Sunday, July 22, 2007

A Look Back

Well its Sunday afternoon and another weekend has passed without me sewing a single stitch. Its not that I don't have the desire or ideas, I just haven't felt like sewing. I know this will pass because I have been here before so I am just going with the flow. And when the sewing desire returns I will be ready.

I was talking to my friend Lisa because we have planned a sewing weekend for next weekend. We haven't done this in some time, probably because we both have really busy work lives now, but after fabric shopping last weekend Lisa really wanted to sew up some of the beautiful linen pieces she purchased instead of just stashing them. So during our conversation, Lisa asked me about a couple of pieces that I made at least 10 years ago. Probably because I was complaining about not having anything to write about here and she said that I should share these pieces.

Now this was back in the late 90's that I made these pieces. First, this ribbon jacket:

It has almost $200 worth of ribbons in it purchased with birthday money from my boss at the time. This jacket was made during my "art-to-wear work clothing" phase. The ribbons were purchased from Hy Hendlers. It took several attempts, to place the ribbons in an arrangement that I liked. Then sewing them down to a piece of black cotton batiste before constructing the jacket. I wore this jacket with all black pieces underneath it. I worked in the garment district at the time, for a button company, and this was a great piece to wear to work. The closures on the jacket were fur hooks and eyes so that the jacket fronts met but the closures were invisible. The jacket was lined and a design was added to the back of the jacket - coming and going art-to-wear.

The second piece was made from Nancy Zieman's book, Sew Easy Embellishments

It was a Fusible Patchwork vest (found on page 64 ~ if you own the book!) I used a black and white theme, black wool crepe and a black and white plaid wool for just the vest fronts. I also remember making yards and yards of black binding for this project and the vest is lined. It took several weekends to complete the vest because I was still married, my girls were younger and we had so many more weekend activities. This vest was worn with a pair of lined black wool crepe pants and a white shirt or a black turtleneck and the black pants. I made several art-to-wear type vests during this period. This is the only one I hung onto because of the amount of time I spent constructing it.

I am sure that I spend just as much time now on making suit pieces as I did on these two pieces. However this is a walk down memory lane looking back at one of my sewing phases. And thanks Lisa for reminding me that I still had these two pieces in my closet!


  1. Thanks for sharing - it's always fun to look back at things that we've made!

  2. These pieces are still amazing Carolyn, the incredible amount of work in each and the thoughtfulness that went into each design. Thanks for sharing and inspiring.

  3. Thanks for sharing. Wow $200 worth of ribbon - no wonder you still have the jacket. Both items are lovely!

  4. Wow, it's fun to take a trip down memory lane! I love the assocaitions we have between clothing and events in our life - it's like a garment scrapbook.

  5. Seems like we're on the same nostalgia kick. I'd already started writing the post I just put up, and it's a similar look back.
    I'll also have to dig out my tennis skirt embellished with ribbons, many of them Hyman Hendler ribbons. I believe the amount of $ you had into that jacket - my skirt had only a fraction of that amount of ribbon, and it was about $50.
    So glad you saved those garments. They represent a lot of work, and an era in sewing that we might not repeat, but it's fun to visit.

  6. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

  7. Thanks for letting us come along and look back with you! The amount of ribbons on that jacket is incredible and is the amount of time you put into it.

    We should all do this and post some pics of garments that we have from "other sewing eras". I think it would be very interesting!

  8. I remember when you made these and all of the work you put into them! I had forgotten how gorgeous they are. Beautiful job.


  9. I love your black and white for both of these projects. How awesome that these are timeless art-to-wear pieces that you can admire and wear forever. If I remember right you have a number of pieces from your SWAP collections that go nicely with both of these garments. Nice work!

  10. Wow, so glad you posted these photos and shared the link to the past. I think I was in the "art to wear phase" when you were. Really lovely pieces. Like Summerset, I think we should all post a link to the past sewing projects. Nice idea!

    I have some of the sewing "blahs" too though I did get some sewing in this past weekend, but I keep stopping to go do something else. As you said this to will pass.


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