh.

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  4. I have no whorl either! I must get a cow and teach it to lick my thinning crown. Cats can't do this, can they? Love your creations as ever, and your brows. They're the window to the soul, yes? As always, I am inspired and full of smiles, xox

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. Another whorless woman!!? What's this world coming to? No, cats are perfectionists - they would never whorl anyone. Thanks, Patti.

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  5. I don't have a whorl either - but I do have an over-excited long fringe that curls up at either side like a hovering handlebar moustache or flirtatious yak horns.

    Love the Fark. But I'm just too clumsy for trailing sleeves.
    I fear mine would end up on fire as I slave over a hotplate.
    Or use up all the paint - I have enough clothes covered in paint - I'm an installation sometimes.

    Sincerely and whorl-free

    Elaine Monkeypaints

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    1. Yet ANOTHER whorless, shameless woman, slaving over a hotplate no less. Got any good spam recipes for me? Heh. But lucky that you have a misbehaving fringe, like yak horns? Hahaha! Yes, these sleeves are great at cleaning tables unintentionally. Painted clothes are best though. Thanks, Elaine!!

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  6. Oooooooo, I am soooo digging the japanese flavour of your latest creation! This is the kind of piece I love where it can be worn in different ways. I'd say it's perfect just as it is, without any writing, but that's just my opinion.

    So glad you got your Oomph back! Maybe if I did my eyebrows blue I might get some oomph too?

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    1. Blue eyebrows are where it's at, Shelley, I'm telling ya. It feels so lovely. Like having no brows at all, except they are blue. Or pink or whatever other colour you like.
      I'm thinking no writing for now. I got another shirt with perfect farkation parameters. We'll see. So relieved to be re-oomphed! Whew.
      Thanks!

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  7. Fark is the story of my life. I love your creation. If I owned a tee shirt I'd be tempted to follow your tutorial right now (unless I can get away with attacking Jon's wardrobe) xxx

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    1. Vix, you are hands-down a Queen of Fark. You certainly don't need any of my patterns, but I may need some of yours - best bell sleeve woman on the planet.

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  8. Squeeee! The blue eyebrows, the sleeves, cow licks - what a way to start the day!! Pell Mell reminds me of the band and Pall Mall cigs. I'll be spending the next hour rhyming words. xo

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    1. Pall Mall, yes, I remember them. Cows and brows... I hope you didn't get lost in a rhyming loop. Heh.
      So glad to see you. Sorry I was out of rum! (Do you like rum?)

      Delete
  9. No, it is not still a t-shirt. It is a Pel Mel Whorling Dig-it Uber-Farking Anti-ppft ArtOOMPHAtastic shirt. puleeze

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    1. Hahaha!! Yes, exactly, Pao! What was I thinking? Thank you for this name.

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  10. Love the tee shirt and the choice of long or short sleeves! Fabulous. Love those trousers, too.

    O is a genius - he can make rings and cut hair? Hang on to him....

    Have a great week.

    Veronica

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    1. Thanks, Veronica. Yes, O IS a genius. When he's ready to cut hair, I drop whatever I'm doing and cape up, usually late a night. It's a calling for him. Heh.

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  11. It's still a shirt and still vaguely t-shaped so yes, it is still a t-shirt. :)

    Love the blue brows, the O-hairdo (I have a few cowlicks myself), the DIYed jeans (love!). Your glossary is so helpful.

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    1. I'm inclined to agree with you, Sheila. It's still cotton and feels T-shirty, but the overlap at the front and long sleeves make it satisfyingly heavier than your average T-shirt.
      I'm glad my glossary has come in handy. Heh.
      Thanks, Sheila!

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  12. I think it is still a t-shirt but a very, very special one!!!! The basic shape is still there with fab sleeves!!xx

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    1. Yes, it is special. It saved me from listlessness. Hurrah! Thanks, Kezzie.

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  13. That's so creative, I do hope you wear it more often, and I think it would look equally fab covered in writing. I love that your brows match the blue sleeve, too. x

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    1. I think I shall wear it more often when it's a bit warmer. I had to find a bell-sleeved jacket to wear on top this time, so much fabric. Thanks for your comment, Madam Moon.

      Delete
  14. Oh man, I love this! You should make this and sell them. I would buy one in a heartbeat!


    OXOX
    Dawn Lucy
    http://fashionshouldbefun.blogspot.com

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    1. Hahaha, thanks! I probably can't manage a Mel Factory but I certainly appreciate your comment. Mwah.

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  15. I am more curious about whether whorls correspond to handedness, than to hemispheres (that is, do left-handed persons have counterclockwise whorls? and vice versa? or are they randomly distributed?)

    Also, in a sort of related etymology, in the U.S. South the meringue that is baked atop custard pies has long been referred to as "calf slobber." According to my father, it is because the frothy eggy concoction looks just like the little bubbles of mother's milk that froth out the sides of a nursing bovine calf. That terminology gave me pause before diving into my mother's lemon-meringue pies when I was a mere tot, which I now suspect was always my father's intent. He claims that, when his mother routinely baked six pies every day in her wood-fired iron cookstove in the 1930s-40s, she always gave him an entire pie to himself at lunchtime because he worked so much harder in the tobacco and vegetable fields than anyone else.

