Almost Cheating: Day Twenty-Four

Here I am – a Friday workday outfit of pencil skirt, shiny blouse and fitted jacket. Oh and, super-high pumps. My self-stitched item today is a refashion, it’s almost cheating on the rules but I’m letting it go today. It’s Friday! (Or, it was..)

What I’m Wearing, Day 24:

  • Self-Stitched Top: a refashion of an H&M dress. It was super tent-like so I cropped it at the hip and added the elastic waist.
  • Skirt: Plum, bought around Christmas 2007.
  • Jacket: Smart Set, one of the oldest things in my closet! I know I bought this before 2005 but it could even be older than that.
  • Shoes: Nine West, purchased January 2008.

See the top in another outfit here! (Ok, it’s the same skirt. Basically the same outfit!)

I feel like I’m losing steam on Self-Stitched-September and I’m wondering why? Is it the gloomy wet weather? Is it because this is the second time I’m participated in a challenge like this? Or, is it because I’m not prepared with a wardrobe full of Fall clothing, so I feel like I’m scrambling to put something together in the mornings?

I’m betting the trick to success at a challenge like this is to have plenty of options that work for the season. But it’s not just that, it’s also sewing items that coordinate well. Shannon is a wonderful example – she’s sewing a beatifully coordinated wardrobe! Every skirt has a top to go with it, she can even mix and match her items together. So smart!

And then there’s my sewn wardrobe, a mish-mash of summer floral dresses and a few solid skirts I’ve relied on this month. Oh yes, and a few pretty Pendrell blouses in the mix. If I were to do another cold-weather challenge, I’d definitely prepare with warmer pieces! A coat or two, more solid skirts and dresses, and even a pair of pants or two would sure have helped. Ah well! More reasons to get back to the sewing machine then.

How are YOU doing with Self-Stitched-September? Gung-ho and ready to rock every morning? Or wishing you had more _______ in your closet – fill in the blank with the item you’re lacking… Overall, has it inspired you to sew more and build up your handmade wardrobe? I know I’m pumped to sew more but that’s no surprise! How about you?

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12 Responses to Almost Cheating: Day Twenty-Four

  1. Catherine September 26, 2010 at 7:31 am #

    Well, even if it doesn’t feel like it to you, I have to say from an observer’s point of view that you always look gorgeous and really well put-together. I really like that refashioned top too!

  2. Patty September 26, 2010 at 7:37 am #

    I’m certainly losing steam! I’m boring myself with the same rotation of tank tops and innapropriate for housework dresses! That being said, SSS has helped me up my game, both with sewing (well, sort of, I’m distracted by the lady coat of doom fitting issues!) and with dressing nicer every day (not working certainly can lead to a boring wardrobe!

    You look adorable! The shape of the shirt really works for you!

  3. Venus de Hilo September 26, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    I absolutely think you get full credit for the refashioned dress-into-blouse!

    My self-stitched Sept. wardrobe consists almost entirely of the same half-dozen cotton skirts and dresses I wear around the house all the time anyway. Like the idea of using a future challenge to up my game with some new/nicer garments/outfits, but just couldn’t get it together this time around. Maybe next year.

  4. A Sewn Wardrobe September 26, 2010 at 5:55 pm #

    It’s not a cheat at all, IMHO. Love the top – I have been *really* into elastic waists lately (did I just say that?). They are so flattering, but more casual than a separate, pieced waist).

  5. Becky September 27, 2010 at 5:16 am #

    If refashioned clothes are cheating, then I’m in trouble– that’s been what’s gotten me through the challenge on some days! And I do feel like I’m losing steam somewhat myself–I’m planning on doing a wrap-up post on my blog with all that I’ve learned from this, so won’t get into it now. (Besides, I have to finish getting ready for work.)

    And I think the blouse is really cute! So that definitely counts.

  6. Lisette September 27, 2010 at 7:01 am #

    Well, I did better than I did in Me-Made-May but having to spend 80 degree weekends in Hartford kind of tired me out from the whole thing, so I’ve kind of taken a break. I’m going to continue through October, though to make up for it!

  7. Heather September 27, 2010 at 7:09 am #

    I think your outfits are really cute and totally YOUR own. Coordinates can be helpful, but can get stale. Your outfits are anything BUT stale. So, you go on ahead and refashion (which I don’t think is cheating AT ALL). You’re inspiring me to keep plowing ahead on making time for sewing–so, thanks!

  8. louise September 27, 2010 at 1:47 pm #

    if this is you on an off day you should see the state of me on a bad day!!! you always look great and put together :)

  9. Roobeedoo September 28, 2010 at 6:51 am #

    Your dilemma is mine too. I started SSS with optimism and pizzazz, but now I am just COLD all the time! At least it has made me realise I need to stop sewing for an eternal summer that doesn’t exist in northern Scotland!

  10. quietandsmalladventures September 28, 2010 at 9:59 pm #

    oh i’m so behind on reading posts! i’m totally stoked to sew more and add to my list of techniques, but i’m really ready for SSS to be over and it’s my own fault. i started and didn’t have enough of a base to really work from so i started repeating at day 3 i think? there are definite holes in my wardrobe that i need to address and haven’t had the time yet to make them. also it’s still summertime hot here and my motivation to sew fall items is not there yet even though i’m mentally done with summer.

    but i have to say you make it look easy!

  11. Ali September 29, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

    Well, I’ve often thought SSS would be much more do-able if I had black skirts like yours ;) I’ve decided, after being your loyal reader, that you can really rock your skirts because you pair them beautifully with blouse-like tops or layering. See? I’m learning how to dress better thanks to you.

    But I wanted to ask: How do you successfully sew an elastic waist? I’ve tried several times using instructions in sewing books (which usually involves a zigzag stitch and a piece of elastic) and it’s turned out horribly. Any tips would be much appreciated!

  12. Tasia October 2, 2010 at 7:54 pm #

    Ali, that’s exactly what I did! I zigzagged over a piece of elastic, around where i wanted the waistline to be.
    Some tips: measure your waist, and then sew your elastic into a loop to fit around your waist by overlapping the ends and stitching. Then, mark your waistline on the garment. Next, divide your elastic into half, and then half again so you have it divided equally into quarter segments. Do the same with your blouse/dress, so that you know how much to stretch the elastic between sideseams and centre front/centre backs. Pin at sideseams and at centre front/centre back. Then, work from the wrong side, and zigzag about half an inch along the elastic without stretching the elastic. (This helps to secure the elastic to the garment, before you start stretching.) Reach behind the presser foot and hold the elastic where you’ve just stitched. Then, pull the elastic so it’s stretched to match the garment (this would be as if the elastic waist was fully stretched!) Sew in a zigzag stitch, keeping the elastic stretched. Once you get to where you started, overlap over your zigzag stitches by about an inch, backstitch to secure.
    It’s hard to explain through words! I hope this helps :)