I’ve been thinking lately about which of my makes are and aren’t in my wardrobe, and why that is. I thought it might be useful to go back and look at the last couple of years’ makes and reassess their success or not. My blog posts tend to be ‘this isn’t perfect for these reasons, but basically it’s fine’ and sometimes it is fine, sometimes it’s GREAT and sometimes those imperfections are just too big. So I thought I’d go back until I found the first thing that’s still in current rotation in my wardrobe, and review the things I’ve made since then. Makes from 2014 or earlier tend to have been gotten rid of because my taste or style has changed, or they had some significant beginner flaws like poor fabric to pattern match.

I’ve split this up because it was getting long and very tedious, at some point in the future I’ll do the rest. Be warned, terrible photos from a dying camera and  a dead-faced me coming up!

Special mention:

A special mention goes to my Kasia skirt, which I made in 2012. I still have this, although it’s in a box because I don’t really wear straight skirts much, but I still love it and it fits and looks good so I can’t bear to part with it. It does gape a bit because of the weird construction of the front, but I still remember the thrill of this project – doing something a bit outside my comfort zone, and pulling it off. And I remember how magical it felt to have something in my wardrobe that actually FIT my actual body. Bliss.

Ottobre painted roses:

Still love these. These photos aren’t the best but I haven’t managed a selfie with these ones recently so they’ll do. I didn’t wear them much last summer but mostly for lack of skirts to pair them with. I’m not sure I’ll get much more wear out of the roses one since my style has shifted but I’m giving it another summer to see. Just recently I took the too-tight arms off of the white one and replaced them so hopefully it will get more wear because I did put it on several times over summer and then took it off because the arms were uncomfortable.

This is a great pattern and I still highly recommend it. I’m also thinking of mashing up the armholes and sleeve of this with springfield since this is the best fitting woven sleeve I’ve found for me. Also it’s interesting how although I felt comfortable in that outfit at the time, and I can objectively see it’s fine, I just want to whack a circle skirt on myself in those photos. personal style is a funny thing.

Bluegingerdoll violet:

First blog post in my current house! I actually don’t remember seeing this one in a while. I think it might be in the ‘summer things’ box, or perhaps I got rid of it. It had been relegated to a house dress because the fabric was a bit too thin really. Still like the pattern but not sure I would make it again.

Jasper sweater dress:

I donated it. I felt uncomfortable in the straight skirt, and a bit exposed – I think I need a waistband especially in knits otherwise I feel like I’m wearing pyjamas, and in an exposed way not a  freeing way. All personal style issues – objectively I really liked it and thought it looked good on me, but not like myself. I would still definitely recommend this pattern, it’s so well written and drafted. I would like to make the jumper version at some point, when my RTW jumpers start biting the dust.

My M6696s:

Black Viole:

I think this maybe got worn maybe five times. It’s not a great fabric choice in that it’s very thin so if it’s warm enough to wear it it’s warm enough that I don’t want to wear black. Also it’s see through enough that I really need to wear a slip or something, so then it’s too warm for a slip or too cool for such a light dress.

Fabric choice aside, there are numerous fit issues. The waist is too low all around, which makes me look boxy. It’s WAY too low at the back, and the fix I did to bring the waistline in after I was finished makes the centre back really heavy (I put a tuck in the back waistline) and  so it drags down and feels and looks awkward. Also those sleeves and armholes are pulling like woah. I wore it a few times and always felt a bit rumpled in it. However, it’s still hanging in my wardrobe because I thought it might be good to have an original version of this pattern with not so many tweaks to try on, if I attempt it again. Once I do that or decide not to,  might harvest the fabric for something else because it’s too nice to waste.


This got a LOT of wear last summer. The armscye pulling is a weak point and the seam has had to be repaired there, and it’s still straining. Also, it’s too short. It’s exactly the length I intended it but it now reads as too short to my eye – I initially started thinking the waist was too high but I don’t think it is, I think it’s just that I want a longer skirt. I haven’t been wearing my shirtdresses in autumn and winter because once I have socks or stockings on, I feel like I’m wearing a school uniform, and I think a longer skirt would help mitigate that. Here it is with one of my Bonnies – this was one of my favourite outfits in autumn and I liked it with grey or white knee socks too but then the school girl factor came in too much.


Even as it is the bare knees are giving it a gangly look rather than an elegant one. I have let the hem out with the intention of turning it up with bias tape to get as much length as possible, and patching a bit extra onto the placket, but I have yet to sew it back up again. I think that might get my knees covered but honestly I wish it were hitting a good 3″ lower.

