You probably think it's easy to come up with a new logo each time, you'd be wrong! I spend ages trying to decide which font has the right feel for the upcoming challenge. So onto the challenge itself. If you have read my blog before, or have been hanging with the online sewing crew for any length of time, it is very possible you are already aware of the concept and purpose behind these challenges. If you do not, I will explain.
What is Self-Stitched-Sept '11?:
Those who will sign up to Self-Stitched-Sept '11 wish to challenge themselves to wear their lovely handmade creations more than they currently tend to for the duration of September 2011. The signee decides the specifics of their own challenge, e.g, what constitutes 'self-stitched', how many self-stitched garments they plan to wear each day, and so on. It is then up to them to try and stick to this throughout the month as best they can. It is not a competition, it doesn't matter if a participant isn't able to fulfill their pledge, life has a habit of getting in the way of good intentions!
Why should I take part?
Good question. People choose to do so for lots of reasons. Most participants find the results of their sewing/crochetting/knitting/upcycling/refashioning all too often ends up left in their wardrobe as, for whatever reason, they choose to wear their 'safe' clothing instead. Some participants in these challenges want to discover the 'holes' in their wardrobe so in the future they are able to focus their precious garment-creating time towards making things that will be more useful. Others feel what they tend to wear, day-to-day, doesn't really suit them or represent who they are particularly, and want to spend a month focussing on getting out of their rut. Some participants enjoy the push this challenge gives them to finish off lingering unfinished projects to add some more self-stitched weapons to their garment-arsenal. And others (myself included) get a rush when complimented whilst wearing a self-stitched garment, and want to spend a month increasingly the likelihood of receiving more!!! If the previous four challenges are anything to go by, there is also guaranteed to be a lovely online community of fellow participants to give support, advice and inspiration. More on that bit later.
How does SSS '11 work?
All you have to do is copy the pledge below and post it in the comments section of this post adapted to include your details and the personal specification of your challenge. This is YOUR challenge, write the script any way you want, just remember: IT IS A CHALLENGE. For example, you could challenge yourself to wearing one self-stitched/refashioned garment a day, or if you have been making clothing for a long time, you may decide to challenge yourself to two self-stitched/refashioned garments a day, or even more! If you are fairly new to garment creating and/or re-working, make this a challenge, but don't make it impossible for yourself. Maybe you wish to only include refashions in this challenge: no problem! Perhaps you wish to include jewellery and accessories you have made: equally, no problem! If you already wear a lot of self-stitched/refashioned items, think how you can up the ante.
'I, (insert name here and blog address if you have one), sign up as a participant of Self-Stitched-Sept '11. I endeavour to wear......................................................... each day for the duration of September 2011'
If you have a blog, re-post your pledge so your readers and followers can see what you are up to. Please include a link to this post so others can also sign-up if they are interested. If there's one thing I've learnt from these challenges, the more people involved, the better the party!
Documentation and Photos:
'So what's with all the daily pictures people have on their blogs, do I have to do that?'. No. 'What's with the Flickr group? I'm not on Flickr, do I have to sign up?', not if you don't want to. Documenting these challenges seems to be the area that puts people off and definately the area I get the most (although comparatively tiny amount of) negative feedback about, so let me address this area.
Many people who have a blog choose to share their challenge with their readers by taking and posting daily outfit photos as they go along. It is not in any way compulsory to do this if you don't want to, or even to have a blog at all. Personally, I do take daily photos and post them, as I find looking at these images helps me analysise what outfits/garments are working and what aren't, and reflecting on these photos in the form of commentary on my blog helps me put those reactions and feelings into something more cohesive. Personally, I tend to lump several days worth of images together into one post, but some post daily whilst others do a weekly summary, or just post their favourite outfit days.
There will be a Flickr group created for this challenge, as I've found it to be a great format for everyone to share their outfit photos, comment on and ask questions about other peoples' creations, and have discussions on whatever springs to mind throughout the duration of the month. I've always been blown away by the positivity and sense of enjoyment and fun that spreads from the challenge Flickr groups. I wish so much that there was some way for everyone who participates could get together in the flesh and meet and chat, but the Flickr group really does provide the next best thing. However, if you as a participant chose not to join or post on the SSS '11 Flickr group, that is totally fine. This challenge can be a solitary or community based as you wish! If you don't join, the group is still open for you to come and see what's going on. You won't be able to post photos or join in discussions, but all will be visible and you will be most welcome to stop by.
New for SSS '11: there will be a Facebook group!!!! This will be announced, as with the Flickr group, a little closer to the start of the challenge (i.e. when I get round to making it!). It will be another avenue to interact with other participants, should you wish to.
So, come on people!!!!!!! It's time to stand up and be counted as part of the handmade revolution. Let's show ourselves as well as others that we are capable of making incredible and functional things to wear, and damn proud of it too!