Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Self-Stitched-September: Days 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 & 28

Ok, once again I owe you a major SSS catch-up post due to my continued lack of internets in the new flat. So here goes:

Day 22:

I jump at the opportunity to wear anything other than black, which a day off of work provides me with these days. So I donned my self-stitched red Beignet skirt, bustier top and Saint Cardigan (and self-stitched pants and leopard coat, which almost goes without saying these days) to explore the streets and pubs of my new home town.

Day 23:

Time to give the leopard coat a well earned break by unearthing my self-stitched gold curtain jacket (made several lifetimes and moves ago). This was used to and from work on top of self-stitched black sailor trousers, black T-shirt, Saint Cardigan and pants.

Day 24:

Continuing to dig the yellow/gold curtain jacket along with previously seen self-stitched black Jenny skirt, Port Elizabeth top, Saint Cardigan and pants. I apologise if the boredom of my garment repetition is effecting your eyesight or anything. I went out after work changing my Port Elizabeth top for my stripey T-shirt.

Day 25:

My day at work was too stressful, miserable and generally horrendous to be photographed at the end of it, so you must trust me that it was all going on in self-stitched garments. I’m sure we know each other well enough by now to know I wouldn’t lie to you!

Day 26:

I quit my job at the beginning of my shift of Day 26 with the intention of leaving that very day, but was subsequently wooed with promises of a reduced work load and more agreeable conditions so I agreed to spend a week reconsidering. This occurred wearing self-stitched black Jenny skirt, blouse made from Simplicity 3835, Saint Cardigan and pants.

Day 27:

On Day 27 I entered into negotiations with my boss which resulted in a far more favourable list of duties and conditions than I had even hoped for (shh! Don’t tell him) so I agreed to stay. This was conducted whilst wearing self-stitched black sailor trousers, black stretch top and pants (with Saint Cardigan and the leopard coat making their additional appearance). We went round some friends’ flat that evening so I changed out of my patisserie and coffee grain encrusted black stretch top into my black and red refashioned blouse:

Day 28:

My well-deserved day off is currently featuring my self-stitched stripey T-shirt and grey wool dress with mustard accents. Time to get some sewing done....

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Self-Stitched-September: Days 17, 18, 19, 20 & 21

Right, I've gots me some catching up to do so with no further ado:

Day 17:

A couple of posts ago, the lovely Jessica left a comment suggesting that I reach for my trusted Simplicity 3835 to help with my panic-stitching of a new black work wardrobe. Well, she is clearly a visionary as that's exactly what I did to produce this blouse fashioned from some type of black stretchy cotton with a plush polka dot effect. I redrafted the sleeve pattern as I found the original one too tight and I added an elastic casing around the cuff. It received it's first wearing for work on Day 17 with my self-stitched black sailor trousers and pants.

Day 18:

Another rapidly stitched new top, this time using the Port Elizabeth top available on Burdastyle. I used some super cheap 100% cotton and added a little patch pocket to the breast to prevent it from being the worlds plainest top. It's pretty cropped but I got around that by pairing it here with my high waisted Jenny skirt (also from Burdastyle). Oh, and self-stitched pants and leopard coat of course.

Day 19:

A day off! More training about wearing self-stitched navy tulip skirt, ruffle front jumper, vest, pants and leopard coat.

Day 20:

No photo, sorry. I actually wore the same outfit as Day 6 but I ended up doing a 14 hour shift at work after which I came home and put my pyjamas on before I remembered to get a photo taken. My pyjamas are, in fact, self-stitched also but I realised that after that amount of time at work (with only half an hour of the 14 hours spent sitting down, may I add) I looked like something you'd find at the bottom of a dustbin, so decided the day was best left undocumented.

Day 21:

Ahh! My first opportunity to explore my new home town with my boy. The sun blessed us with it's presence all day. I wore self-stitched sailor trousers, bustier line T-shirt, Saint Cardigan and pants. Ahoy!

