Self Stitched September – Finale

Here is my complete calendar for the whole month of Self Stitched September.

Overall I really enjoyed the challenge and realised my little capsule wardrobe is not as lacking as I thought. I also learnt which items I truly love, which I need to do more work on and I am already re-planning my (long) wish list around this whole experience. You’ll notice the month began in almost Winter like conditions, had a burst of Summer in the middle but now we have settled down into our proper Spring.

(click for larger image)

Here is the week 5 round-up:

25th – 27th – I spent the entire (long) weekend working on my partners Stinchcomb jacket. After the amazingly successful welt pockets (of which I made 5 in a row – two on the outside with flaps, one for the handkerchief pocket and two inside pockets) I wanted to make a big dent in the overall construction and lining so I could check the final fit. Crucially, I was also given a deadline, Monday October 4th. I used this tutorial for the welt pockets and they worked a treat, I highly recommend it.

28th – So you may have noticed I cheated today. I did dress 100% in me-made clothing but I was rushing around all day and I didn’t get a chance to photograph it. Instead I have made you a montage of what I wore. Because I had a semi-work function on in the evening I wanted to be comfy (read: confidant) but professional looking so I went with my trusted JJ and Jenny combo that you’ve seen before.

29th – Another riding day, do you like my toe nails, hot pink, a nice contrast to my grubby riding shoes (how embarrassing) but I promise I didn’t wear those all day, I did bring heels. Here I am about to change to ride home, I wear my merino Simplicity top with purchased Portmans skirt. It’s quite old now and a little too big for me but I love how this skirt is panelled. It is very close to being unpicked and copied, probably some time soon, nearer to Christmas when I have some free time, maybe I’ll share it with you.

30th – Last day of Self Stitched September and I was caught out with a sudden change in cooler weather, we even got a brief (but hard) bit of rain so I grabbed my other merino top and purchased trousers and because I was feeling a bit dull looking I threw on a favourite scarf/wrap that was a gift from my work colleague E when she went to Dubai, it is a beautifully soft cashmere silk blend and great for adding colour to a plain outfit.

Wow, that’s it, phew 🙂

This weekend I worked ferociously on my fiancées jacket and finished the last bit of hand-stitching at 10pm last night. This project really pushed the limits of my sewing skills but I enjoyed the journey and it turned out pretty good if I do say so myself. A large chunk of credit goes to my fiancée who picked the fabrics, turns out he has a good eye for it. The sleeves are a tiny bit tight so I will have to fix that (it’ll be super easy thank goodness) then I promise you finished photos soon and a bit more of my blathering on about the pattern and process.


Self Stitched September – Week 4

Phew this is a long month! I just realised there is a 5th week, even if it is only 4 days long.

18th & 19th – I spent the weekend working on my fiancés Stinchcomb jacket. Here is a pic of the muslin I made to test the sizing, it’s rough and dirty but it gave me the information I needed, and a picture of some of my progress, I’m taking my time because I want to do a really good job for my boy.  All the interfacing took forever, hence why it doesn’t seem like much progress has been made. I have to admit, I am also a bit freaked out by the welt pockets. I am quite happy to give them a go and I know I can do a good job of them so I started out following the instructions provided with the Stinchcomb pattern and then I noticed a link on the page to a tutorial with completely different instructions. They seemed much more straight forward and it’s nice to see actual photos for this kind of technical construction but it links to a different pattern and I am hoping that all the measurements will be the same. I think I will do a trial run first in calico, it won’t take long to whip it up as a test during the week, I’ll let you know how I get on.

20th – I cheated today, an outfit repeat, although I didn’t promise not to repeat outfits, I wore this previously during Week 3 on the 16th, my new Butterick top and same pants, boring I know but I was tired and not able to engage my brain this morning. You will probably see a few more repeats this week since I haven’t gotten much new sewing done. Today I took my photo outside at home with my new toy, a remote control for my camera, yay!

21st -I rode my bike into work today, it was so sunny and nice all day long, Summer is well on it’s way. My wrap dress was perfect for the beautiful weather and light too for carrying in my bag on my back. My bike is quite dirty because I went mountain biking on Sunday, I also sport a new bruise on my right arm thanks to a tree that jumped out at me.

