Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Felted By Mistake

A friend of mine asked me recently if I ever make sewing related mistakes. Well, after last Friday you all know that I can't seem to do simple math at times. Amazing, I can get myself anywhere in an airplane, but divide 4 into 24....oh well. At least my mistake was pointed out and I hope no one relied on my math.
Over the next few days, I am going to post some of the things that are on my worktable at the moment.
Back in the 70's my grandmother made me the most wonderful outfit. She crocheted a skirt and a matching poncho. The poncho was in a fish net pattern with long fringe all along the bottom. I loved it. I think I've always been a bit of a hippy at heart. The bad thing about the outfit was that I was only allowed to wear it to church. What fun was that? I wanted to wear it to school. So needless to say, it didn't get worn out because it just wasn't worn that much. Utimately, styles changed and the outfit went into my cedar chest. At some point I moved it to a trunk that I kept in the basement. In the truck I also kept a quilt that my great-grandmother made and a number of other items that I loved too much to part with. When we moved, I left the trunk in the basement, the building still belonged to us and I had better storage there. At one point we had a new floor poured in the basement which meant that everything had to come out. After everything was put back I couldn't find my trunk. I was so upset, I just knew someone had taken the trunk, it was an antique. The trunk meant nothing to me, the contents were what I cared about. Now, I know, I can feel my mother on my shoulder saying, "if you cared so much about it, why didn't you take better care of it?" Believe me, I beat myself up plenty about it. Finally, I just tried to accept that the things were gone, just gone.
At least ten years passed by. One of our tennents had moved and my husband and I were in the basement. He opened a door to one of the storage lockers and asked, "Rhonda, is this your trunk?" Could it be? I walked over slowly, almost too afraid to look. I felt like I was looking at a ghost, it was my trunk! Now the big question, after all this time, could I possibly hope that my things were still there? I slowly lifted the lid and there before me, just as I had left them, were all my things, my great-grandmothers quilt, my crocheted outfit, an afghan that my grandmother had made, a pillow that I had embroidered. I gathered everything up and cradled them in my arms like long lost friends.
I decided to wash the crocheted outfit, do a little work on it and wear it. After all it was back in style. When I pulled it out of the washing machine, my heart sank, it was wool!!! Thankfully, I have a front loading machine, so it didn't aggitate the outfit as much as it could have, but the fringe was a matted mess. I was so upset, here I lost it, got it back and then managed to ruin it. I decided to just hang it to dry and come back to it a few days later. When I did go back, I took the skirt off the hanger, it fell to the floor. When I picked it up, I thought, if I really felt this I could make it into a purse and I can take the matted fringe off the poncho and turn it into a skirt. So I did.   

(Sorry about the horrible picture, I'm home alone and it was the best I could do.)
I opened the poncho where she had sewed  a seam and made that the opeing to my now skirt.

 This is what had been the original skirt. The bottom of the bag was the waistline.
 I bought cloisonne beads and made handles.
 Here's what I am doing now. I think the purse looks a little like a flower pot, so I thought I would do a "flower arrangment" on the bag. I went to the Salvation Army and bought a bunch of wool sweaters and felted them.
 I am now in the process of cutting out shapes to make the flowers and leaves.
I think it will be rather fun.
So there's always hope. If you make a mistake, just leave it and come back to it later. After all, you can almost turn anything into a purse.

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1 comment:

  1. What a touching lost and found story and wonderful skirt and bag. It's reassuring that we can always find a way through a sewing challenge.