Kondo-ising the wardrobe - what hasn't worked and why

It seems that half the Western World is Kondo-ising their life, or wardrobes at least, and I've been no exception.
If you aren't familiar with the work of Marie Kondo, her basic philosophy is that we should only keep things, whatever they may be, that "spark joy".
With this in mind, recently I had a clothing sort through.  These are candidates for elimination  that  have featured on the blog. At the time of making, I expected a bit of joy sparking, otherwise why bother? Over time in the wardrobe, though, they have proved to "spark meh"instead. Here's why:

First cab off the rank is my first version of Colette Peony. My post on this dress is my most viewed post to date, so it is slightly ironic this  dress has gone. I wore it twice, and never felt quite right in it. Part of it was the fit of the bodice, which I addressed somewhat successfully in a subsequent version. Part of it was the cummerbund, which I didn't warm to - I was always rearranging it. And part of it was the colour. Red once served me well. Now I realise I just feel overwhelmed and conspicuous in it. Probably because as I age my colouring is not as definite as it once was. I still love red though.

With Burda 2561, I was happy with the fit. But because of that red thing again, I hardly wore it . Gone.

I still have a usable length of the red wool crepe I used to make the Peony, and am wondering if I make it into a jacket ie. break it up with another colour around my face it would work? Guess there is only one way to find out..

Burda 03-2013-128. I found this top difficult to match up with anything I had. And I didn't like the print enough to address the situation. A great way to make a cowl top though. The cowl facing never
flips out.

I have a couple of Japanese sewing pattern books on my shelves, and I really like the aesthetic. However ethereal teenage waif style doesn't translate well to middle aged person, I found. This swimsuit cover up is a case in point - all the volume in the back looks edgy on some. Just looks daggy on me, especially in that print. What was I thinking?

This jacket from a Japanese magazine wasn't too bad, though. The fit across the shoulders was a bit off but the killer was again the colour. The brown marle linen did me no favours. Worn little. Gone. Might try this pattern again, though.

I quite liked this Ottobre  pleated denim skirt with fly front. I live a decidedly denim lifestyle, so it should have been a workhorse garment.  Alas,  I made it a little too short and it was worn little as a consquence

This Vogue 1357 skirt should have been a winner, with it's A-line and colour. However, I wore it few times, and it's hard to put my finger on why. It could be I  don't wear heels all that often, and I felt most comfortable wearing this skirt with heels. I don't know. And I didn't like how the front inverted pleat sat, or more to the point, not.

I really liked these patterned pants, but not being a big wearer of pink, found it hard to find things to wear them with. Didn't wear them all that often, but even so it wasn't long until the Spotlight sateen stretched out of shape. 

This Vogue 8805 dress experienced another case of fabric fade in the mid section after relatively few wears. A Spotlight buy again. The contrast with the red bands was so great it was unwearable. If I make this again, I'll drop CF at the neckline down an inch. And stay away from Spotlight linen.


I liked the Weekend Getaway blouse, but the colours meant I only really wore it with this skirt. Also the length was a bit problematic for me. If I make this again I'll add length so it can be worn as a tunic.

I also kondo-ised a number of pre-blog makes for various reasons, and quite a lot of RTW which I donated to the local Zonta group who had a pre-loved clothes sale in aid of it's various works.
One good thing I've noted is that these makes date from 2013 and the first half of 2014. I can say that more recent makes have been earning their place in the wardrobe. This could be good luck, but I hope that also means I'm making more confident choices in pattern and fabric.

I guess this brings home to me that the most successful garments are a happy confluence of pattern style, fabric (colour, content, quality), and how well these both mesh with your own personal preferences as to what you think suits you best. When you think about it, there is a lot to get right. When I note that I've made 69 garments during the life of the blog, the fact I've gotten it wrong on some level only 10 times is a bit surprising, at least to me! One out of 7 ain't bad.

Do you pick apart the reasons why your less successful garments are less successful? What have you learned?


  1. I'm not Kondoing but I do try to analyse my sewing fails. Like you, I find red things just don't get worn much. Patterned garments also languish in the wardrobe for me. I've started trying to buy fabric accordingly. And anything without pockets won't get much wear either which restricts pattern choices.

    1. Red is a tricky colour to wear I think - apart from the feeling it didn't suit me, I struggled to find things to wear with it. The usual candidates, blue, denim, black and white, just seem a bit cliched to me.
      I thoroughly agree on the issue of pockets. There is no such thing as a wasted pocket!

  2. Sounds like you have been quite ruthless Paola. I find it very difficult to part with me made garments, even if I don't wear them for one reason or another. I loved both your red garments, but you have to feel comfortable wearing them. You must be on the right track as you have not wanted to get rid of any recent makes. Well done!

  3. Thanks, Jean. Yes, I did have my ruthless hat on when I did this (I also sorted through hundreds of books, which I found much more difficult I have to say).
    I hope I have no regrets, time will tell!

  4. Yes I do try to analyse my sewing fails . I really like your denim skirt and red shirt though. Interesting about the spotlight fabric. I have some spotlight clothes and some of them are great and are still going years and years later and some were crap and hardly were worn before the fabric gave way. Thanks for the inspiration in getting rid of home made clothes. I have some which should go too.

    1. I've found the same thing with Spotlight fabric too - some is good, some terrible. The trick is trying to figure out which it is at time of purchase!
      Good luck with your clear out!

  5. Very interesting to read how your garments didn't work for you.

    I find at the end of each year I really see and feel what works for me in my wardrobe. It is small so it doesn't take long for something to show that it was "not for me after all".

    1. Thank you Sharon. Now I've had a ruthless cull of my clothes, I hope it will be easier to detect what is earning it's keep in the wardrobe.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

A bit of a book review - Gertie Sews Vintage Casual

MBM - Tessuti Berlin jacket

MBM - Tessuti Bondi dress