Tuesday, August 24, 2010
As many people have speculated based on my sewing output (keep in mind that I don't buy RTW, so what you see is what I get), I have a very full closet. I like to delude myself into thinking that I have a normal amount of clothes, but then I visit friends and even the fashionable ones seem to have fewer pieces than I do. Clearly I need to make some more clothes-horsey friends. However, I am good about purging unworn pieces from the closet on a regular basis. I really do wear (almost) everything in there.
I used to have a hard time getting rid of clothes I had sewn. I think we all have a primitive instinct to preserve pieces of ourselves, and an item I've made with my own hands seem like a piece of myself. However, my discovery of Pattern Review in 2006 and blogging in 2007 means I have photos and recollections of most of the things I make and that is enough to satisfy me. I do fret a bit that my custom clothes are probably thrown away/recycled by the good people at Goodwill because they don't have size tags and the perception that homemade=low quality, but once I part with them I must relinquish control over their anthropomorphic fates (in the other direction madness lies).
I don't have a car but do car share with a neighbor: in exchange for parking in the parking space that I purchased, he lets me drive once a month (or more often if I ask, but I don't usually need to). However, he got rid of his car in January and didn't get another one until this month so I had a MOUND of stuff to take to the Goodwill (exhibit A on the left--and that's before I cleaned out shoes and skirts).
I said goodbye to several old friends as shown in the photo at the top of the post, such as my Sherlock Holmes dress (the swayback problem was just too awful), my Tippi Hedren dress (ditto, and I hate the offset on the front stripe and the bagginess under the arms), and this Butterick 4792 retro dress (the front bodice/neckline is just awful on a small bust and there's no getting around it)...and many, many more.
Another old friend pre-dated my PR/blogging days. I made it for the 4th of July 2005--the contrast red band has little stars on it for the holiday. I love this little dress, classic Laura Ashley McCall 4444. However, the time had come to acknowledge that the print (it's fish and flowers) is too juvenile for my nearly 36 year old self and I was uncomfortable when wearing it as my belly pops the skirt out a little. To ease the pain of parting, I took some photos. Now it lives on and will hopefully be enjoyed by someone a little more age (and size) appropriate for it.
And now I have to acknowledge: the bad thing happened. Even though I cleared out at least 35 pounds of clothes and shoes, the closet was still full to bursting. My suits (I do own some, but wear them only under duress) were getting creased and wrinkled from being shoved together too tightly. So I bought a freestanding clothes rack and set it up outside the closet. Yes, the clothes are invading the living space. Well, not really--there is a little niche next to the closet that's not good for much. It's practically part of the closet.
I moved (most of) the in-season dresses to the rack and arranged them by color. I love to look at them. I made the mistake of counting them and I have--to engage in some spin--only a little over a month's worth. That's not too many, right?
What do you do with the clothes you've sewn when it's time to let them go?