Natalie is on Day 276 of her amazing MakeShift art and research project. She’s working to complete one full year of designing and creating all of the clothing she wears. Natalie writes, “I will only wear things that I have made myself. Initially this may seem like a reasonable task, but it will include all of my clothes, socks, shoes, underwear, coats, jackets, hats, bathing suits, accessories and anything else I might need to protect my body from the elements while trying to lead a fulfilling life.” As we enter a full month of inspiration, tips, projects and more all centered on sewing clothing we thought it would be fun to talk with Natalie a little about her efforts!

SMS: First off I just want to say how utterly impressed we are with your project now nearing 300 days into the venture, and what you’ve been able to accomplish! What gave you the initial idea for MakeShift? Did you sew a lot before the project?
Natalie: I had/have a small and random clothing line called Hunt & Gather. I noticed that I was often wearing at least one thing that I’d made myself and was curious to see if I could make everything. I really enjoy figuring out how to make things and I’d always wanted to try my hand at making shoes. The shoes, naturally, have been my biggest challenge.

SMS: Tell us more about those amazing shoes!
Natalie: All of the shoes look better than they feel. Having said that though, I think I have learned a lot and now that I have discovered foam soles I’m laughing! And actually the sneakers that I made in September and then wore for many months were pretty comfortable. And held up surprisingly well. They are pretty much “done” now.

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April 17, 2010

SMS: How do you approach design for a new piece of clothing? Are you more inspired by need through this project, or do you find you “need” less and thus have more freedom and time for process?
Natalie: I have been definitely the most inspired by need throughout most of the year. When spring arrived I was suddenly more inspired to make things that are pretty and a bit more frivolous. Finding the time is another issue altogether though.

SMS: How is your wardrobe different this year with the project, as opposed to past years?
Natalie: It’s a little rougher around the edges. I don’t clean up very nicely and don’t even think about inviting me to a formal event.

SMS: How have people reacted to MakeShift? I know you had a showroom schedule posted for May… Has there been a lot of interest in the project as you move through the year?
Natalie: There has been a surprising amount of interest. It still shocks me. I’ve been in magazines and newspapers and on TV shows and blogs all over the world.

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May 13, 2010

SMS: Has anything been especially challenging or rewarding in the process for you this past year?
Natalie: It has all been challenging and rewarding! I think because I’m still immersed in it, it’s hard for me to pinpoint the things I’ve learned so far. Those things hopefully will become evident later when I can put things into perspective a bit more. Right now I’m too involved in the doing aspect of it.

Thank you, Natalie! If you would like a little touch of the MakeShift project you can sign up for Natalie’s Super! Surprise! Program. Round 5 is now open and will close on June 30. It’s a way to purchase your very own MakeShift accessory and support the project at the same time. You can also check out the MakeShift blog for daily views of Natalie’s outfits.


We’re giving away fabulous prizes this month from SINGER, Ottobre Design and Sew,Mama,Sew!

1–Comment Here

Comment in any post this month to be entered into a weekly drawing for great prizes from SINGER and Sew,Mama,Sew!

2–Enter the Make It, Wear It! Challenge

Submit a photo of clothing you make this June in our Make It, Wear It! Challenge photo pool or in this thread in the Forum. You might win a SINGER sewing machine or a subscription to Ottobre.

See this post for details about all the prizes this month!