Wearing Yesteryear: July 2012 One Year Later

Hello everyone! It’s me again, back with yet another post (I know, they’re coming in left and right!).

So, this is a series I’ve been meaning to start for awhile now, but I’ve just never gotten it off the ground. It’s a pretty simple concept: write a reflection post a year after a sewing creation was shared here on my blog in order to see how it wears in the long run. Sure, it’s nice seeing pretty pictures of a garment, but how does it wear in reality? Does it fit nicely into my everyday wardrobe or is it a great piece to take out every now and then for a special occasion? Has it since been altered or does it never see the light of day because, well, things just didn’t work out for one reason or another?

That’s where this reflection series I’m calling “Wearing Yesteryear” comes into the picture. Since I’m not the most prolific of seamstresses, I can review all the projects I posted in July 2012 right here, right now in July 2013. Last I checked that’s a grand total of two (yes, two!) projects.

I think this is a great way of being honest with yourself (and with your readers) about what really works and why or why not. It’s not the worst thing in the world if a project doesn’t work out as long as you can learn from it. This is easy to say now, but that’s why Wearing Yesteryear is a helpful way of separating enough time from the hours you put into making a garment you hoped against hope would come out just as you had planned, only for it to end in frustration or plain ol’ misery.

Okay, so without further ado, here’s to kicking off the Wearing Yesteryear series!

muddy waters dress

The Muddy Waters Dress

Blog Debut: July 11, 2012
Pattern: Cambie Dress by Sewaholic Patterns
Worn In: Summer, but would be a better spring dress with the Bemberg lining (see below!)
Wearability Meter: Sadly, a dud
Lessons Learned: Go with my high bust measurement for the bust and do possible FBA; Bemberg lining in humid summers –> just say no!

What a sad way to start off Wearing Yesteryear, but if we’re going for honesty here I must admit that this dress just doesn’t work. I last wore it to Gertie’s book launch party last fall; just to prove how often I don’t wear this, there’s a small chocolate cake stain on the bodice from the party that I haven’t removed.

The problem? Gaping at the neckline from going with my bust measurement when I should’ve gone with my high bust measurement. I was trying to provide more room in the bust area, but if I drop down one size to reflect my high bust measurement I can work in an FBA if needed. I’ve never done one of those before and I think my method of cheating by going up one size at the bust failed me this time! I tried shortening the sleeve pieces to fix this, but that ended up pulling the darts in odd ways that only I seem to notice (which is enough to keep me from wearing it despite the compliments this dress received!).

Another thing? Bemberg lining in a hot and humid New York summer just does not breathe. Wowser was I trying to convince myself otherwise in my original post or what?! 🙂


The “In the Garden of St. Mark’s” Skirt

Blog Debut: July 21, 2012
Pattern: Flirt the Issue Skirt by Anna Maria Horner
Worn In: Summer
Wearability Meter: In regular rotation!
Lessons Learned: Fabric print is key; easy to care for; in another version, I’d add inseam pockets

This super easy to make skirt has definitely found a place in my summer wardrobe. The pop of those big flowers pairs nicely with a plain top as seen above, and it makes a simple outfit quite fun and interesting! I’m not an accessories person outside of earrings so the print accessorizes for me. The elastic waistband makes this a nice adjustable piece.

The cotton broadcloth fabric is also super easy to launder so when it gets dirty it doesn’t sit in the laundry basket for weeks waiting to be hand washed.

There’s definitely room for inseam pockets here and I’d work that in to a future version. Doesn’t really bother me though, and I even wore this skirt yesterday to work!

Okay, that’s it for now. Do you do these kinds of reflection posts of garments you’ve already made? Do you find it helpful?


21 thoughts on “Wearing Yesteryear: July 2012 One Year Later

  1. Good morning!
    What a great series. I might totally steal this idea. Since I’m still a newbie to pattern sewing, I am often the victim of a independent pattern release or a fabric sale. Since sewing time is precious, good decisions are vital!
    Hope you’re staying cool!

    • Hi Leu, you’re welcome to steal this idea! If there’s enough interest, maybe I should make a button. 😀 I know what you mean about indie pattern releases and fabric sales – I think I’ve finally managed to reach a point where I’m not too tempted by either (of course there are exceptions!). The weather has cooled down thankfully, I was wearing sleeveless tops/dresses the past couple of weeks to get through it!

  2. I think this is a great post! I would definitely benefit from doing the same and reflecting on how my creations stood the test of time. However, all un-worn garments are not failures, in the sense that some of them are experimentations with a particular pattern or technique and pave the ground for future “sucesses”. So even if I can find quite a lot of my earlier garments that have been very sparingly utilized, I would not conclude that I should never have made them, because I probably learned a lot from them.

    • I’m glad you like it, Irene! I agree, there are definitely lessons to be learned from garments that we never really get around to wearing, which is why I created a place in this series to mark “lessons learned.” Most of my early garments aren’t worn, but they were important practice efforts in improving my skills!

    • Yes, I’m completely drawn to pretty dress patterns, too! I haven’t given up on the Cambie, a really great dress, but I just need to make a few tweaks to make it work.

    • Hi Denise! For hot and humid weather, I prefer using a lightweight cotton for the lining, such as cotton voile. It feels nice and breathes well, though I took a silk seminar a few months ago and certain silks are recommended too. I’ve actually read that Bemberg is breathable (and my fabric was definitely Bemberg) so I’m not sure what happened, but a slippery lining really isn’t necessary in summer so I’d play it safe and go with lightweight cotton (easier to sew with too as you venture into the wonderful world of linings!).

  3. What a great way to assess the garments you’ve made! It might also be a good reason to pull out older things and figure out if there’s a way to make them work better in the future. I definitely have a few pieces like that laying around!

    • You are exactly right, Karin! In fact, I already took out a dress from August 2012 that I want to fix before next month’s Wearing Yesteryear post. 🙂 Yay for motivation!

  4. Awesome idea! i often wonder what really gets worn or not – it’s one of the things I love about Me-Made May! Let’s me see if things are actually in rotation, and how they are styled in real life! 🙂

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