Handmade, but for whom?

Last week the boyfriend and I spent a week in Scandinavia (very nice but rather cold and wet). One of the things I discovered about Scandinavia is that they have very good Red Cross charity shops, and in the one in Stockholm I found this lovely dress.

I think its a really cute dress, and one of the things I like most about it is that it is handmade! I'd love to know who made it, and I think it is nice that it has ended up with some who can appreciate the skill and time that has gone into making the dress. I'd love to think that my handmade stuff is well enough made and nice enough that it would last long enough to make it to a charity shop, and if it did I'd be pleased if it went to another crafter who could appreciate the work that went into it.

Now I'm not totally sold on everything about this dress, I love the frill at the top, and the buttons on the back.

But I'm not sure about the frill at the bottom. I certainly wouldn't have put it on if I was making the dress, and I might take it off. But, I do have mixed feelings about doing that. What would the original maker feel about me chopping up their creation? How would I feel if someone did that to something I made?

This dress is actually the third dress I've bought second-hand which has been made by someone else, and I do really like the feeling of giving someone else's (hopefully loved) creation a new lease of life.

I bought this dress in a vintage sale a couple of month ago, the clothes were sold by weight and this dress is made in a very light fabric so I got a great bargain. I love the shape of the top and the kimono(?) sleeves. And, as one the girls I work with said, the dress could have been made for me as it fits really well. The side zip is perhaps not inserted as neatly as it might be, but I can sympathise with that, I've fought with plenty of zips in my sewing career.

While the red dress has been a total success and I've worn it a lot, my third handmade by someone else dress hasn't had so much ware. Again it was a charity shop purchase, and while I do really like it there are some fit issues.

The gathers and bust line on this dress don't sit very well on me, the fabric used on the top doesn't have much give and I find it quite hard to move my arms much when I'm in the dress, which is not that practical. I love the fabric in the skirt and the little neck tie, and I've been thinking for a while about making a new top half for the dress. But again, while I'm happy to remake a project of my own when it goes wrong, I feel bad about cutting up someone else's hard work. I think I just need to bite the bullet and do it, but I'm also not quite sure what the new top should be like. Any suggestions? Also, anyone else found any second-hand handmade clothes?

And just to finish off this post, one holiday snap.

The boyfriend has bought himself a smart new camera, and this is his picture not mine. (He did say I didn't have to confess to this, but the observant viewer might spot me in the picture, which would be a give away!)  I'm trying to get to grips with the new camera, so hopefully you will notice an improvement in the pictures on my blog.