This was one of those ideas so clever that I was immediately inspired and so easy that I thought, why have I never thought to do this?! Thanks to Vicky @Sewstainability for thinking of this and Joy from Pink Coat Club for drawing my attention to it.
So I’m taking a look at the clothes I made last winter. I’m specifically looking September 2018 to January 2019 which kind of covers all my sleeved, worn-with-tights dresses.
The good news is, I didn’t waste much time making things I never wear. In fact I actually think winter 2018 was some of my most productive sewing because I really focused on making things I wanted to wear everyday. There are a couple of sneaky Christmas sews as well though which as you’d expect don’t get daily wear.
First up is this By Hand London Anna, not my first and certainly not my last version. It’s in Rifle Paper Co rayon and lined with a gossamer crepe. This one was obviously not designed to wear every day *hello double leg slits*, but I wanted something that I could wear to a nice meal, felt a bit fancy but not wedding-guest-worthy. And this fits that bill. I reach for it on a date night or if I’m going to the pub but want to be a bit fancy. I’ve also worn it with pumps to a gig. In short, it’s a bit #everydayfabulous but I wouldn’t wear it to work. I’d estimate I’ve worn it over 10 times in the year.
Next is a Nina Lee London Kew dress in fabric from Guthrie & Ghani. I can’t remember what exactly the fabric is but I think it’s got some poly in it because I don’t iron it, that’s probably the best thing about this dress – it’s the one thing I don’t have to iron! However, this dress was a bit of a wearable toile, it’s the first ever tea dress style Kew Dress I made and it isn’t perfect in terms of fit. I bound all of the facings initially but it made it really bulky so I ended up overlocking it a few weeks later. It’s a little messy inside and the quality is a bit lacking which is why I’m not crazy about this dress. I also never wear black because it washes me out. Aside from that I sometimes go for this dress as a good transition to Spring. But now I have other dresses that fulfil that and I’d rather wear. Having said all that, I think I’ve worn it about 15-20 times.
Next my trusty Liberty crepe pattern hack. This dress was a rough hack between the By Hand London Holly bodice with the Nina Lee Kew dress but I realise that it doesn’t really look like either. I wear this dress every week. I don’t love it, it doesn’t excite me, but I do wear it often. I don’t reach for it for something special, it feels very worky to me. But that’s the beauty of this dress, it’s one that feels very ‘me’, that I can go meet someone for the first time and feel like myself, or get through lots of tasks at work. It’s an everyday trusty dress, it just happens to be in fancy Liberty crepe! I have probably worn it around 50 times.
Next up is my favourite favourite dress, another Holly/Kew hack this time in Rifle Paper Co rayon. Firstly it’s my favourite ever fabric, and secondly I spent lots of time on it so I’m really quite proud of it. From the Liberty binding to the fake button placket and the pearl beads. I wear this dress all the time. I’ve got so many memories in this dress, not least picking up my cat Betty. If I was a cartoon character this would be the dress I wear every day. I think you get the point! I’ve probably worn it over 80 times. It’s still perfect.
Next is my oh-so-fancy velvet stretch By Hand London Anna. I made this dress for my work Christmas party and I wore it again this year. It’s so classic and I hand sewed the hem and sleeve openings which makes it that little bit fancier. It’s also survived a 30 degree wash due to many wines spilled. As expected I haven’t worn it loads, 3 times in fact but I think that’s ok considering how seasonal it is and I know I’ll reach for it year after year.
Next my pleated skirt made from a satin remnant from New Craft House. This was a super quick make, it maybe didn’t even take half an hour, but I don’t wear it often. One reason is because I don’t really wear separates aside from things like Christmas jumper day and so I reckon I’ve worn this 5 or 6 times.
Next is my heart print crepe Ex-Valentino dress of dreams. The fabric was from Fabric Godmother and it’s a dress so special that I’m so afraid of anything happening to it. When I finished it I was so in love that I constantly think about it getting ruined and truly can’t really enjoy wearing it. I know that’s really weird but it’s unfortunately true. For that reason I think I’ve worn it 10 times but if I had a roll of the fabric in my cupboard as contingency I would have worn it much more.
And finally, my silk satin Liberty dress. I love this fabric, it’s just so beautiful. I reach for it if I want to feel a bit fancy like my Rifle Paper Co Anna. The only issue with this dress is that sometimes it gets a bit static or clingy, but it can usually be sorted with some hairspray or a spritz of water. However I don’t like to wear it for a whole day at work for example because I can’t rely on it and might end up looking like I’m wearing satin leggings. It’s beautiful though and I love it, I think I’ve worn it about 10 times.
And that’s it!! What I have realised from writing this is that I should not only sew more everyday clothes but also I should spend more time finishing them nicely because it does bring m daily joy, and that’s probably more important for those 50+ wear garments than the ones I’ll bring out once a year. I also realise that I love a bit of everyday fabulous and I’m not one to save my clothes for best, which I think is a good thing and another way to bring some daily joy.