A few years ago, before I really entered the blog scene, there was a blog challenge called Self-Stitched September. A group of sewing bloggers signed up to participate by wearing at least one handmade garment every day in the month of September. Wow! I want to get in on that party! Wait…it was years ago, you mean it’s over? Well, this is true of me and anything trendy. I even miss the trends in the world of home sewing – surely that’s at least a special skill?
In any case, I’m also skilful at going it alone, so:
For the month of September in 2014, I will wear at least one handmade or altered garment for at least five days of the week.
My goal is to photograph each outfit and blog about at least some of them.
So what’s the point of this exercise, aside from being fun?
1. It helps in taking a practical view of homemade clothing. One pitfall of home sewing is that it’s really easy to make somewhat impractical garments. Your closet is full of summer dresses while you actually wear jeans most of the time. Being ‘forced’ to wear your homemade garments is a good way of honestly assessing whether they work in your wardrobe, and identifying what you really need to be making in the future if you want to make things you’ll wear often. I’m hoping that this will also lead to learning new skills associated with more practical clothes, like making a basic tee.
2. Much like projects involving a limited or capsule wardrobe, like the one on this blog, it fosters creativity and possibly better decision-making. Having fewer options in anything really does change the way you think and make decisions. Many people find that being limited in what they can wear actually spurs them to be more creative, enjoy their wardrobe more, and think more clearly about what they acquire. I’m curious to see whether being forced to wear a few homemade things over and over will have a similar effect.
3. It’s also an opportunity to talk about clothing, which is something that really interests me. I don’t often mention to people that I love clothes; and I choose those words specifically, rather than saying I love fashion. I enjoy clothing as a form of art: I like to compose outfits like I would compose a painting, playing with proportions, seeing what the eye does in response to certain shapes, the effects of colours. And, ever since I was little, I’ve seen clothes as evocative, full of associations and memories, historical allusions. My mom can tell you I had strong opinions about what I wore from a very young age, and this was a result not of practicality or comfort (some of my choices were decidedly impractical) but out of a desire to express some vision or narrative. I think I viewed getting dressed as a form of dressing up, getting ready for some great adventure. While, later, I realised that clothing could also be a way of trying to blend in, feel good, or redeem a bad day. So let’s see how these topics present themselves over the next month.