I don’t know about you, but I am so often genuinely surprised at the quality of work when I look at some of the garments I have made over the years. Take, for example, this jumpsuit, made in 2017 and worn perhaps three times: once for a family Christmas, and couple of family events. The fabric is rather a heavy-ish crepe from EOS. You can find more of it here. It comes in a myriad of colours. I ordered a few lengths way back when: this gorgeous shade of wine red, a moss green, which ended up as a version of DKNY’s dress courtesy of Vogue 1351 (a disaster project that looked horrible on me, although the dress was beautiful), and some yet-to-be-sewn yummy chocolate brown. But I digress.
I have changed shape significantly over the last year or so, and, going through my closet one day looking for things to wear, pulled this jumpsuit out and tried it on. It’s BurdaStyle 04-2016-130.
It didn’t fit properly anymore, and would have required a complete dismantling in order to alter it properly. But here’s a photo from when it fit. I don’t have any photos of the front, probably because I didn’t like any of them and intended to re-shoot the garment, which never happened.
As someone who has a tiny lower back and relatively large hips, this pattern fit perfectly out of the magazine. I was very impressed. But, again, I digress. Because I will never wear it again, I thrifted it. But I wanted to write about how each garment that I gift away (unless I really hate it) brings on a sense of loss, sometimes, and regret. Regret for the time ‘wasted’ in making something that didn’t actually get worn. I realize this is actually a negative voice speaking, from the last couple of decades of my life. In actual fact, each garment is a learning opportunity, and the hours spent making are practice and will end up giving me more proficiency and skill in making. When I check over the garments to make sure they’re in good condition, after cleaning them, to give away, I inevitably am surprised (why?) at the quality of work.
And the attention to detail, like lining trousers. I really do not like wearing unlined trousers or skirts. I think it’s because my mother taught me to sew, and, having sewn herself all her clothing when I was small from Vogue or Simplicity designer patterns, she was a stickler on quality of workmanship. I recall going RTW shopping with her, and every single garment she purchased was lined; she would not have ever worn an unlined garment, much less spent the money on it. Funny story. I recall strolling through a Chanel boutique when I was in university, and looking through the RTW garments for sale, and was shocked – shocked, I tell you! – to see that neither the skirts or jackets in that small boutique were lined. And $1250 in 80’s dollars for a 100% polyester blouse. Polyester. Bubble popped, I assure you.
So, needless to say, I line everything. It gives me tremendous pleasure to make something well, and finish it well. It’s like a mental health perk-up to wear a garment I’ve made that I have taken the time to carefully construct.
Slow careful sewing, and making the interiors of garments pretty, is something that I really enjoy doing. I hope whoever purchases this garment from the thrift store enjoys wearing it and appreciates the workmanship, too.
What do you do with garments you no longer wear? I see so many IG feeds about sewists making and making and making, and I wonder how on earth do they every wear everything? I don’t have a very large closet, and I have many garments that are in pristine condition. Do you feel a sense of loss when you see garments you’ve spent time with walking out the door?