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    1. Yes, interesting question about handedness. Are there not scholarly articles on this topic at Harvard? What an oversight if there are not!

      Calf slobber? Hahaha!!! I never knew that. But it would never ward me off custard pie!!! Gaaa!! Yum. So funny that your dad got a WHOLE pie to himself. Obviously I didn't work hard enough when I was young.

      Thanks so much for the story! And a couple extra exclamation marks for good measure: !!!!

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  16. Oooo I think I'm feeling left out because I don't have a whorl. Whorl, cowslick or kisscurl - I don't have any of them. However, nor do I have a bald patch so I ought to be grateful. Your blue eyebrows are fab! As is the tee shirt. I sometimes get into a sewing frenzy, and not so long ago thought I'd re-upholster our sofa. I laid down for a while and the feeling passed.
    Anna x
    www.annasislandstyle.com

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  17. I don't think anyone but you could think up such revolutionary farking, or get away with wearing such farkation and still look good! Although I did make a pretty cool asymmetrical vest from paint rags when I was 19. Since then I'm more likely to approach sewing with bleh, pfft, meh. But I am digging your outfit, and hurray for the art oomph and the way it arrived pell Mel!

    I have about 4 cowlicks on my big round head. They're a little less aggressive as my hair gets longer, but my goodness, how did the cow get into the maternity ward?

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    1. Yes, the farkation required a bell-sleeved jacket, which, whew, I had.

      Four cowlicks?! Yesh!!! I'm making room in the barn next to my stall. I'm sure you'll get preferential treatment though, with four, FOUR cowlicks. I didn't know I even had one until this latest haircut. Maybe it sprouted overnight.

      Thanks, Val. A toast to you and your lickings. Mwah.

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  18. I suppose whorless should be spelled whorlless or whorl-less but I prefer whorless. Add that to the glossary.

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  19. I felt your energy vortex by just reading your post. That's how powerful it must be. Your creation is magnificent and there is so much to absorb from your story of how it came about. Love the blue brows!

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    1. Oh, Judith, so sorry not to get back to you sooner. But yes, that was a mighty blowing vortex to be sure. I'm glad you felt the blast. Hahaha! Thank you for visiting.

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  20. Now that is a tee shirt Melanie! I love how random it is. You have such a distinct style and I love it! You must come on over to my Monday SHOE AND TELL Fashion Link Up, NOT just for shoes,and link up your fabulous look.

    CHERIE
    http://www.stylenudge.com
    STYLE NUDGE

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    1. Thanks, Cherie. I love your link-up but I can't keep up! Gaaa. Until I get more time I will indulge in checking out your amazing style.

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  21. As soon as I can dig out my old sewing machine I'm gearing up for a major fark attack, hehe. Oh wait, with my sewing technique there may be way too much bleh, pfft, meh so I think I'll just enjoy seeing this tee shirt/kimono creation on you. I'm also reminding myself that anything Melanie puts on becomes a treasure and one shouldn't even try to replicate, haha. Yes, that was a compliment. But you can share some of your whorl with me, and those fabulous pained pants.

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    1. Let's go whorling. It sounds rather bad, doesn't it. Heh. Every time I fark something I learn something valuable for sewing inside the lines. I'd love to see your projects if you get around to hauling out your machine!
      Thanks, Trina!

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  22. wonderful!
    this is exactly was i was told by a wise design professor - "when inspiration seems lost - just pic up some "stuff" and create without much thinking - just follow the material."
    thank you very much for the reminder - i almost forgot it!!!
    love the blue brows!!!!!
    xxxxxx

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    1. Great professor!
      Thanks, Beate, for your comment.

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  23. This shirt is strange and beautiful and weird in all of the best ways possible! <3

    http://theemeraldruby.com

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  24. I love this DIY shirt. You are such a designer. With short sleeves/kimono-like and long sleeves... This is what a designer does. Coming up with totally new things. I also love the fact that you cut it in the front, put the layers over one another and stitched it again. Very good work my lovely.
    And I love your hairdo. Tell O I do, will you?
    Greetje

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    1. Oh and I had to Google that Peggy Lee song hahahaha

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    2. I was too lazy for a glossary this time - heh. So I at least put the real lyrics down in case anyone had to check. I wore the painted pants for the stairway shoot but usually I'll wear this top with jeans, with or without the brows. I love a swingy sleeve.

      Thanks, Greetje, and I'll give O your compliments. I had a bad comment about this one, which I of course DELETED. That's also why I put the link to Debra. Our emotions are not made of steel so your designer comment is very appreciated.

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  25. Oh my god you are so creative!! When that maelstrom that is the making bug strikes you just gotta go with it and YOU DID!! With flare and panache and more than a little awesomeness I love your fearlessness when it comes to customising your clothing, or should I say; wearable art :)

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    1. YOU telling ME I'm creative, gaaa! I'm in awe of your creativity so I'm getting a high from this comment. Thanks, Carolyn!!!

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