This time, however, I’m going to take some of the items and “reuse” them. I’ve checked out a book called “200 Sewing Tips, Techniques and Trade Secrets” by Lorna Knight which I’m hoping will help me do things like alter existing pieces or turn some flowered skirts into aprons . I’m going to perform some sweater surgery too and see what I can reconstruct . SEE LINKS BELOW
|Fix a V-neck blouse|
|Fix a sleeveless sweater and a long skirt|
I have to confess that I have a Love/Hate relationship with sewing. I grew up in a rural area and time
I’ll tell you how bad I was; I sewed the sleeve of the blouse I was wearing to the hem of an A-line dress I was making in Miss Moody’s 9th grade class. Everyone laughed. Then all the girls came over in a giggling cluster to watch Miss Moody whip out her seam ripper and disentangle me. How humiliating!
Flash forward several years: I took a summer job at a garment factory where they sewed coats. (I know! What was I thinking?) Well, I guess I didn’t think they’d actually put me on a sewing machine – but they did. They sat me down and gave me a big bolt of corduroy which I was to hem in one long, continuous stitch – and a hook that you wore on your finger like a ring. When you came to the end of the bolt, you were supposed to use the hook to cut the thread.
I was young and had long hair that hung below my waist. Sometime during the sewing process, I reached back to flip my hair out of the way and damn near cut off my ear with that hook! It’s amazing how much blood a cut to the ear generates. Needless to say, they took me off the sewing machine and put me in the steam press room – where I had other adventures.
Since those days, I’ve had numerous occasions to sew. I’ve had some successes and some hilarious failures. (Such as the baby dress for my daughter where all the little red tractors were upside down because I turned the pattern the wrong way.)
I use as my inspiration for trying this “green” project a friend I had back in high school named Mary Ann Capelle, who took drama and theater classes. She could take something out of her closet, tear off the collar and sleeves, and turn it into something new and pretty. When she bought clothes off the rack it was with the idea of cannibalizing them for parts! She would take a plain blouse and embroider a little flower on the cuff, add lace to a V-neck dress, or dye her sneakers.
This is what I’d like to be able to do, but I’m not Mary Ann. I don’t expect perfection. I just hope I don’t end up looking like Blossom.
Library books to consider:
SWEATER SURGERY by Girard, Stephenie
Subversive Seamster:Transform thrift store threads into street culture" by Alvarado, Melissa
Alchemy Arts: Recycling Is Chic by MacKay, Kate
The Weekend Sewer's Guide To Dresses by Matthews, Kate
Make Your Own Clothes: 20 Custom Fit Patterns To Sew by Clayton, Marie
Sewing With Fabulous Vintage Fabrics by Franklin, Arden