Monday, April 22, 2013


Hi friends.  Sorry for the lack of updates, but I've been really busy lately, and I've been sewing a lot of things that aren't blog-worthy or ready to be written about yet.  I've gotten a third (um, and a fourth) Chantilly done, but one is very summery and the other is specifically for my orchestra concert this Sunday, so I was planning on getting some shots of it in action.  Besides, there's not much I can say about the pattern that hasn't already been said.  I love it, it fits me perfectly, it's super flattering, etc.  I had to pack it up and put it away or I'd have a whole closet full of them.

The other dress I made was just a basic, comfy, rectangle-with-elastic-waist kind of thing.  It's cute, but not really deserving of it's own post.  I'm doing Me Made May this year, so I need some comfy weekend dresses.

Mike and I have been doing this massive overhaul of our upstairs, and it is taking FOREVER because we are both so busy all the time.  Besides the wood in the hallway/sewing room, we are also getting new carpet in the front and back bedrooms, painting, and buying all new furniture.  I got a gorgeous mid-century walnut bedroom set from West Elm and it's being delivered in two weeks, so that has lit a fire under our asses to get everything in order.  Our house is really lacking in closet space, and Mike's clothes were all in the sewing room, which was getting annoying for him.  So we moved all of our dressy clothes into the sewing room closet, and now our everyday clothes are sharing our bedroom closet.  We also bought a beautiful 1960's walnut wardrobe, and after minor injuries actually got it in the house and in use.  It's housing pants, sweaters, and spare sheets.  Not having a linen closet in the bathroom really blows.

Part of this huge process has been going through my clothes and sorting them into piles.  Keep, Fix, Donate, Resale Shop.  I've been being pretty ruthless and getting rid of a lot of things, and now I have a huge store credit to use at my favorite resale shop.  I've also been painstakingly tailoring, repairing, hand washing, and ironing all my vintage beauties.  I've been trying to tackle three a night.  I also have an "undecided" pile, and it's largely homemade things.  I made a lot of turds my first year of sewing, and I never wear them, but it seems like such a huge shame to just get rid of them.  Some are definitely worth fixing and I will, but others I know I will never wear.

These are the three first dresses I ever made. None of them fit. I didn't know what a FBA was when I started sewing, so the mustard/brown one smushes my boobs. The blue/pink teardrop one is too big. The western one is just bad all around. I hemmed it with glue!

 photo IMG_3219.jpg

The two blue ones will probably go in the Donate pile. The mustard one is a'ight and I've worn it, but it's not my favorite.

 photo IMG_3213.jpg

This is the fourth dress I made. The zipper is surprisingly decent, but the waist gathers are atrocious, and I can't wear it without a cardigan because the bodice is so loose. I'm not even sure I like the fabric. This is a donate.

  photo IMG_3224.jpg

My first attempt at making myself an orchestra dress is baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad. I can't move my arms in it, which defeats the purpose, right? Plus this fabric is flammable. No question, trash this one. I took off the zipper first, which was a vintage metal one.

 photo IMG_3227.jpg

This is in the resale pile. It looks like a poop. It's chain-print cousin of the same pattern is still one of my favorite things I've made, and it still gets worn regularly. I wore it to work last Wednesday. So in this case, it's not the dress, it's the fabric. See ya!

 photo IMG_3852.jpg

I will keep this forever just because it's hilarious. OBVIOUSLY I have never worn it.

 photo IMG_4372.jpg

This is a muslin that I ended up finishing. It's a sheet. I mean, obviously it's a sheet. Why am I asking if I should get rid of this? Obviously I should get rid of this.

 photo IMG_4706.jpg

Also a sheet. This was my muslin for my Swirl dress project. It totally looks like a sheet, right? I should donate it, right? I'm having trouble letting this one go. I sort of like it.

 photo IMG_4896.jpg

I don't think I ever blogged this dress? I couldn't find it in my blogger-uploaded photos.  It's probably that New Look bodice I made 300 times when I first started sewing, with the skirt from a Butterick Retro.  I still love it, but the zipper is crap and the bodice doesn't fit great. I adore the fabric, which is a lovely vintage crepe.  It's definitely in the "Fix" pile. 

 photo D61178B6-736B-4083-A27C-FEE2E4D3F13D-4316-000008E07AFEA10F.jpg

Anyone else out there have trouble getting rid of their early homemade garments, even when they're crap and you'll never wear them?


  1. My best way of breaking the attachment is to put them aside for a while, and then go through and say "Is this something I could sell on Etsy?" Usually the answer is no, cause it looks like crap or is poorly made. Then I send it off to a new home!

    1. Mike always says "sell it on Etsy!" Ha. No one wants my busted dress.

  2. Um, am I not supposed to be wearing clothing that looks like it is made from vintage floral sheet? Oooops! I say, keep the sheets :) But yeah, I have a hard time with this same thing. Luckily I have 5 sisters, so I can usually pawn things that just didn't fit off on someone else.

    1. Oh, I still wear some sheets! Just combine the sheet with a somewhat shapeless dress and I literally look like I rolled out of bed and took the sheets with me.

  3. What instrument do you play?

    I used to have trouble getting rid of dodgy things i've made, but i like to think i've gotten over it now... but then i'm probably still guilty of it!

    1. I play the cello! I'm in a local university's orchestra, which anyone can join.

    2. cool! I play the cello too! 'play' in the loosest sense of the word as I haven't played since about 2006. I'd like to play again, but i don't like playing on my own and don't know of any orchestras around here that i could join.

      I am still struggling to 'work out' sleeves in wovens, so I have the utmost respect for you if you've managed to successfully make cello playing outfits!

    3. Oh, cool! It had been about 5 years since I played when I started up again, so you definitely could.

      The new and improved cello dress is sleeveless and I'll wear a cardigan. Woven sleeves are way too constricting!

  4. That's a big project, redoing the whole upstairs! I love that you shared all these past projects of yours, it's fun to look back on work in the past and see how you've grown. I have a "Chanel" jacket I made years ago following the Threads article on the secrets of doing it the Chanel way and it's funny because you can see my handstitching and how I got better as I progressed! I like to make another because I'd rock it these days but I can't bring myself to part with it!

  5. I found your post very reassuring, as I am at the start of learning just now! You have come so far! It also made me chuckle aloud! :-)


  6. I actually really like the mustard dress, it looks nice with the cardigan. The teddy bear romper just makes me laugh!

    1. I'm going to wear the teddy bear romper to your wedding.

  7. Keep the stuff you love and wear. You have your blog and pictures for the fond memories of the early stuff that isn't so wearable now. I thought I might be the type to be attached to what I make, but I donated the first skirt I made pretty soon after, so I guess I'll be ok to say goodbye when I need to.

  8. I love the strawberry dress! I am so glad you've decided to keep and fix. Yay!