Pictures from the last days in September are in the slideshow. A final reflection post is planned.
I used the blue patterned birthday fabric for this shirt. I think online it was called "Night in the Garden," so that's how I think of it, even thought I can't check to be sure since the fabric is no longer available.
I used the same pattern as I used for the navy T-shirt, except I made the sleeves elbow-length. The neckline is a little higher than I like and the excess fabric in my swayback is more obvious, but overall, I like the look and feel of this shirt. Because of the longer sleeves, the shirt is good for cooler buildings, but the fabric feels smooth and cool against my skin in the humid weather. The sleeves ended up coming just below my elbow, but all I wanted was sleeves that end at a natural body joint, so I'm ok with that, even though I expected them to end just above the elbow. I didn't want wrist-length sleeves because I wanted a three-season shirt; full sleeves would be just too hot in the humid summer, even if only psychologically.
I made this shirt to wear at work when I want to be dressed up, but not too dressed up. The libraries where I volunteer are the environment where women wear stretch "dress" jersey pants and jersey pull-over shirts while the men wear short-sleeved button downs and khaki chinos. This seems to be normal library wear and I want clothes that will transfer when I get a paid position. I also want clothes that feel like me and that I want to wear. I think this shirt fits the bill.
For two weeks I have worked to wear as much of my self-made things as possible. I wasn't sure how hard or easy it would be when I started, but I tried to create an achievable challenge for myself. Here are some things I discovered, in no particular order.
1. By the time it gets to laundry day, my clothing choices are limited. It is much easier if laundry day occurs on a stay-at-home day. (I don't have control of the laundry schedule).
2. I need to feel psychologically comfortable in my outfit. My clothes need to feel appropriate to the activity and the image I want to convey. At the moment, my self-stitched clothes only fill this role for some parts of my life.
3. I'm not going to use my self-made bags for anything other than shopping or storage. They don't function the way I need my day bags to function. I also currently would rather devote my energy to sewing clothing, so bags quickly disappeared from the challenge. (The best goals are changeable.)
4. While I am content with a few pieces of jewelry, I like having a wide variety, especially when going to "dress-up work" (i.e. the library). Again, this relates to being psychologically comfortable in my outfit. I also don't think I will devote much time to jewelry making, unless maybe I become best friends with a silversmith.
5. One of my challenges for the summer was to wear skirts as much as possible because they are cooler than pants, but more flattering than most shorts. Notice I said "flattering," not "comfortable." I think I've done fairly well, but just in time for SSS, I'm running out of steam. Skirts are my only self-stitched bottoms, but at this point, I really just want to wear pants/long shorts. We'll see how the next two weeks go.
6. SSS challenged me to look at new ways of mixing my clothes. I liked that. I dared to wear things I previously would have shied from. So far, these mixes are the brown skirt and velvet T and the blue vest with the green flowered shirt.
7. I am once again convinced that the more clothes the weather requires, the easier it is to dress interestingly. There are some outfits I considered, but it needs to be about 20 degrees cooler before they will be comfortable. When that weather comes, I wonder if I'll still think they're a good idea.
8. Although I expected SSS to encourage me to get a move on repairing some things, nature proved stronger and my time is spent working on new projects. I did get one shirt repaired, but it's not cool enough to wear long sleeves yet.
9. I tilt my head to the left for pictures. I have to think about it to tilt my head to the right.
10. Getting an interesting, natural, flattering, but not uniform pose each day is challenging. Once such a pose is (maybe) found, getting it in a focused self-timer shot is another challenge.
That's what I've gotten out of the past two weeks. What will the next two weeks reveal?
From Left to Right:
Strippy Strippy Stripe Cotton
Pintuck Stretch Cotton
Blue Patterned Jersey - No Longer on Website
Poetic Paisley Print Mesh
Reversible Striped Jersey
Besides giving me a new camera, my dad gave me new fabric for my birthday. He let me pick out what I wanted from Gorgeous Fabrics and got it for me.
It was so hard to choose. I probably should have gotten less variety and more yardage of each because I tend to make mistakes and need some extra, but I couldn't help it. Originally, I planned to get only patterned knits because I'm happy with my t-shirt pattern and patterned knits are so hard to find around here, but two wovens jumped into my cart and wouldn't get out. I also wanted plenty of colors, but somehow ended up with mostly black and white. I think it's those sale fabrics that distracted me from my goal.
This was the first time I ordered fabric online and I'm pleased. If I had my heart set on something specific, then maybe it would have been more stressful, but as it was, I got some beautiful fabric for a reasonable price.
I wasn't directly involved in the billing process, but I didn't hear about any problems. The package arrived with just enough packaging and in less than a week.
In between being distracted I'm working on a woven shirt pattern and tweaking my t-shirt pattern. I'm hoping all of this fabric will turn into shirts suitable for work but comfortable enough for the weekend.
Pictures from days 4-9 are posted in the slideshow.
Photos from the first week are in a slideshow on the Self-Stitched page, under the Outfits tab.
Hi! I live in Virginia. My mom taught me to sew. I think I started at 4 or 5 by sewing buttons onto a handkerchief, but don't trust my memory. That was a long time ago. As a teenager, I was more interested in completing projects than learning good sewing techniques. Now, I am teaching myself some things I missed. My sewing interests are in learning to make alterations to and draft patterns to fit my petite 4'11" tall, 32" chest, 45" hip body.