the great wardrobe de-clutter

Saturday, 5 July 2008
Cleaning out one's wardrobe is something that should be done regularly, after all tastes change, body shapes change and us humans do have a tendency to acquire more and more things. I have a special reason to have a clean out: besides the fact that nothing more could fit in my wardrobe, nearly 75% of what I own no longer fits or shortly won't fit.

So I sorted my wardrobe into pregnancy and non-pregnancy friendly outfits, and at the same time managed to clean out three bags of clothes to take to the op-shop for them to continue their circle of life elsewhere. I also came across some clothes that I hadn't worn in quite some time, but were ripe for a re-fashion.

First up is a black and white pinstripe pants suit that I hadn't worn for a long time because it is starting to get shiny from wear in certain spots, but has a few more months life left in it. The jacket is a looser cut that will fit over my expanding belly with buttons un-done, so I decided to cut off the waistband in a lower v at the front, and replace it with a wide band made from a stretchy cotton knit that I can wear folded over under belly style, or pulled up if I'm wearing a shorter top.

And voila, I have a maternity pants suit that cost me nothing since I used stretch fabric from the stash, and in fact I salvaged the zipper and hook+eye from the pants, so I'm almost ahead!

Next along, I re-discovered this jacket I made over a year ago in a lovely wool/lycra mix fabric in black with a herringbone weave. I made it to wear with a dress I made from Vogue 8280 (the Roland Mouret galaxy dress knockoff), but the jacket turned out less than stellar so hasn't had much wear at all. The jacket is made from Vogue 8319, which in illustration is a lovely jacket, but mine turned out rather awkward, with the collar band sticking out and refusing to sit flat. I'm not on my own here, I read Shannon's frustration with the same issue on her version over on her blog.

Anyway, to fix it I moved the button positioning (I used snaps under a giant button) so that the collar band sat in a bit of a v-neck position at the front where they lapped over. This causes the neckline to sit flat against my chest, but the lower front panels jut open but since my belly will soon be poking out anyway I'm fine with that.

And I happened to have just enough of the same fabric left over to make a skirt, so I whipped one up from Vogue 2818, the maternity wardrobe pattern I made the dress from. This took me about an hour start to finish it's that simple, but it's also verrrrry fugly! It has a panel at the front which is designed to go over the belly, so it sits very high waisted, and for some reason there is heaps of width across the back, so the elastic waist gathers in an almost paperbag style. As far as I know I shouldn't develop a bump on my back as big as my front, so I don't see why so much room is required back there at the waist line.

But I did wear it to see if comfort would outweigh fugliness, because evenutally my belly will be so bif there will be no gathering at the waistline. However, I spent all day scrunching it down when I sat because it felt very uncomfortable across my waist, and pulling it up when I stood up to walk around. I now realise that over belly styles are not for me at all, so I cut a fair bit of the top of the skirt at both front and back, and replaced it with another wide waistband made from black stretch knit, again in a doubled over style. Much better!

And here it is, another maternity skirt suit that again cost me nothing except fabric from the stash and a bit of time to give new life to an existing garment.


  1. Wow I love that you are modifying your existing-but-not-worn-much clothing. Great idea and you look great!

  2. Excellent idea to re-work your existing clothes to work for your maternity wardrobe. Nice fix on that Vogue 8319 jacket - I wish I could make mine more wearable too.

  3. wow Kristy you are the McGyver of maternity clothes! Next thing you know you will be getting a nightgown and making it into a pregnant woman ballgown :O)

    Hold on let me get you a paperclip, just in case you need it for any other McGyver activities :O)

  4. Love how you are modifying your clothes!

  5. I am so enjoying you being pregnant! What wonderful ideas you have for changing up your wardrobe yet retaining your own style! Love the new refashions and can't wait to see the rest of the garments you make...cause I know you have something brewing!!!

  6. Your suits are brilliant! Just like Carolyn said, I'm really enjoying your pregnancy!

  7. My feelings are that once you have had a piece in your stash for at least one year, whatever you make out of it is made for free.
    The non-pregnancy dress (vogue) I almost bought that pattern too. Then changed my mind at the last minute. We have sale's here in the U.S. where the Vogue patterns are for $3.99. It's like Christmas to me! So, I wait and then swoop in.
    O.K. take care.

  8. You are in severe danger of being the best-dressed knocked-up woman in Sydney. It may become a tremendous responsibility if desparate gestating ladies run up to say "oh my, where did you get that, I'm trapped in these oversized fleecy things, help me find some decent clothes..."

    Like a pregnant superhero -

    "With-Child Woman! Defeating dastardly pregnacy fashions for the good of all occupied wombs!"

  9. What wonderful refashions! Congratulations on your pregnancy - it is such an exciting time. I found the overbelly styles the most comfortable for me, especially once I was bigger, but I think it really depends on personal preference. Your maternity wardrobe is really going to be superb!

  10. It is such a joy to read about your new wardrobe. As peacockchic said, you are the McGyver of maternity clothes. Never has a pregnant woman dressed as stylishly as you.

  11. Congrats on your pregnancy!! I am a bit late in my happy thoughts to you. As everyone has said previously... you are going to be the best dressed pregnant lady in Sydney. We are all looking forward to seeing what you will make next.

    I had my daughter almost 13 years ago and I sure remember the retching while brushing my teeth and how certain smells made me ill. You sure have my sympathy. :)

  12. Good job and congrats on the pregnancy. Nice to see maternity clothing that looks stylish and not so typical ugly style. I wore my regular clothing all the way through my three pregnancies.

    No more little sex trophies for me, after child number three I shut down the factory.

  13. de-lurking to say -- You ROCK! I'll be referring here the (fingers crossed) next time I get pregnant. I'll need to since I borrowed almost all maternity clothes for my first pregnancy.

  14. Incredible! And I get to use one of my favorite sayings that noone over here ever understands: Good on you!!

  15. Just started reading your blog. Love it! Just a note about being pregnant and wearing maternity clothes. Most first time moms don't like the over the belly fashions, but when you get later on in your pregnancy you will favor them far more than you think. And, unfortunately, at least in my case, my butt got just as huge as my belly, so that may be why your skirt was a little generous on the back side.

  16. Your maternity clothes are as gorgeous as your non maternity clothes - that is truly amazing, you are very talented. I, too can see you being besieged by pregnant women trapped in stretched out t shirts and trakky daks around their hips . Guard your wardrobe! The dresses in particular are terrific.

  17. Hi Kristy and Thanks for the lovely compliment on my outfit.

    I've also recently decluttered my closest in the hopes of filling it with my personally sewn

    Thanks for sharing the info on refashioning existing clothes for maternity clothes. My niece is expecting and asked me if I could make a few garments.

    The swing jacket and skirt look fab... that is definitely a fashion statement.

  18. You are a very clever girly!! Both outfits look great.