22nd – Comfy Jenny skirt today with my Strawberry JJ, I didn’t think they would go together when I first made them now I think they look ok. I intended to change into my sandals that I left at work but instead I left on these heels and I felt quite feminine today. You might be able to see my pretty bruise, it doesn’t hurt any more but it is a nice shade of purple to offset the lovely pink strawberries.

23rd – Another repeat today but I love these two together, comfy and perfect for spring, I also have on a funky bracelet, another Bali pressie from K, definitely my kind of colours. Apart from earrings (which I occasionally forget I can change!) I am a bit of an accessory noob so I’ve been trying some new things lately. My earrings are by Dinosaur Designs, my leaving present from the girls when I finished up at my first job here in WA, they are one of my favorites.

24th – Ahh Friday, finally, this week has taken forever, I am wearing that top again that I always forget I made. The weather is getting beautifully warm but it is still cool in the shade, perfect for light pants short sleeved tops.

We have a long weekend coming up now so I plan to make some serious progress on the Stinchcomb jacket, I need to get it finished by next weekend so that I can move on to the next big project, but more on that another time.

Self Stitched September – Week 3 round-up

I was not well over the weekend so not much sewing happened then but my sewing room now looks pristine. I find when I am not feeling well enough to sew I just potter about in my room and tidy it up then when I am better I can just hit the machines and get on with my projects.

11 – So after a bit of a tidy I did a little hand stitching on my Butterick top, stitching the tab loop closed after inserting through the little holes in the front and because it all looked a little bulky and I couldn’t work out how it could possibly look good on me I pinned it onto my (still yet to be named) dress dummy. Not too bad, now all it needs is the back.

12 – Today my BSC club had a UFO Sew day, where we all worked on items we had thrown into the uncompleted pile. I finally attached the straps to my Cindy bathing suit so I can wear it this Summer (it looks a little funny on the dress form, my camera does this stupid wide angle thing so it’s all a bit top heavy looking in this image but it looks much better on me, photos of it in action to follow one day, promise) and I also sewed the pleats down on the black wrap dress which I wore on Monday.

13 -It’s wrap dress Monday! Here is the black version of the wrap dress pattern by Butterick #5454, I took this photo at home after a long awful day at work with a thumping headache so excuse the pained expression. I am still not happy with the fit of this dress at the back, the pleats just don’t look right, I might actually unpick the whole bottom part and take out the back pleats completely…or maybe I’ll just make this wrap dress next instead, ohh, a newy from Colette, I love her patterns! Shoes from Betts.

14 – I was feeling a bit casual today so I’m in store bought pants (that really need to be retired) with my strawberry JJ. I had a great lunch with my friend A in the city today, I ate curry and managed to not get any on myself, yay. Shoes from Nine West.

15 – Another day of 21 degrees so it’s legs out again 🙂 This is my shirt dress #105 from Burda 2/2009 and I have a bit of a love hate relationship with it because I love the fabric and the overall style but the front pockets have this bad habit of gaping and adding a bit of puff to the tum tum area. It makes me feel really self-conscious and am constantly tugging at the front so that it sits flat when I stand up. This weekend I have decided the pockets are coming out and getting sewn shut.

16 – New top day! So I finally hemmed the Butterick top and now it is complete. I really like it, the heavy jersey drapes really nicely and I think it’s quite flattering. I can see a blingy sequin version being made for going out. The weather is definitely heating up now for Summer, they forecast 22 for today so my work colleagues and I decided lunch outside would be a nice treat.

17 – I really love this outfit, I feel really comfortable and confident in it. Apologies for the fuzzy photos, I had my work area to myself today so no one to take my photo, therefore I had to stand in the messiest corner since it was the only area with a shelving unit opposite high enough to put my camera on.
You’ve seen these items before, but not together. A goal of my me-made wardrobe is to be more clever about making items that go with lots of other items I have made already because sometimes I am a bit of a fashion retard and there are days when I just need to be able to grab two items and stick them on. Also I have this bad habit of making a skirt or top (and in this case Jacket) out of a really nice print or bright colour but have nothing to go with it. Well here are a couple of nice neutrals hanging out together for Friday with my Stella again because I love it. The two recently made merino tops are a great start towards neutrals that match in with my crazies non-neutrals.

