Thursday, September 30, 2010

SSS Day 30

We had an unseasonably warm day to wrap up the month. Boy, did September fly by!

Today's outfit:
T-shirt: BurdaStyle Lydia.
Capris: Ottobre 2-2002-40.

I didn't have any huge revelations during my month-long experiment, but I did confirm some suspicions.
1. I wear and sew mostly solids, especially the neutrals, blues and greens.
2. I have a lot of basics, but not many very interesting things (partly because I focused on basics to build up my wardrobe).

I think I will try to work with a few more prints in the future.

I found that I had enough basic clothes to easily last me a month, but I did feel constrained by my self-imposed challenge to not repeat an outfit. My normal self wears the same outfit for a few days and then tosses it the wash, when necessary. (Stay-at-home-moms can do that.) That would have been very boring for you, dear readers, so I went all out for variety.

What store bought garment did I miss most? My zip-up hooded grey sweatshirt (I suppose the modern term is "hoodie"). I found my arm reaching for that wonderful (and boring) layering piece on many occasions. It's high time I stitch myself one, don't you think?

Lastly, I enjoyed watching other people's SSSs unfold on the Flickr group. It's interesting to me how very unique people's handmade wardrobes are as they evolve to suit their personality, body shape, color season, budget, and ethics.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

SSS Day 29 and New Striped Top

Today's outfit:
Raglan sleeve top: self-drafted.
Corduroy jeans: Burda 9-2009-113.

I figured a quick t-shirt was the best thing to follow the coat. I made this one using the same raglan-sleeve draft I used to make the baseball tee. This interlock (from Mill End Textiles) has a little more give to it than the jersey I used before, so the fit is even better across the shoulders. I just wish I had added an inch or two to the length.

I ended up going to the wretched work of taking the waistband off these cords and removing 2 inches from the waist. Since I needed to take in that much, you can imagine they weren't very fun to wear. Removing and reapplying a waistband isn't fun, either, but I'm glad I did it. These pants will serve me well now.

My 8 year old has been keeping tabs on me during self-stitched September. Every once in a while, he'll eye me suspiciously and say, "Did you make that? It looks store bought." I don't know if that's exactly a compliment coming from an inexperienced 8 year old...but I'll take it anyway (:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

SSS Day 28

Today's outfit:
Cotton top: self-drafted.
Pants: BurdaStyle Ruby.

Monday, September 27, 2010

SSS Day 27 and a New Coat

Today's outfit:
Grey raglan sleeve t-shirt: Ottobre 5-2008-8.
Pants: Burda 4-2008-118/119.

These pants will be retired once I replace them. I hemmed them too short in the first place, but it seems they've shrunk since then. Or I've stretched.

And what have I been working on the past week? There's nothing like brisk weather and falling leaves to motivate you to make a coat. Everyone starts making coats in the fall, right?

I've never made a coat before, no less a lined coat, so I dragged my feet a bit on putting this together. Working out which pieces should be cut out of what fabric takes a bit of mental concentration (i.e. quiet) which isn't often available at my house. However, it wasn't as challenging as I thought it'd be - it involves the same techniques as sewing any other garment. Two things were new for me: doing a coat lining and two piece sleeves. Of course, with the lining, there were four two-pieces sleeves, heh.

The most challenging part by far was turning the thing right side out after stitching the lining in. The directions have you pull the entire coat through an opening in the sleeve. Yikes! It'd be a shame to have a wadder garment just because you got it stuck in a long tube shape.
I did a forward shoulder/enlarged armhole alteration on this, just as I do on any top. I'm happy with the coat's fit except for one thing: when I move both of my arms forward, the fabric pulls tight across the front of my arms. This happens on other fitted coats I wear. Can you coat wearers out there tell me - is that normal? Am I asking too much from my coats?

Sources: wool tweed from Mill End Textiles; lining from; and buttons from Cleaner's Supply.
Pattern: Ottobre Woman 5-2008-18.
Total cost: about $15 (my most expensive garment to date).

Sunday, September 26, 2010

SSS Day 26 and a Roadtrip

Today's outfit:
Pink top: Ottobre 5-2007-5.
White t-shirt: Ottobre 5-2008-8.
Jeans: Burda 9-2009-113.

I'm standing on the last bridge of Seven Bridges Road in Duluth, Minnesota.

Here's a better shot without me marring the view. You don't have to be a good photographer with scenery like this.

My husband's great-grandfather (a Norwegian immigrant) helped build this bridge in about 1912. Seven stone bridges replaced the original wooden ones (built around 1900), and I think all the stone ones have been rebuilt or repaired in the last decade.

Our crew.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

SSS Day 25

Today's outfit:
Self-drafted raglan tee.
BurdaStyle Ruby shorts as pants.

