Wednesday, December 18, 2013

An Oldie

I've been doing a massive closet clean-out for the last week . . .

I've said a few times that I have clothes and shoes in my closet that are twenty years old that I keep because I still like them and they still fit.  Well, a couple weeks ago I went to put on one of those older pieces and discovered it didn't fit after all.  It got me wondering how many of those other pieces don't fit either.

And with all the sewing that's been going on the last couple years, my closet is jam-packed now.  Add to that the fact that my body and my style have had some mid-life changes over the last couple years, and you get the perfect recipe for a good clean-out.

I've just done a small portion so far, a little bit each day.  But I've already managed to fill 2 shopping bags full of stuff.  Some things go in automatically if they don't suit my style any more.  But a lot of things I'm trying on to see if they still fit.  And the biggest reason many of the pieces don't fit is because my back is now so much broader than it used to be.  Thank you, rowing machine :-)

One of the pieces to go in today was a wrap-style faux suede jacket I made in the late 1990s.  I was so proud of this piece when I made it!  I'd seen a similar style in a shop but couldn't justify the price, so I went and got myself some faux suede and traced a pattern out of a Burda magazine to make my own version.  The microsuede was a bear to sew - I didn't know about using different types of needles back then!  But it feels so luxurious and is actually very easy care:  machine wash and dry! 

I tried it on this morning and it's just too tight across the back and upper sleeves.  It's a little hard to part with it, but I'm hoping someone else will love it just as much.  So here are some pictures to remember it by.  This is probably more for my sake than for yours!  But I think it's fun to share this stuff.

darts up the front for shaping, and 3/4 sleeves

small shawl collar

dart

inside of dart, opened up to lay flat

no seam finishes - microsuede doesn't really need it!

more darts in the back for a nice shape

darts and center back seam, with wrinkles from wearing!

and sleeve darts - this is closest to the true color

Do you guys have a hard time getting rid of beloved items that no longer fit?  Is it harder for you to get rid of your hand-made items than the ones you've bought?  Or do you do clean-outs regularly?

16 comments:

  1. Some things - the favorites - can stay in my closet forever in the archive of sentiment; I still regret having given away certain items that deserved a place in the archive. Some things are still wearable after 20 years or more! And some go to the consignment shop (or else Good Will) because I never really loved them to begin with: they were simply serviceable, or stopgaps bought until I found something better.

    Do you still own that Burda magazine? You could make a new version of the jacket!
    -- stashdragon

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    1. I love that term: the archive of sentiment! I wish I had the space to keep one! In our old house we had a basement so I had tons of storage - in our city townhouse, not the case! Also, it has started to make me feel "cluttered" in a way I don't love . . .

      I don't have the magazine! When we moved here in 2009, I hadn't sewn in years and thought I probably wouldn't get back to it. So I donated ALL of my Burda magazines, along with the patterns I'd traced from them. Grrrrrr! I so wish I hadn't done that! See above: lack of space! Some of them I really wish I had back though.

      That said, I wouldn't make this again. I've learned that wrap styles don't really work for me any more. But I did love it back in the day!

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    2. I love that term too! Happily, I have no difficulty giving things away. I love getting rid of stuff to make space for more. :-)

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    3. Somehow, that doesn't surprise me, Kristin!

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  2. I've done a huge clear out recently and it was hard! Mainly because I had wasted so much money on clothes I rarely wore. Feel so much better now I've done it, and don't miss anything. Also the charity shops have been very pleased with the donations. I do like your jacket, and it's good to keep some photos!

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    1. I feel the same way: all that wasted money. I have a bad habit of not wearing the things I love most (because I want to "save" them) - but now I've saved them so long they no longer fit! I need to work on that!

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  3. When it comes to closet clean ups, I'm swift and ruthless. It does not matter if the item was handmade or if I paid through the nose at a fancy shop. The standard rule for me is that if I have not worn it in a twelve month period, then it's got to go. Having said that, I sometimes (but not often) find myself looking for something only to realize it succumbed to a recent clean up. One of these days I will find a happy medium… or not!

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    1. Whoa! I'm both impressed and scared by you! You ARE ruthless! I'm hoping to find a happy medium between my hoarding (which is borne of laziness about clearing out!) and your clear-out style.

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  4. That jacket looks really cool, and I think documenting it on your blog is a great way to archive projects that no longer have a place in your life! I used to be a lot more sentimental about keeping things, but I've never missed anything I've donated or sold and I purge pretty regularly. I think purging actually stimulates creativity and makes room for better projects! And I'll bet someone will love your jacket.

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    1. Thanks, Morgan. I may do it more in the future - there are some things I keep because I want to reflect on how far I've come with sewing, or want to remember what the fit was like so I can change it in the future. But it may be easier to store those things digitally!

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  5. I haven't had to get rid of handmade items as I don't sew although I have lazily felted two beanies and a vest which were like doh mistakes.

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    1. Oh, the knits are not immune! There are already a couple of sweaters in the bags, and I haven't even made it to that closet yet!

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  6. I used to keep so many things ‘just in case’, but as I’ve gotten older I’m more likely to do regular purges. I recently did this but now I have a refashion pile that I didn’t have before I started sewing. I need to make sure this pile doesn’t get too big though! I read somewhere that you should hang all of your clothes with the hanger hook facing out. When you wear a garment, hang it back up as you normally do with the hook facing back. At the end of the season you get rid of anything where the hook is still facing forward. I haven’t tried this yet, but I think it would be great for figuring out what you never wear.

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    1. Yes! I have a friend who tried this hanger trick and it worked well for her. I should consider doing that with what's left after the clear-out. I do the same "just in case" thing, but once I decide something has to go, it goes. I just don't have the patience for refashioning.

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  7. After several major clear-outs I think I am almost "there"... but there is still a bag of clothes in quarantine at the bottom of my wardrobe in case I change my mind about their fate. They are not even slightly "me" and I know they need to go... but all that work! The time I spent! I just need to DO IT. JUST DO IT! ;)

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    1. You are the clear-out Queen, I think! A lot of the stuff I've sewn I think I won't have a hard time letting go of. Even though those things represent a lot of work, I tend to think of them as stepping stones, the practice pieces that got my skills to the place where they are now.

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