Halfway through SSS and I think I am doing ok. I’m not totally sick to death of my me-made wardrobe and I’m actually enjoying the challenge, it’s got me out of a bit of a sewing rut and back in front of my machines and digging around in my filing cabinet and through my fabric shelves for the next project.

Want to hear something scary? One of my reps today mentioned it’s only 12 weeks until Christmas, aaarrrrgggghhhh! 😀

Self Stitched September – Week 2 round-up – complete with FREE pattern alerts!

I’m posting early this week because I feel like I have written waaaay too much to include the weekend as well, not bad for someone who never thought she’d have enough interesting things to say to start a blog!

I’ll hopefully have some completed outfits to share after Sunday since our BSC club meet this month is all about reducing the UFO pile. If you’re in Perth why don’t you join us?

6th – I was  overly optimistic today, the weather man said 21 so I went straight for the summer dresses then I looked at the thermometer and added a singlet underneath cheerily remarking to my fiancé, “It’s going to be 21 today!” I’m not really sure if it ever made it to 21 but I had my legs out anyway, in my super comfy Lodi shoes from Zomp and my wrap-dress, it’s a Butterick pattern #5454. I also made this dress in a black cotton knit with the 3/4 sleeves but the pleats look very unflattering in a plain colour so I am going to try stitching them down to see if it helps (it’s currently in the UFO pile), perhaps you will see it later this week or next.

7th – I haven’t even posted this entire outfit to BurdaStyle yet because I wear it so often it’s always in the wash! Another Jenny skirt with another version of blouse #108 from Burda 01/2008, this time in black. I should have worn tights and I regretted that later in the day when the rain hit us. My shoes are by Chie Mihara and I got them from Zomp, they are the most comfiest pair of shoes I own. Chie worked in an orthopaedic shoe store and studied foot anatomy and common foot problems, all her shoes are beautiful, I am such a fan!
Wish list: Want, Love, Yummy!

8th – Another new top today, from Burda 2/2009 #108, this is from 100% NZ merino that I got in Melbourne. I used to have a purchased top identical to this (but in much less luxurious fabric) and I wore it until it fell off of me so as soon as I saw this fabric I knew I it would end up as this top. I wear it with my Twinkle skirt (FREE pattern alert!!), Joanne Mercer boots (I told you I LOVE them) black tights and a beady necklace from my friend K when she went to Bali. I did blow dry my hair all nice a wavy and big this morning but I’m not really sure why I bothered, the weather is windy and damp and that was the end of that 😉

9th – I have the grey Jenny skirt out again today, it is such a great wardrobe staple. This Jenny actually began life as a sleeveless Danielle dress (FREE pattern alert!) of which I had grand ideas for altering and making into a dress I saw on someone in the street. I drew a sketch and even went as far as making up a muslin of the bodice changes but alas when I began making it in the “good” fabric it just looked terrible on me, it looked like a kiwi trying on an elephants skin! Front pleats coupled with princess style is not my friend but luckily because of those front pleats I had plenty of fabric to salvage for this skirt. A good thing too because I remember it wasn’t cheap. Today I pair it with my other JJ blouse (another FREE pattern alert!). The great thing about this blouse is the fabric, it is the most incredible quality Japanese cotton that I got from one of Tessuti’s Sydney stores. It was not cheap but well worth it, I never have to iron it!! An important consideration with the JJ blouse and it’s numerous ruffles.

If you are looking for a good basic blouse pattern (and FREE!) you should check out the JJ, you don’t have to add the ruffles if you don’t want too, without them it looks great too, it’s just a fantastic fitting blouse with beautiful princess seams and a nice stand up collar for something a bit different. Go check out the 110+ amazing BurdaStyle member versions NOW.

10th – Here’s an oldie for you, I don’t wear this top much any more, not really sure why, I do quite like it, nice and comfy. It is Tunic 103B from Burda WoF 03/2007 worn with some Levi’s and heels and with the break in the rain I thought we’d do an outside photo on the fire stairs.