Friday, September 24, 2010

SSS Day 24

Today's outfit:
Striped shirt with bib front: Burda 1-2010-121.
White t-shirt: BurdaStyle Lydia.
Corduroy Pants: Burda 9-2009-113.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Rainy SSS Day 23

Today's outfit:
Big Billowy Blouse - Burda 7-2009-130. (I've reduced a good bit of the billow since you last saw it here).
Self-drafted ribbed tank top.
Jeans: Burda 9-2009-113.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

SSS Day 22

Today's Outfit:
T-shirt: BurdaStyle Lydia
Pants: BurdaStyle Ruby Shorts.

This is the first t-shirt I ever made. It's not too bad considering its quirks and I like to wear it as a sort of progress report, he he. The neck has a facing (called for in the pattern and actually easier than binding), the sleeves are cut on the cross grain, the hem is a little wonky (turned unuder twice and stitched) and I hand-blindstitched the sleeve hems (I have no explanation for that...).

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

S'Mores on SSS Day 21

We officially welcomed fall with a backyard bonfire and s'mores.

Today's outift:
Kimono sleeve linen blouse: Burda 7-2010-122.
White t-shirt: BurdaStyle Lydia.
Cargo pants: Burda 12-2009-116.

Molly kept herself busy at the S'more Bar while the other kids burned roasted marshmallows.

Peter enjoyed his Ricemellow s'mores with "graham-style" crackers.

Monday, September 20, 2010

SSS Day 20

I had to flip through my Self-Stitched September photos to see if I had worn this combination yet (a self-imposed challenge). Nope, but this is the 5th day I've worn the jeans. Normally I'm sure I'd wear them much more often.

The outfit:
Pullover knit top: 5-2007-5.
Ribbed tank top: self-drafted.
Jeans: Burda 9-2009-113.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pigeon Grey on Day 19

Finally a dress for cool weather. It doesn't do me any good to have 2 summer dresses and 2 summer skirts for a cool self-stitched autumn.

I'm really pleased with this and know I'll wear it often. Comfort is a high priority for me and don't often wear the more fitted dresses I own. The pattern is Ottobre 5-2009-9 and pretty quick to sew since it's really a glorified t-shirt. The wide neckband is interfaced, which is nice since it doesn't flop around at all. The skirt panels are gathered with clear elastic and then stitched to the bodice.

I did a MushyWear shoulder alteration, which worked beautifully. I also widened the shoulders 1 cm, which I've been doing often lately as part of my quest for the perfect shoulder fit, but I think that may be unneccesary. I think the MushyWear alteration fit the bill and my problem wasn't in width at all.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

SSS Day 18

Today's outfit:
Knit cardigan: Ottobre 2-2008-10.
Ribbed tank top: drafted from my negative ease bodice sloper (not blogged)
Corduroy pants: Burda 9-2009-113.

Friday, September 17, 2010


My poor boy has been suffering in the clothing department since I've been focusing so much on rounding out my own wardrobe lately. He's stubborn and refuses to wear anything not mom-made, so he was down to one pair of wearable pants. I shouldn't feel too guilty, since he has other, albeit less-desirable-store-bought, pants in his drawer. But I still caved and made him another pair - a repeat of ones I've made twice before: Ottobre 1-2004-24.

These have fun pockets that wrap around the sides. The fancy jean tack button is from Cleaner's Supply.

They have a zip fly but are still comfy with the elastic in the back.

SSS Stripey Day 17

Yes, you get me with my eyes closed. All the other photos were blurry. Maybe I should dock my photographer's pay...

Today's outfit:
Stripey top: self-drafted.
Jeans: Burda 9-2009-113.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Layering and Lounging - SSS Day 16

For the most part, I haven't been planning my outfits this month - other than finding something clean and not previously combined. Halfway through the day, I looked in the mirror and thought, "Oh! That's what I'm wearing." Well, I'm not sure this combination works, but it's what I wore today.

Today's outfit:
Linen tunic: Burda 7-2010-122.
Raglan t-shirt: Ottobre 5-2008-8.
Yoga pants: BurdaStyle Corinne Yoga Pants.

It's dark outside now and my husband just spotted two deer in our backyard. We've seen evidence of them, but never actually spotted them. Since we moved here, I've kept a list of the birds I've seen in our yard: American Robin, Red-winged Blackbird, Great White Heron, Great Egret, Black-Capped Chickadee, American Crow, Baltimore Oriole, Red-Bellied Woodpecker, Mourning Dove, and Canada Goose. Maybe I should start a mammal list, too!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dragon Pockets and SSS Day 15

Today's outfit:
Raglan sleeve t-shirt: Ottobre 5-2008-8. This is a comfortable top - it's not so bad as I thought it was the day I made it, probably because it's now weather appropriate.
Trousers: Burda 9-2009-113.

