Sunday, April 11, 2010

my two cents worth...

I'm guessing that everyone who is reading this knows about the changes that are happening with Wardrobe Refashion. If you don't then the gist is here (essentially the site is changing and there will be a fee). If you're not interested in refashioning then now might be a good time to go and check out this super cute Meerkat video..

It's taken me ages to collect my thoughts about it. And mostly I'm feeling... sad. and a bit mopey.
Firstly I should say that I've filled in Nikki's survey, so I don't feel like I'm talking behind her back. ( I know that sounds silly but I'd want the same consideration) and I have no intention AT ALL of badmouthing her. Because she has done a fantastic job for four years, because wardrobe refashion genuinely changed my life and because the world is round and the internetses are a small place.

But I'm still bummed.

Firstly of all. I'm really not kidding when I say that WR changed my life. I discovered it around this time last year. I lurked. I ooohed and aaahed at the pretties. I didn't have a personal blog at the time and I was a bit too chicken to take the actual pledge but I decided that I would follow along at home with the July '09 pledge.
I was super excited. I rooted through my wardrobe, dusted off my sewing machine, and decided that I would make myself a dress form. So I did, out of this stuff. My sweetie plastering it on me as we giggled maniacally.

The thing about a dress form is that it makes you look at your own body in away that just glancing in a mirror doesn't. You're faced with your own reality, in impartial paper. Observable in 360 glorious degrees.
You guys. It was brutal.

The NEXT DAY I decided that maybe pie-mashpotatos-chocolate-cookiescookiescookies didn't love me back. And that maybe a bit less sugar and white flour and delicious delicious carbs would be a good thing. I joined the gym. I lost a bit of weight. I got to refashion things to be a little smaller instead of bigger.

So Wardrobe Refashion inadvertently made 50lbs less fat than I've been in the last 5/7 years and the fittest I've ever been in my life.

I joined up for real for the first time this January and it's been SO much fun. I re-upped instantly in March. And it's changed the way I think about buying lots of things (not just clothes).

When Nikki posted that the site would be changing to a pay format. I was a bit "oh", Because, you know, who doesn't love free? but I slept on it and decided
"OK, Wardrobe Refashion is important to me. Nikki has worked hard. I love how supportive and awesome the WR community is, and I think that I would pay to maintain it the way it is. The same way that I would pay fees to keep a community center afloat. I wonder how much it will be?"

So yup. I wasn't thrilled, but I was on board with the idea of paying to keep the site around.

I was SUPER disappointed when Nikki announced that the site would be changing completely. No longer being a forum/community driven by user posts. My absolute favorite thing about WR is it's egalitarian nature, that it isn't featured writers deciding content but us guys. What makes it awesome is our projects (successes AND failures), a sense of community that offers encouragement and genuine kindness as well as advice, and even just a place to say "YOU GUYS! Squeee! Look what I scored at the thrift store" to folks who get it.
The proposed fee's were also a bit of a surprise. I was hoping they would be say, the equivalent of an extra large caramel corretto ($7/8) as in, kind of decadent but easy enough to justify for something enjoyable and nice. $20, is a new pair of ballet flats or a third of my gym membership or a lunch date. Or you know, boring old groceries. It's not a huge amount, but it's enough so that I would feel weird and guilty about spending it on myself.

EVEN SO, I think that I could probably do the mental shuffling and justification required if WR was going to stay how it is. As it is I am hoping that Nikki will offer a free trial of the new set up, and that the new WR will retain enough of what I love about the OLD WR that I could justify ponying up the cash.
So that would be my take.
In other news... I drafted a pattern! and made a muslin! and did my first french seams! but now it's too dark to take pictures, so.. I guess tomorrow?
hope your weekend was lovely.


  1. That's kinda how I feel about it all. I intend to keep an eye on it and maybe one day I'll be able to justify the fees to myself. Til then I'm madly visiting everyone's blogs and planning on introducing myself and staying in touch. I love that sense of community that you get there.

  2. I've never heard of this site before but was curious when I read your post. I went and looked at it , and read quite a few of the posts .. and the comment ... and the responses of Nikki to the comments. As a total outsider, without a vested interest, my 2 cents would be that she's taking a too emotional approach to something that has to be rationally considered in the interest of all parties concerned. I would be running away as fast as I can from a place that gets so highly emotionally charged - the atmosphere and the tone of the contributions will most certainly fall victim to big egos. The good news is - the world/ internet is a big, big place and there is so much other sources and places to be.

  3. First of all: well done for the positive change in your life! You can say that is was due to WR, but really you should take the credit for that yourself.
    I agree with you on your thoughts of the site. I have only recently discovered WR and i LOVE it. What I like about it the most appears to be the very thing that Nikki is proposing to change. The survey she posted was a good step for getting feedback from her readers, but shouldn't the survey have been posted before deciding on a new format and price scheme? I will probably not be joining the new site, I feel the price is too steep for our family, and am not sure if it worth if for what i can get out of it.
    So ya, I am bummed too.

  4. I'm feeling much the same as you, but you say it so much better! I have loved the site. I so appreciate what Nikki started, and that it involves effort on her part and that wanting to benefit from that time and effort is not unreasonable. But at the same time a big part of why I do the things that attract me to the site is avoiding spending money. 20 dollars a month is more than my whole clothing budget a month. If it is possible with the new setup I will just watch the site for a while and feel things out but I probably won't be able to subscribe.

  5. Hey,

    I just wanted to empathize with you. As someone who refashions and sews in order to save money this was a huge disappointment to me as well. I liked the sense of community and camaraderie that existed, as most of us were on tight budgets and gained loads of inspiration and encouragement from each other.

    I stated a new, free blog for such purposes, since WR isn't going to remain in the same format anymore.

    Good luck, and happy sewing,


  6. NinjaEema,
    Good for you for being so proactive! I'll definitely swing by for a peek!


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