Self-Stitched September?

I’m thinking about doing it.

Zoe of So, Zo announced Self-Stitched September a week or so ago. I discovered Me-Made-May halfway through last month and it seemed like a really cool challenge. I’m not ready for the full version—no way am I going to have enough self-made stuff by September to wear it exclusively—but I think I could maybe pull off the lite version of one self-made item per day. Especially if I get a couple more pairs of self-made jeans done by then. I can easily rotate the same two pairs of jeans almost indefinitely (and have done, on the several occasions where I only HAD two wearable pairs of jeans to my name… but maybe that’s more about me than you wanted to know), though it’s nice to have a few more for variety especially if I miss a laundry day. But if I had two pairs of full-length Jalies, I could wear those most days, swap in regular jeans with a self-made top every now and then, and the weather might still be amenable to the capris I just made (and haven’t able to wear yet as i’s been $%&%$$#$ COLD and raining here all week… at least no snow this week…) from time to time.  But anyway, let’s face it, my typical “everyday” wardrobe consists of 3 pairs of jeans in rotation and about 5-7 tops (plus grubbies/slub wear for the weekend). That’s not that much to come up with, is it?

So, to be ready for Self-Stitched September (also my birthday month… I could make myself clothes for a birthday present!), I would need to make:


  • 2 pairs of Jalie jeans: plain dark jeans, maybe one stovepipe leg pair and one boot cut (since I don’t have any non-trashed boot-cut jeans at the moment… how did I end up with nothing but skinnies? I don’t even like skinnies that much except under boots!).
  • Ellen trousers? (I have been thinking of them for this grey wool. Though given I have only 3 yards perhaps a pencil skirt and a blazer would be better? Would I wear a pencil skirt? would I wear any skirt enough to justify making it for Self-Stitched September?) I haven’t had a pair of non-jeans other than camos in… decades. Like, since I stopped wearing the pink corduroy overalls. There was that one pair of black slacks I bought for the job interview that one time, but they were too short and I never wore them again. And yet, a presentable pair of dress-trousers would be a good thing to have, especially for conferences/job interviews (which I will, presumably, be facing at some point in the next few years). Palaeo is a pretty casual science, and I don’t feel like skirts are appropriate for an interview for a job that involves working with pneumatic tools and tromping through the dirt… but jeans are still not really it for a job interview)… so I’d like to have something.
  • Skirts??? See above. I like skirts just fine. Especially if they’re ridiculously long or ridiculously short. Neither of which are particularly practical… so they sit in the closet. I try them on once or twice a year to gauge fit—I can track my figure variations by where a skirt is sitting on my hips at any given moment. There was a period early in my Master’s thesis where I was over-dressing and wearing the long ones a lot, and it was fun, but I don’t seem to have that momentum these days. And my desire to show off my undies with the really short ones has waned over the years (though I did wear to death that one with the under-shorts liner… maybe I should make more like that)

Tops (Have to think about these… I think I have enough JJ’s, though I wouldn’t mind a white variation, maybe with a neck bow, though I’m not 100% about these paired with my wide shoulders)

  • 3 JJ blouses. Even just the ones I have would be enough to spell the Jalie jeans for a day or two, paired with RTW jeans)
  • Something knit? All my tops are currently knits. I’m terrified of sewing with knits… and I never seem to find any good ones in good colours, so I never have any to practice on, so I never get over my fear. Maybe if I can get my serger functioning over the summer? The Lydia pattern at Burdastyle is only a dollar, though I have a feeling I could trace my own off an existing shirt without too much trouble… Or maybe the free Batwing pattern, though it’s not a style I’d normally wear.
  • Sencha-style blouse? I’ve been musing over trying to draft a pattern like this myself the last few days. Not that I don’t want to support Colette Patterns but the Ceylon dress and the Beignet skirt and the Lady Grey coat are way higher up the list.  And the blouse I’m picturing is a bit different… no tucks, just some side bust darts (very plain, actually). It would have to be in a really luxuriously wonderful fabric, too, silk or a really nice rayon. And I’m not sure how it would work with the rest of my wardrobe, since these blouses (IMHO) look best tucked into a waistband at the waist (on people with itty bitty waists who look good in such things). It would go great (in my head) with a Beignet skirt though…
  • Danielle dress? I was thinking about the dresses in my closet (trying to justify adding this one), and remembered a certain pattern. A large majority of my dresses are short, spaghetti-strapped, empire-waisted confections. At least one I’ve had since I was 15. Aside from the spaghetti straps, the Danielle dress fits in nicely… and the big plus about these dresses is that they go over jeans well for everyday wear. Well, some of them do. The sparkly grad/bridesmaid ones not so much. Anyway, if I could put a Danielle into regular rotation, it would be a lot more justifiable than just making it for my friend’s wedding reception… depends on my ability to conquer my Fear of the Zipper, I suppose (which is almost as great as my Fear of Knits)

On an unrelated, parental sewing triumph note, my younger daughter wore her vintage A-line dress/shirt to school again today, without me even suggesting it. Considering how picky she is with her clothes, this is a major triumph (she also wore it for spring picture day). The only downside of this little dress/top (it’s really too short to be a dress) is that it needs ironing. I iron LOTS when I sew—and very rarely for anything else. Also the square neckline is fraying a bit at the corners after washing; I clipped too close to the seam when turning it, I guess. I should ask my mom if she has any tips or tricks for square necklines.

Anyway, what was that tag again? Ah, yes, too much talk…

Ok, you’ve talked me into it.

‘I, Taran of Tanit-Isis Sews,, sign up as a participant of Self-Stitched-September. I endeavour to wear at least one handmade item of clothing every day for the duration of September 2010′.

Now off to apply for the flickr group…



Filed under Sewing

5 responses to “Self-Stitched September?

  1. Barbara

    Yay! Which reminds me that I haven’t signed for SSS yet! Ack.
    The trick for the neckline corner is a bit on interfacing. So simple. 🙂

  2. Thanks for the tip! There was interfacing… but perhaps not sturdy enough (I only have a very light-weight interfacing at the moment. I would love to experiment more with different interfacings, it’s just so hard spending money on the parts that no one will ever see!) Next time I think I’ll make sure I reinforce the corners with some extra stitching, maybe. 😉

  3. cheryl

    Don’t fear knits. The next time you are in Fabricland, check out the bamboo jersey. It is a dream to sew (I even used a regular needle, and a crappy machine!) to be sure that it works, get a ballpoint or stretch needle, and use your stretch or triple zig zag stitch.

    • I will do that! I know they had some stuff that felt AMAZING in the 60% off section… but 60% off of $32/m is still a bit rich for me unless there’s a very specific project I have in mind ;). I have managed to score a couple of inexpensive but still nice-feeling knits to play with… so that’ll be an upcoming project for sure. Thanks for the encouragement!

      • cheryl

        I know that I got mine when they were having a sale on it, but I don’t remember it being that much. And the bonus is that if you are doing just a top out of it, you won’t need more than a meter!

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