The Unworn (and a giant thank you!)

Hi you guys!

I promise I won’t blab about Blackbird every Wednesday, but I just have to say, oh my goodness. I don’t even know how to thank you for your amazing support and encouragement after my shop launch last week. I couldn’t have asked for a better first week. I am so happy right now and excited to move forward! In fact, as you read this, I will be listing a new batch of fabrics that I just received (including our beloved black flamingo print from the Yaletown sew-along!). The best way to keep up is to follow me on instagram, twitter, or facebook, I’ll be posting updates whenever I add new items to the shop or restock the bestsellers. Anyways, thank you so much!

What I really want to talk about today is something we don’t really get to discuss often. The things we make and don’t wear.

The Unworn So the other day I was cleaning out my closet, getting ready for fall and trying to figure out what I wanted to sew next. I realized that a good chunk of my closet space was dedicated to handmade clothing that I don’t wear. It’s sad, but true. You know, the dress that’s too poofy, the top that’s too short, the blouse that’s too sheer… all sitting there gathering dust. We all have these. Right?

Now I don’t have a large closet, and I’m usually pretty ruthless when I purge items of clothing that I’m not into anymore. So why do I monopolize prime closet real estate?

It’s because the idea of getting rid of something I’ve made with love sends a pang through to my sewing core. I don’t want to believe that these pieces aren’t right for me. It’s just plain hard to admit!

In contrast, I realized: Isn’t it more painful to look at our ‘unworns’ every time we open our closets? They remind us of our misses.  They take up space that could be filled with new and exciting sewing hits. Why hold on?

I still haven’t been able to part with them. I’ve put them aside for now because I want to know… how the heck do you deal with this? Do you hang onto your unworn makes, hoping someday you’ll fall back in love? Do you tuck them away in a box under your bed? (I’ve done it!) Do you part with them freely? And if so, how? Tell me your secrets.

Let’s discuss!

70 Responses to The Unworn (and a giant thank you!)

  1. Meg the Grand October 1, 2014 at 6:21 am #

    The best way I have found to deal with this is host a clothing swap! My girlfriends love to come over and bring their unworn items, and they love getting to try on my me-made items that they’ve been wanting. I get to see my handmade pieces go to homes that will appreciate them, and that definitely eases the pain of parting with something I’ve made.

    • Caroline Amanda October 1, 2014 at 10:14 am #

      That’s a great idea! I’ve been to clothing swaps before, but for ready to wear items only. I’m sure friends would love to get their hands on some handmades as well!

  2. patsijean October 1, 2014 at 6:30 am #

    I donate those items.

  3. true bias October 1, 2014 at 6:34 am #

    congrats on the new shop! what a fun surprise. I am so excited for you. and yes, i have the same problem. i have so many things that i never ever wear. trying to be better about only making things that are realistic but its so hard.

    • Caroline Amanda October 1, 2014 at 10:17 am #

      Thank you so much!
      And yes, it IS so hard. Sometimes I’m positive I’m making something I will wear, and then it takes a day of wearing it in “the real world” to realize it’s not right for me for whatever reason. I’ve been seriously meaning to read through the entire wardrobe architect series on coletterie, I’ve heard it really helps you to evaluate your needs and make a more wearable wardrobe!

  4. Juliette October 1, 2014 at 7:04 am #

    Well, I do have a few items of clothing I have made and don’t wear. Stuff I’ve made when I was a real sewing noob. I don’t want to wear them (ugh, what was I thinking when I chose that horrible fabric???) …but I don’t think I can donate them either, because most of the times the seam finishes are really s****y and I’d be too ashamed if I had to hand them over to someone else. So…they just stay in the closet for the moment.

    • Caroline Amanda October 1, 2014 at 10:20 am #

      Yes! Sometimes the problem isn’t the fit, it’s the finishing or the quality of sewing. Maybe items like these would be better cut up to try to salvage some of the fabric to be reused? I have a knit maxi skirt that I don’t ever wear that I’ve been meaning to make into a t-shirt!

  5. joelle October 1, 2014 at 7:09 am #

    this is an interesting topic! the way i try (with emphasis on try, as i don’t always succeed!) to deal with it is to see those makes as a learning process. maybe i learned a new technique, how to handle a difficult fabric, or simply tested a new kind of garment. anyways, i try to put more weight in the pleasure i had making the item than in the resulting object.

