Throwback Thursday

Between the Stash Diet/Stashbusting Sewalong efforts, and the Wardrobe Architect challenges, I’ve been in the mood lately to take a good, long look at my closet and see what maybe doesn’t belong there anymore. A lot of the things I’ve been pulling out so far are thrifted or RTW items, but I’ve also found a few things I made that mostly predate my blogging days. So, I figured I’d feature them for a moment here before I repurpose them.

1. The denim jacket, circa 2005 (I think). This is the coat that my Robson is replacing. I made it using a slightly shortened version of a Vogue coat pattern (1266). It hasn’t aged well, as far as denim jackets go–instead of looking broken-in and casual like the more traditionally-styled ones do, it just looks faded in all the wrong places. You can probably see those collar wrinkle fade marks all the way from here.

The lining is still in good condition, though. I love all of the fun colors in this fabric!

2. The retro skirt, circa 2006. This one was actually one of the first things I shared on this blog, though not in much detail, since it was only my second post and all I did was mention some things I’d made over the previous summer. (Incidentally, aside from this skirt, the only things in that post that I still have are the bag and the long wrap skirt. I occasionally pull out the bag for days that I don’t need to carry much weight, because I can’t bring myself to get rid of the hand-painted panel but it won’t hold up to more. And I do still wear the wrap skirt fairly regularly during the summers.) My original intention was to wear this skirt for my grad school graduation, but I was too busy with classes and such to finish it in time. So I finished it up the following summer. I still think this fabric is really fun, but the proportions of the skirt were never quite right. (Or the fit, if the way the waistline just hangs off of Donna is any indication.) I tried to draft my own pattern, and it didn’t work out well. So then I used McCall’s 4783 for the yoke, and I should really just ditch that pattern because the yoke is too wide and it means there’s a seam right on the widest part of my hips. Not flattering. And then it ended up too short, which is why there’s that white band on the bottom. Which is now somewhat dingy-looking.

I do still think the piped faux pockets are a cute detail, and I may have to revisit that one sometime, but they’d work out a lot better if they were several inches higher. And stopped curling. If I do revisit this, interfacing would probably not be a bad thing.

3. The Japanese maxi-skirt. I think this one was one of the few things I actually managed to crank out in college, which would put it around 2002-2003. I still like the skirt, honestly. It’s Simplicity 7097, which I’ve used for another project or two over the years. Even though it’s straight, it has a slit that’s a good length for me to still be able to move freely. And I think the fabric is really fun. According to the website where I bought it, the symbols are kanji for “moon”. The thing is, I only wear this skirt maybe once a year, tops. It’s partly that I don’t really have anything to wear with it, other than black tops. Though 3/4 of the colors are definitely in my palette, the red is what stands out to me and gives me mental blocks on wearing it. The other thing is, I love prints that evoke other cultures, but I often feel a little weird wearing them as a white girl of primarily German/UK descent. It’s like I have this subconscious fear that, say, I’ll offend my students that come from Asian families if I wear a skirt with Japanese writing. It’s probably weird, and my thought line is more “I like this thing about your culture well enough to borrow it for my wardrobe”, but it’s still there.

Rather than just pass these on to the thrift store, I’m going to recycle them here. I’m in the very beginning stages of planning a quilt, and spent a snow day chopping up smaller pieces of cotton prints and old muslins to do so. So since they’re all quilting cotton prints (I’m thinking the lining of the coat, not the denim), why not add them? This thing’s probably going to take me 5 years to make anyway, so I might as well include little pieces of my fashion history.

Plus, you know, free fabric, and I can hoard the zippers and buttons for future projects. I love free stuff!

And yes, I am sewing. Though I’m at a bit of a standstill for March of the Shieldmaidens while I wait for dye to arrive/frantically try to finish the sewn part of a gift before a baby shower next weekend. With any luck, I should be able to start this costume by April…

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