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Conversational Threads

Your wardrobe

starzoe | Posted in Gather For A Chat on

What percentage of your wardrobe have you made? Include sweaters/shoes/slippers/coats/accessories, everything. This should be interesting, looking forward to reading it all.


  1. rodezzy | | #1

    I crocheted hats and scarves for all of the coats I made last year.  That's it for this year, guess I got burned out sewing and crocheting coats last year. (giggle).

    2-7-08:  I forgot that I crocheted three vests and one sweater in December going through January I believe it was.  Sometimes I forget what I've done.  I believe I have some pics in the photo gallery.

    Edited 2/7/2008 10:58 am ET by rodezzy

  2. Langtonian | | #2

    Over the past year I've made a suit - slacks and jacket -, a 3/4 length winter jacket, a princess style dress, an embellished vest, couple of knitted vests and knitted mits and socks for my family.    I seem to have several things "on the go" at any given time.      Small projects like mits and socks are great to carry and work on in spare moments.

  3. Kips | | #3

    Not enough ! I'm just getting back into sewing my own clothing, been quilting for about 12 years now.

  4. Teaf5 | | #4

    Maybe about a quarter--down from nearly 100 per cent when I was young, poor, and had lots of time. Back then, I made everything except shoes, and not being able to make those frustrated me.Nowadays, career, family, sports, household, gardening and volunteer work limit my time, so I make sweaters, vests, scarves, jackets, hats,skirts, and blouses (and do decorator projects and RTW repairs/alterations) but buy jeans, slacks, tailored separates, and athletic wear. Oh, and I make dresses and tops for our daughter, boxer shorts for our son, and gifts for family and friends.

    1. starzoe | | #5

      Very impressive! I am just about in the same category, not much sewing for the family any more but most of the things in my closet(s) are made by me, I buy t-shirts if they fit, bargains when I find one (cashmere sweater reg $189, sale $38 because of stitching broken in the cuff, easily remedied). I do all my own curtains and a certain amount of upholstery and bedding and knit a lot for everyone.

    2. Stillsewing | | #6

      I must be selfish, I only make for myself. I do odd sorts of mending for husband and friends like replacing zips or as tonight adding a fleece lining to a collar on what I call a body warmer - I think you call it a vest (which is something I wear next my skin when the weather is very cold)I made some dresses and jackets for my late mother but having no children of my own lack the motivation to sew for others. Otherwise until some years ago I made everything I wore except perhaps footwear and underwear. I did at one stage make slips and nighties but lack of time put an end to that. Made some leather handbags and more lately some totes for general shopping. I even experimented with making hiking gear years ago when it was difficult to buy here. The shops generally only catered for men. I do know that since the age of eighteen - I'm now retired - I have had only two purchased overcoats - outside of furs and a sheepskin I have made the rest. Before that my mother made them! When it came to getting married I knew that I would have to make my outfit myself as I would not be able to buy what was in my mind's eye. I did and it turned out fine.Nowadays I generally make things that I want and is not available in the shops or if it is, it is too expensive!I have done some knitting - but hate it -- one stitch at a time -- not me. However I get over this by using knitted fabric to make sweaters and unstructured jackets. I also with great frustration managed to crochet a shawl, back in the early seventies when there was a craze for them. I put such blood, sweat and tears into that, that I kept it and still have it all these years later. So I guess I have tried to make most wearable items and really enjoy it (especially when the sleeves fit into the armhole!).

  5. fiberfan | | #7

    The following applies to winter clothes and a few year round items

    2/3 of my skirts, all of my dresses, 1/2 my shawls and coats are things I made.  I was suprised that I have no tops that I made.  I do have a couple of summer tops and several winter tops that are WIMS (works in mind).


    1. Kips | | #8

      I've sewn more for our historical camping (1770) than anything else lately. And living with Hubby and 3 boys, I sew alot of hunting clothes and accessories for them.

      1. damascusannie | | #11

        My personal sewing is all for historical costumes that I wear when demonstrating treadle and hand crank sewing machines. I used to sew a lot for myself, but I have a relatively short attention span when it comes to clothes, so I hate to spend a lot of time sewing garments that I'm going to tire of by next season. I do knit quite a lot for myself because sweaters are the exception--I'll wear a classic sweater for decades. Lots of hats, socks and mittens, too.