    • Caroline Amanda October 1, 2014 at 10:21 am #

      That’s an excellent way of looking at it. It’s about the process, not the final result. I like that way for thinking!

    • PepperReed October 1, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

      I think it’s a great idea to recycle your garments! I like the idea that I can take a bit from a garment that represented a space in my life, or snag bit of beloved fabric and repurpose that into a skirt or tank-top, facing or pocket lining, with much better skill that before (I hope!). You’ll make a new favorite much more special when you’re carrying your history with you, in all it’s fumbling glory. :^)

  6. Splintersnstitches October 1, 2014 at 7:10 am #

    I think of it like this, I can donate my clothes to Goodwill (or whomever), and someone else will enjoy them. Maybe it will become a favorite shirt, maybe a dress that I couldn’t quite fit into will be the perfect thing for wearing to a friend’s wedding, etc. Delusional? Probably, but it makes it easier. After all, I found my mother the perfect MOB dress at Goodwill and found my junior prom dress at a thrift store–it can happen. :-)

    • Caroline Amanda October 1, 2014 at 10:22 am #

      I don’t think that’s delusional! I’ve picked up items from the thrift shop that are clearly hand sewn, and I’ve worn them to bits! If it’s wearable, I totally think donation is the way to go.

    • PepperReed October 1, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

      <3 this!! I've found some pretty amazing (vintage and home-made) things at thrift and I always wonder about the previous owners life and why they made the garment. I do that with old patterns too, especially the ones with the old address labels.

  7. debbie October 1, 2014 at 7:27 am #

    Im pretty ruthless with my unworn stuff. I refashion them, reuse all the fabric. I’ve been on a bit of a re fashioning bender recently with the change of season.

    • Caroline Amanda October 1, 2014 at 10:25 am #

      I’ve never been a big refashioner but I’ve been meaning to give it a go. In fact I have a pile in my sewing room of potential refashions. I just find it tough to get motivated to do that when I have a pile of shiny new fabric waiting to be cut!

  8. maggie October 1, 2014 at 7:58 am #

    I may let them sit in my closet for a bit to mull over how i feel about them. But if something doesnt get worn by me in 6 months, i know it’s time for it to go. If I think it’s wearable by someone (other than me!) then I will donate it. If the problem is it’s poorly made, then I keep it for fabric scraps. If it’s really just all around bad. I cut it up into smaller pieces and add it to my pile of fabric scraps that I will periodically turn into giant heavy floor pillows.

    • Caroline Amanda October 1, 2014 at 10:26 am #

      I like the 6 month test. Do you use your fabric scraps to stuff the large floor pillows? That’s a great idea.

      • LSV October 1, 2014 at 7:18 pm #

        I use my scraps for big, comfy dog pillows!

      • maggie October 5, 2014 at 9:44 am #

        Yup I use the fabric scraps for stuffing. It makes a super dense, heavy pillow. I try to cut the scraps small, or it can get pretty lumpy, and I wrap the inner form with something smoother/fluffier (batting, polar fleece, worn out towels or blankets) to smooth it out a bit before the final covering layer.

  9. Giselle October 1, 2014 at 7:59 am #

    I find that the longer I own those unworn items the easier it gets to get rid. They offend me more and more when I look at them. Plus I am replacing them with newer garments where I used the lessons I learnt from those earlier items not panning out. Those newer ones give me a lot more pleasure.
    I do become very aware how much I learnt since I made something when I look at it. Once I can give it away (charity shops most times) I do feel freer and lighter. Which means that I can give more away much more easily.

    It still hurts though because I also remember my pride at the time when I completed a garment. I have taken photos to remember those experiences by and then given the physical garment away. That seems to work pretty well for me. I won’t wear them ever anyway so it is good to get the space back.

    • Caroline Amanda October 1, 2014 at 10:32 am #

      I love the idea of taking photos!

    • PepperReed October 1, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

      That’s a great idea! It never hurts to play Dress Up! ;^)

  10. Melissa October 1, 2014 at 8:02 am #

    If I cannot refashion and/or give it away to a friend, I will donate it. I think if the fabrics are easy to care for, a good place to donate is to a women’s shelter.

  11. Trish October 1, 2014 at 8:28 am #

    Refashion!!