How are you enjoying the random tour of my workspace? 🙂

Self Stitched September – Week 1 round-up

Here is a quick round up of my first week of Self Stitched September, it was a short week, which was nice to ease into the whole month of wearing mostly me-made-clothes. Since all my me-made-clothes so far have been pretty much just for work or fancy-going-out clothes I won’t be wearing them on the weekend, instead I will dedicate a large chunk of time to sewing and preparing rescuing a few items from my UFO pile to wear the following week and documenting new items for uploading to my BurdaStyle Studio. I will share with you my weekend progress in place of my outfit.

1st – Zoe dress – see previous post

2nd –Sea Cucumber JJ blouse with Jenny skirt (which I haven’t even posted yet!), my tights are just some cheapies from Coles (I think) and boots from Joanne Mercer (I LOVE them!).

3rd – Today has reminded me that I don’t have any me-made pants…I have made pants before so it’s not out of fear, its more that since sewing them for myself I have begun to love dresses! (This needs to be rectified and I have fabric and patterns set out but with Summer fast approaching they may have to wait until next Winter, more dresses!) So today I wear some purchased pants from Portmans with a new top Simplicity 2364 (also not posted yet) with my Stella Jacket and shoes from Nine West. This jacket really only goes with my dark jeans and a black top so I am glad I finally have something to wear with it. I can also see this top with a sequinned crop jacket for going out…it’s not far down the list.

4th – My Saturday got ambushed by a certain fiancé who took me on a trip to Bunbury but that’s a whole other long story. When I got home I managed a quick trip to Spotlight for a longer zipper for my Patrones jeans which are very close to being finished. I also found the perfect lining for my fiancés jacket and started this Butterick top 5495 using fabric from my Melbourne trip.

5th – On Sunday I kept a promise and finally cut out my fiancés Stinchcomb jacket, no excuses left after picking up the perfect lining fabric and shoulder pads on Saturday. All I need now is some horsehair for lapels and collar but I can begin piecing it together during the week.

Phew, now, on to this week, a full 5 days of me-made-clothes but luckily the weather is promising sunshine and little rain, hello Spring, welcome back…

Self Stitched September – Day 1

September snuck up pretty quick didn’t it? I feel a little dupped to be honest, like when I wasn’t looking someone stole a month out of my calendar. I also feel very unprepared. I had intended to get a lot of sewing done the last two months and instead I have done almost none. But no worries, Self Stitched September is happening and I am a part of it and I will do my best. I’m not going to post an update for you everyday, that will end up very boring, very quickly since my Self Stitched pool is pretty small. I’ll do a weekly round up instead and try to be as inventive as possible and perhaps this month will really show me what is truly missing from my little capsule wardrobe. I suspect it will also push me to finish those 4 or 5 items I have not completed for no particular reason.

Believe it or not I do actually sew, not that I’ve really done any since starting my blog, life has been getting in the way a little bit. My New Years Resolution was to increase the amount of me made clothes and as such I have not purchased a single new item of clothing this year (excluding under garments of course!), but I have acquired a lot of sewing patterns and fabric so its time to start seriously eating into my stash. I have a few items planned for this month and I hope to share them with you soon.

But on to today, here I am at work, next to my best friend Mr Large Format Copier. Today I am wearing my Zoe dress with purchased blouse from Portmans, tights from David Jones and shoes from Betts. I love this dress, even if lining up the plaid was almost my undoing, it is so comfortable to wear I should really make a second one in a different fabric. I highly recommend the pattern but be sure to add some vertical darts in the front to give a better fit under the bust.


Ready for a challenge? I am.

I was a bit sad that I missed out on the Me Made May challenge because getting my wardrobe to at least 80% made-by-me was my 2010 New Years Resolution. So when ‘So, Zo…’ announced Self-Stitched-September I figured I had to give it a try plus it’ll give me a kick in the bum to get some serious sewing done in the next few months, so here’s my pledge:

I, kaitui_kiwi, sign up as a participant of Self-Stitched-September. I endeavour to wear as many handmade item(s) of clothing as possible (aiming for 80%) for every day for the duration of September 2010′.

There! Now, quick, to the sewing machines bat-kiwi!

(Why don’t you join in too? Check out the blog and make the pledge, you know you want to!)