  6. suesew | | #9

    I'd guess 90% of what I have I made myself. I buy jeans and underwear. Maybe that's why it is so hard for me to let things go. We are downsizing and I am having a hard time doing that to the accumulation in my closet.

    1. cafms | | #10

      I am the same way.  I make everything for myself and for my family.  It is so hard to let my children's clothes go even though the youngest is now 25.  I also look at my scraps and remember the things I made for them. 

  7. scrubble4 | | #12


    "What percentage of your wardrobe have you made?"

    I haven't made everything from scratch, but almost all woven fabric items in my wardrobe have been altered or made by me.  When I don't have time for the whole outfit I go to upper end second hand shops to buy slacks or suits.  I always need to do some alterations for RTW items. 

    I also have lots of turtlenecks and I have not made any of these although I hope to get to them eventually. I haven't made any coats or jackets either.  So the percentage .. probably about 34 - 40.


  8. GailAnn | | #13

    What an interesting thread!  I seem to ecco many of you when I say that as a young woman with more disposable time than money I made 100% of my own clothes.  Children came along and I absolutely LOVED sewing baby clothes and for toddlers and young children.

    Children started wanting clothes "from the Mall" about the same time as I went to work full time.  So for 10 -15 years only Prom dresses and Easter dresses.

    Now I'm so happy to at long last find myself back at the beginning with more time and less money.  More and more I make my own clothes and knit my own sweaters and shawls.

    I soon hope to be back to 100%, less, of course, shoes, and bras. 

    I haven't worn stockings/pantihose in a long while and I used to buy them, even way "back in the day'............  Now I've learned how to knit socks, so maybe I, soon, won't even have to buy socks.  Gail

  9. Ocrafty1 | | #14

    I haven't made one thing for myself in over 5 yrs. I've made lots of repairs in DH's "bibs". I did make an heirloom Christening Gown for my newest niece last yr. Over 200 hrs. in that item. My sister-in-law has a fancy machine that does embroidery, (I hate her...just kidding...I'm jealous!), and she did the embroidery for me.  I've attached a couple of pix.  This was my first attempt at heirloom sewing and I loved it.

     When my daughters were home, I sewed all the time. I even made all of their formals and many for their friends. I was also Asst. Wardrobe Mistress for the Peru (IN) Amateru Circus for 4 yrs. I did some alterations and custom sewing for a while, but there were too many seamstresses in my area.  I have made quite a few wedding and bridesmaid gowns over the last 4 yrs., but not enough to really call it a business or go legit. 

    I recently learned that most of the reputable ladies who did the custom work near my location, have moved or retired, so I'm gonna try again.  I'm taking my photo album and a couple of the gowns I made for my daughters to a nearby craft show on Sat......Wish me luck!

    1. starzoe | | #15

      Beautiful gowns, congratulations. And good luck on your venture with sewing again. I have never quit sewing but now sew mainly for myself, been through the custom garment phase, the children phase, the quilt phase, the gifty phase, the grandchildren phase (well, now I am teaching them). I play with design, have taken courses, have taught design and now I mainly use it to play around with patterns for myself and never, never make a copy for someone else. Just finished a quicky t-shirt with gathers at the neck, moving darts, etc. Fits fine, looks good and now on to the next (?). U.

      1. MaryinColorado | | #17

        What are "moving darts"?  Mary

        1. starzoe | | #19

          Any dart can be moved to any location around the circumference of (say) a blouse. Not all of the locations are ideal, but a bust dart can be moved (1) to the waist (2) to make a French dart to angle up from the side front to the bust (3) into the armscye (4) to the shoulder (5) to any point on the neckline and (6) to the centre front. It can also be changed into a princess dart, coming both from the armscye and the waist....or even to the side seam if that is what you want for a design choice.I once took a course for six weeks and this one exercise was the one that I just love for its simplicity and for the wide variations. I don't care for bust darts on my body so I change the location.I just made a t-shirt. I noticed that a lot of the new ones have little gathers at the front neckline. My pattern had bust darts so I moved the bust dart to the side neckline and then spread the dart space into three parts and then redrafted the pattern. When sewing I gathered up the extra fabric which was at the neckline into a 4" curved gathering line. Looks great, fits really well because I still have the extra fabric which was the bust dart but it has been moved.Edit: I just went back to see what the context was for "moving darts" in my last posting. I should have been more clear by putting the word "by" before "moving". U.