  12. Erin October 1, 2014 at 8:44 am #

    I have a closet in another room where I accumulate stuff I’m not wearing until I have a pile large enough to donate. I very rarely miss those items which proves to me that when I finally get them out of the house I really won’t miss them. Before I donate, first dibs go to my sister/mom. I feel good about making more room for things I can sew that I’ll wear. Onward and upward!

  13. Morgan October 1, 2014 at 8:49 am #

    I harvest everything reusable: buttons, zippers, elastic, large pieces of fabric. I get rid of the rest. Its guilt and baggage for me. The only unworn thing I’ve kept is the very first thing I sewed, two years ago. It’s how I remind myself how far I’ve come :)

    But I do have to amend my statement. It sometimes takes up to a year before I’m ready to get rid of the unworn makes. And I can’t get rid of them until I know why they don’t work, and how to replace them with something that does. So I usually pair the purge with wardrobe planning/architecting, so that there is something creative offsetting the destructive.

    • Caroline Amanda October 1, 2014 at 10:35 am #

      Oh yes I love the idea of pairing the purge with planning! Planning is my favorite part, so doing it in conjunction with evaluating unworn items will help me to not make the same mistake twice! Great idea.

  14. Hanna October 1, 2014 at 8:51 am #

    I always try to fix whatever is wrong with the garment in the first place. The fit, the length can be altered. Or, if it’s just not my style, but still looks great, I try to find a new home for it among my friends.

  15. Kelly October 1, 2014 at 8:54 am #

    I’ve been trying to get rid of stuff recently and reading a book called ‘clutter busting’, recommended to me by another sewist on Twitter. This is exactly what the basic premise of the book is – it’s hard to let go of the emotional attachment to stuff, whether it’s an item of clothing you used to wear loads 10 years ago but don’t any more, but still hold on to because you remember loving it, or something that was a present from someone and so you feel guilty getting rid of it even though you don’t like it. I guess the same applies to clothes you’ve poured your heart into when making. What the author of the book focuses on is the stress you feel when you see those things sitting around not being used, and it’s much better to let go of the attachment and get rid of the item, and then avoid the stress/sadness you feel every time you see it! I recently gave one t-shirt I made and was never happy with the fit of to a friend, who I think it will suit better than me.

    • Tasia October 1, 2014 at 9:31 am #

      Very interesting! I have this sort of issue, the emotional attachment to clothing. Perhaps that’s why I do what I do, I feel like clothing is more than just functional! :) I force myself to be ruthless when cleaning house, so I don’t indulge my pack-rat tendencies.
      Thanks for the book recommendation, I’m very interested in reading more.

  16. Chris October 1, 2014 at 9:14 am #

    I like to put them in a pile in my sewing room to either be made into scraps, other garments, or merely have useful things taken out. I mean, that 22″ invisible zip is actually fine, its the REST of the dress that doesn’t work. So I chuck the dress and keep the zipper. I’ve made a BUNCH of underwear from knit projects that didn’t look good. I have several tops from what were unflattering dresses.
    Granted, several of these aged over a year in the closet.
    I use the “turn around” system for my hangers. Periodically, I turn all the hangers backwards. Then when the garment is worn, I put it back the right way in. If something stays backwards for too long, its not getting worn and therefore I need to make a command decision.
    All of that aside, I have a single box of things that I keep because I want to fit into them again, or I just LOVE them and won’t let them go.

    • Tasia October 1, 2014 at 9:28 am #

      I’d not recommend reusing invisible zippers, they tend to lose strength after being ripped out and re-sewn. Just my two cents! I also will toss a zipper if I sewed over the teeth while inserting it, because it’s not worth it to wear a garment that might break. Although it may be different for you, I’m extra particular about my zippers!

    • Caroline Amanda October 1, 2014 at 10:45 am #

      That turn around hanger system sounds great! I think I’m going to try it. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Tasia October 1, 2014 at 9:26 am #

    Great comments! Lots of interesting thoughts on why we have a hard time letting go of the things we’ve made and how to do it. If I’m not in love from the very beginning I’ll often keep it here at the office and not rush to take it home. That’s a sign, if I am not in a hurry to get it into my closet then it probably wasn’t a huge success.

    I like the idea of taking a photo and then being able to let it go. Then there’s a record of the project and the learning experience, but I don’t need to keep it to wear forever.
    I also like the idea of thinking of each project as an opportunity to learn, you win some, you lose some! That’s a great way to not dwell on our not-so-great projects.