Friday, 17 September 2010

Self-Stitched-September: Days 13, 14, 15 & 16

This is an unprecidented event, I am blogging in a wifi bar. Having moved into our new flat, we have yet to get an internet account, so to prevent getting too behind with my SSS documentation I am forced to sup tasty wines as I prattle on to you.

Day 13:

Hanging with Pappa E required self-stitched skirt, vest, ruffle-front jumper and pants. Me-Made-March, Me-Made-May and SSS have taught me skirts aren't just for Christmas, but can be successful and comfy everyday wear. However, having been enjoying the comfort of my new black sailor trousers, it was difficult getting back into skirts that are required for variety.

Day 14:

Possibly the least cohesive outfit I've ever rocked: the self-stitched navy tulip skirt, raglan sleeve blouse, Saint Cardigan and pants combo sufficed as I packed my belongings ready for the big move south.

Day 15:

As with our move from Barcelona to UK, the Essex to Brighton stage was also undertaken by train with all we could carry, the rest of our belongings following by road. Self-stitched navy tulip skirt, stripey T-shirt, vest, pants and leopard coat was my travelling and unpacking outfit of choice.

Day 16:

I hit the ground running by starting my new job the day after moving. For this I wore my black sailor trousers and the black stretch top you may recall I hastily prepared for the job trial a week or so ago. Phew! Busy and crazy day. Umm, I'm hoping it's a trick of the camera, otherwise I may be forced to admit that these trousers make me look incredibly short.

Anyway, as I have previously written, for me the challenge this month is not to prove that I can get by in only self-stitched garments but instead to attempt to do so under difficult circumstances. This month so far has been challenging and exciting at best, unsettled and trying at worst, but so far it's all happened in self-stitched garments. Apologies for my current lack of photographic cohesion or stylistic pizzazz, I hope those times are coming.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Self-Stitched-September: Days 10, 11 & 12

Since I arrived back in UK a few weeks ago, I feel I've spent most of my time since on trains heading here there and everywhere for various engagements and obligations. SSS Days 10 - 12 were no exception and once again I took to the tracks to head to the Middle of Nowhere, Suffolk, for a good friends wedding.

Day 10:
The new trousers which debuted on Day 9 are seeing more action here. Their nautical overtones accentuated by being paired with my stripey T-shirt, anchor necklace, my two-week-old anchor tattoo (which actually brings hints of nautical to every outfit from here on out!) and nautical pants. This was a really comfy outfit for travelling, so pleased I got round to making trousers sooner rather than later during this self-stitched month.

Day 11:

The day of the wedding itself (AKA Day 11) was a fantastic day, made all the more fun by staying with a heap of close friends in the same guest house which facilitated girly gettings-ready. I do love an excuse to get glammed up. When I first realised the wedding would coincide with SSS, my initial thoughts went towards my coral wiggle dress which I wore to my cousin's wedding during Me-Made-May. But having already worn it to two weddings now, I wanted to wear something else. I was sure if my Rockabilly dress was wedding-appropriate, but the bride said it was cool, so that's what I decided to rock (with self-stitched leopard coat and pants, of course). Because the top of the dress was made from remnants of my leopard coat fabric, when I wear the two together there's a bizarre lack of contrast (see above) and I'm basically smothered in a sea of leopard print. But with my dark hair and a whole lot of makeup, you can more or less make out my head!

Much, much later:

Day 12:

Day 12 was a day for hangovers, train delays and evidently rubbish photography. Difficult to make out, but I'm basically wearing the same outfit as Day 9 (though different pants, promise). That's Mumma E there draining sweetcorn, say hi!

Friday, 10 September 2010

Self-Stitched-September: Days 7, 8 & 9

Time for a wee SSS update before I head off for the weekend to attend my mate's wedding (handmade outfits will, of course, be worn and duly documented).

