Self-Stitched September: Lessons?

Self-Stitched September 24

Looking back

It seems obligatory to do a post on the things learnt from Self-Stitched September, the impact it has had on me, especially since I hadn’t done the Me-Made-May challenge. So here goes.

The Good:

  • I had enough pieces to get me through. I’ve been trying hard to focus on practical sewing this time around, and aside from the odd venture into pouffy-skirt territory, I’ve been pretty successful. A big thank-you to everyone who pushed me towards a “full” commitment. It’s good to stretch ourselves a little.
  • It pushed me to get more creative with my outfits—layering Lydias and JJs or the Danielle Dress over jeans, even finding ways to style my Kasia skirt—which I still have issues with.
  • it pushed me to “step it up” with my photos to reduce the boredom of photographing repeat outfits. Though my photo-quality is still pretty spotty, I think.
  • it pushed me to make use of borderline pieces that I probably wouldn’t get much use out of otherwise—like my first black Lydia with the wonky shoulders, or my ex-capri Jalie Jeans, which fit fine but have some construction, ah, idiosyncrasies.
  • it clarifies a lot of things about what I like to wear.

The Bad:

  • Boring! Although I had enough pieces to get through (without doing laundry every other day), it gets old rotating the same two pairs of pants and the same few shirts, especially when weather necessitated layering or omitting the more summery items. I didn’t get a lot of use out of my cowl-neck tops due to the weather, and I got mighty bored of my variations on JJ and Lydia (especially layered together).
  • I wish I had a few more “relief” pieces (like the Danielle dress pictured) for spicing it up when the staples get old. I’m really lusting after a mid-length mermaid skirt like Big in Japan’s orĀ LouTracey’s. The Kasia fits this ‘hole’ but a) I don’t really like it with any of my self-stitched tops, and b) I find the whole pencil-skirt thing a big constricting for everyday wear. I like to walk fast and take stairs two at a time, which is not good for pencil skirts.
  • DAILY photos! Tiring, boring. Probably the repetitive garments wouldn’t’ve bothered me quite as much if I hadn’t been photographing them. (I know, this is also part of “the good” because it pushed me to get more creative with my photos)
  • I never did find my blue tank top. It’s been MIA all month!

The Odd:

I don’t think my husband or children even noticed that I eschewed all RTW (except jackets, sweaters, and sleepwear… and undies) for the month. I guess this is partly because I was wearing a fair amount before (one piece a day through August and much of July), but still. Way to go, family! Also, it felt really weird to grab a non-self-stitched pair of jeans this morning.

The wardrobe:

Here’s a link to my Self-Stitched Flickr set. I didn’t manage pics every day, but more than not. You can tell which days I was inspired and having fun and which days were just “bleh let’s get this over with”, can’t you?

So on the whole, I’m glad I did it. I really like the feeling of wearing my own items, even if I don’t like being restricted to just them. It would be fun at some point in the future to have a fully me-made wardrobe, although I don’t think I’m going to exclude the possibility of buying stuff as needed. I hope I didn’t bore you all to tears with the outfit posts—I tried to have a bit of something else in there, even on days when little or no sewing was done.

The Way Forward:

I still need to finish my winter coat, and of course proceed with the Lady Grey. I’m still toying with the idea of turning the muslin (assuming I can get the front working) into a real, light-weight coat. I won’t be able to do the “final” version until I can get fabric, which hopefully will be sometime in October (I have a 50%-off coupon for up to 5m of fabric at Fabricland that expires at the end of October, but funds remain tight in the Tanit-Isis household). I have the lining! Tyo will also need a winter coat at some point this fall, so I need to decide whether to buy or try to make her one. I’m thinking I should hold off on making her one until I’ve tested whether mine will end up being warm enough, which of course means after the winter, which means buying one in the meantime. I’d also like more cardi-wrap-type garments, but again that requires buying substantial amounts of not-cheap fabric.

And, in the purely fun and frilly side of sewing (that oh-so-seductive side I’m trying to avoid), I now have all the materials I should need for a tiered petticoat, and also I’m considering sacrificing some of this red fabric to a retro circle skirt to go over said petticoat. How fun? Plus I still need some madeleine bloomers to go under the pouffy skirt (see above), and maybe some more nighties. I may resort to some of these just because I can use fabric I already have, instead of having to buy more.

So that’s where I am as of this morning, happy to have risen to the challenge but also glad it’s over. My wardrobe is going to feel so massive and well-rounded now… ;)

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14 Comments

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14 responses to “Self-Stitched September: Lessons?

  1. Give or take a couple of points, I have had lots of similar feeling about the self-stitched-september.

    But then again, I may have got thoroughly bored with my outfits and the images I took, but I never got bored looking at the wardrobe of my fellow stitchers.

  2. I’m pretty impressed that you made it through the month with only self-stitched stuff. I agree that having to find ways to wear clothes in different ways–like the layering– is interesting.

  3. Congratulations! I never would have thought it would be quite so hard but your summation definitely puts it into perspective. I missed out on the challenge but have thought of doing it on my own…maybe. LOL!

    • “only self-stitched” is a bit of an exaggeration. It was more like—if there was a self-stitched option, I would use it. I’m sure there will be more such challenges in the future, but doing it solo would be great, too. :)

  4. Joy

    Phew! I’m glad it’s over, too. But I enjoyed it, especially since it was a sort of community effort.

    And as a fellow quick-mover and two-a-time stairs person (drove my mom nuts), I hate constricting clothes. I never make it more than half a day in a skirt or dress. But part of the benefit of SSS is a good self-analysis. It helps you more sensibly choose what you buy and make for yourself.

    • I think I can handle skirts under the right conditions—it’s just that none of the skirts I’ve made (a whole two) have been the right skirts. The lengths were good, not too long or too short, but one was too pouffy and fancy, and the other was too narrow and restrictive. Also I have had a few mini-skorts in my summer gear that I wear to death when the weather is warm enough (which was like two whole days this past summer :P)

  5. Cheers to you for taking the SSS challenge and thanks for sharing it with everyone! Reading your regular posts had me evaluating my own wardrobe selections more carefully. I realized that I’m wearing a lot more self-stitched pieces than I thought. Dealing with the photos is one of the points that slows me down the most in blogging, so again, hats off to you for making the effort!

    I love skirts and I think straight or pencil types look good on me, but ditto the impracticality. Six-gore all the way for biking! Now if I could find tights that I really felt comfy in, maybe I’d have more than the same old two pairs of jeans and one pair of cords to wear all winter.

    • I think your six-gore skirt looks awesome! I hear you on the comfy-tights issue… it’s almost impossible to find any that aren’t basically nylons (at least around here).

  6. it was weird to have full rein over the closet today, wasn’t it? i’m really gonna miss trying to stay caught up on everyone’s day to day even though it was definitely impinging on my lab/research at home work :) i’m still mulling my lesons pos, but it’s coming. keep sewing, i can’t wait wait to see what you come up with next! (oh and did you see you were on grosgrain’s blog for sewing inspiration?!)

  7. Agree with how hard it was to self-take photos every day! Man! But I had a lot of fun doing the challenge too, and I’m glad I discovered a few other self seamstresses, like you. You have great style!

  8. after a month of having my legs out i’m typing this in jeans, JEANS!!!!!!
    cheers for the link – my lil’blog has never been seen by so many people ;)

    reckon i still have pattern pieces for that skirt, can root out and upload it…
    plenty of room, i’m a two at a timer & strider too (despite not being exactly blessed with height!)

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