9/29/2008

Recycle!



Have you ever watched this video http://www.storyofstuff.com/? I ran across it on a blog I read awhile back and it really shook me up. I think I already knew a lot of what it said already but really liked the way she put it all together in one great big scary story.
And if it doesnt scare you then it should. We people as a whole are big wasteful creatures and we should all wake up and do what we can about it. I have slowly over the years tried to change my habits. Now I tend to save everything. D makes fun of me sometimes by holding up some part of a food package and asking "Do you want to save this?" Nine times out of ten I do. Its amazing how many things you can reuse if you just put your mind to it.
One of my latest projects involved ten old holey stained t-shirts and a piece of latchhook canvas. Upon moving here I really felt the need for a nice bath mat. Sure you can fold a towel and set it on the floor but I prefer a nice thick mat to set my toes upon after leaving the bath. So I set to work making myself one. First I cut a piece of canvas to the size I wanted with a little excess going each way. THen I counted my squares down one side and across the bottom, multiplying to get the whole number of squares in my piece. I felt this was an important step as I was using a mix of colors. I wanted to make sure I had enough strips cut before I started so I could mix them well and have a nice color balance. After determining the number of strips I needed (appr 5,000) I started cutting my t-shirts into tiny strips (about 1/2 inch by 4 inches) This took me three days. And yes, I know I'm crazy. After the strips were cut I just hooked them onto the canvas in the same way you would make a normal latch hook rug. I think it is so much nicer than those yarn latch hook rugs. It comes out nice and thick and very heavy. Its made from pure cotton (depending on the tshirts you use) and it just looks really good. Now I do have to admit I wasnt sold on the mix of colors I used. Granted they do match the colors of my bathroom to a point but I would have prefered a darker mix. I might just throw it into the next dark red dye bath I have going and see how it turns out. Until then I think it will do as is. What do you think?

9/27/2008

Too busy to think!

Again I must extend my most sincere! apologies about how lax I have been with this blog. I have had so many things to post about and just never seem to have the time to sit down and actually make a post. Well...actually I do have the time but I am chosing to use that time to create instead. I have a million ideas whirling around in my head and I just have to get them out. Now.
FIrst off, I had a pile of clothes that I had set aside for repairs or alterations or some special need they had. The problem was that I came with quite the depleted wardrobe when I moved here to France. I cringe to think of all the wonderful clothes that I simply left behind when I came here. SO...I got out my HUGE bag of needy clothes and I set to work with a passion...and decided to throw some of that creative burn into my mending.
My first project was this beautiful long stick straight dress. Me...with a stick straight dress. If ever there was a mistaken notion flying in the wind..it was the day I bought that. I couldn't resist the material though. One of my favorite colors and a nice crinkle cotton that I really like the look of. SO..I chopped into it with a vengeance and recut it into a nice flared top. I took the pattern off of one of my favorite tops and had just enough material to make it work. It was a long slow process since my sewing machine broke and I had to do all of the seams by hand. After finishing it I decided it needed a little something. Not wanting to detract too much from the material I gave it a nice subtle embroidery on the front. It came out just perfect and I love it!

My second project was an old India top that I bought in Seattle about ten years ago. It is one of my absolute all-time favorite tops and I just wore it completely out. The side seams were fraying and under the arms was completely worn away. I really wasn't sure what I could do to save it but...it had an interesting bit of patch type work going down the back so I decided to play on that. the bottom of the back was the same material as the sides so I just took the whole piece off , chopped it in two and replaced the worn sides with that piece. then I took the small scrap I had left and reset it in the middle of the back and put a piece of satin under it turned inside out. I sewed tiny little pleats in the satin all the way down in a fan shape and then embroidered the little scrap above it. It came out really nice and I think I managed to save my top for a little bit longer!



I have been doing a lot more projects and will try to take the time to take some photos of them and post about them also. Hopefully you wont be waiting forever for that either :p

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