Friday, December 14, 2012

Week 49 or Double-Upcycled Super-Fancy Gift Bag

Some time in college, I thought it would be fashionable to cover the yoke of a dress in shimmery black buttons. They were in the nickel bin at Windsor Button. (Ooh... shiny.... buy now, find purpose later...) I made a simple green/black iridescent sheath dress. I sewed 40 black buttons on around the neckline. But only in front. It looked fine lying flat on my bed, but the weight in front couldn't be overcome. And nobody but a stick-thin model with a padded bra will ever look good in a sheath dress. So I wore it once or twice and then packed it away. By the time I got it from the basement of my parents' house 20 years later, it was musty smelling and had mysteriously gotten holes in random places.

Fast forward to Sing Along Mary Poppins 3 weeks ago. (Time flies. I thought it was months ago, but Thanksgiving weekend really was just 3 weeks ago.) Older daughter simple MUST have a costume. She goes rummaging through her stuff and finds nothing. Then she hits my closet and finds The Dress. Which she is astounded to find I am willing to cut up for her. So I do, taking the bottom 8" to make a ruffle at the hem and shortening it to girl length. Except I made it TOO short and now she needs something else to wear. Grr... we need to leave for the movie in minutes and she still doesn't have a hat! Take one mom-sized white Oxford cloth shirt. Turn button-down collar into Peter Pan collar and do some fancy buttoning on the cuffs. Add Mom's sleeveless dress that's maybe too short for a proper mom but is below-the knee and really drop-waist on a 9 year old. Run like heck to the hat store downtown to find the perfect flat-brim blue felt hat. Make it to the movie in time for the costume parade!

All this left me with a completely unwearable shiny green dress with 40 buttons on it. Not even the little sister will wear it. So I cut off all the buttons, along with the top of the bodice. Which happened to be where most of the mysterious holes were. (Perhaps there's some silk in there and some weird decomposition happened. The holes don't follow perspiration or wear patterns. Some are at the edges and others in the center. You may even be able to spot the patches in the top photo.) I sewed it shut roughly along the line of the armpits. (No potential for perspiration-driven decomposition now!) A strip from the lining became a casing for a drawstring. The end of a roll of black ribbon left over from... some craft project from the turn of the century. And now we have a very shiny drawstring gift bag to fit somebody's Christmas present in.

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