Well here we are long past the end of the spring 10×10 challenge. I admit it’s taken me quite a while to sit down and collect my thoughts, mainly because I was sick for literally the entire 10 days, so once it was over I was just focusing on resting and recovering and getting my kids back to school! Haha!
Anyway, despite a number of days where I really didn’t feel like wearing real clothes, I completed the 10 days, and I definitely came away with some interesting (to me!) insights into my wardrobe.
Let’s start with a quick recap of my 10 garments:
– Alder Shirtdress
– Stasia Dress
– RTW jeans
– Winslow Culottes
– Blackwood Cardigan
– View Ridge Top
– Kalle Cropped Shirt
– Stasia Top (I swapped this in in place of the Hadley Top on the first day of the challenge)
– White sneakers
– Brown leather ankle boots (I also swapped these out in favour of my Birkenstocks towards the end of the challenge due to the weather suddenly heating back up)
I got started a couple of days late, so my first day of the challenge was Easter Sunday. I’d already decided what I was going to wear that day before I even made the last minute decision to participate in the challenge, but happily my Alder Shirtdress was a garment that I felt I could easily incorporate into my 10 pieces.
Unfortunately I ended up missing most of our family Easter lunch because of a tummy bug, but I felt better later in the day so once most of the guests had left I swung by and spent some quiet time with my more immediate family members. I was happy my first look got an outing after all!
This is definitely one of my simpler looks, which was exactly what I needed in the end, being a little on the fragile side. I feel great in this dress, so it was a good way to kick off the challenge!
I was still feeling a bit under the weather on day 2, so I just needed something simple and comfortable. I paired my mustard Kalle shirt with my dark jeans and Blackwood Cardigan. I never wear this Kalle shirt, and there’s nothing sadder than precious handmade garments that go unworn, so I’ve been curious to see if I can find ways to style it that I enjoy. The main problem with it is that it’s an inch or two too short, and I’m not a huge lover of the peek-a-belly look. I think if I had more high waisted pants (I’m working on it!), I might get more wear out of it. I love my green lawn version of the cropped shirt and wear it regularly, but that one got an extra 2″ of length and it makes all the difference.
The other slight problem I have with this shirt is that I didn’t use the right weight interfacing, so the placket and collar always seem ever so slightly too heavy for the fabric. It’s a problem I can’t solve with styling, so time will tell if that proves to be the true deal breaker for this shirt!
The other pieces I wore today are tried and true favourites. These jeans are always in high rotation in my wardrobe, mainly because the denim has great stretch making them very comfortable, and they have a higher rise than all my other pairs, which is my preference in these post-baby years haha!
My Blackwood Cardigan is a newer make, but an instant favourite. It quickly became my first choice on days I need a light sleeve as summer turns to autumn.
I finished off today’s look with my brown leather ankle boots. These are actually a new item in my closet. I came across a shoe store closing down sale the other week and all their remaining stock was deeply discounted. These are full leather (except the soles), and were a huge bargain. I’m hoping they’ll see me comfortably through autumn and winter!
I was pretty happy with how this combo came together. It felt very comfortable and also very me. I decided to swap this Stasia Top into the lineup instead of a second woven white top, just for some better variety, and I’m really happy I made that choice.
Jeans, striped Stasia Top, Blackwood Cardigan and white sneakers. Can’t go wrong!
This was my first time wearing my Stasia Dress. (I still need to blog about this dress! Eek!) This combo was very simple, so there’s not much to say about it, but I enjoyed wearing the dress, it’s very comfy!
I decided to really mix up my look for Day 5. I still had some super simple and ‘expected’ looks up my sleeve, but I decided to try my hand at layering a few pieces instead for something different. I wore my linen Alder Shirtdress over my Stasia Top and my jeans, then finished it off with my boots. Overall I’m not sure that it really worked. I got some good feedback on my outfit, but to be honest I wasn’t really sure about it, and I probably won’t wear these pieces this way again. If I did, I might try wearing the Alder dress fully unbuttoned, kind of like a long sleeveless shirt.
In truth, I think that this outfit was my biggest winner of the challenge. My View Ridge Top, Winslow Culottes, Blackwood Cardigan and white sneakers. It was a combination of pieces I’d never worn together before, but I LOVED the way the colours, fabrics and shapes worked together. I’ve worn this outfit again a couple of times since the challenge. It just feels like everything I’m trying to achieve in my handmade wardrobe has come together perfectly in this outfit.
Day 7 was a Saturday and it wound up being a really busy day. The kids stayed overnight at their grandparents so Kev and I could get an early start on the Melbourne Home Show, which then took up most of the day! In all the business I totally missed out on taking a photo of my outfit. Whoops!
Anyway, I wore my View Ridge Top, my jeans, Blackwood Cardigan and my sneakers. It was a really simple, comfortable outfit that I needed for 5 hours walking around the Home Show and general Docklands area!
Another day that I failed on taking a photo of! The main problem was that this was the day I came down with my terrible throat infection, so unfortunately getting nicely dressed up and organising outfit photography was low on my list of priorities! It was a lovely hot day thought, so I did get dressed in my Alder Shirtdress, which was a nice easy, comfy choice when I wasn’t feeling too well!
The sudden return of the summer weather did mean that I needed to reconsider my shoe choices though, so I made an executive decision to switch out my ankle boots for my Birkenstocks.
Almost there! I still wasn’t feeling great, so I threw on my Stasia Top with my trusty Winslow Culottes and my white sneakers. Perfect for a day with the kids at a play centre!
We made it!! And I forgot to take a photo of it …..! Major fail! But never fear, I actually cheated a little bit and repeated my outfit from day 6. The combination of the View Ridge Top, Winslow Culottes and Blackwood Cardigan was just too lovely to resist!
So what did I take away from the Spring (autumn) 10×10 challenge? Overall I learned that I really can manage quite happily with a small wardrobe. Although I was really missing some of my wardrobe items by the end of it (mainly shoes and the other pair of jeans I frequently wear), I definitely enjoy mixing and matching a small collection of beloved handmade clothes.
I’m really happy with how well my items played together, and I think that it means my efforts to work on sewing a handmade wardrobe that has a cohesive feel to it is definitely working. I definitely want to continue to sew items with consideration for how they will work with the rest of my clothes. I’ve been working a lot with neutral tones and colours, with the occasional feature piece (eg. the Stasia Dress) thrown in, and it seems to be giving me a lot of mix and matchability.
I also learned that I really don’t enjoy wearing my poor mustard yellow Kalle shirt. It’s just too cropped and I don’t like the way the placket and collar sit (that interfacing issue I mentioned). I don’t feel good wearing it, so I think it’s time to let it go from my closet. It’s a slightly strange decision to have come to. I still own every single garment I’ve sewn since I embarked on my sewing journey. They’re all precious to me, even the early ones with their flaws. However, eventually I’m going to get to a point where I simply have too many clothes (even handmade ones!) so being able to let things go is important. Keeping something in my closet that doesn’t bring me any joy doesn’t make any sense. I’m never going to wear it and I’ll feel bad every time I see it, so I’m going to let it go.
Anyway, please excuse my belated 10×10 wrap up! Overall I really enjoyed the challenge and I’m looking forward to joining in again next time! Hopefully I’ll be in better health next time and able to enjoy it all a bit more!