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Sep 30, 2011

Self-sewn Trash

I'm on a roll, readers, oh, am I on a roll!

Yesterday I asked you about the challenge of ditching home-sewn garments, as opposed to throwing away ready-to-wear.  Well, I've discovered that it's not that hard.  There are three key questions one must ask oneself:

1) Have I ever worn this?

2) Would I ever wear this?

3) Will I ever wear this?

If you consult your Magic 8 ball and you get....

...then dump quickly and don't look back!

Here are a few items I'm dumping:  The jacket posted above, my first-ever tailored garment and not a bad stab, but unwearable (not least of all because of the color and the cheap polyester fabric); a sheet shirt that was never able to transcend its identity as faded old bedding; and a dress I started making for Michael's sister Sara when she was visiting two years ago, and never finished. 

A little somber, wouldn't you say?

But I have even better news!  Remember that men's display dummy I purchased a long time ago on eBay that was the wrong size (too big), and just sat in my foyer collecting dust and occasionally serving as a coat rack?  I found a buyer for it on Craigslist!  It's gone!

And -- miracle of miracles -- I think I found someone who will take my vintage luggage off my hands.  I'll know more later today.   I am so stoked, guys.


My next big hurdle is to sell a bike that's been collecting dust in our bedroom for many years and driving Michael crazy since it's on his side of the bed.  I bought it on Craigslist for not a lot of money, but the frame is too big.  Should I have to brake suddenly and jump off the bike, I would -- how shall I put this? -- crack an egg.  Not very safe.

Meanwhile, look what I got for Cathy's shoe collection:

I hate paying for storage-related items like these, but they do make a difference.

Finally, readers, there's some sort of sewing blogger meet-up today in NYC I'm supposed to go to, but I'm sort of on the fence about it.  As any sewing blogger knows, we're all kind of control freaks -- otherwise we wouldn't have our own blogs but would be contented reading others' -- and this one has been organized up the yinyang, as they say.  It even has a costume theme!

I may pop in for lunch and skip the rest. Would that be wrong? I hope you don't think I have a bad attitude; I have a lot going on today.

In closing, I'm excited to hear that many of you will be sewing underwear with me next week -- we are going to have fun, fun, FUN!

Have a great day, everybody!

PS -- you can see all my Daily Ditches so far here.


  1. You're turfing the sheet shirt???? pleeeeease tell me it isn't so *cries uncontrollably into hands*

  2. Hey Peter-check out Chic Knits Blog for today. She's featuring a slew of vintage sewing machines. It will make you salivate!!

  3. did anyone else visibly flinch at the phrase "crack an egg?" ouch.

    I haven't had the guts yet to throw out stuff I've sewn so kudos to you.

  4. I hope that you kept the Magic 8 Ball for future Daily Ditch questions, because it's kind of awesome.

  5. for all of us who can't be in NY for the blogger meet-up, please go! and then report back here! :) at least for lunch; who knows, you might enjoy yourself!

  6. All this ditching is very inspirational. Michael must be VERY happy with you.

  7. Oh, Peter! I discovered your blog five months ago and haven't missed a post since. You have done the almost-impossible, got me started sewing again after a 20 year hiatus. And it is fun again!

    I can't believe that you sold your Singer 99, I lusted after it from the day you posted a picture of it. Not long after seeing the picture, I complained to my husband that all my sewing machines for the past 20 years have had tension problems. He went upstairs and came back down with a Featherweight 221-1, and I have been sewing up a storm ever since. The baby just SEWS, no tension problems or electronic errors.

    So, since I started reading your blog I have sewn two pair of slacks, a blouse, a poncho, a winter housecoat, and am in the middle of making a pair of winter white wool trousers and cape. (Too early to sew for Autumn? I am sewing for winter here at the base of the Continental Divide!) And, I have plans for many more projects swirling around in my head.

    Congratulations on your 'ditch of the day', the hard part sometimes is just getting started. You are doing great!

    Sorry this is so long, but you really have inspired me and I truly thank you!

    April O

  8. P.S. No, I didn't know the box upstairs contained a Singer 221, I thought it was camera equipment!

  9. Lisa, that reminds me: I think I SOLD Michael!

    April, all those sewing projects: so much stuff you'll be able to ditch in the future -- it's exciting!

  10. OK, I'm feeling very much kinder toward the magic 8 ball. But actually it's the -concept- of the ball. Look here:
    I asked 'should Peter ditch the magic 8 ball' and it said 'it is certain'. There you go..

  11. fantastic! I've been purging a bit myself! It's so freeing! I've been getting rid of ALL KINDS OF CRAP!! and, the best ditching has been of longer am I burdened with coming up **the perfect item*** for that's GONE! Someone else's problem. WHEW!!
    I've enjoyed your ditching immensely! And, BOY is it ever hard to get rid of stuff in the city. I miss freecycle!

  12. Won't Sara want that dress for Thanksgiving? Just add an apron, a bonnet, and some buckle shoes.

  13. I have ditched several sewing projects, but the new ones are all keepers. I ditch a lot and, trust me, can be ruthless. Like the 40 or so yards of fabric I ditched because they were taking up too much space...

  14. Lol, I love your 3 questions and added one more- "What was I thinking?"
    There's an emptier closet in my future if I can just keep saying them over and over ...

  15. glad you made it to the party today even with all of your ambivalence, peter--you must have been on a rush after selling that old luggage! but i can assure you that we all enjoyed a chance to meet you!


  16. It was great meeting you too, Devra!

  17. Peter Dearest-
    I would have loved throwing that dress away! LOL!! What size was that male mannequin? I need one desperately!

  18. Peter, my friend. I have looked and looked for how to deal with a very sensitive issue, and you are my last resort. My dear hubby suffers, indeed he does. And so do I! I think because the TSA lady almost stopped him en route home from Africa.

    The dread issue? Plumbers crack! He has no hips, and a big gut...typical plumber body image, altho he is more geek than plumber. (Suspenders must be removed when going thru airport security.)

    How do you sew and alter bottoms, pants, PJs, boxers, so that they have a mild chance of actually staying on his derriere?

    My first attempt, PJ bottoms, did not work at all, at all. He wore them, uncomfortable as they were, because he loves me. But, that I would make him something so horrible is repugnant!

    How do you make alterations to help in such a situation!

    Help me, Peter! You are my only hope!

  19. Rosie, how about inserting a strip of elastic in the inside of his waistbands, stitched on with the elastic pulled relatively taut -- which might give him a little more grip back there where he needs it?

    There's always "fashion tape"!

  20. okay, ask cathy to get a mirror, hopefully an ornate one, and have her hold it up for you to gaze in whilst whispering the words : pot calls kettle... pot calls kettle...

    (it's hard for fellow type As to co-exist. i know, i've spent a lot of time in the mirror.)

    i'm glad you decided to drop in!

  21. I dunno. I'm not sure I'd be able to part with something I made just based on those 3 questions. Ripped from my cold dead hands might be more realistic for me. LOL.

  22. It got a lot easier to ditch clothes I've sewn after I started doing reviews on PR and then blogging. Now I have a photo and a record. If I'm not wearing the item, that's all I need. I am pretty merciless. It also makes a difference that I sew the vast majority of my clothes. With the literally hundreds of items I've sewn, I can't keep them all!

  23. You have me ditching clothes now. It's infectious.

  24. I threw out two skirts today. I thought wrap skirts would be so practical for the postpartum period! Just move two buttons whenever they start getting loose in the waist! I forgot that I hate wrap skirts.


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