Self-Stitched September, Days 29-30 (and closing thoughts)

So today is the last day of Self-Stitched September. Here we go….

Day 29:

The Details:
Top- Self-stitched, “Gypsy” blouse
Pants/shoes: purchased
Jewelry- Self-made, the “Titania” set

The Context:
A band/teaching day that was slightly heavier on the teaching than usual, due to some rescheduling. And it’s also starting to cool down just a bit– not enough to ditch the sandals quite yet, but enough that I was quite comfortable in the pants and barely 3/4-sleeved blouse. I was also quite happy with the jewelry choice–I think the only thing I’ve worn this with before is the dress that I specifically designed this set to go with, so it’s good to mix it up at last!

Day 30:

And the piece de resistance….

The Details:
Top: Self-stitched, finished last night! (Loosely based on Simplicity 2883)
Jeans: Thrifted
Shoes: The Birks (but this will definitely be switched to boots before I go out tonight…)
Earrings/bracelet: Self-made, and finished about 10 minutes ago!

The Context:
As stated in a recent post, this was supposed to be a dress for a cousin’s upcoming wedding. That was a fail. But I think it makes a pretty nice shirt! So since I was supposed to be at work, and the garden center didn’t even open today due to the entire East Coast getting drenched, I’m just at home until I do my one lesson and go out for Bible study. (So naturally I made something. And will likely do some cutting out for my next sewing project this afternoon)

I’ll post more details about the top and jewelry soon. (Like when I’m not wearing them and can take more detailed pictures.)

Closing Thoughts:

I’m really glad that I did this experiment– I think that it was a rather valuable tool to go along with the reassessment of my personal style that I did earlier this year. I’d like to do a post later on where I re-evaluate the most and least successful outfits, but that can wait–at the moment, I’d rather reflect on the broader topics while they’re still fresh in my mind.

  • The easiest part: Choosing self-stitched things to wear for a work context.
  • The hardest part: Hands-down, taking the daily outfit photos. The fall is traditionally my busiest time, and this one more so than usual due to adding a couple of extra activities in (Bible study, rock climbing, etc). So for the most part, my pictures were hastily taken when I had time, rather uncreative, and really not the best lighting at all. I have a lot more respect for fashion bloggers now, because that takes a lot more dedication than I thought!
  • The most surprising part: How hard it was to find more casual things to wear that fit the criteria. And also that I often ended up being dissatisfied with those outfits.
  • The other most surprising part: How much I missed a lot of my thrifted items. There were multiple occasions where I felt like wearing one of my great secondhand finds, but had to find something I’d actually made instead. Which led to bendings of the rules like Day 18 (in which I only mended the shirt) and Day 28 (where I basically gave up and resorted to jewelry).

So I feel like I learned a couple of valuable things:

  1.  I may need to start considering what I’m sewing/buying as part of my wardrobe as a whole. It’s no secret that I’m drawn to crazy prints and such, but then I tend to wear those items with the same thing all the time. Gwen made a comment on my last SSS post asking if I’d ever considered wearing a certain blouse with a certain skirt that I’d worn a couple of days apart, and the thought was pretty mind-blowing to me because I’d never even considered it! I know from following on the Flickr site and various blogs that some people felt that their contributions were getting boring because of repeats–I’m on the opposite extreme and surprised at how mix-and-matchable my wardrobe often isn’t. (But don’t think I’m ditching the prints entirely. Because I’m not.)
  2. The most surprising thing is, I really didn’t like a lot of my casual outfits. At least, not the ones that were solely for bumming around the house. Ok, to be honest, I didn’t like photographing them. So part of that may have been subconsciously dressing for the camera, and I’m certainly not going to go and ditch all of my t-shirts, but now I’m feeling like I need to re-evaluate my casual style in particular.
  3. In contrast, I discovered that I actually like the way I dress for work. At least in the warmer season. So I guess my style evaluation experiment had some success after all!
  4. Taking pictures of myself, even with a tripod, and still getting a decent shot of my creations is hard. And not something I particularly enjoy. So yeah, you’re still going to be seeing a lot of Donna the Dummy around here!
  5. I did like how this made me consider the outfit as a whole–not just individual pieces, but stuff like “do those two silhouettes really go together? Can I wear that with something else?”
  6.  I often felt like I would have had a lot more fun with putting outfits together if I didn’t spend half the day in jeans and a grungy work-required t-shirt. Especially on the days where I wasn’t set to teach afterward– I think those were probably the days of the worst casual outfits. So I think my job definitely affects my outlook on how I’m dressing–actually, it was also that job that got me started on the personal style project in the first place!
  7. There are a lot of really fun sewing bloggers that I didn’t know existed before this month. So now I have several new lovely ladies to “follow”! (And probably more, once I finish clicking through the participant list– I only got about halfway.)
  8. For a month focused on self-sewn items, I did surprisingly little sewing! But the related thing I realized is that I don’t feel a driving need to have an entirely self-stitched wardrobe. I was perfectly content to mix in things I made with things I thrifted or otherwise bought–though I’ve certainly become more conscious of the impact that store-bought fashion has on people and the environment over the past several years, my main motivation for sewing has been and still is the fun of creating things that I can use to express myself. And I also love learning new techniques and improving my abilities at pattern manipulation and fitting. Besides, thrift shopping is too much fun to give up!

So, in conclusion, I am glad I did this, even though it got a little tedious at the end. I think it helped me identify some holes in my wardrobe that will need to be filled. As for whether I’d do it again, I think I would….truth be told, I’m strongly tempted to do a mini-version in the winter, even if there’s nothing official, just because of how much it helped me figure out what I do and don’t like about how I dress. And winter is definitely the most challenging fashion season for me. Hopefully next time I’ll have a little more time to get better pictures!


5 thoughts on “Self-Stitched September, Days 29-30 (and closing thoughts)

  1. I didn't mean to blow your mind! I've gone back to look at your posts and realise that you have a lot of green and autumn colours in your wardrobe and good cream coloured neutrals. You should be able to team lots of things together.


  2. Scruffybadger– thanks!

    Gail– don't worry, it's in a good way. I definitely tend to get into this rut where I only think certain things go together, and not mix them more. So while I'd have to look at both the blouse and the skirt to see if they *really* work together, it's good for me to have an outside perspective to see the possibilities!


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