Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The "In Between" Projects

Sewing is, for me, a creative outlet.  However, due to it's very nature, sewing can be a very time consuming effort.  To create something from scratch and see it through to completion takes time, effort, and passion.  Sometimes I get frustrated, or bored, and so I mix in smaller faster projects in between my larger projects.  This helps me with a couple of issues.  One, I can get these smaller projects done quickly and easily, so it fulfills my need for " creative accomplishments", and secondly it helps me with my "instant gratification" as well.  But, it also helps me with my motivation with my bigger and more challenging projects.  Once I see what I "can do",  this feeling and positive energy is transferable to my bigger project, and I get re-motivated to strive ahead to completion.  For me, a project usually takes five to seven days.  Any longer, and it just is not going to get done.  So, shorter projects help keep me focused. 

This project is one that I did last year, and just never took the time to post up.  It is a vintage Victorian Cape I thought would be a great addition to my vintage clothing collection.  I purchased it via EBay from a lady in England for $10.00 + s/h.  It was a wreck when it arrived.  She thought it was velvet, but it turned out to be seal plush.  The 75% of the passementerie trim was hanging off, the Mongolian Sheep Fur time was destroyed, and some of the lining was in tatters.  I loved it as soon as I saw it.  I removed the sheep fur by trimming in down to the nub.  I wanted to replace it with like fur, but I could not locate a supplier that could accommodate the size I needed, so I went with what I could find - a HUGE Black Feather Boa.  The process involved re-attaching the interior linings as needed - which was the easy part, then onto the passementerie - which took hours, approximately sixteen hours over three days if I recall correctly.  It ended up being a combination of sewing and gluing to get everything to lay correctly.  Lastly, was hand-sewing the feather boa to the front edges and all around the collar.

Lots of pining to hold in place for hand sewing and gluing

What was really interesting is that I found a cape that was extremely close is style and design in an 1897 vintage fashion magazine:

Long story short, I finished the restoration, entered it in our local "County Fair" and it earned a "Division Winner" Blue ribbon plus some prize money!  How fun is that!

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