Thanks, I Made it Myself!

I’m not going to lie: I love it when people tell me they like something I’m wearing.  This isn’t to say it happens on a regular basis but when it does, it gives me a little thrill.  Does sartorial success get any better than this? I may muse to myself, whilst basking in the afterglow of the occasional compliment.

Yes it does, as I discovered towards the end of last year.

“Oh, I love your dress,” said a colleague at work.

“Thanks,” I replied, following the words with a delighted pause.  “I made it myself.”

It’s one thing to have someone admire your choice in clothing; it’s roughly one million times better to have someone admire something you made yourself, if only because it answers that anxious little voice in your head that wonders if people can tell you’re wearing something handmade.  It turns out that, barring the entire garment falling apart, no-one is looking closely enough to see that you’ve had to take in the seams of your otherwise perfectly-lined bodice or that you don’t quite have the patience to hand-sew an invisible hem.  All they’re noticing is whether they like it or not.

I’ve since realised the only way to maximise my chances of experiencing the ‘I made it myself’ thrill is to make more things.  Make all of the things, as I wrote in my list of plans for 2015.  Yes, even more things than I made last year which, incidentally, filled an entire laundry basket when I gathered them together a couple of days ago.

Foolishly, I actually thought I’d be able to stack everything into this photogenic wicker basket and be done with it.  Nope.  I was dreaming.  The procrastinator in me was somewhat surprised to discover how many times I’d thwarted it and actually gone and achieved something other than a list of excuses.

Let’s start with the knitting.

Basket O Knitting With Numbers

1. A knitted skirt.  (Yes, really.)  2. A cotton top.  3. Grey socks.  4. Stripy socks. 5. Purple socks.  6. Black and white socks.  (Noticing any sort of sock theme here?)  7. Red lacy socks.  8. Beige lacy socks.  9. Blue cabled 1920s style hat that I pretty much knitted twice, thanks to using the wrong needles by accident.  10. Purple cardigan.  (Soooo warm and cosy.)

I hereby declare 2014 to have been the Year of the Sock.  Not included in the photo are: a pair of socks I forgot about and five pairs of socks knitted for friends and family.  Even better, the grey, purple and black & white socks were made from my own pattern!  Sadly, no-one has been complimenting me on my socks but I like to think that’s because they’re so blown away by my dresses in silly prints that they never have a chance to glance downwards.

So that’s my knitting for 2014.  It’s also a photo I like to call ‘Study of a knitter who didn’t realise she was obsessed with purple’.  I’m not allowed to make any purple things this year unless I have a Very Good Reason.  This has apparently translated into my ordering wool yesterday in deep pink and a dark red that’s second cousin to purple.  So I’m trying, but I’m not moving very far from my apparent colour obsession.

Fortunately, the only obsession to be found in my sewn garments is a harmless fondness for prints.  I only started sewing half-way through the year, but I still feel I managed to produce a decent collection of garments.

Basket O Sewing With Numbers

1. Linen skirt.  2. Cotton skirt.  3. Cotton top.  (I made this and 6. to wear for the Maroondah Carols but it ended up being too cold to even consider it.)  4. Cotton dress.  5. Cotton dress.  6. Stretch drill skirt.

Number four was the dress that earned the compliment, but number five is the dress I love to bits.

All up, that’s seventeen garments made just for me (if you count the socks I forgot to include in the first photo).  That’s not too shabby!  And 2015 is off to a good start with a dress in the works, a cardigan that’s this close to being done and another jumper well under way.

With any luck, I’ll be enticing sartorial compliments left, right and centre in no time!

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14 thoughts on “Thanks, I Made it Myself!

  1. Dianne says:

    Well done you! Especially with only half a year of sewing. Maybe the skirt with shoes and socks look ( think Elaine in ” Seinfeld” ) will come back in vogue, them people can notice and admire your socks! Totally agree though that nothing beats that buzz when someone compliments your outfit AND you MADE IT YOURSELF! Whether it is a scarf, a skirt, or even some socks! Plus it is the best motivation to go and make something else!

    Like

    • Katie Writes Stuff says:

      I will make it so this look comes back in vogue!

      It really is a great motivator. Mostly, I just love getting away with walking around in clothes I made myself, but when people notice and compliment you, it’s an extra dose of inspiration!

      Like

  2. Tess says:

    I am all impressed by your sartorial skills! I myself and the sewing machine have a rather frosty relationship to say the least. Years ago, I thought I’d surprise my sister and help her sew a curtain with a Christmassy pattern. One feisty sewing machine that simply refused to cooperate with me, three nervous breakdowns (did I mention my lack of patience 🙂 ) and about 50 k’s of thread all tangled up later, I handed the project over to a friend who managed to fix it. I was just just going to hem it, no rocket science, but apparently it was a bit much.

    I’m very much looking forward to the creations of 2015. You rock, girl! 😀

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    • Katie Writes Stuff says:

      Plus, curtains aren’t exactly the most exciting things in the world. I keep thinking I should make a quilt cover or something and then I think of the hours of boring straight seams I’d be sewing and I come to my senses straight away. Thank goodness you had a friend who could sort everything out!

      Thank-you so much for your enthusiasm. 😀 You do realise this means you’ll be subjected to further proof of this productivity, right?

      Like

  3. Amberfire287 says:

    You’ve inspired me! I do want to knit and sew garments, but I keep getting caught up in other items, like blankets (although I do fingerless gloves like you do socks). And not to mention life getting in the way.
    (Emi)

    Like

    • Katie Writes Stuff says:

      Oh, life! I lost most of November to life, but in a very good way. Thankfully, it’s easy to combine watching TV shows with knitting, so at least I can double up on some enjoyable hobbies there.

      Have fun with with branching out into new creations! It really is its own reward in the end. 😀

      Like

  4. alexiericrac says:

    That is such an amazing feat, well done!
    I’m hoping to learn how to sew this year, but that will have to be after I finish studying in June. And knitting, I want to be a better knitter. I have knit one, purl one, scarves down pat so I’d like to venture from that! You are my inspiration 😀

    Like

    • Katie Writes Stuff says:

      Thanks! It’s surprising how it all adds up at the end of the year, even if it didn’t feel like you’d achieved much at the time.

      If you have the knit and purl business honed to perfection, then it definitely sounds like it’s time to branch out. I absolutely love knitting from my old patterns because it sort of feels as though I’m getting a piece that I know has vintage credentials, except I get to choose the colour and size to suit me. It’s so much fun. I hope you have fun with making your own things when you finally have the chance.

      Like

  5. Zoe Clark says:

    Best reveal ever for me was when I told someone I made my stuff (I don’t always advertise) and she said ‘Oh. I’ve just realised why you always look so good in the dresses you wear’. So much win, right there.

    Like

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