Sunday, March 12, 2006

Recycling At It's Most Stylish

Over Thanksgiving at my brother's, I spied with my little eye a 100% wool sweater in the donation pile that was ripe for recycling. I was a little concerned that it was a little too felted for frogging...and boy, I was right. I wasn't sure what to do with it until inspiration struck -- a purse! I enlisted Smoochy and as the design team of Smoochy-Starra, we got to work. I had seen these bamboo handles months ago and knew they'd be perfect. So the team went on recon and retrieved all the supplies we needed...and some we didn't.
Here is the finished product. Smoochy suggested using the sweater's bottom ribbing as the purse opening and sewing up the neck for the bottom. I had already taken out the side seams and removed the sleeves, so I machine sewed the sides and a few inches below the shoulder seams [which was it's own kind of pain in the ass]. We felt that the fabric's fan pattern was festive and repeated not only the shape of the handle, but the chevron in the sweater's cable...not to mention, who doesn't love red? The Design Team was flying by the seat of it's pants with no schmatic and next to no use of instruments of measurement. After brainstorming on different techniques of lining insertion and handle attachment, we found our plan of attack. The lining was eyeballed and sewed up. It was a little too big [technical term: baggy] and needed to be resewn. At this point, progress stalled when the lining insertion proved difficult. The Christie part of the Design Team threw in the towel for the night and the Smoochy part picked up the pieces and forged ahead. She not only sewed the lining in [right below the ribbing], but added a little inside pocket and completed handle attachment [using strips of the sweater cut from the sleeves]. It measures about 14 inches across and 17 inches long. That's one super sized tote!
I've gotten numerous compliments already and the Design Team may be called in to action again.

Lastly, remember my first attempt at a cable purse? It's only been sitting around for about 18,000 months. I finally sewed in the lining today. Isn't she cute and so petite?