Self-stitched September: the final roundup

Today is the last day of September, marking the end of an entire month wearing my self-stitched garments!  I have some thoughts on the experience at the end, but first I have photos of the final three days:

Day 28

Dress: Colette patterns Rooibos

Pin: Vintage, Sarah Coventry

Tights: DKNY

Shoes: Cole Haan

I love this dress so much… sad that it won’t photograph true to color (a beautiful emerald green!) I destroyed these tights at an evening rehearsal, and I’m not sorry – I hate when tights are shiny and not totally opaque.  Does anyone have any sources for truly opaque tights to share?  I’m looking for some!  I did wear a cardigan for part of the day, but I got hot.

Day 29

Jacket: Simplicity  2443

Dress: Kohls (it’s a large houndstooth, which doesn’t photograph well.

Leggings: Kohls

Boots: Alfani

I really like this outfit.  This dress is very short – so short that I chose to forgo tights and wear leggings for the extra coverage.  I am trying very hard to like these boots – I bought them last year, and they are too large for my calves (an eternal problem for me… my calves are only 12.75″ around, and boots rarely come that small.)  The topstitching is coming loose on one of the pockets of this jacket, so it’s in the mending pile until I can tack it down again.

Day 30

Cardigan: Simplicity 2360

Dress: Simplicity 2443

Tights: Forever 21

Shoes: Sofft

And I’m ending the month with the same garment that started it – my version of the DKNY Cozy wrap.  This is one of only 2 times this month I’ve been completely self-stitched.  I love the cozy, but I do find that I most often want to wear it either belted or like this (I have pinned it in place with a tiny vintage brooch.)  This outfit is a success also – I am obsessed with these tights, and I had planned to wear a black blazer with the dress originally – but it was so boring to me, I wanted some color!

So… what lessons have I learned from this month?

1. I don’t need to save my favorite clothes for special occasions. I tend to do this, think – oh, but I’m only seeing students today,  I should save that outfit for a day I’m going out!  But I feel so much better about myself when I look nice, there’s really no excuse anymore.

2. I don’t really need more casual clothes. I thought this was going to be an issue for me – what would I wear on the weekends?  But as it turns out I only wore jeans twice.  I have long been a proponent of the idea that a dress is just as easy to wear as a pair of jeans, and this month bore that out – I was able to wear casual knit dresses etc, and it was very comfortable – with leggings it’s almost like wearing pajamas.  Am I the only one who finds jeans sort of uncomfortable?  They always feel stiff to me.

2b. I don’t like pants. Ok, not a revelation, but it was a good reminder of the fact that up until about 2003 I didn’t even own any jeans.  I like how I look in skirts and dresses, but I’m often displeased with pants – especially in this time of the skinny pant, which is not good on me.

3. I’m cool toned. As you all know, I had been thinking I was after the Color me Beautiful experience.  But up until that I was convinced for years that I was warm – and all my clothes reflected that!  Almost everything that I’ve sewn is cool, and I feel so much better.  Unfortunately, that means that my old clothes don’t work with my new clothes.  That’s why you didn’t see any sweaters this month – my sweaters are almost entirely warm, with lots of rusts and oranges that worked ok with my old hair, but not at all with the new color.

4. Taking pictures wasn’t as bad as I thought. I do work at home though, so I have lots of time to get a photo.  I bought a tripod, and it’s been a revelation – now all I need is a remote and I can finally free my husband from his photo taking duties (he would be very glad I think.)

5. I will miss it! I have really enjoyed this whole experience.  I’m probably going to continue taking photos when I make a new outfit and occasionally sharing them here – it’s a good motivation for me to not fall into a fashion rut, and I enjoy the challenge of wearing things in a different way.

So overall… it was a good month, in spite of the sickness, and I feel like for me it was really an affirming experience.  I can finally have the wardrobe I want, in the colors I want!  And while I don’t necessarily dress like everyone else, that’s ok – and I plan to continue to express myself through my clothes!

