Sunday, January 2, 2011

Can We Say Upcycle?

I don't know who to blame. First there is my Southern sewing friend, Sara of Sara Norris Ltd. It's her fault for pointing this incredible sweater/jacket out to me. Of course, once I followed her link I was incredibly smitten with this sweater. In the back of my mind, and certainly after seeing the 498.00 Ebay price tag, that little "I can make that" just kept haunting me thorughout all of the holiday festivities. Do creative people ever rest? . Ok, enough already and after Christmas! Then I have been following Shams and her artistic journey through garment sewing. She has inspired me so. I can't get over my urge to get back about 10-15 years when I did major embellishing and art garments. It's all your fault Shams! Add to this fact that I have been yearning to return to painting, which I seem to have no time for, and here I am.

I have started my knock-off of the Anthropologie Poppy Sweater. I had in the closet an off white very high quality button down, collared wool sweater that I inherited from Ima. I wore it a lot to work last winter. It is in perfect condition but I am already tired of it. It will make the perfect canvas for my Poppy Sweater. It is a bit shorter than what you see from Anthropologie but I am shorter too, so it should work out. Today, after all of the holiday hullaballoo, I needed something to jump start the mojo. I looked up the sweater link one more time, read Sham's fabulous felting tute, and dug in. At this point I have the back all painted. I am really pleased. Tomorrow I will attack the front and sleeves with my paints. This is only the first layer of embellishment. There will be much embroidery and I have to decide what to do with the collar. The deep V of this collar will not work for short me so I am thinking a wide Peter Pan type collar. I have some wonderful textured pink mauve velvet, kind of like snakeskin, that I think will work beautifully for the collar. For me what really knocks this out of the park is the incongruous collar. Its totally different fabric and belongs on a Renaissance garment. If this sweater were just painted and stitched, well, it would be nice, but not fabulous. You need interest to be fabulous. Contrast provides interest. And the contrast here is the gridded, embroidered with metallic collar.

My apologies - I have no camera. I left it at SIL's during the holiday visiting. It is currently in the mail and heavily insured. This is not your basic 89.98 camera. It's not even your 300.00 camera. So I am v. nervous about it's traveling and can't wait to relax once it is back home. Until then, pictures are limited, which upsets me because the Poppy Sweater is such a visual project. Anthro calls it the Poppy Sweater, but my painting doesn't have a poppy on it. I went for roses and more. So, I will call it the Rose Sweater.

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Being away and also being under the gun with my sewing before leaving prevented me from blogging. I would have liked to have tallied up my accomplishments, certainly not as impressive as some. I would have like to have told you all the goals I met as well as the ones I missed. Truthfully, I don't remember the goals I had last year other than a couple. But right now I will let you know what this years goals are. I think they are quite achievable.

  • To make more dolly clothes. It is good for my soul. It is good for my darling granddaughter. I forgot the joy this could bring. 
  • To return to more embellished "art" type garments. They must be wearable. That is critical for me. I am not entering competitions. I just want to express my self with what I put on my back. Please prevent me from looking like a nutty eccentric old lady if I start looking like one. Thanks. 
  • To learn to EITHER tat or crochet. I will be happy with either. I have looking at Youtube videos and it really seems doable to accomplish learning these crafts. 
  • MAKE MORE PANTS! I need pants. So I really need to get a TNT pattern committed to oak tag and used a lot. I have discovered that a pair of pants that I loved, that fit perfectly, still fit. My post menopausal brain took it for granted that these pants would never fit again but the other day I tried them on and.... Perfect! Waist was fine, etc... I am going to cut them apart to make a pattern and get going. 
  • A big goal for me , yes, BIG, is to slip cover my living room sofa. I have done re-upholstery but not slipcovering. I am studying the book now and hope to start soon. We are going to do a remodel/update of our 'great room'  as we have now been in our home five years. It's time and I have a great couch, I am just tired of the look. I also want something I can throw in the wash when the little ones are done visiting. I love the casual chic of slip covers too. I am thinking an off white bull denim. More to come on this. 

Other than the above, I just want to continue to sew for those I love. Whenever someone says "oh, you need to sell these"  I tell them I only sew for free and for those I love who appreciate it. Nothing makes me happier......Bunny

8 comments:

  1. Happy Holidays, dear friend! Hope 2011 treats you and your family well! And that sweater? It's got your name all over it! Can't wait to see your version!

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  2. I love sewing doll clothes, too. I used to make cloth dolls and my favorite part was to make the clothing for them. So now I make clothing for babies for charity. It's my favorite thing. I don't have any grandbabies and don't know if/when that will happen, so until then I can make blankets and clothing for people who can't afford them.

    Crocheting is incredibly easy! I can't knit worth a darn, but if the pattern instructions are accurate, I can crochet anything. (I love to do beautiful edgings on baby blankets.) I recently crocheted a gorgeous necklace for my daughter's Christmas gift and earrings for several people. People were absolutely thrilled with them and they cost very little in materials.

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  3. You surprised me. When I saw that sweater, I thought surely you were going to needle-felt the flowers. But instead, you are painting! Marvelous! I cannot wait to see exactly how you're doing it. Happy New Year!

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  4. Your sweater-in-progress sounds to be an amazing work of art. Really can't wait to see it.
    As for your slipcovers - have a look at what Anita (
    http://asummergypsy.blogspot.com/) just finished. She even posted a step-by-step over several posts, and the results are beautiful.

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  5. Bunny, I'd love for you to be in my Sew how? series. Email me. Please.

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  6. bunny , you are just too smart and creative for words!!! I can't wait to see your sweater!!
    I have to confess, I asked for that sweater for Christmas and Santa delivered!! (thanks to jerry and Lisbeth!!)

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  7. Thanks for that link, Irene, greatly appreciated.

    I've emailed ya, Denise.

    With your gorgeous blond hair that sweater will be fabulous on you. Lucky girl, Sara!

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  8. I do love Anthro's clothes, sigh, just not the price tags! That will be an awesome sweater when complete.

    I don't know how to tat, but can crochet and knit and crocheting is pretty easy. I taught myself.

    I saw your comment on my blog - let me know when you're around. There's a Panera just down the street from the Fix!

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