Day 7:

The leopard coat brought a touch of glamour to the scene down at Leigh. Also worn: self-stitched bird skirt, Saint Cardigan, vest and pants. You know, I really feel myself and the leopard coat have worked through the differences we had in the beginning. It's been there for me like no other garment during these challenges!

Day 8:

A relatively predictable outfit for staying home and doing some sewing: self-stitched skirtain, ruffle front jumper, vest and pants. What were you sewing? I hear you ask. THESE:

Day 9:

Look! I have some trousers! As some of you may know, as a result of the extreme wardrobe cull I had prior to my move back to UK, I jettisoned all my trousers and jeans because, when I was honest about it, none of them fitted very well. In an attempt to re-populate that section of my wardrobe, I purchased Burda 8488 a couple of weeks ago having seen Quixotic Pixels' awesome version, and planned to make some sailor style jeans. But what with my new job starting next week and only currently possessing one black outfit, I thought I'd better whip up some black trousers instead. Using some cotton twill and metal blazer buttons I got for 30p at a charity shop last week, these are the result. It feels so good to wear trousers again, and subsequently trainers (I hate wearing trainers with skirts). I had to adjust the front shaping at the waist to accommodate my belly and took in the width of the hem a tad (they looked a bit like two skirts rather than a pair of trousers with all that fabric!) but I am super pleased with the result. Expect to see these A LOT in the forthcoming weeks....

Thursday, 9 September 2010

GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!!!!! Haberdashery Heaven

Yep that's right people, it's giveaway time! Prior to moving into our new flat and starting my new job next week I've been spending a bit of time at my folks, taking the opportunity to go through all my things. Let it not be said that I'm low on haberdashery! Sadly, charity shops that accept and resell such things are thin on the ground in these parts so I thought I'd have a little giveaway in case any of you seamsters out there need your notions stashes swelling.

I'm giving this away as one lot, sorry no splitting if you want some bits but not others. It includes:
  • masses of bias binding
  • a squillion zips, including skirt sized concealed zips, normal ones and chunky ones ideal for bags or jackets
  • lots of buttons, all sets (no random odd ones) including some vintage big buttons
  • studs and claw-back rhinestones for embellishing
  • belt buckles for making your own fabric belts
  • plastic bad handles
  • various elastics and velcro
  • a bunch of other stuff

I'd perhaps recommend this giveaway for beginners, cos we all know that starting up sewing ain't cheap, and this could be a good way to get a bunch of stuff you can experiment with (like if you want to practise inserting concealed zips) but are sometimes put off by the potential of messing up with the expensive notions from the shop. But whatever, if you think you could use some of this stuff, please enter!

If you do want this stuff, please complete the following sentence, 'I would like this stuff because...'. I'll pick a recipient at midnight on Monday 13th September. Please note: I'm sorry to have to do this, but I'm particularly skint at the moment (as I said above, I'm starting my new job next week) therefore I will cover the postage and packaging to Europe, but if you are further afield and still want to enter, I'm afraid you will need to cover the postage cost. Good luck!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Self-Stitched-September: Days 4, 5 & 6

Day 4:
Some charity shopping with my homegirl Silvia and hanging with my folks happened wearing self-stitched top (made using Simplicity 3835, which really needs no more mention on this blog) and my navy tulip skirt. Oh and pants, of course, and the leopard coat when I ventured outside. It's not too impressive that I've already worn this top and skirt already during SSS and it's only Day 4. At least it's a new combo. I wasn't massively into this navy skirt when I first made it, but now I'd say it is one of my favourites, funny how that happens sometimes. It must have grown on me when it was forced into service during Me-Made-March and Me-Made-May. Which is kind of the very point of this whole challenge I guess!

Day 5:

I'm so sorry if this outfit hurts your eyes. I tried to turn down the contrast but it made the image look wierd. Slobbing Sunday occurred wearing self-stitched remade blouse, the red pencil skirt from that I made for my job interview (determined to get some more wear from it), Saint Cardigan and pants. Poor old Saint Cardigan is pretty bobbly these days from all the wear and laundering its recieved. Anyways, Sunday (AKA Day 5) was spent busy stitching a black top in time for......

