So here’s our Question of the Day: How do your handmade clothes wear? What do I mean by that? Well, I guess I am asking several questions with that one question. How do your clothes look on you ( Professional? Fits well?). But also, how do they hold up over time? Do the seams hold, does anything come apart? How does it look after multiple washings? And on and on…
The reason why I ask is I have found that I wear some of my home sewn clothes all the time and others not so much and it got me to thinking, Why?
For instance, I wear my knit dresses all the time. My purple rain dress and the latest iteration, the red border print dress are the favorites in my wardrobe. I would wear them more than once a week if I could get away with it. And they have worn really well. They look the same as the day I finished the hem on them. The seams are still great, nothing’s coming apart. They wash fine, never wrinkle. They’re perfect! 🙂
My trench coat I have worn quite a bit, especially with the rainy spring we’ve had here in NYC. And while I am still very proud of this coat, it is starting to look a bit bedraggled. Some of the hand sewn bits are pulling apart (totally my fault I guess). The fabric is not waterproof, so after that day I got stuck in the rain while shopping with Karen and Mario, I was soaked. And ever since then, there’s been this slight chemical smell coming off the coat. The buttonholes are becoming more raggedy in appearance with each wearing (guess I really should have interfaced the facings on the coat – lesson learned). The machine sewn seams however look great. The pockets are holding up beautifully, and I love my belt with my hand installed eyelets. And actually, my sister recently gave me the nicest compliment on this coat. We bumped into each other at the grocery store a couple of weeks back and I was wearing the coat. Later on, she asked me if that was the coat I had made because it had looked so professional and beautiful. She went on to say that when I had first finished the coat, she had only looked at the individual parts of the coat, not the sum total. And that, now that she’d seen it worn in out and about, she could see the overall effect and she loved it!
Remember my Burda inverted pleat skirt which I raved about? While it still looks beautiful, I just don’t wear it that much anymore. And it’s not just because it’s Spring now and warmer out. Even though I used fusible interfacing, I think the waistband stretched out. So know the waist looks huge. It doesn’t help that I really only have one top to wear with it, a bulky sweater. So when I wear the outfit now, I feel and look thick in the middle.
And Katie’s birthday dress did NOT make it through the wash ok. 😦 The delicate floral cotton voile was most delicate. The part where the straps are attached to the bodice front looked like the would just fray off. So, since the dress was a little big on her to begin with, I folded them down on the inside, sewed a few times back and forth and then hand sewed a heart-shaped abalone button on top of it. It looks super cute now and won’t come apart until Armageddon. I don’t have a picture of the repair, but let’s look at beautiful Katie, shall we?
Thor’s shirt, despite being a cotton with lycra shirting, is even a delicate little flower with the addition of a fabric paint stencil. The care instructions listed on the paint say to not put it in the dryer. So air drying is the way to go. Fortunately, I told my sister that and she has been very faithful. The shirt is in excellent condition and it’s in heavy rotation as Thor loves it. Phew!
So in answer to my own question, I think the most successful things I’ve made so far are my knit dresses. I will definitely be making more of them. I am not going to shy away from making more coats, because I learned a lot making my trench and know what I would do differently the next time. I think once I get back on the TNT search, I will be making a lot of things that will fill my closet with easy to wear items. Can’t wait!!!
When I first started to write this post, I was a little down on my sewing. I thought my trench hadn’t held up well, but my teacher showed me how well it is doing despite heavy use. And just thinking about my knit dresses puts a smile on my face. After all this perspective, I guess I could say my hit ratio is pretty good. So, I’m mighty pleased with myself. *patting self on back* 🙂
And so, I ask all of you now: How do your clothes wear?
Happy sewing everyone!