The whole month’s photos may be found on flickr .  I have enjoyed seeing everyone else’s photos, and I have some sewing plans coming up to fill the holes I found in my wardrobe!

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18 thoughts on “Self-stitched September: the final roundup

  1. mick says:

    I completely agree with you about jeans: a jersey dress or skirt and some comfy tights is the way to go for me when I want to look somewhat cute but be comfy. And it’s funny, I totally match your outfit for the last day: I’m wearing a black, jersey jumper dress, black boots, a grey sweater, and bright pink tights for a shot of color. Love it!

  2. I have not participated in this since I could only get through a week and then only thanks to my mum’s mad skills. However I have also very recently concluded upon your first three discoveries so it’s nice to know I’m not alone. I occasionally participate over at a blog called The Pleated Poppy. You can link to her on Wednesdays and everyone posts what they wore that week “What I wore Wednesday” It’s a nice reminder every day and really encouraging.

  3. I really enjoyed seeing all your beautiful outfits! Your sewing is inspirational. And I love that I got to see your cat all month long too >’.’< what a cutie!

  4. Funnygrrl says:

    Jeans are so uncomfortable. I wear denim skirts in place of jeans. I just feel so much better.
    I love the Cozy. I was thinking of making one also but was going to go with black or brown. Now looking at the vibrant colour, I may have to rethink…or make a couple.
    Beautiful outfits! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Way to go with SSS. I too enjoyed seeing all your outfits. I think it’s great you feel good about dressing in what makes you feel good. We are all so unique. That’s what makes life so interesting and we can all learn interesting styling tips from each other, because we don’t always think outside our own box!

  6. Heather L says:

    I love all your outfits but especially the last one…with that pretty pink cardigan/cozy…what a nice POP of colour! And the tights are adorable. I’m more of a jeans person, but I want to be a dress girl. Having two toddler girls, I sort of automatically think it’s not practical, but I think I might try and reevaluate. I’d much rather look pretty and stylish and I think dresses would make it easier. Thanks again for much inspiration!

  7. Loved seeing your SSS! It’s been inspirational. I’m one of those knitters and sewers that never makes anything for themselves. Well I start projects for myself, but they never get done. Projects for other people take precedence. Seeing all the lovely things you’ve made for yourself makes me want to make things for myself again! Thanks

    • I was just looking at that website – the colors do look great, and I like the look of the heavy nylon tights, as well as the striped ones. Maybe I’ll order some and do a blog review!

  8. Nakia says:

    I have the same problem with boots. I have had at least 4 pairs altered to fit. Just find a good cobbler/shoe repair guy. It’s not cheap($40-$80) but a perfect pair of boots is an investment and mine have served me for many seasons.
    Congrats on your beautiful SSS!

  9. Melanie says:

    I checked my tights this weekend – I have a pair of Spanx tights that are black on one side and brown on the other – they were stupid expensive but they have held up very well and are not at all shiny – also they are thick and warm, but not too thick. I like that they are reversible – it helps my crazy mornings.

  10. Wonderful round-up and great summary of thoughts! I don’t like pants either :) I much prefer how I look in skirts and dresses! And you’re right, they’re way more comfortable than pants. Jeans always dig in and feel stiff to me too!
    And the tripod makes a huge difference in self-photography! My guy got me one, probably so I would leave him alone :)
    And besides all of that.. great outfits! You always look cute and put-together. You don’t need a reason to dress up!

  11. Veronica says:

    Just like you I am constantly having this struggle with finding the perfect tights. I bought some today that I think might be real winners :) I haven’t worn them, but to try them on, but they seem fantastic. They are the Merona brand from Target – ‘Brushed Lined Tight’ on the package. I don’t see them online – but I bought them today in the store. They are extremely thick, maybe a bit shiny, but not too bad. Found them today and my first thought was to tell you…

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