Teal flannel:

This one is sitting in a basket, in pieces. I took it apart to underline it and let it out wher eit was too tight and then couldn’t decide which adjustments I wanted to make, and then decided I didn’t like straight skirts anyways, so it’s been there for a while. I am of two minds about it. I adore this fabric and would love to wear it. But the whole thing is too small and the skirt is too short and if I were making it again from scratch I’d flare the skirt a bit more to give it some oomph – and some more sitting room. So I’m not sure this one is going to get put back together again. That said, I fell for it again a bit looking at these photos, so perhaps I should finish it and see if it gets worn in autumn or spring.

Teal broadcloth:

I still love this dress, a lot. But I also have so many issues with it. Same as above, pulling armscye, collar too wide, too short, and also in this one the waist really IS too high. The broadcloth doesn’t have any give at all so it’s just a wee bit tight and high everywhere. But I just love the colour and the feel of the fabric. I wore this dress at least once a week through summer and autumn and it was my go-to feel good dress, but I also couldn’t stop noticing all the things that are wrong with it. The best, most important thing I learnt from this dress is that I am most comfortable wearing bright, deep solids. That’s when I feel most like my self. Bonus points if I can create a whole monochromatic outfit.

All teal all the time work selfie. The green glasses are because I’m sensitive to the specific spectrum in fluoro lights and without the glasses I get migraines.

I am planning to let down the hem on this one too but I’m also considering just buying more of this fabric and trying for a better fitting bodice. The M6696 has been good to me but it’s just not quite right and I’m not sure I’m going to get it with minor tweaks.

Twister dress:

Meeeeeeeeeeeeh. Too tight, too polyestery, too cutesy. Love the idea, don’t love the reality. Oh well, I had fun making it. I can’t remember if I’ve donated this yet or not but I intend to.

Miscellaneous skirts:

All of these have been donated – the pencil skirt is no longer my style, the black skirt was too wrinkly and the denim was too big and I couldn’t be bothered taking it in.

Bonnies and Moneta with circle skirt:

I still wear the bonnies a lot and I wore the moneta a lot last winter. The waistband stretched out though so everything is now hitting in the wrong spot. I still wear it as an around the house dress although I find the wool a little bit itchy at my elbows.

Violeta (violet + moneta mashup)

Wore this constantly last winter but now I feel too exposed and va-va-voom in the tight skirt. I’ve put it away while I contemplate whether to donate it or not but I haven’t worn it in almost a year so it looks like I will. I did love it and now I don’t.

Solstice dress:

Let us never speak of this again.

Steeplechase bike shorts:

I’ve since made two more batches of these (I can get 4 out of 3 metres) and I wear a pair every day. Possibly the best and most useful things I’ve ever made.

I think this post is long enough now. I’ll pause and do the rest at a later date. Hopefully this is interesting to someone besides me but if not, oh well. Always good to do a stock take!


4 thoughts on “Wear are they now 2016, part 1

  1. I was really interested in this! That’s why I love Me Made May so much- what are people actually wearing? What do i actually wear? I think this is how I most learn about different fabrics, too, and how they wear IRL. As an aside- the teal tint glasses work for you? Great to know! (I work with students with Autism- those fluros can be so disruptive!)

    1. Thank you! You’re right about Me Made May. I haven’t done it myself for a few years because I just can’t keep up with it, plus May here is dark so all I can manage are fuzzy mirror selfies where you can’t see anything. But I love following along with other people!

      The teal tint definitely works for me. I started out with a bluer tint and my last checkup got this colour – my optometrist has some machine that tests the appropriate tint. It’s mostly used for kids with ADHD or sensory issues. I find it super duper hard to concentrate under fluoros or when reading off of screens without them, plus I will eventually get a migraine. Fluoros are my nemesis! I have optometrist friends who say they often do generically tinted glasses for people who work in offices, or for kids – green and rose are the most popular apparently.

  2. Great exercise! I did this recently, too. I made so many things in my early sewing career that are just not my style!!

    Since you’ve been assessing your handmade wardrobe and style, I wonder if you would be interested in doing a “Sewing for My Curves” post for the Curving Sewing Collective… you can see some examples here: http://curvysewingcollective.com/category/tutorials/common-fit-adjustments-for-your-shape/sewing-for-my-curves/

    Shoot us an email at the CSC if you’re interested and I can give you more details; we’d love to have you, Kate!


    1. Thanks, Meg! I really think sewing has helped me settle on a personal style I’m comfortable with, I’m really grateful for that. I don’t think I would have gotten here so fast if I didn’t sew.

      I’ve actually been thinking about that because I love the Sewing for my Curves series, and I’ve been wondering what mine would be like. I will send you an email when I have a minute because I would love to! Thank you so much for the invitation. 🙂

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