My son took these photos just before the sky opened. We have quite the thunderstorm right now. I have new pants for day 15 - a celebration for the half-way mark! I debuted the pants this morning as my mom and I took the kids to Minnesota's largest candy store (so the sign says) and to an antique/craft sale. The candy store is in a large apple barn and quite the heaven for kids, except my oldest has abandoned his aspirations to be an inventor and decided to open a candy store with only wheat- and corn-free candy. Poor thing. Well, maybe he can do both.

The pants are a repeat of the jeans I did before (Burda 9-2009-113), except this time I added back pockets. Millie hinted (skillyfully hinted, by the way, in almost Minnesota-nice fashion) that back pockets could possibly be better instead of no pockets, and she has my wholehearted agreement there. If you're interested in pursuing the topic of pockets further, check out this hilarious and insightful post on Mom Jeans and its sequel, Grandma Jeans. (HT Quirky Threads).

Unlike my unstretchy jeans version, this corduroy pair may be a little loose. If they don't snug up in the wash I'll be tempted to rip off the waistband and take in the waist a little. It amazes me the difference the fabric will make. Will I ever master the elusive combination of pattern, fit, and fabric?

I had a little fun with the back pockets - tone on tone, since I didn't want them to be too much fun. I traced the pattern (from a Dover Publications stencil book) with pen and stitched the design by hand. Much more economical for me than an embroidery machine.

Here's a closeup of the yoke and pockets.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

SSS Day 14

Can you see my sparkly white teeth? I did my duty today and went to the dentist.

My son searched out a good spot in our yard for a new photo location. I guess he's looking for variety after taking so many photos of me lately. It reminds me of my senior (high school)pictures, except then I was wearing a really nifty plaid vest, hehe.

The outfit:
Kimono sleeve linen shirt: Burda 7-2010-122.
Teal t-shirt: self-drafted.
Jeans: Burda 9-2009-113.

Monday, September 13, 2010

SSS Day 13

Here I am about to take the kids on a walk over lunchtime.

Are you tired of my wardrobe yet? There are a number of handmade things I haven't worn yet, but they apparently aren't the things I'm naturally gravitating to in the mornings.

Today's outfit: Burdastyle Lydia t-shirt and Shorts (Ottobre 2-2002-40).

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Apple Picking on SSS Day 12

Today was a beautiful warm day - probably one of the last few warm days for the months. (I'm defining "warm" as more than 70F (21C) degrees.) It was a perfect day for picking apples with the kids.

Today's outfit: Bandana blouse (Burda 6-2008-105) and capri pants (Ottobre 2-2002-40).

My kids happened to be featuring 5 other hand-made garments: baby is wearing a dress and bloomers; Peter has a red dragon t-shirt and shorts; and Sara (not shown) was wearing capri pants.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

SSS Day 11

Today's outfit:
Self-drafted t-shirt.
Burdastyle Ruby shorts as pants.

Multitudinous Matryoshkas

I was happy to find this matryoshka doll fabric at Mill End Textile's latest big sale. It's quilting cotton, not Japanese linen, but I'm happier with $2/yd quilting cotton than $20/yd linen, especially for little girls' tops.

Getting my fabric cut had a multi-cultural bonus, too. My fabric cutter cajoled her fellow cutter into giving me the word "Matryoshka" a few times in her native Russian. My cutter was thrilled, the Russian was obliging, and I was entertained.

The top is the Japanese-style "Polka Dot Blouse" from Ottobre 1-2008-116. It's very easy to make and it seems to be pretty comfortable. The sleeves are gathered to bindings and there's a slit near the left shoulder where the neck binding ties.
The above top is cousin's matching top. They would be identical if I hadn't cut Sara's sleeve fabric with the dolls upside down. Oops.

Friday, September 10, 2010

SSS Day 10

I've been doing a lot of short blog posts and not much sewing lately now that school is in full swing. But I did just finish two little tops - one for my niece's birthday and a matching one for my daughter. I'm pretty sure my 6 year old niece doesn't read sewing blogs, but you never know. I'll post the pictures later.
Today's outfit is another favorite. It worked great for sitting for an hour and a half at the rheumatologist's with my son.
Knit Jacket: Ottobre 2-2008-10.
Camisole: Ottobre 2-2009-1.
Jeans: Burda 9-2009-113.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

SSS Day 9

Today's outfit:
One of my favorite shirts - although I'm holding off and trying not to wear it much for the sake of variety this month: the baseball shirt drafted from my basic tee sloper.

The pants are the Burdastyle ruby shorts-as-pants. The fabric is from Ikea curtains and I think the pants get wider every minute I wear them. They're comfortable, but I should have made them tighter to start with.

©2009 21 Wale | by TNB