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It was strange to come back to my blog after a three-year absence, and browse my Finished Projects page. Who on earth was this person?! Was that really me?! Did I make that?! I have to be honest and confess that a lot of those things I never wore because they were Just Not Me. The biggest culprits in all this were vintage patterns – lots of fun to make up, but you have to be careful that they fit in to your real life and not a fantasy life!
I don’t know if anyone noticed, but I used to keep my Finished Projects page current by removing items from the page as they were removed from my wardrobe – so some extensive blog housekeeping was way overdue! I decided to document the clean-out here, so now you know what happened to all those things.
Let’s start with the items still in rotation:
When these got too big I unpicked them and made them a size smaller because I missed them so much!
Still in regular rotation. One of my go to coats, and many of you will know this from the inside out as the subject of the Ready To Wear Tailoring Sew Along.
A bit frou-frou for my usual taste, I do still love this dress. It is so nice to wear in summer, and I’m looking forward to a fourth summer in this dress!
PS: I came across this pattern the other day and thought about putting it up online – the skirt is just a rectangle, so the actual pattern would only be a few tiny bodice pieces and quick to print – anybody interested?
For a jacket with no sleeves, this is actually quite versatile, and was worn more than I thought it would be. It is still hanging in my wardrobe – just.
Well worn items that are now too big, or worn out, or a disaster happened:
Oops – someone put this hand finished silk ggt blouse in the washing machine! It had some suspect
bleach-like mystery spots on it also. No-one is owning up.
I wore these quite a lot back in the day, especially the scallop skirt. When I started running seriously I lost a dress size, and both are just too big now (plus, get real Sheryll, the scallop skirt is too cute for you)
Black Ruby Slip, and 60’s shift with red stitching:
I machine washed both these items which shortened their life (better that way than shortening mine!) The spaghetti straps on Black Ruby eventually wore thin and started to fray and fall apart. And the shift dress became a bit too faded looking to go out in public.
I was so disappointed to discover something had been eating these fabrics (? moths ?). Whatever they were they had good taste because they were fine quality fabrics, and I was hoping to have both these gems in rotation this winter. Boo 😦
Moving on to: wore a few times, but don’t wear now:
This garnered many compliments whenever I wore it, but I felt like a young junior teen!
Also too big. Funny, now looking at this blog post I prefer the original shorter length!
Charcoal wool skirt
The first garment on my blog! Also mothholed 😦
The Last Gasp of Winter Cape
As much as I like this design, it was too impractical for me. It looks great buttoned up – and only buttoned up – which is where the problem lies. Maybe I watched too much Zorro as a child, but I think a cape needs to be quick and easy to remove, and with 6 buttons to undo before you could get it off, this wasn’t.
The Coal-Miner’s Daughter Dress
I think the cat liked this dress more than me, as she always wanted to sleep on it! Once a homeless, mistrusting cat, she never curled up on your lap, but the day I wore this dress she did. It was worth making it for that alone.
This was made to wear to a wedding – if the fabric wasn’t so dressy I would have worn it again as it is a great classic.
Worn for the photoshoot! This may be out in the garden shed in the Totally Unnecessary Garment wardrobe…just in case I ever need a cocktail dress.
What on earth was I thinking?!!!!
Note that these are mainly vintage patterns!
1. Don’t start running and lose a dress size, because half your wardrobe will not fit. (but some things might fit better!)
2. Unless he is a drycleaner, keep your husband away from emerald silk blouses!
3. If you have a suspicion that you are too old for something that cute, you possibly are.
4. Take the time to handwash those delicate fabrics or those that readily fade. Remember the time investment you made to make them.
5. Protect your fabric and clothing (especially stored items) from moths. Advice needed here please!
6. Consider the practicality of the design – can you walk in it, can you brush your hair in it, if it’s a cape can you whip it off like Zorro?
7. Consider the fact that the pressure to use up your burgeoning stash, could have a negative influence on your style decisions. Yes, that 20 year old fabric is perfect for that Young Junior Teen dress, but are you a Young Junior Teen?
8. Consider extra-carefully the practicality, wearability and suitability of vintage designs. In retrospect I think I was influenced by vintage sewing bloggers and veering too far from my own style. It is wonderful to make something to extend your boundaries, (as a patternmaker I gained a perspective of vintage designs that I didn’t previously have) but unless you want to risk a latent item in your wardrobe, modern patterns are probably safer for everyday wear. Did I really need to say that?!
Do you make a lot of things that you hardly wear?
PS: How do you prevent moths from eating your expensive wools?
Also – shall I make a PDF pattern of the Juliette Dress (below) – anyone interested?