Category Archives: self stitched september

self-stitched-september: round-up & break-down

Phew! I made it! A whole month with a self-made garment every single day. Actually, there were two days that were unsuccessful; one spent in biking gear, and another in lounge clothes as I didn’t leave the house (a third day is not photographed because I left my self-made jacket at work before documenting the outfit).

Favorite outfits:
There were quite a few outfits this month that I wouldn’t have come up with if I wasn’t challenging myself in the SSS way. I was really happy with some of them, and I will say that days 13, 16, 21, and 29 were my favorites (see pictures below). 1, 15, and 23 are practically the same outfit, but it’s such an easy and successful outfit that I think it will become a staple (also see garment usage).

Garment type distribution:
Breaking down by garment types, I find that the distribution is like this:

Dresses: 4
Skirts: 4
Pants: 0
Blouses: 4
Cardigans: 2
Shorts: 2
Jackets: 1 (wait, I forgot about the trench! Make that 2)

Since I have my perfect pants project going (click the widget in the sidebar to learn more!), I hope to eventually have some pants that I’ve made. And even though I have four tops or blouses or shirts I’ve made, I found (like many bloggers out there participating in SSS) that I don’t really have any plain tops, or actually any kind of garment. I don’t think I mind this fact. I enjoy making garments that aren’t just basic, but if I ever decide to have a completely self-made wardrobe, that’s a hole that needs to be filled.

Garment usage:
I made a chart of how much each of my self-made garments were used this month. The chart is made with chartpart, and I cheated just a little bit since I counted the two Marie-skirts as one:

I was a little surprised towards the end of the month to realize that I’ve used the Marie-skirts so much. Thinking about it however, it’s makes sense. They are incredible easy to build outfits around – since they have enough visual interest in themselves, I just need to add a plain top and I’m good to go! Other heavy rotation items were my mustard cardigan and the beach-blouse. Making this chart, I was quite surprised to see exactly how many self-made items I actually had available!

Enjoyable aspects of Self-stitched-september:
• Seeing what outfits work, from documenting them nearly every day.
• Being pushed to put more effort into making interesting outfits. I came up with combinations I’ve not considered before, and some of them I felt were quite successful, and will go in my little mental round-up of “go-to” outfits. I’m usually too lazy to use make-up on a regular basis, but I found that when I’d put thought into my outfit, I wanted to have my face look nice(r) too.
• Self-stitched-september coincided with the start of my school semester. This meant that since I’ve been making an effort to look nice and put together, I’ve set the expectation for myself and those who see me often. It’s already a motivation to keep it up, and it feels good to not slide into jeans and nondescript tops that renders the outfit a little “meh”.
• I managed my self-inflicted goal of wearing every self-stitched item I had available to me! (Except for the trench-coat that I forgot I had)
• I am very happy that I’ve felt like I’ve stayed true to my evolving personal style during this month – and even discovered more about what I feel comfortable in, what looks good on me, and what can be combined into successful outfits.
• Rediscovering what necklaces and earrings can do. I think this will make me reach for them more often.


Favorites. Click to see larger.

Challenging aspects of Self-stitched-september:
• Taking those pictures. I knew it wasn’t in my priorities or time-line to find interesting places to photograph everyday, so I settled on a corner of my apartment to be a designated outfit picture location. It made for continuity, but super-interesting pictures? No.
• Taking those pictures. It was a bit of a hassle, and it is awkward to pose and smile to a camera. I think I took 20 pictures the first day, with really really weird poses that I thought would look cool as I was standing there. By the last week, I was down to 4 pictures maximum, and used one of two stances. See point 1 for the answer to “super-interesting pictures”.
• While I did manage to wear all my self-stitched clothes at least once, several of them felt like a contrived effort. Like I wrote in a comment on the subject over on Tasia’s blog Sewaholic, that fact that I’ve made something myself doesn’t automatically mean it’s my style. Or, it might no longer fit into my current style. There’s been some discussion on sewing blogs about parting with things you’ve made yourself, and I’m certainly feeling a resistance to give away these things I no longer wear – only because made it. There are several things I’m putting away, but I don’t know if I can bring myself to get rid of them.
• I feel like I was bombarding the blog with the outfit posts. I knew a daily post was out of the picture for me, but I’m thinking once a week would have been a better frequency for me personally – with some time for other kinds of posts in between.
• I lost steam towards the end of the month. It felt like less of a fun challenge than something that *had* to be done. That feeling also coincided with a weekend-trip to a cabin, which meant I had to plan out my outfits ahead of time. Since I have no plain self-stitched clothes, the outfits were far more stylish than they were appropriate for the cabin-life. Having four outfits pre-planned also took any feelings of creativity and “dressing for my mood” out of it, and ended up feeling forced.

