Thursday, 5 February 2009


Red, it's my favourite colour and there is so much to love: carmine, vermillion, scarlet, rouge, ruby, crimson, magenta. Incidentally, carmina is latin for song although there doesn't seem to be any etymological relation.

Anyway, onto crafting matters - the increase in my creative thinking since becoming a mother still surprises me. I had always wanted to be a creative person (perhaps I always was and it just needed to be let out) and thus paid attention to other creative people and their pursuits.

Somewhere, sometime I either heard or read or maybe just plain imagined up something about creative inspiration coming from the materials themselves. Well this week that happened to me. I was tidying up my not insubstantial stash of woolens-for-crafting when I came across a v-neck merino wool jumper (sweater) which I had long ago felted.

Actually, I bought this particular garment at the Salvation Army Family Store in St Kilda. It's a great big barn of a place, so big that you have no idea that it has started raining while you've been inside browsing. As I had no jacket to wear on the walk home, I donned this particular jumper to keep warm. It was a tad too small but did the trick. Then I subsequently felted it (not sure why), tucked it away, hauled it across the Pacific and found it again as I was sorting things out this week. Great.

So, I was sorting thing out with the intention sewing up a reconstructed woolen for baby bear when I came across this felted number and wow - I realised that it was just the right size and shape as it was to fit her. This was fortunate as often the felting process can alter the proportions of a garment. I've been trying to figure out sewing projects that utilise the existing features (button bands, hems, pockets) of the original garments but this one takes the cake.

I cut the jumper down the front to form a jacket and trimmed some of the length off the lower edge.
That trimmed-off piece became the collar. Using my trusty Clover bias tape makers and a reclaimed Ann Taylor blazer that I purchased at Goodwill here in the US I finished off all the edges. I didn't want the fronts to overlap at all as that would have pulled the garment out of shape so I used toggle fastenings (reclaimed from an unfortunate cotton/acryclic cardi purchased at Value Village specifically for that purpose). I also wanted to keep baby bear's chest warm, so I affixed another cut-off strip to the inside of one of the jacket fronts, thereby extending the width of that side. The actual additions were quite simple but the colour and print combination is striking (I love red and cream together) and as with most things, it is the details that really make it. And all that slip stitching.

And the finished result - well, I think that it's gorgeous. I'm very happy, my heart is singing.


Wendy said...

Very stylish jacket. Baby Bear is very lucky. She has a very creative mother.

MildlyCrafty said...

That looks lovely Amelia, I'd like to cozy up in it myself!

Ceels said...

Just beautiful, Amelia.

Leonie said...

That is simply gorgeous, your daughter is so lucky to have such a clever mum

Anina said...

It really is gorgeous! You are very creative!

Di said...

Wow- it looks gorgeous! I love it when the urge and the materials and the opportunity come together like that. Wonderfully creative refashioning and I love the colour.

Anonymous said...

It turned out perfect! She's such a lucky little girl :) (I want one just like it...)

Chara Michele said...

So lovely and so creative!

sewing the seeds of love said...

This is gorgeous Amelia.The bind/ edge makes it so striking. I have been looking at the op-shops for the perfect item to felt so I can make something similar to yours.
I refuse to give in and buy a new coat this winter for Miss 3 , here is hoping I find something soon or she will be chilly !