Thursday, November 11, 2010

Never can say goodbye

What do you do with items you have sewn but no longer wear?  I have a few treasured pieces that remain hanging in the closet, despite not being worn for ages.  Here is the prime example.

KLplaid suit

Vogue Paris Original 2756 Karl Lagerfeld Suit.  I made this sometime in the 90's when I started work in the corporate world.  I loved this suit and probably wore it way too often. But as I recall, these were my first bound buttonholes. The sleeves and collar are wool jersey and there is a small bit of braid trim on the collar.  The skirt is the same black wool jersey.  If you are noticing the pleat perfection in the skirt, I can't take credit.   At the time I made this I was taking a class on pleated garments at the Sewing Workshop in SF (no longer there) and part of the project was the opportunity to send some fabric out to be professionally pleated.  The buttons came from Britex, a downtown San Francisco fabric store that I recommend if you are in the city.

I still have the pattern, I think my jacket looks similar to Karl's.  However I didn't go with the ultra European 90's red hair or the very Karl glasses shown on the line drawing model.


I still wear the skirt once in a while, and I would maybe wear the jacket, except as you can see it does have rather large shoulder pads - at the time they looked good.
Maybe I should operate on this jacket - change the shoulder pads, although who knows what that would do to the sleeves.  Hmmm.   

KLjacket close up

So this suit still hangs in my closet.  I have plenty of other suits I made, leftover from my crazy corporate days and I wear them on occasion but this one is very dear.  I saw a post a few months ago by the Slapdash Sewist,  bye-bye-baby-baby-goodbye and she discussed donating or otherwise getting rid of things she had sewn.  In particular I noted her comment about the lack of size labels in handmade clothes, something I had never thought about.  

This dress is another creation that I just can't part with.  I confess that this no longer fits like it did.  A bit tight in the hip area.  I made this to wear to a friend's wedding.   Self designed, in that I took a basic sheath dress and played around with the ruffles until I had the type of ruffle effect that I wanted.    I made the belt and used a covered buckle kit, those kits are great and are become more difficult to find.

pinkdress ruffles

Digging around in my photo books I did find this blast from the past.  That  is my friend Ashley on the left,  we have switched hairstyles these days as I have the short hair now and she has the shoulder length. But she is just as tiny as ever. It was for her that I made some plaid Bermuda shorts earlier this year, wrote about it in this post.

me&Ashleypink dress

The wedding was in Portland, Oregon and I forgot to pack the belt in my suitcase - so the dress looks a bit long.  But I did not forget my matching shoes!  

There are a few more gems hanging in the closet.  My sister, who is a professional organizer, recommends that for each new item you bring into your house, you should get rid of one like item.  Sorry sis, not going to happen here.  (Although she recently organized my garage and now it is perfection - just have to keep it that way).

So the question to you - what handmade but no longer worn clothes are you still keeping?
and why?


  1. Great outfits! thank you for sharing. I think that the Sewing Workshop still exists. They were mentioned in a recent SF Gate story about the resurgence of sewing ( ) and this is the website that is cited in the article:

    Rose in SV

  2. I love the plaid jacket! There is something to be said for hanging on to something for sentimental reasons, as long as it doesn't take over. I have several that I have held on to because I can't let go of the fabric! Also, I was once told by Goodwill that they wouldn't take my clothes because there were no size labels.

  3. I had a similar plaid jacket from that era, made from some ends at work! I was so proud of it because everything matched perfectly including the blind patch pockets. I think I wore it to death! I love the dress, it is still fairly current!
    I haven't really kept any sewn garments, but I have kept a couple of epic knitted ones that just involved too much work to ever discard!

  4. Beautiful jacket. I love it!
    I don't feel capable of giving away garments that I made and no longer wear, unless they go to someone I really care about and know for sure will value my clothes. I've done this a couple of times,... Most of the garments that I no longer wear are stored at my sister's.

  5. Love, love, love that pink dress!

  6. If you remove the shoulder pads, you need to unpick the armhole seam from notch to notch. Then resew the shoulder seams, tapering from pad height at the tip of the shoulder to zero at the neck. Then trim the cap so that the extra length is taken out (usually just lower the seam by the pad height again). Then you won't have funny hanging folds in your sleeves or chest.
    Nice jacket, I'd give it a go :-).