Friday, October 01, 2010

Self Stitched September: a Statistical Survey

During September 2010, I wore 25 different self-stitched items (not including various pairs of handknitted socks, or my 5 pairs of self-stitched knickers which were worn every day except when in the wash.)

Most often worn: Green Bella trousers and Black Japanese jacket: 5 times each, but never together - why not?!
self-stitched trousers: 14 times
skirts: 7 times
dresses: twice
shawls: 6 times
most-worn handknit: Central Park Hoodie, which I also wore in the evenings "off blog"

Of things never worn:
3 tops felt too summery; 1 item was too big (Ruby skirt); 3 were "occasion-wear" (and I had no occasions); my self-stitched coat felt too winter-y; a couple of skirts fell foul of my pre-summer wool-wash experiment and are unwearable; 2 scarves were ignored with no excuse or reason (Scroll Lace Scarf and the Simple but Effective shawl)... and I don't think I like my Seed Packet Skirt anymore and was too self-conscious to wear it!

Photo: The Seed Packet Skirt of self-conscious craftiness...

Reviewing my Solutions and Conclusions, I am aware of my defensiveness on days when self-stitched just didn't cut the mustard and I felt a bit frumpy and deflated. I also recognise my frustration at unfinished (unstarted!) projects which might have rescued me on these occasions.
Feedback from others has been an unexpected bonus. Thank you everyone! My usual sartorial critic is my daughter, whose starting point is that self-stitched has to justify itself. All those hours of work? Better have something amazing to show at the end - and it had better not look "home-made"!
Things I learned:
I make clothes to wear to work.
As a result, I "failed" at the weekends. Unless you count the handknitted socks which only appear out of office hours.

I make summer clothes.
Which is downright foolish when you live in North East Scotland!

I need to consider proportion and not just colour.
Just because that cardigan is navy and those trousers are blue, they do not necessarily look good together. High-waisted, wide-legged trousers actually look better with short jackets with nipped-in-waists.
I like quirky jewellery and find it really "lifts" a dull outfit.
So why don't I try making my own?
One pair of black shoes is not enough.
Out of 21 working days in September, I wore the same pair of Fly London wedge shoes 15 times - wow! Red flats: once; cowboy boots: three times; mouldy shoe-boots: twice
Photo: Meet Mausy, a present from Christine to celebrate the end of SSS! Thank you!
And the Grand Conclusion?
It was certainly a challenge! Particularly towards the end of the month when I started to resent feeling cold at work. But don't get me wrong - it was really fun! I enjoyed "getting dressed", with the added pressure of the camera to record my bleary morning "looks".

My hair has never been so consistently tidy!

I wore lipstick every day!

Moving forward, I realise I need to stop buying flashy cotton prints (Brighton Pavilions* I am looking at you!) and concentrate my self-stitching on building a warm, practical, layer-able wardrobe. Identifying my palette will undoubtedly help: if all my new items fit the colour-scheme, it should be easier to put together a coherent outfit in the morning.

And that's quite exciting! In the past, I have been guilty of making ever-shifting plans, which got conveniently "forgotten" when the next shiny project caught my eye... and ended up with a great big heap of mismatched summer quirkiness. With a clear practical objective and a colour frame of reference, there will still be room for a dash of quirk, but it will "work".

Well... that's the theory anyway! Watch this space!

*P.S. The Brighton Pavilions tunic is nevertheless on its way: it is turquoise and fills the weekend self-stitched clothing gap - woo hoo!


didyoumakethat said...

Wow. You've learned A LOT from this experience. Good for you. I am impressed with anyone who got through SSS.

mooncalf said...

I've really enjoyed this month. it has been great seeing your outfits and seeing all the decisions you've made about what you wear and what to make. it seems to have been a really fun, creative and consolidating process.

Cecelia said...

Congrats on finishing SSS! I enjoyed following along! Your projects were inspiring and gave me ideas for my own SS wardrobe :)

jessica said...

Ooooooh, I love that shawl in the last photo! Also, I have been feeling similarly that I would like to start making quirky jewelry [especially since I can never seem to find what I'm looking for at thrift shops and the like].

Loving your new fall palette :-).

CCK said...

I really like the new colour palette you have chosen. It works really well for you. Your Sept posts have been a great read - and my what you've learned.

Scruffybadger said...

I have to agree with you on lessons learned ... layers will set us free! Which is why it's great that you can knit as well as sew - I have shawl envy!

Uta said...

It always comes down to the need to sew basics, vs. the desire to sew bright, colorful, special occasion, doesn't it? It's certainly the same for me. I'm impressed with your faithful recording, and scientific analysis, of SSS!

Zoe said...

Thanks so much for linking me to this awesome and fascinating post! I have come to a similar conclusion, warm mix and matchable items in a select colour palette need to be made pretty soon as the winter starts to kick in here in UK (although I'm at the opposite end of it to you!). I wish you all the best, happy stitching xxx