I recently purged a few handmade items from my wardrobe. They all had blog posts when they were newly made, but it’s interesting to look back some time later and see how much I actually wore them.
The oldest garment is this dress with a tucked panel on the front, made in 2016. It’s Vogue 1390 with some adaptations. I added pockets, changed the width of the tucks, and completely altered the order of construction so I could sew it entirely on the machine. I was very proud of the result at the time.
I’ve worn it from time to time, but it’s close fitting around the bust and has no stretch so it’s not very suitable for my lifestyle. Worse, the style no longer appeals to me. Originally I was drawn to the hard edged geometric effect of the tucks in the pattern line drawing. However once made up they read more romantic and fussy to me. The dress itself is still in very good condition so I’m going to pass it on to a charity shop in the hope someone else will enjoy it more.
The next item isn’t being passed on because it is fit only for rags. These culottes are Burda 104C 02/2017 and they’re an absolute classic; every pair I’ve seen made up has looked good. I first saw these on Doctor T’s blog and immediately made my own version. This is not that pair – they bit the dust a while ago – but the first ones were so good I made another.
The style itself is very versatile. I wear them with boots in cold weather and trainers when it’s warm. The only downside is that the paper bag style waist can be a bit awkward with some tops. The pockets are the holy grail of pockets: enormous and secure. And they have a lovely internal detail on the fly guard, which buttons on the inside for extra security.
At the moment the culotte-shaped hole in my wardrobe is being adequately filled by a different pattern, Burda 112a 03/2012. The pockets on those are vastly inferior but I prefer the smooth waistband. But when that pair wears out, who knows. Some kind of hybrid of the two perhaps.
And speaking of 112a 03/2012 I lengthened the pattern to make these trousers last year, which I loved and have worn a lot. But they are now unwearable. They were made out of the leftovers of two different cuts of nominally the same fabric. They must have been from different bolts because there was always a very subtle colour difference between the front and back, and sadly it got worse with washing. The last time I got these out I put them on, looked in the mirror, and immediately took them off again. They might be saveable with dye but the thought of the mess and having to sacrifice a saucepan puts me right off trying. They’ve definitely had the much-bandied-about 30 wears in their fairly short life so I don’t feel too guilty about throwing them out. I do urgently need to replace them though.
And finally I am giving up on my Vogue 9299 blouse. This was made as part of a wardrobe plan but didn’t turn out at all as I’d hoped. My expression in the pictures says it all. The fit on the shoulders and chest is bad and I don’t love the style enough to make up for it. I got carried away by the big sleeve trend but these are really not me.
I hung onto this thinking I might find a way to style it that worked for me, but it hasn’t happened; I don’t think I have ever worn it. The charity shop can have it. Maybe there’s someone out there who can pull off those sleeves.
So that’s made a bit of space to house my current project, the 80s wardrobe. I’ve finished the Montana hooded dress so photos soon.
17 thoughts on “More old clothes: wearability report”
Wow, I remember when you made that Vogue dress! Loved it and bought the pattern myself based on your post. (STILL haven’t made it up — the tucks are so intimidating — but someday.)
I remember the tucks took forever! I saw one great version made with tucks on the front and the back which is real dedication
Oh, I love that 2017 culottes pattern. I’ve made it twice, and I’ll be making it again. Too bad about the fabric fading on the newest pair of trousers. I’ve had that happen with things I’d knit with yarn that supposedly all came from the same dye lot.
Argh that must be even worse!
I think they all look great on you, but good for you recognizing what you don’t like on yourself. I admire you for donating them to a charity shop. Someone will be thrilled to find them!
I have a little trouble getting rid of handmade items that took a lot of effort. Something I need to get over.
It’s difficult isn’t it. I have a drawer dedicated to the ones I can’t bear to part with
Good for you for purging garments that don’t work for you anymore. I think it can be hard to get rid of handmade things because we have an emotional attachment.
Yeah, I think it’s worse with the ones where there are memories attached
Hey I just looked you up on Instagram – miss seeing you and others from WordPress since I dropped out. Love your pictures!
Aww thanks! Slowly getting the hang of Instagram 🙂
Hard to let go of items.
Definitely! I used to have no trouble purging RTW but I have a drawer of handmades I can’t get rid of
Me too! I much prefer a detailed blog but that’s modern times for you
I love your striped top and the draped neck one – both look great on you and are very flattering without being too much.
Ah, the culottes! I also love the drafting of that pattern. I’ve never managed to style them to my liking, but I still want to turn them into a full-length trouser; maybe I’ll revisit it for the summer. We’ve been told that we should be planning to head back into the office 3 days a week soon; my current wardrobe of “1 pair of trousers that fits and maybe I can get away with super dark wash jeans on Fridays since no one is there” probably isn’t going to cut it in the long term.
They would be great as trousers too. I’m doing two days a week right now and wishing I had more trousers too.
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