Sew, Wear Are They Now?

Last year, Catherine of Catherine Daze’s Blog started a Wearability series where she has been looking at some of her older garments and assessing how well they did as actual wardrobe garments after she made them (you can see her assessment of summer dresses, sleeveless black dresses, and “epic fails“). Peter of Male Pattern Boldness has also been doing a series where he looks at the contents of his wardrobe and assess how much he uses them (so far coats and pants). I’ve really been enjoying both of these series because it gives a more realistic view of how well sewn garments (and in Peter’s case purchased garments as well) have worked over time. I think that so often we post about a garment we’ve just made, but our opinion of it is often either far too exuberant because “oooh yay, new shiny thing!” or far too negative because “evil thing was evil during construction and I hate it because it was evil and look at this one really annoying spot where I messed up because this whole project sucked and was totally evil!”

I’m sure you can relate.

Anyway, I think Catherine’s blog series is really great because it gives the perspective that comes over time to really consider how sewn garments have faired in a wardrobe and if they really lived up to their potential. It’s also been really interesting what sort of self-analysis can be done from this sort of self-exploration (what sorts of fabrics get worn, what sorts of patterns work well, what sort of styles and color combinations get worn a lot and also what doesn’t…).

On top of that, last year’s big “blog project” for me was to go back and fixed a lot of broken photos and links in my older blog posts. Back in ye olde day when the blog was titled Sew Skate Read and I was a poor grad student trying to fit all of my photos on the blog for free I went down the Tiny Pic route to host my photos because (like many of us back in the early days of internet blogging) I was grabbing free storage wherever I could find it. Anyway, Tiny Pic has since bit the dust, so I had about 3 years worth of blog images I needed to replace. It took a while, but aside from 2 posts where I can’t find any of the missing pictures on my hard drives, I’ve finished. It gave me an interesting opportunity to look at a lot of my sewing from the early days. So between looking back at my older posts, along with the inspiration from Catherine’s blog, I’ve decided it might be fun to write my own “Sew, Wear Are They Now?” series to look back and see what has happened to all of my sewn garments, which ones I still wear, which ones have bit the dust, what I have learned along my sewing journey, and to see what sort of sewing things I might want to focus on moving forward. I think I might scatter this series over the next few months (maybe over the rest of the year depending on how long these posts take to write), but I think it will be fun to categorically look back at what I’ve sewn on the blog over the past decade. I hope you will be excited to look back with me!

27 thoughts on “Sew, Wear Are They Now?

  1. This is great – thanks for pointing to these posts, which I had not seen. I’ve been doing the same kind of reflection lately, but informally, as I plan my sewing to come. There are clear categories of me-made garments I wear often (buttoned shirts, well-made dresses in nice fabrics, hand knitted sweaters). There are other categories that I wear less often (e.g., skirts – probably because I wear skirts less often in general; and pants – probably because I have no issue finding RTW pants and already have many nice and durable pairs (duh – no need to sew them)). It’s funny how we can miss these points when thinking about sewing…Good luck with your review!

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  2. Fantastic idea! I often re-evaluate, but not publicly. I am doing a refashion set of posts: revisiting projects I thought I liked but don’t wear, or have fit issues, etc. I can’t donate, because some part of me still loves them. So how to redo/recycle into something I will wear?

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  3. Oh, interesting! I’m going to go review Catherine’s posts. I look forward to seeing what became of your beautiful makes. Without even looking at my closet I can say that of the things I have made, I have only kept and worn the solid color skirts and pants, solid shirts and tees, and two dresses with a small print. I KNOW this and yet I still fall for every wildly patterned multicolor fabric I see. I don’t think there is any cure for the “Ooo Shiny” syndrome.

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  4. Really looking forward to this series. I’ve seen a few posts where sewists have done a round up of the year and included that some new garments never got worn. I am also curious about what that popular phrase ‘in constant rotation’ means exactly.

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  5. Yes! It’s a fun exercise!!

    I used to post occasionally look-backs… and then last year got completely being so I’ve had the opportunity for more wear before I post. It really does give perspective. You notice things when you WEAR a garment vs. trying it on.

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  6. I might have to join you on this one. Both following you and doing the same myself. I especially can relate to the I hate the evil hard to sew evil item that turns out to be a wardrobe fave. Yes I see all the mistakes but over time even I stop noticing. I think you always do see the imperfections in your own work tho. Thanks for the links this looks like very interesting reading for when I am sitting at my pc working from home with hardly anything to actually do but I have to still be there online. I look forward to seeing your older makes. I also need to go over and edit many older blog posts of mine and my blog is only 6 years old ( I think!). Big job. Congrats on that!

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  7. I’m looking forward to this! I’ve found it a useful process with my own projects. I don’t have enough data to be sure but I think my miss rate is going down these days because I make things I’m likely to wear. And thanks for the shoutout.

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    1. I’ve started working on my second post (I’m spacing out scheduling them because the first one took me a loooong time to write) but I’m definitely noticing some trends for sure. My fabric choices have gotten much better over time and that’s a good chunk of the battle for success right there. I’m also a lot more careful about fit and making the proper pattern adjustments which help as well. I’m sure when I get to the end of all of this I’ll be able to produce some interesting data and look at trends over time. The bigger issue for me is that my output over time has decreased a lot so it’s not exactly a 1:1 sort of comparison either.

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  8. This is such a fun idea! I don’t think I’d be able to do the same thing, since probably 95% of what’s left my wardrobe in the last decade is due to the “babies made everything not fit” factor, and not a true reflection of my style likes and dislikes. I look forward to reading your reflections, though!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I think it’s awesome that you are going to do a review of your makes. I have only been back into sewing for less than 12 months and don’t have enough to review yet but I can see how helpful this would be. I look forward to reading your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

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