Use It or Lose It

I recently revisited my closet organization as I do about four times a year and decided that I am no longer allowed to cart around all this fabric I’ve been carting around for the last 15 years. I can either make something with it, or freecycle it. So I’m going to go on a binge of making stuff, whether I know how or not.

I can’t sew. That is to say, compared to people who can sew, I can’t sew. I have a no-frills sewing machine and can make anything that is essentially a rectangle requiring nothing but straight seams and little to no gathers. I do not make buttons holes, insert zippers, line things or understand patterns.

But there is this dress I used to have that cost me about $200 from Banana Republic and I wore it until it was a rag and sadly told it goodbye a couple of years ago. I have always wanted it back. As I remembered, it was constructed on a very simple principle almost as easy as a rectangle. So last night I just laid out some muslin–of which I have been hoarding yards and yards since I overbought when I commissioned someone else to make some (muslin-) lined silk drapes for my old bedroom.

I laid it out and got my scissors and just started cutting. Then I got out the sewing machine and sewed those nearly straight seams. Then I put it on, pulled and pinned it into the shape I wanted and resewed the seams again. Then I put it in a vat of Easter egg dye (because that’s what I had) and left it over night.

This morning it was this:

┬áThe neck, arms and hemline are all rough cut and I think rather than giving them a shirttail hem like the dress had, I will trim them with something that I’ve been hoarding. Not sure yet what that will be.

And if this dress turns out well, I’m going to use it as a pattern for the same thing made out of that drapery silk (a dark ivory raw silk) with some interesting elements added from the embroidered silk (in autumn reds, browns, golds) my mother used to make the christening gown the girls were both baptized in. No idea where I’ll wear such a dress, but I’d rather drag it around than a crate full of fabric.

I’ll keep you posted on these projects as they go. I have a lot of trouble with the idea of wasting my material by screwing up a project, so I’m trying to remember that this fabric wasn’t going anywhere but in the closet anyway.


2 responses to “Use It or Lose It

  1. That’s lovely! As someone who was “taught to sew” by my mother and grandmother–two people who can/could turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse (WITH beading!) I need to find my fearlessness and try something like you did.

  2. I’m very impressed!

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