Conclusion:
Was it fun? For the most part. Will I do it again? Ehh… probably not. The parts I really enjoyed about the challenge was coming up with new outfits and analysing my personal style and clothing choices. I don’t feel a need to prove to myself or others that I can get by in only self-made garments, but would I do another round of documenting my outfits for a concentrated amount of time? Yes. Was it worth doing? Also yes.

All my self-stitched september posts: pre-post, days 1-4, days 6-9, days 10-14, days 15-19, days 20-23, days 24-27, and days 28-30.

(See the full list of participants here)

self-stitched-september: Days 28-30

And that’s the end of the Self-Stitched-September challenge & adventure! I’ll be writing a separate post on observations, analysis and stats, and other thoughts on this month of wearing something self-made every day. Look for it later today or tomorrow!

Day 28Fall-shorts-outfit: self-made shorts, thrifted cardigan, long-sleeved t-shirt from Mango, tights from Hue, mom’s old boots
Day 29 - New-hair-color-outfit: thrifted cardigan, self-designed and -made dress (coming soon as a blog-post!), Blowfish booties
Day 30End-of-a-short-era-outfit: rumpled boat-dress, cardigan from Zara, H&M leather belt, thrifted oxfords

(See the full list of participants here)

self-stitched-september: Days 24-27

As I alluded to in the previous installment of self-stitched-september-outfit-pictures-posts, the boy and I spent the weekend at a cabin with some friends in Michigan. Wanting to pack lightly for the four days we’d be gone, I limited my clothing to a pair of pants, a skirt, three tops and two cardigans. I think I could have done with less, but I had to plan it out so there could be combinations including something self-stitched each day! However, camp-clothes often have more utilitarian needs than stylish needs, so honestly, my capsule travel wardrobe was a little off. Regardless, a departure in location from the red couch:

Day 24Cabin-and-lake-outfit: pants from System Action, thrifted shirt, self-machine-knit cardigan, Bianco flats
Day 25 - Waiting-for-the-fireworks-outfit: another Marie-skirt, thrifted shirt, cardigan from Zara, H&M tights, really old Cubus socks, Bianco flats
Day 26Hitchiking-to-Saginaw-outfit: Zara cardigan, beach-blouse, pants from System Action, necklace from H&M, infamous old socks
Day 27Back-in-town-outfit: System Action top, cardigan from the attic, self-stitched shorts, tights from Hue, thrifted oxfords

(See the full list of participants here)

self-stitched-september: Days 20-23

Day 20Complementary-colors-outfit: pants from System Action, Forever 21 shirt, self-machine-knit cardigan, thrifted oxfords
Day 21 - Unseasonably-warm-day-outfit: a Marie skirt, H&M t-shirt, cardigan from Zara, thrifted sandals
Day 22Unreasonably-long-day-outfit: Zara cardigan, mom’s vintage boots, refashioned Noa Noa skirt, H&M tank
Day 23Headed-to-a-cabin-outfit: H&M t-shirt, another Marie-skirt, turquoise necklace from antique market in Beijing, Bianco flats.

(See the full list of participants here)

self-stitched-september: Days 15-19

Day 15Another-Marie-skirt-outfit: another Marie-skirt, clothes-swap sweater, Bass shoes
Day 16 - Comfy-day-outfit: Gap silk tank, beach-blouse,  Zara corduroy pants, Bass shoes, thrifted cardigan, H&M necklace
Day 17Thrifting-outfit: grandma-dress, Zara cardigan, Blowfish booties, thrifted belt
Day 19Lunch-date-outfit: cardigan from Gudrun Sjödén, self-made silk-top, System Action pants,  Bianco flats

(See the full list of participants here)