Continuing on from the first part, a review of the makes of the last 18 months or so, in roughly chronological order.
This bluegingerdoll hack:
Nope. Too short, felt weird in it, it went to the op shop almost immediately after I blogged it.
Felt pretty iffy about it at time of construction, but ended up wearing it a TONNE over summer. It’s definitely a ‘home and to the shops’ dress – I wouldn’t wear it to a picnic or anything – but it’s a nice version of what it is. The hem has grown though, so I have to hack it off and even it out before this summer.
This is actually the dress that prompted this series. I took this dress to Bali last year and it was exactly the perfect dress for there – not too much fabric in the skirt, breezy blousy top, shoulders covered, the rayon means it feels like I’m barely wearing anything. But when I got back home, I barely wore it. I just don’t feel good in straight skirts anymore – plus a straight skirt in rayon means it wrinkles like woah when I sit. I did wear it a few times and one of those times was to a colleague’s retirement party. The man standing in front of me during the speeches kept edging backwards, so in order not to have his butt pressed against me I also had to edge backwards. Somewhere towards the end of the speeches I ended up pressed up against the catering table, and eventually sat on a cupcake. It was very undignified, and the icing left a large (brown) grease stain on the back of the skirt which nothing I have tried can get out. I have enough fabric left to recut that panel, but by that point I had decided I didn’t like the skirt and I don’t have enough to cut a fuller skirt. I am keeping an eye out at spotlight for more of this rayon but despite this colour continuing to appear in their catalouges, none of the stores I’ve visited have had it in stock. If I do see it I’ll grab it and change out the skirt because I do like the bodice of this dress. I am considering making another version, new, with a 1/4 circle skirt.
(Those sandals also died at the end of summer and I miss them. They were the best)
I mean obviously these haven’t gotten much wear since I made them… Still very pleased with them though. I did make and almost finish another version of that dress but I’m dissatisfied with it. A large part of that is that the collar looks very odd with a jumper or cardigan, making it not wearable in my freezing office. I’ve put it away to think about and might come back to it when it’s closer to the actual kind of weather I would wear it in.
Wore this a bunch last summer but I really need to do some fixes to it. It sags at my swayback so I need to figure out a way to retrofit some elastic or something to suck it in. the lining also creeps up over the waistband, and it’s not a simple fix because it’s the teeniest bit smaller than the outer fabric so I can’t just topstitch it. I might have to hand tack it down. I’d like to do that soon because it’s a very versatile skirt and I’d like to have it in my wardrobe rather than the mending pile, as the weather warms up.
By Hand London Anna dresses:
Loved this dress in summer. Made me feel like a queen. However, I think either i need more ease or the rayon has tightened up just a bit or both. By the end of summer it felt a bit tight. Need to pull it out again and see how it’s fitting now. I also think that, in general, I need to be careful of overfitting things.
I absolutely adore this fabric, but this one is definitely too tight. I feel self conscious in it. Again I need to try it on and see how it is now. I am loathe to part with it because the fabric is so perfect but it might have to go.
I’ve worn this maybe twice. I just feel self conscious in it. This is the dress that made me realise I just don’t like prints very much, especially near my face. Objectively I think it looks good but I always feel a bit awkard in it. I’m waiting for warmer weather to reassess whether I should keep it because it’s comfy and cool, or if I should remake the skirt, or if it needs to go. Either way, I wouldn’t call this one a success.
Also wore this a tonne in summer. Hem has also stretched, needs fixing. love this dress, the firmer fit and more organise print makes it feel a bit neater than the Tennessee rayon dress. Would happily make another of these if I find more knits I like in summer. The moneta is such a good pattern for me.
These two rayon ones are also having the hem stretch business. They got worn a whole lot in summer, they’re lovely and floaty. The various black and white ones I made in firmer knits were worn in high rotation until it was too cold for anything but long sleeves. I love this pattern although I might have enough of these for now. I do need to trace it off in a smaller size to make one for my cousin.
Still one of my easiest, most worn skirts. Total win. This pattern is now also my standard pattern I use to cut lining for skirts.
I’m lumping these in together since they’re the same pattern. I haven’t worn these for a while – I keep wanting a bigger bottom silhouette and in winter I wear enough layers on top that that + the thick pleats make my waist feel bulky. I’m putting these on hold till warmer weather and if I haven’t worn them by summer they might go. Even if that happen though I still consider these successes, as I loved them and wore them every week for a full season.
That brings me up to about six months ago so I think I’ll leave it there. I plan to keep doing these regularly, it’s really interesting to see common threads in the fails (bad pattern to fabric match, poor style choice, poor workmanship, overfitting, not picking styles I will actually wear) and also to see how my style has changed. Some of these photos I just want to hike the waist up to sit higher, whereas I used to always prefer skirts to sit at my natural waist I like them at my high waist these days. Wanting bigger skirts, and leaning into cut on sleeves are all recent things for me. Some of it is finding my style and some is just my style shifting.
Also it’s nice to see that my photos are consistently much better! Very pleasing.