If you've been following along in this journal, you know that I have developed a recent passion for altering clothes (despite my woeful lack of sewing skills/abilities), or as I like to think of it - my personal contribution to recycling. I have been doing all the sewing by hand, sometimes to things I bought at a thrift store and sometimes to things I actually removed from my own give-away (or throw away) pile. I have also been having trouble with my left shoulder which feels like it is perpetually a little out of joint and makes the faintest of clicking sounds when I move. I have been lucky to have been spared this little inconvenience until now, but I couldn't decide what I was doing to cause it.
Then it hit me! Of course, it's the sewing! (How bad a shape do you have to be in when crafting makes you sore!) I have been self treating it with aspirin and staying away from the sewing and it got immediately better. But with my new found passion, I just had to finish the yellow sweater this weekend. Isn't that pathetic? I just couldn't stay away any longer!
Here's the story on the sweater: I bought it several years ago at the Banana Republic Outlet(which among my friends is better known as the damaged/defective store). You can get some great buys there if you are careful that you do not buy a sweater without arms or a pair of pants with three legs. All BR sweaters were about $6.99 and there is actually a line outside through the parking lot when the doors open at 9:00 a.m. and then a mad dash to try and find items that do not look like they were designed for the freak show at the Carnival. I was lucky enough to find this bright yellow long sleeved cardigan (silk/cotton/Lycra) blend and several other 3/4 length sweaters in various colors (and truth be told, various sizes, I am nothing if not flexible). My haul on that day really made the approximately 200 mile trip worthwhile. I have gotten lots of use out of the sweaters, but the yellow sweater always had sleeves which were too long for my arms and I just dealt with it by pushing them up or cuffing them.
Then earlier this year, I noticed a faint gray mark on the back of the sweater. I tried, but couldn't get it out. Of course, this would occur in a year where yellow is really, really "in." I thought the sweater was headed for the dumpster, when I decided to try "altering it."
I cut off those annoying sleeves to a generous elbow length and the Lycra just made the fabric crawl up and form its own embellishment. I then cut out various flowers from a bright polyester piece of fabric I bought a few weeks ago at Hancocks for $2.99 /yd. I put one little piece of the flowers on the back to cover the offending "spots". Then I sewed on two other pieces on the front and kind of quilted them. They are frayed around the edges, but that just makes them cuter in my opinion. I sewed some vintage buttons into the designs. I did not use anything under the little flowers because it was a very gauzy piece of fabric and you can see the yellow sweater underneath which is fine with me. I think "dyed" a piece of crochet with Magenta Dynaflow for the color. I sewed this very odd citron colored velvet rickrack (yes, Deanne, if you are reading this, I bought the rick rack at Archiver's) and sewed 2 magenta buttons on the outside of each sleeve on top of the rick rack.
I think it made a bright and cheery summer sweater - especially considering that I was going to get rid of it for 2 little spots I have now completely covered. I've included some close ups of the details thought forgive me for posting them in the wrong order.
And - I continued sewing all weekend, even though I am back on an aspirin regimen for the pain. I have a gray sweater dress I have cut off and hemmed (which was a lot of hemming because it was really full and originally went all the way to the floor) and I am working on embellishing it. Then I am going to knock off the sewing (or most of it) for the next t-shirts I am going to embellish with paint and stamps.