    I’ve cut up some worn-out garments for quilting scraps, because I think that would be a cool way to use up the fabric for a good purpose. There will be little squares to represent different sewing projects, as a way of holding on! Although I haven’t had the time to actually make this scrap-clothing quilt yet.

    And of course I keep every sample I’ve made for pattern development, as a record of my work and also for doing presentations. I count that as separate from my wardrobe although it is starting to grow and become a lot to store. One day perhaps I’ll have a sample sale and clean house!

    Time for me to do a good closet-cleaning after reading this! :)

  18. Melissa October 1, 2014 at 9:50 am #

    I’m just getting back into sewing, so thankfully I haven’t had the need to give anything away yet. However, my sweater collection is taking over my life. Many of them are things I designed for magazines and are in colors I won’t wear or they don’t really fit me. I guess in this case, I rationalize keeping them by labeling them as “design samples”.

    However, if I do ever feel the need to purge, I would start with family and friends. Then I might purge some of the better stuff on Etsy. At least then I feel my makes have gone to a new home and if Etsy is the case, I’ve made some money to spend on new makes.

  19. Burke October 1, 2014 at 9:51 am #

    I look through my closet every few months (I also keep UFOs in there) and remove things I know I won’t finish or that I’ll never wear. I donate them to a local textile recycling ministry. But I also make a habit of reviewing my sewing notebook where I list each project with notes plus the date it was finished. I tally total makes, UFOS and items that don’t get regular wear to look for patterns. I did this for 2013 as well to see if I was actually wearing what I was sewing. Then I made a list of makes from 2013 that I’ve worn into 2014, again to look for patterns. I’ve found that it’s rare that I’ll finish a TNT pattern and not wear it. By reviewing my makes against everyday wear, it’s easier to choose the next project.

    • Caroline Amanda October 1, 2014 at 10:50 am #

      I love how analytical you are with your sewing! What a great idea, to keep track of everything and use that as a tool to choose what to sew next. Maybe someday I’ll be organized enough to do this!
      Also, wish we have a textile recycling ministry here in Vancouver!

  20. Ana Sullivan October 1, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    I give these unworns to my mom. She has become smaller than me in her older age and she is great at altering. It was great to see her wearing one of my dresses the other day! She is also a great one to give my “incompletes” to.

  21. Mae October 1, 2014 at 10:35 am #

    Caroline, what exciting news about the shop!!! Happy to have a place to get those wonderful fabrics you and Tasia use on this website!!!

    It’s tough to throw away my handmades, especially ones that I spent a lot of time on. Case in point I spent a ton of time matching up fabric on a geometric print, only to try on the top and frankly I will never wear it. But I don’t want to feel I wasted a day matching prints, so I put it aside and hope I can harvest the fabric for a tiny project or somehow!

    • Caroline Amanda October 1, 2014 at 10:51 am #

      Thank you Mae!
      Yes, I think the toughest ones to get rid of are the ones we spend a ton of time on. So heartbreaking!

  22. Hélène October 1, 2014 at 10:40 am #

    In the attic, we have a treasure box full of clothing stuff for Halloween and party costumes. Some of my worst makes end up there. The good ones (but not good enough for me to wear) take a ride to the charity store.

  23. wundermary October 1, 2014 at 10:44 am #

    Oooh, I have a hard time getting rid of so many things! (not just clothes) Fortunately, I also enjoy the liberation of letting go. When I gather so much stuff that my (insert room here) becomes cluttered, it makes me feel stressed. So, I purge. I am am breaking for lunch on a sewing/craft room purge today; so your topic is timely.

    When it comes to me-made, and clothing in general, I tend to hold on and on and on… So, I’ve developed some strategies. If it just won’t fit, and never will, I:

    A. Assess the fabric. Can/will I use it for something else? If yes, it goes into a fabric bin. If no:
    B. Will a friend love/wear it? If no:
    C. It goes to Goodwill.

    I used to do yardsales. But, now I simply tell myself that were through, and break up:) it clears space for new creative energy to flow in!

    • Caroline Amanda October 1, 2014 at 10:53 am #

      lol I love the “breaking up” analogy. So true, it does feel like letting go of a dear love. Love your assessment strategy though. Good luck with the purge!

