Monday, January 14, 2019

Marie Kondo and the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

I think I've been brainwashed by Marie Kondo! If you haven't heard of her yet, then try watching her Netflix series called Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.  The new series was added this year and I started watching it just as a lark at first. I thought well maybe she has some good tips on how to organize the house? The next thing I know, I'm pulling everything out of my closets and asking if they spark joy! ha!

Marie Kondo is an organizing expert from Japan. Besides the new Netflix series, she has written two books on home organization, has a YouTube channel, and a blog. I think the main reason I like her method of organization is that she approaches tidying in a spiritual way. Before she evens starts cleaning a clients house, she will take a quiet moment to "connect to the house". Kondo sits on the floor in the living room of the clients home and visualizes how that client wants their home to look and feel. While doing this, she is visualizing more than just a tidy home, but also the lifestyle the family wants in the future. From there, she tries to organize the home in such a way as to manifest that vision for them. I think the show did a poor job of explaining what she is doing when she sits on the floor. She explains it better on her website though.  Perhaps it was too spiritual for an American audience? I don't know. The goal of the KonMari method is to end up with a clutter free home that brings joy and prosperity to your family. She wants you to visualize your ideal life and then work on getting there. Anything that doesn't help you to achieve that goal is undeserving of your space and attention. Her approach makes perfect sense to me. Who doesn't want joy and prosperity?

The KonMari method breaks down the tidying into categories rather than rooms. She starts with clothes, then books, then paperwork, then Komono (a.k.a. miscellaneous items) and finally sentimental items. She has each client start with putting all their clothes on the bed. They then go through each item one by one and ask if it sparks joy. All of this is done while envisioning your ideal lifestyle.  Those items that don't spark joy are then thanked for their service and discarded or donated to charity.

She has six basic rules for starting the clean up...

1) Commit yourself to tidying up.

2.) Imagine your ideal lifestyle.

3.) Finish discarding first.

4.) Tidy by category, not by location.

5.) Follow the right order.

6.) Ask yourself if it sparks joy.

I am about the furthest you can get from a minimalist. I don't know if she is intentionally promoting minimalism, but she definitely leans that way. I may not be ready for minimalism just yet, but I do realize that I have way too much stuff. Too many clothes, too many books, too many movies, and definitely too many shoes. My Hubby reminds me of this fact everyday and I can understand why he is frustrated. I like to shop and then I have a hard time letting go of older stuff. Basically, its too much coming in and not enough going out. Those two things combined make for an overcrowded house full of stuff.  Even after this massive closet culling, I still have too many clothes to fit in the closet, so I turned my spare bedroom into a walk in closet instead. I added 2 racks for myself and 2 racks for my Hubby to store his suits and professional shirts on. Hopefully I can get it back down to fitting in the closets eventually, but right now it just won't work. I haven't even gone through the shoes yet...


My next biggest category to tackle is books and movies. I've already culled both not that long ago but I'm going to have to be even more ruthless in the new purge. Lets face it, I will never have just one book shelf of books like Kondo suggests, but I think I could part with some books that are just hanging around. The other part of this equation is to purge often to keep the house from getting cluttered again. Wish me luck on the next step!

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Gothic Victorian Jacket McCalls 7853 Pattern Review

My first make of 2019 is done and its a nice one!  This project also qualifies as my first make of the #makenine challenge I posted about earlier.  It is a fitted Victorian Gothic jacket lined in satin and trim in lace with puff sleeves. I used McCalls 7853 which is a fairly new pattern from McCalls. The pattern envelope looks its meant to be Mary Poppins maybe?

This past week, I started re-watching Penny Dreadful and was really inspired by the beautiful Victorian costumes on the TV series. I even did a whole blog post previously on the costumes from Penny Dreadful here. So I think this jacket has been on my mind for a really long time. The late Victorian period is my favourite for fashion silhouettes. Oh the bustles and lace trims!

After a quick root through my stash, I found a whole bolt of this black jacquard material to work with and a piece of black satin lining left over from another project. I also had the pattern in my stash from a shopping trip months ago. So I was off to the races!

I cut out a size 14 in the jacket and opted to just follow the pattern as is without any alterations. The collar is basically a roll collar with a notch cut out instead of two pieces and the front closes with frogs instead of buttons. The sleeves have a nice gather at the top and I added small shoulder pads and a wedge of material to make them stand up nicely. I fully lined the whole jacket with the satin and then finished the edges with a tiny lace and some gimp trim. I had salvaged the frogs from an old piece of clothing before I tossed it out, so they have been waiting in my stash for the perfect project. I finished off the back with a corset just so the jacket had a bit more detail to it. I used 3/4 inch D Rings and some trip to attach it. They are easier to add than you would think.



The jacket turned out so nice that I want to make a matching vest and long skirt to go with it also. Maybe a Victorian walking skirt would look nice?



Update! Here I am wearing the jacket to a Victorian Tea.