Thursday, March 31, 2011

Up-cycled Renaissance Sweater

Before I post the last in my Crack Coats series (I bet you thought I forgot, huh?), I wanted to share with you a sweater I had made in the fall because this ended up being the inspiration for one of the coolest jackets ever. Seriously, wait till you see it. This jacket is a rock star. But back to the sweater (I'm imagining saying that part like they say "and now back to the studio" on the news so say it that way in your head). If you missed the other posts, Crack Coats, Phase One: The First Taste is Free and Crack Coats, Phase Two: Children of the Corn, you might want to check them out now. You don't want to feel like an idiot not being up to speed.

I created this sweater after seeing something similar on Etsy that was fetching over $400 dollars. You know what? I'll just show you. The seller is named Enlightened Platypus, if you want to see more, but here are a few pictures of her work.

Sure, they were cool, but there were a few downsides. #1: I'm cheap. I guess that's my downside, not really the sweaters, but hey. Also, the sweaters were loose and baggy and although they were creative, would look like a tent on me and my slender (okay, flat-chested) frame.

So using an old skirt, a henley, and some scrap fabric, this came together in one day and is one of my favorite creations for myself.

I mixed and matched buttons that I had bought from an antique store in St. Pete.

I used an over lock stitch on all the seams so I didn't have to worry about getting anything perfect. But I did learn later that needed to go back and put a regular straight stitch under the seam to hold the satin fabric in place or the seam just tore when I went to take off the sweater while sliding down the stripper pole. Oh, I mean while helping the elderly load groceries into their cars.

The Enlightened Platypus has her own signature style of an elf-like hood on all of her sweaters but I didn't want anything that, well, stupid looking. So instead, I made this little leaf at the bottom of my hood.

For the cuffs, I used two layers of the skirt fabric and edged them in contrasting thread.

Then for some reason, I really don't remember why, I decided to use more of the plaid flannel left over from making Abby and the baby's coats from the first jacket post and did a facing for the inside. It might have been to help reinforce the buttonholes. BUT- in order to keep this facing flat, I decided in a genius-like move to not sew this down, because that would look stupid, but instead used No Sew, which is like super glue for fabric.

The end result was that it bled through the fabric so it looked like I was constantly lactating in a steady stream right down both nipples.

So even though these were never intended, I ended up making two satin ruffles that went right down the front of both sides and even though they don't cover the glue stains entirely, they at least draw attention away. And right to my huge size A boobs. Great.

I actually ended up really liking these ruffles. My boobs are the only really skinny part of me so I'll take what I can get.  

In the end, this is my favorite piece that I've made for myself. Bobby really liked it too, until I told him it was for me. The first time I wore it out, the face he made was like I had just let one in public. And here he was telling me how great it was just hours before! It turns out, he liked it- just not for me to wear out with him. As you can imagine, this has become my favorite date night outfit since then.

The few times I've worn it out in public since I made this, I always get people stopping me and asking me where I bought it and when I tell them I made it myself, the reaction I get is: "You should sell those." Maybe someday I will. Hello, outsourcing to China! If they can make my alarm clock, computer, car, and hopefully one day an illegal baby girl smuggled out in Bobby's carry-on luggage for me, why not some sweaters? Until then I'll just keep recycling my clothing into more outfits Bobby will be embarrased for me to wear in public with him. I'm getting my wife of the year award next month.