  24. Violeta October 1, 2014 at 10:45 am #

    As some of you above have mentioned already, I usually donate them to a charity that give the clothes to women who need clothes. I usually use fabrics that were given to me, etc., (and the ones I don’t like the colors, etc.) to make a test garment, and I often don’t wear these test garment because I usually need some adjustments. But since I use good enough fabrics, I am hoping that some people who need them can use them. This has worked for a long time.

  25. Eva October 1, 2014 at 10:58 am #

    I only have a few items that I don’t wear, from when I just started sewing, and didn’t know what I was doing so they are kind of falling apart. Later I drafted a good fitting sloper and draft variations myself I usually don’t have things that don’t fit anymore.

    The first fails I put in a box and my cat sleeps in/on them. And he loves it!

  26. Kristin Lion October 1, 2014 at 11:00 am #

    yes!! It is so hard to get rid of them! This is why I started my blog. I’m not looking for readers, its more just for me because then I can take pictures and post my projects so I can remember them. (I tried to keep a journal but pages were just all over my house, recycled, etc.)
    So I would suggest:
    1. take a picture
    2. if it is really nice and was a lot of work try to sell it (i secretly love when sewing bloggers sell their handmade stuff-it doesn’t happen often-but I snap it up because its cool to have something made by a sewing celebrity and I can often learn some finishing or construction tricks too! also I’m a shopaholic)
    3. donate to goodwill
    4. cut it up and turn it into something else

  27. Jeannie Watt October 1, 2014 at 11:09 am #

    Excellent topic! Despite my tendency to get emotionally attached to clothing, I usually get rid of home-sewn stuff that doesn’t work. Otherwise, the clothing sits in my closet and mocks me. I either donate it or, like Morgan, harvest the zippers and buttons, toss what’s left and move on. Once upon a time I tried to save things, but usually ended up wasting so much sewing time trying to save the unsaveable, that I rarely do that anymore. The stash is too large to stall out on one project.

    • Tasia October 1, 2014 at 11:17 am #

      I agree with this completely – “The stash is too large to stall out on one project.” Oh yes! Love it or lose it, and get back to sewing! I am going to remember this statement next time I do a big cleanout. :)

  28. Lynn October 1, 2014 at 11:16 am #

    I think one of the keys is not just to get rid of the stuff you don’t like, but to make sure you understand why. Put it on, ask why you do not wear it. Ugly color on you? Weird fit? Impractical for your life? Then ask if it can be fixed.. If not, ask what you would do with a ready made and the just do it. Over thinking and regret won’t fix the problems with the clothes. Give your self the gift of forgiveness — guilt or regret over inanimate objects only weighs you down.

  29. Natasha October 1, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

    I was just thinking about the exact same thing last night! My closet is jammed packed…and the biggest reason is that I can’t bear to part with the things I’ve made…which is a huge portion of my clothes…so last night I decided that I was going to box the unworns away in a box that is filled with crafts I made as a child..it will be my Me Made box! haha

  30. Jenny October 1, 2014 at 12:28 pm #

    I find it hard to let them go too. What I have been trying to do is find them new homes with friends. Seeing someone else wear them with pride is a helluvalot easier than dropping them off at a thrift store.

  31. Sabrina October 1, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

    I have learned to let go. In the interm it allows me to sew more and that makes me really particular about what I am sewing. I always think of those who are on hard time and just want something new so I pass them on. I have purged two, yes TWO lawn bags full of RTW and sewn clothes and now I am sewing all new items. I promised myself to sew more in 2015 and I am doing so. I missed it so much so it nice to return to doing so.

  32. Ash October 1, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

    Ditto to those that suggested a clothing swap! It’s tough to let items go, but I have contributed a few that I’ve sewn and just weren’t “me”/shrunk due to not prewashing/didn’t fit properly… and I can say there’s nothing cooler than seeing a friend pick it out of a pile and get SOOOO excited at the prospect of wearing something handmade! :)

  33. Mary Roberts October 1, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

    Ive been sewing for myself for over 50 years and as you can imagine there have been lots of ‘I can’t believe I ever thought that would look good’ and a myriad of other sewing disasters. I’ve learned to approach purging in a variety of ways. If it looks good and could be worn I donate it–most of my friends are different seasons than I so winter colours don’t work fo them. If I love the fabric I reuse it in a quilt. After many moves and house changes I have only kept 5 garments. My confirmation dress, my 21st birthday dress, the dress I wore on the first date with my husband, my wedding dress and a dress that has become the prototype for all my favourite summer dresses. The rest I took pictures of and passed on or recycled. It takes practice. It’s not easy at first but does become so with time.

