Tried and True Review: A Big Bag of the Blues - Part II

A Tried & True Review, where I look back at old project and discuss how it's held up since I made it, both successes and closet rejects, in an attempt to show how my projects have stood the test of time and/or to learn from the mistakes of my yesterdays.

 I recently took a big bag of clothes, mostly handmade items, to a local consignment store and I thought, true to the spirit of the Tried and True Review, I'd take some time to share with you why I was ready to let them go. Also, if you're in the Portland (ME) area and want to grab something sewn or knitted by me, now's your chance!

There's a lot of items there, so I'm going to break it into two parts. Here is  Part II (Part I here). 

Cookie Monster Cardigan

The Original: Cookie Monster Cardigan

Made/Age:  July 2012, 3 years old.

Update: Accepted for Consignment.

Fit:  It's just too big in the bust. I kept it around because I was pregnant at the time and though it would fit well later in the pregnancy, but it never did. Because it was that big. It looks okay in the photos, but I always felt like I was swimming in it. 

Style/Materials: Cookie Monster Blue Berrocco Vintage. Because it's a superwash wool/acrylic blend I couldn't even shrink it to fit. 

Construction: This sweater had it going wrong from the get go. I recalculated the yoke increases from the pattern, because as originally written it made the sleeve have weird "wings". It looked like a circular yoke construction, but all the increases were centered over the sleeves. I restarted the yoke again and finished the sweater, but I didn't have the heart to knit it again, when it was too big.

Final Verdict: When in doubt, rip it out. 

Vogue 8184 by Ms. Cleaver

The Original: 4th of July Dress

Made/Age:  July 2010, 5 years old.

Update: Rejected from Consignment.

Fit:  The fit is fine (I think), the truth is I just didn't wear it all that much. I have another rather similar blue sundress (that I got at the consignment store oddly enough), that I preferred to wear. I can't really pin down why, but this one just never seemed as flattering.  I didn't need two, so off this one went.

Style/Materials: Quilting cotton. 

Construction: I added horsehair braid to the hem which was fun, but maybe made it a bit too costumey?

Final Verdict: This is another go with your gut one. There's no reason not to like it , but because I don't, there's no reason to hang onto it either.

Burdastyle Alexis by Ms. Cleaver

The Original: Alexis Skirt

Made/Age:  December 2008, 7.5 years old.

Update: Accepted for Consignment

Fit:  This one always falls under my pencil skirt sewing deficiency. It sits too low on the waist to be flattering. 

Style/Materials: Some vintage brocade. Fabric was beautiful, but I find it harder to wear lighter colored items on bottom. Also it has a kangaroo pock on the  front, which makes it pooch out weirdly.

Construction: I seem to recall it being quite well made, but it was early in my sewing career, so it probably was less so. 

Final Verdict: I need to take a class on making a pencil skirt or something. it is my sewing waterloo. 

The Original Ms. Cleaver Photo from 2007!
The Walkway Dress

Bonus: The Walkaway Dress

Made: Sometime between 1998-2001

Update: Accepted for Consignment

Fit: To finish up, the bottom dress in that pile is actually one my mother made for me in high school. The photo on the left is from 2004 and may be one of the last times I wore it (for my original Ms. Cleaver portrait at that!) . The dress is actually pretty flattering on, but is generally impossible to wear due to the narrowness of the front skirt panel. One stiff breeze and you have an embarrassing situation on your hands. Also, the quilting cotton print made it look like it belonged on a preschool teacher. 

Final Verdict: If you can't wear something without fear of repeatedly exposing your underwear, you probably shouldn't wear it. 

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Lent 2011 - Day 33

Lent 2011 - Day 33 This weekend was the first true spring weekend we've had so far. It was beautiful and sunny and everyone in our neighborhood was out working in their yards. Mr. Cleaver and I were no exception (we don't want our new neighbors thinking we're slackers!). Of course I'm sure the neighbors though I was cutting quite the ZsaZsa Gabor in Green Acres figure, sweeping and raking in a skirt and boots.

My favorite was meeting the little girl across the street, who greeted me with: "Hi! We don't have to wear coats!"

In addition to yard care, I got in some sewing on my Beignet Skirt (shell is finished) and went to the Great Maine Bike Swap and picked up a vintage Sears 3-speed, which I'll share some photos of later this week  - it's very me.

Shell Seam Finishing

In the evenings, Mr. Cleaver and I have been re-watching Season 3 of Mad Men, which inspired today's outfit a bit. I love all the scarves the women wear and while I have a decently-sized scarf collection, it makes me want more!

Lent 2011 - Day 33

Scarf: Mervyn's (back when it existed)

Long-sleeved tee: gift, from Kohl's I think

Brocade Pencil Skirt: Burdastyle Alexis, made by me.

Shoes: Bass Outlet

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Red Bird, Blue Bird (Lent Day #13)

My First Robin of Spring One of my favorite things about the new house is the absurdly large number of birds that live in the trees in our yard. I've spotted chickadees, tufted titmice, blue jays, cardinals, hawks, grackles (I think), woodpeckers and more. This morning I spotted my first robin. Quite fitting for the first day of spring (and more fitting than the current snowfall).

Lent 2011 Day #13

For today's outfit I pulled out an old sewing project. I had this skirt in the "to mend" pile, but don't remember what needed mending. It might have been that I wanted to hem it differently. I was pleased to discover I had done a really good job lining and finishing this skirt - despite having made it a long time ago (over 2 years!!), before I had started focusing on finishing.

Lent 2011 Day #13

Blue Blazer: LL Bean Outlet

White Tee: Target

Butterfly Wing Necklace:  D. Cole Jewelers, gift from Mr. Cleaver

Brocade Pencil Skirt: Burdastyle Alexis, made by me.

Shoes: Bass Outlet

In other news, my Krona knitting patterns were featured today on the Quince & Co. Website. Much thanks to Pam for including me!!

It feels like forever since I've put out a pattern, but I've got something very springy currently in testing and it should be out by April 1st. For at least one reader of this blog it will look very familiar...

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Getting Back in the Swing

The Booth

I certainly didn't intend to take a month-long hiatus, but life, as it is wont to do, often does it own thing. Having now had an entire week of evenings to do whatever I want to do with them I finally felt ready to come back.

Generally, I knit a lot and sew a little in the cooler months and sew a lot and knit less in the warmer ones. Despite tonight's frost warning, we are definitely edging into those warmer months here in Maine and the sewing bug is hitting me hard.

I made  pair of aprons back in March for my new York trip, but the last item of clothing I made was this skirt, back in December, which I don't think I ever showed here. 


Before I could jump into new projects though I made myself tackle my small mending pile first, so Saturday morning I sewed on some buttons and darned one of my handknit socks while making gardening shows on New Hampshire PBS. It was rather relaxing. Later that day Mr. Cleaver and I headed out to the theatre to watch a pair of readings and then went to try the famous fries at duckfat, which are seriously good.

Sewing Buttons

On Sunday, I started (and finished!) a new sewing project, as well as put something together that was nine-months in the waiting. Both of which I'll share later this week, when I've taken some photos.

It's good to be back.

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