Day 6!:

Job trial day! Just as I didn't have anything self-stitched that was suitable for the interview, neither did I have a self-stitched black top to wear to the job trial (black clothing was the requirement). Once again, rapid stitchery was required. So, temporarily flouting my stash bustin' principals for the sake of SSS success, I picked up a metre of black jersey and made this T-shirt top to wear with my black Jenny skirt (and pants and leopard coat). I used a hybrid of patterns whose ancestors derived from the Built By Wendy Sew U: Home Stretch book and self-drafted attempts from existing garments. I had a bit of black FOE which created a neat and easy to do neckline. The proper side of the FOE is satiny, but I used the matt reverse side to avoid any latent underwear/leotard vibe. I was nervous as hell for the trial, but with the luck drawn from my anchor necklace and my self-stitched garms, I was offered the job at the end of it! Woo hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No time for celebration partying just yet though, I have a week to make more black garments, without which I'll have no change of clothes for my new job! Ironic considering my recent colour conclusions. Bring on the black fabric.......

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Self-Stitched-September: Days 1, 2 & 3

Woo hoo! It's finally here! Self-Stitched-September is ON. Born from the embers of an awesome Me-Made-May, our ranks have swollen to more than double and now the latest community challenge in this handmade revolution is live!

Personally, I can't say I was as prepared for SSS as I was for MMM, but therein lies even more of a challenge. August for me was all over the place. The first week was spent in Barcelona trying to shead two years worth of accumulated stuff and having fun and tearful farewells. The second week was spent having an awesome adventure travelling through France on our way to UK, visiting Lyon and Paris. Since arriving in UK mid-August I've been sofa-surfing, staying with friends and relatives whilst we get our shit together. Living out of a suitcase forces you to limited your selection somewhat, but I have to say that I've been getting by pretty well with just a few tops and a few skirts (almost all of which are me-made) that I've been mix and matching.

Having successfully completed Me-Made-March and Me-Made-May previously, for me Self-Stitched-September I guess isn't really about proving whether or not I can get by on just clothing I made myself. This month's challenge for me will be trying to get by in self-stitched clothing in difficult or unsettled circumstances. Whatever September holds, hopefully including moving house, job interviews/trials, new employment and random British weather whilst trying to build up a new life in a new city, I'm going to be doing in me-mades.

Day 1:

Here I am hanging out in my folks' back garden in self-stitched top (made with Simplicity 3835), skirt (made with Simplicity 2451) and pants. Cute crochetted slippers made by my craftin' mamma!

Day 2:

More garden action wearing self-stitched stripey T, navy cotton sateen tulip skirt, pants and later that day, the leopard coat. I have a small confession, that night I went to London to stay where my boy has been sofa-surfing but I forgot my cardi so ended up borrowing his hoodie to keep warm in the flat. If it had been Me-Made-May I might have considered this a Fail, but I'm being a tiny bit easier on myself this month due to having to flit about the country quite a bit.

Day 3:

Remember what I was saying about difficult circumstances? On Day 3 I had a job interview which I only knew about a day and a half in advance. I didn't have a self-stitched outfit that I considered appropriate, so I quickly made this red stretch-sateen pencil skirt using Burdastyle's Jenny pattern to wear with my nautical blouse (and self-stitched vest, pants and leopard coat, of course). Despite having used this skirt pattern twice before, the final garment still ended up too big at the waist, so the blouse went untucked, rather than tucked in like I had envisioned. The stretch-sateen was a remnant I recently picked up for £2 and the skirt is half-lined using some tomato-red/coral stretch cotton I had in my stash. I already had the zip and thread, so at least it wasn't the most costly of near-failures. It must have worked ok, because I've been offered a job trial on Monday (AKA Day 6), so fingers crossed please!

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