  34. Andrea Firth October 1, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

    I had quite an extensive wardrobe of handmande suits from when I had a 9 to 5 desk job, none of which fitted me anymore. I took the ones that I could bear to part with to a clothes swap (I wonder if they found new homes?), but couldn’t really find anything to swap them for. I picked up some kids clothes and a few pairs of jeans, but haven’t worn the jeans at all! Time for some refashioning?

  35. Debbie October 1, 2014 at 4:19 pm #

    I have no mercy when it comes to me mades that are unworn. If I’m not wearing it there has to be a reason and keeping it isn’t going to change anything. I will even toss in progress garments if I’m not liking it for some reason. Like I said I have no mercy!

  36. Carrie Ann October 1, 2014 at 4:28 pm #

    Congratulations on your store. My only suggestion is: more floral fabrics, please! It’s so hard to find trendy florals.

  37. Kara October 1, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

    I’ve definitely had this problem! The easiest time I had with it was with the dress I gave a friend. It came out just not looking right on me, but it looked great on her! It was so easy for me to give it to her with good wishes.

    Donating unworn me-mades is much harder! But I just do it, and I’m happier not having to see it, in the end.

  38. Sara October 1, 2014 at 5:52 pm #

    I have a hard time getting rid of them because I think that if I ever make that pattern again, it will be useful to have a previous make on hand to try on so I will know exactly what fit adjustments to make.

  39. Charlene October 1, 2014 at 6:33 pm #

    As for me I either recycle the fabric/buttons/zip: technically dismantle them
    OR give them to my friends
    OR keep them
    OR customise them to wear anew
    OR try to sell them :)

  40. Angela October 1, 2014 at 6:39 pm #

    I think because I made them and I know their origins so to speak (cloth, pattern), I try to figure out what it is I don’t like about them and fix it if I can. It doesn’t bother me to cut them apart and try again, or even cut them apart and reuse the fabric in something else. Or if I no longer even like the fabric, I will send it to the thrift store, where hopefully someone else will like it. With sewing I guess I think I will just make something else I like better. Now if it is one of the smocked dresses I made my daughter when she was younger, I’m NEVER getting rid of those:)

  41. Allynara October 1, 2014 at 9:38 pm #

    I do 3 things with selfmade clothes that don’t get worn:

    – If there ar some supplies I can save that I know I need (fabric, zipper,…) I’ll take it down stitch by stitch

    – mostly I ask my sister if she likes them and wants them. We’re about the same build, wich is convenient.

    – If the two above aren’t an option, I’ll give them away. It’s better than throwing them away and perhaps they get worn by somebody else.

  42. Francesca October 2, 2014 at 12:35 am #

    I try to remake them – I remade an unworn quilting cotton dress (from my beginning sewing days when I fell into the pretty print trap and picked a gathered skirt and puffed sleeve pattern – ergh!) into a blouse. I’m doing that with the other two from the same period as it worked beautifully. The trick was to find a fitted shell like pattern as that fabric is too thick to wear tucked in or out without a built in shape. mostly sleeveless or extended shoulders as it’s too hot to have sleeves in this cotton for our summers! One dress where I also had leftovers is getting made into a 3/4 sleeve blouse which will be worn as we move into autumn. Luckily, they all had full skirts so I have what to play with:)

  43. Dee October 2, 2014 at 1:43 am #

    The way I have learned to handle this challenge is to treat my sewing like the creative outlet it is. If I were a painter I would not expect every canvas I painted to be perfect for my walls, likewise I do not expect every garment to be perfect for me.. Once I began thinking this way I have enjoyed sewing much more.

  44. Zete October 2, 2014 at 2:56 am #

    it there’s a fit problem only, i try to find a person that the garment would fit.

    But there are some pieces that have other problems that makes them uncomfortable, so i usually try to think of a plan how to make them wearable, or what would i be able to do with themif I took them apart.

