Wearing what I sew: revisited

Tuesday, 17 June 2008
When I did all those posts last month documenting what I wore to work each day, I admitted that I deliberately chose to wear clothes I had made, which resulted in me having a 85% rate of made clothes to RTW clothes worn. To test it out, I picked another random week (two weeks ago actually, I’m a bit slow at posting at the moment), to see how I really would go.

Well here’s the results:

Monday I wore a black RTW pants suit, with a shirt I made from my block pattern in a black stretch cotton, with fine silver and grey stripes. I quite like it because it has a great fit and I like the colours, but one of my (male) colleagues remarked that I looked like a gangster. Good thing I decided to leave the fedora and black/white wing shoes at home that day!

Tuesday I wore a navy blue RTW skirt suit, with a shirt I refashioned from a new man’s shirt. I bought this lovely 100% cotton shirt in a light blue with white and narrow dark blue stripes from a menswear store that was selling them extremely cheaply (much cheaper than womenswear even though a woman’s shirt has at least 30 – 40% less fabric). I took it apart at the seams, cut out new pieces from my shirt block pattern, cutting the front out so as to keep the centre front band as is so I wouldn’t have to re-do the buttons and buttonholes. It came together very quickly and again fits really well because I used the block pattern. Here is a photo taken at home because I forgot to do one at work earlier that day.

Wednesday I wore a sleeveless black wool dress made in the Vogue 8280 knock off of the Roland Mouret ‘galaxy’ dress which I made quite some time ago, over a pink shirt that I had made in Bangkok earlier this year when I was there. This photo is taken in front of my office building, which is one of the earliest buildings in Sydney and is a beautiful sandstone building. My wonderful photographer is a colleague Ann, who has a very interesting photo blog of Sydney if you’re interested in seeing Sydney from a different perspective.

Thursday I wore the Burda WoF skirt suit I posted about previously, with a RTW boatneck knit top in a pale pink. (This is the previous photo I took of the outfit, I didn’t retake one for this outfit).

Friday I wore a grey pinstripe RTW pants suit, with a white cotton tuxedo shirt I refashioned from one of my husband’s old shirts. Because he grew up in rural NSW, he went to a lot of B&S balls (country dances where single men and women go to get very drunk) when he was a young fella, and he had this tuxedo shirt that his gran had customized by sewing tartan sleeves on! Since he no longer wore it, I appropriated it and replaced the tartan sleeves and tuxedo collar with a standard collar using another of his white business shirts that he no longer wore, took it apart and cut it out again using my block pattern and again keeping the front intact so I wouldn’t have to redo the buttons and button holes.

So from 15 garments worn to work that week, I had made/refashioned 6, a paltry 40%!! Oh dear, that’s pretty bad, but at least a day doesn’t usually go by without me having worn at least one thing that I had made. And this week is proof that a TNT pattern, or in my case the block pattern I created after the pattern making course I did, is worth it’s weight in gold!


  1. What a clever idea to cut up a RTW man's shirt! I would do that but I rarely wear shirts. I only have 2 and they are both in need of an iron. I am a non ironing girl and knits win hands down. You look very professional in yours!

  2. That is such a great idea to cut up a rtw shirt!! Everything looks great on you.

  3. Kristy how very clever of you! I have similiar type re-makes from dresses that are sizes too large. I once made a skirt and short jacket out of a womens coat for one of my daughters when she was quite young. I especially like that you used the buttons/button holes that were already there! Nice!
    Great job! J Cogdill

  4. Is a "block pattern" what we Americans call a sloaper?

  5. Kristy your refashioning looks great. My husband has a tuxedo shirt with purple floral sleeves and back that he wore to our wedding (under a very nice suit thank goodness). He also went to a lot of B&S balls, it must have been the right thing to wear for drinking!

  6. If I only I could get to 4o%! In college it was probably 90% homemade or thrifted because I rarely could afford new stuff. But now the things I used to make just don't fit into my everyday wardrobe anymore, which of course I need to change. At least today I'm at 50% because of my skirt, made over 10 years ago!

  7. Love the gangsta shirt! I really wouldn't have thought of that until you mentioned - it's a brilliant cut. The few shirts that I've attempted have been in basic cottons and I think they really need the stretch component in them for the better fit. Just another thing on my never-ending To Do list.

    Love your work! Oh the galaxy dress... adding that to my list too.

    As for the tux-shirt - I'm surprised it lasted from all the wear and tear of a B&S!! Oh, the memories...

  8. Yes, but every day you DID wear something you made...and that is quite an accomplishment! I'm at about 90% during the summer and 85% during the winter...so you aren't doing bad!

    I am amazed at the refashioned shirts! What a great idea! Have you only done these or are there more?