Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Turning a Sow's Ear into a Silk Purse

Ok, so I have to be honest upfront.

There is technically neither a pig nor any silk in this post.

But it is the essence of what I was trying to say, and it sounds better than "Turning What Was Once Crap into Something Creative."

I have been challenging myself to use/re-use/re-purpose more craft materials lately, especially fabric, for a few reasons:

1. Fabric is expensive, and I do not have a money tree in my backyard. 
2. It is a creative challenge, and a little challenge is good for the brain.
3. It is more globally/God-given-resource responsible.

So, we begin with a sad laundry tale.

This used to be a beautiful, long, flowing wrap/scarf.  It used to be about 3 or 4 times this size.  I usually don't have "nice" things, so apparently I did not pay attention to the tag that must have said it was a wool blend.

Fast forward to Hawaiian sand + wrap + strange boy's malfunctioning washing machine = one very shrunk & misshapen chunk of fabric.  It has been waiting to become something new.

I decided to try the Buttercup Bag from this post.  I originally was going to make this post more of a tutorial about that bag, but after cutting out the pattern, I did not follow the directions at all.  Some of them I did in an easier way, some of them I disagreed with, and some of them I just didn't read because I have found that I enjoy sewing more when I can wing it.
 It still felt weird to be cutting apart this scarf.  In my minds eye, I can see it in its former flowing glory, and cutting out chunks seemed wrong.

I added some hefty sized pockets to the lining (using some leftover fabric from another project).  A good bag needs pockets.
 Getting closer: but the whole thing is still inside out.
 And the finished product:
 Cute, huh?  Oh, and here is the back: 
I cut out the flowers specifically in those locations, while still leaving enough room on (what used to be) the scarf for another bag.  The photos don't really do it justice, but the look is very felted-wool-vintage-evening-handbag.

A little reminder that something beautiful, even if we can't see the beauty on the surface, is always of value. "Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces." ~Matthew 7:6

The intended recipient?  My red-headed sister, who has requested a handmade magic-mary-poppins-camera-bag, which may take me until  2014 to complete.  This is my token of appreciation for her patience in the meantime.

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