  45. Imogheena Farandel October 3, 2014 at 12:57 am #

    Eventually, when I finally can admit it just isn’t working, (varies per garment!) most of those makes get taken to the op-shop.
    A few I refashion, which can turn them into something I DO wear. Doesn’t always work though, then I’m annoyed with myself for spending more time on something that isn’t working for me!
    And the ones that have an extra-special meaning for me, I just store in Special Things box.

    I also keep a record in the back of my sewing visual diaries of all the clothes I’ve made, and how they worked for me, or not, and most importantly, why. It’s really helped minimise sewing things that don’t work. It’s also helped me identify what sewing skills I would like to have but don’t have, helping me focus my learning on those.

    I find getting just the right style of clothing is the hardest thing to pin down. I’ve found this site is helping enormously to be more confident of what is likely to work or not. http://into-mind.com/
    (I used the wardrobe architect too but I found this site helped me more).

    There are some great suggestions in the comments on this post! I’m taking notes for the next time I inevitably sew something that sits around collecting dust.

    And congratulations on your new store :-)

  46. SJA October 3, 2014 at 10:18 pm #

    Great topic! If I’m not going to wear the item, but think it’s wearable, I will donate it to charity stores. If I don’t think it’s wearable, I will salvage the material and re-use it. Often I will have lined a dress and the lining can be re-used in a skirt or something like that.

  47. Sara October 4, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

    For me, I find that if I really love the fabric, I have a harder time getting rid of it, but if the fabric is kinda “meh” and that’s part of why I don’t wear it, I don’t have any problem tossing it into the donation bag. I’m also finding though, that usually things I don’t like to wear I don’t like BECAUSE the fabric is cheap, not necessarily because of the fit or the sewing (which, let’s be fair, I’m a very slapdash sewist), so my solution is to no longer buy those cheap fabrics, and I finally (slightly painfully) emptied my stash a wee bit and took some of those fabrics to donate. I just know that if I spend the time sewing them, it’ll be a waste, because I won’t wear them! But I do have an Anna dress that’s just not well sewn—all off grain, too large, and just not very flattering—but I’m obsessed with the fabric so I can’t bear to get rid of it. I figure once I have enough beautiful things in equally beautiful fabrics to replace it with, I’ll have no problem cutting it up to be made into undies (my new solution!). Until then, it’s still hanging.

  48. Melissa O. October 6, 2014 at 8:50 am #

    Most of my unworns are so because I made some dumb sewing mistake that threw the whole piece off. Luckily, most of the time the piece is still salvageable so I have a box where it sits along w/ others like it until I feel inspired. As of late though, I’ve just been too lazy to figure out how to salvage them all because in all likelihood they can’t still be what I intended them to be. (Yes, sometimes my mistakes are just that bad. LOL!) Case in point, my 1st Lady Skater dress. It was my 1st (& so far ONLY) experience with clear elastic or knits. It did not go well. If I can fix the waist seam so it’s not so scratchy & bulky I think I can gift it to a slightly longer waisted & accepting friend, but for now it sits because to fix it to fit me would require ripping out EVERY seam. So. NOT. Happening. The other option is to cut off the bodice & just turn it into a skirt. I’m pretty sure I have enough fabric left to make a nice waistband for it, so that’s likely what I’ll do. I’m still a beginner & I have to make adjustments to EVERY pattern because I’m short legged, short waisted, have rounded shoulders, & my “girls” are ginormous. It’s a tedious process, so I buy my fabric on clearance a lot & use it to test patterns I haven’t quite perfected yet. I’m getting better, slowly but surely.

  49. Annie J October 11, 2014 at 3:35 pm #

    My mother was very strict that sewing had to be of such high standards that the fabric had to be really very high quality as well. That meant that I either pay a lot, or really score a deal. So I am very reluctant to give up my handmade clothes. I have usually made a muslin, or toile, and it doesn’t have too many mistakes. Rushing into making garments is a great mistake, my mother and her mother adored clothes but dealt with limited money, the Depression and then clothing rationing during the Second World War, take more time and care, and have fewer problem children to abandon, cut up and make into dog beds. You will also look better. The worst thing my mother could say was that someone was wearing a garment that looked like it had been made with a knife and fork. I alter almost everything I buy, even skinny jeans, and T shirts and everything looks better on me when I am finished. I wear clothes that are 20 years old with new clothes. We sew to dress ourselves better and for the sheer joy of sewing. Don’t have clothes hanging in your closet unworn, it breaks my heart.