          Edited 3/12/2008 12:26 pm ET by starzoe

          1. MaryinColorado | | #23

            This is very interesting, I love the concept!  Thanks for taking the time to explain it, this is definitely something I'd like to explore further.  Why don't you submit an article to Threads and see if they publish it?  I've been a subscriber for many years and haven't seen the specific techniques.  Mary

          2. starzoe | | #24

            It is one of the basics of dress design, or re-design, quite simple. Rotating darts. If you are interested I can email you a 4" sloper showing the steps.

          3. Ocrafty1 | | #25

            Me too, please.  I think I know the technique, but could always use a refresher.

          4. MaryinColorado | | #26

            Ooooh!  I would love that if it's not too much trouble!  Thanks so much!  This would really help I think as I have a small chest/shoulders but larger bust and cup size. Mary

          5. Digi | | #28

            Me too, I would love to have a 4" sloper showing the steps.  That sounds great.  Please let me know the cost and postage ...unless, of course, it is one of those things that can be copied from the Internet.

            Thanks so much.


    2. MaryinColorado | | #16

      What a lovely Christening gown to treasure!  You did a beautiful job.  It sounds as if you just might have found your niche!  Good luck this week end!  Mary

      1. Ocrafty1 | | #27

        Just got back from my first craft show. It probably was my last. I had one other vendor come to me and ask if I would consider sewing for her. She is very young and has a new line of purses and diaper bags that she is selling, some on the internet. They are made of squares of cotton, sewn together like a quilt, but not quilted. The workmanship was nothing I'd recommend. She charges $40/bag. She told me she'd pay me 7.50/hr. I declined her offer. Around here good seamstresses get at least $10/hr., & I don't want to be associated with a 'designer' who sells shoddy work.

        I had 4-5 people take my cards....they want alterations, and another vendor wants me to make her some lingerie. It was one of the most boring days of my life. I bet we didn't have 50 people there all day. It was a small craft show, and the weather didn't cooperate at all...cold and rainy. It really was a bummer.

        I think I'll do better by putting up flyers in several churches and asking at the local HS if I can put some up there.  It wasn't a totally wasted day...but it was close. LOL  I WILL make a go of this ...if it kills me!

        Think I'll start on some dresses for the granddaughters. I'm going to see them tomorrow and will take new measurements...they grow so quickly.


    3. rodezzy | | #20

      Only word I can think of.......beautiful.

    4. Palady | | #21

      Your first attempt at heirloom sewing reflects your talent very well.

      The family knows about acid free tissue for storing as well as the other fine points in keeping treasures right?

      :-) 's


      1. Ocrafty1 | | #22

        Thanks for the compliment.  I was pretty meticulous when I made it...have been wanting to do one for quite some time, but needed the excuse.

        I hand washed and pressed the gown after the Christening;  then took it to a great cleaners to have it put in a box, like a wedding gown.  It will probably be several yrs. before its used again. I'm the eldest of 7, and this was the first child of one of my brothers; he's number 6, and the last of us to start a family. My daughters have completed theirs already. I have 7 grandchildren, so far.

    5. Josefly | | #29

      What a beautiful christening gown!So sorry your craft show didn't work out the way you wanted. Have you thought of showing your work at fabric stores - they might post your business card and refer customers to you.

      1. Ocrafty1 | | #30

        Great idea. Thanks!. We have two fabric stores nearby, JoAnne and Hobby Lobby.  I'll try contacting them.


  10. ellaluna | | #18

    sewn or knitted for myself. Is that strange? I think maybe part of it is that I insist on professing that "I don't like to sew" because I love patterning, and cutting, and draping, but the actual sewing part leaves me cold, so the idea of sewing for pleasure is kind of strange to me.But that's incongruous with my chosen profession, so here I am, learning more. There was an article -- I think on fabric selection -- in which the author said that sewing is a tactile, sensual experience (clearly I am paraphrasing) and that has made me reconsider my professed hatred of sewing.So I'm here, hoping to learn, and have wild-eyed plans of making my own jeans (patterning them after my favorite paint-spattered, torn pair) after being inspired by this magazine!km

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