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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sleeve It To Me

All things round and well-rounded: Up-cycled, recycled, natural, organic, useful, necessary, uplifting, whole. Made in the USA, made locally, vegan, artistic, inspiring...some of the criterion used for deciding what can be included in the selection of articles available for sale at Lollipops & Polka Dots.  (oh, and keeping things out of landfills!)
The other day, I needed to get myself centered. It seems like sewing does that for me. 
Having left San Manuel and the Dell Dixon project totally inspired, I set out this day to see if I could reverse engineer a Japanese sleeping futon. 

Well, I didn't get very far along in the process of reverse-engineering this new product concept..I started playing with items I had on hand to find some inspiration. 
Before I knew it, I was well on my way to making a little "Haute Handbag" out of a sleeve from an old flannel shirt I had stopped wearing for some reason.

"Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items (often with symbolic significance) in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect."

I got rather lost in the process. I spent the whole day making this little thing.
First I cut the sleeve out from the body of the shirt and made a pillow from the remaining front and back of the shirt. 
(Remember now, the idea was to come up with a concept for making futons from sleeves.)
Once I got the sleeves cut off, the pillow took off on its own. 
I came back later and flipped the sleeve around every which way but loose to think of how I could develop it into something.
This just came into being.
I cut the sleeve into two pieces. That was a brave act. I had no idea (I didn't think) where I was going.
I stitched the sleeve shoulder to itself to form an envelope of sorts and got bored with that section.
The cuff seemed to have so much more texture and complexity and held much more innovative potential. "In-sew-vation"
I stitched the cut end to itself and then made it a flat bottom. Then I had to think of how I could fashion a strap for carrying it.
One thing led to another and eventually I decided it needed an inner pocket (made from a recycled, hand-me-down skirt). While I was figuring out the length and width, I thought I knew exactly where I wanted to form the casing for the ties and drew a magic marker line to define the placement of where to fold and stitch.
What would I use to hide that mistake...?
Out to my box of ribbons to see which would go.  
Go? I don't really think bright purple really "goes" with gray plaid, but it was what I wanted to use. Bright purple ric rack it was.
So then the handle had to be purple too. I think I spent a full hour braiding those tiny pieces of black, purple and cream 1/8 inch satin ribbon into a cord for the drawstring.
I stopped counting braids at 200. I got distracted with some other thought.

The inside pouch slumped too much, so I secured it on one side of the cuff with a purple zig zag anchor. And to keep it from coming away from the bottom, I stitched the two sides of the bottoms together.

Then I thought..."I think it would be nice if it could be worn on a belt." 
I fashioned a loop and purple zig zagged the edges. I anchored it to the outside and flipped it in to the inside and anchored it along the cuff line. The loop was too big, even though it made a nice wrist loop; so to make it better for wearing on a belt, I added a button hole and vintage button.
I don't own much of anything that doesn't have a piece of paint on it somewhere. In this case, it just happened to be purple paint. Big surprise.
  I wore my little pouch purse to church and made sure everyone took a look-see. It met with everyone's approval. They couldn't believe it when I took all the contents out so they could twist it all around...
my cell phone, a bundle of keys, credit cards, sunglasses, eyeglasses, money and my driver's license. 
It's a not-for-profit item though. Or, if you love someone enough to take a day to make them a gift. 
It would make a nice ladies group project, everyone inventing their own  combinations of color and fabrics.
Little Red-Haired Girl kept me company all day long.

Thank you, my other sweet little girl.

Yes, we know she is a "little" too pudgy!
Pudgy Mudgie =o)

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