I figure it's too late to go through all my Self-Stitched-September photos now that it's the 9th of October, but I'd like to wrap up my crucial lessons. One thing that I kept thinking during the month was, If I only had (insert amazing wardrobe staple here)
So enter Lesson #6: Stop complaining, you've got what you need.
On a sewing podcast, a woman said she'd devotedly sewed through her fabric stash and then found herself with one piece of fabric left and felt completely uninspired. The key, she said, is not to have a stash so large that it overwhelms you, but to not have too little to feel like you've got no options. Finding that balance, I imagine, is hard, but there's something about that logic that makes sense to me. Sewing is about limitless choices, after all.
This sentiment is also akin to how I feel about a completely self-stitched wardrobe. Even though I feverishly attempted to sew every type of garment this summer, I didn't opt for a fully pledged SSS. I wanted the balance of my ready-to-wear.
One September obsession was The Perfect Black Skirt. Tasia, my skirt queen, whipped up a Colette Beignet pattern in black, and I convinced myself that if I could just steal it from her (or make it myself, of course), I'd be stylin' every day. But wait: I have three black skirts in my closet and I never wear them. So will one more skirt make a difference? Is there something about the cuts of these skirts that don't entice me to wear them, and if so, what cut would be flattering? Or do I not have sufficient tops to pair them with?
Anyway, with this line of thinking, they saw the light of day. The first is actually very Beignet-like, an Ann Taylor thrifted skirt, with several panels and buttons down the middle. The second, also thrifted, has buttons down each side. It makes me feel like a matador.
Hmm ... I'm still not overly pleased with these two, but it may be a lesson in length. The short-waist problem is obvious with the pink skirt, I might skim off an inch or two at the top like Jessica, and I might skim off an inch or two off the bottom of both skirts.
The purple gingham top, at right, is the newest incarnation of my very first wardrobe project completed this time last year, from a 1950s wiggle dress pattern. The sewing quality was simply awful and I'd tightened the skirt so much that there was way too much wiggling and way too little walking. So I never wore it. Here, I cropped the skirt, added a waistband and a fabric flower.
Reinventing duds: I also made some tweaks to a self-stitched white top from a 1950s pattern that I'd dismissed as a complete fail. I added interfacing to the peter pan collar for weight, and I tightened one of the front darts to make it lay correctly. I also fixed the clasp on these thrifted Michael Kors capris, which has been languishing in my closet for months.
And my failed Japanese tunic? I cut it up because I needed a gray skirt for a job interview, using the Sew U A-line skirt pattern.
Finally, remember my Saggy Butt Capris? Why complain about how something doesn't fit when I've got the skill to fix it? (Not to mention sage advice from all of you :), notably Taran)
So here's what I did.
Since my two Ruby shorts fit perfectly, I laid the rear of that pattern on the capri pattern. Wow, Look at all that excess! So I trimmed the rear and top accordingly, and I also shaved off 1/2 inch off the front hip and 1/4 inch off the back (thanks, Taran, I would've never thought about the hip curve!) and took in 1/4 inch on the outer seams all along the leg, and 1/4 inch on the inner leg at the knee. Here's the before and after a day's wear.
So all in all, that's nine pieces of clothing that's entered my working wardrobe. Perfect? No, but they certainly go a long way in making me feel like I have options. And I didn't have to look farther than my closet.
What about you? Have you breathed new life into old garments recently? Anything you can think of reinventing?