Self-Made, Beautiful and Unworn. What Happened?


The irony is obvious.  Time, effort, money and sewing skills was spent on these items; yet, they hang unworn.  What happened? Let’s break it down.

Prudence Blouse

With a name like Prudence Blouse, this Hot Patterns item had everything going for it visually, but the allure of the pattern illustration did me in. An easy fit with deep pleats, a yoke and tie combined with my long treasured, creamy soft, embroidered rayon called for a lovely tunic. But the results were so unsatisfactory that the top hangs in my closet sadly, ready for a recycle (I abhor throwing away great fabric).

What happened? a) The pleats don’t hang as they should  (the picture shows them perfectly straight, but on me they spread out); beware of a pattern where the pleats hang straight down the front. They will fan out over your womanly curves, rather than hang straight like they’re meant to. So shame on me for not analyzing it better;  b) the yoke and sleeves are both very loose, making me look like the quintessential bag lady (hint: make a muslin next time).

Solution: upcyle into a better garment.

Silk Dupioni Pants


My favorite pair of dressy pants have been hanging in the closet since 2003, made with a Vogue pattern by Adri and worn just ONCE. That one time, I ignored the slightly-less-than-good fit. Also, some weight fluctuations threw in a wrench. Did I say they’re silk duppioni? And that I underlined them with silk organza?

What happened: a) the pant hem is unflatteringly high for me (there’s only one inch hem turn up so I’ll have to get creative for lengthening it);  b) the side seam is kind of curved at the thigh level which becomes a fit issue.

Solution: take in the sides at thigh level, and open out the hem. Would a Fendi Illusion work at the pant hem?

More Pants

One of my recent makes is another pair of pants in a similar blue. This time a tried and true pattern Vogue 1411 was used. Except, I made it high waisted, thinking that the snug fit would fake the Spanx effect. Full disclosure: I did wear these pants several times but they’ve spent more time in the closet.

What happened: a) the fabric stretched with a few hours of wear and is wont to slide down instead of staying up high on the waist. It’s a great fabric but cannot be substituted for Spanx; b) because of the sliding situation, the flattering above-ankle length puddled below the ankle.

Solution: lower the elastic waist and maybe make the pants snugger on top. Oh, and hope for the best.

Pants again (well, jeans)

Ponte knit jeans with great shape; what’s not to like?

What happened? The waistband stretches a lot after a couple of hours of wear and slides down.

Solution: chop off the waistband and turn the jeans into a pull-up pant (keep the jeans detail such as the zipper intact).

Organza Jacket

Ah, time for one of my favorite items. One of those I’ll-rarely-wear-it-but-I’ll-make-it things, created in 2003 for an event.  Red silk organza was used and the pattern was included in the same Adri pattern as #2.  I stenciled some dark feathers at the jacket hem, used hem-stitching at the front, centerback seam, sleeve edges and added multiple rows of topstitching on the collar (per pattern). No fit issues.  The jacket was worn no more than 3 times by me and once by my friend Maria.

What happened: a) it was almost forgotten in the back of the closet; b) I rarely have the occasion to wear it. It’s as simple as that.

Solution: Move it to the front of the closet, accept more party invitations, or wear it to the grocery store.

Any other ideas for the fixes?  Watch this space……………




20 thoughts on “Self-Made, Beautiful and Unworn. What Happened?

  1. I have quite a few of those same garments. Made up and then never worn! Good thoughts on why they don’t work and what to do to make it work.


  2. You crack me up. I can’t imagine having as many pairs of pants as you. But, throughout beautiful workmanship.

    Sent from my iPhone



  3. Samina, all of your unwearable are beautiful! And, I love that you have presented a solution for most of them so that they will continue as wearables in your wardrobe. I am working on reworking a couple of pieces myself today.
    As to your Prudence blouse, I see a discrepancy between your make and the pattern illustration. In the illustration the front and back pleats are soft yet in your finished piece they are pressed to the hem. Would undressing them help? The fabric is yummy and I know this color is awesome on you.
    Can’t help with anything regarding the too large yoke and neckline though. They’d have to be reworked.
    The red organza is so you!


    1. Thanks, Annie! Even when unpressed, the pleats look awful. I think it’s the bad yoke that makes everything look bad. Maybe I’ll wear it again and look at it with new eyes. Probably won’t do any good 😦


  4. Definitely wear that silk jacket! Forget precious, pair it with jeans , dangly earings, bangles (fold or push cuffs up) use it for any old sortie. The white blouse on the stand doesn’t have the same proportions as the illustration, so, not your fault. It’s a common problem with pattern illustrations. It’s still a nice garment, but if it’s not flattering but you like the fabric, rip it down. A little change in the yoke and pleat arrangement could transform it.


  5. That white blouse; the pattern envelope sketch is misleading. (That’s why I prefer patterns that show a photograph of a model wearing the garment- not a sketch.) It shows the yoke ending much lower. Also, I hate gathers or pleats or tucks just above the bust, for exactly the reason you stated.

    BTW, I have a pair of red Dupioni silk pants that I bought and have never worn. We’ve all made poor choices.


    1. The pattern envelope illustration has brought me down a few times — I hope I’ve learned enough of a lesson. You are right – the pleats start from a bad place.
      Red dupioni pants sound so wonderful! I hope you get to wear them soon.


  6. I recently took about 8 unworn garments to Goodwill. Like your issue with the Prudence blouse, a few were garments where the pattern photo romanced me into thinking I would look like the model. But typically my issues have been fabrics that are just not suitable for my life. I’m drawn to beautiful dressy fabrics, but we don’t go out!


  7. If we are honest I think we all have garments we have spent considerable time and expense on that just don’t get worn. Sadly we can’t take them back when they don’t work out quite as we expected……


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