Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fun Versus Functional

Where do you stand on the question of fun versus functional? I'm a big fan of fun. Big fan. But when you open a closet door and realize you haven't worn something in, what, four, five, six years? Yep -- time to turn it into something functional.

This is the remake -- a bag, modeled by my friend Stephanie.

This is what the bag was made from -- a vest, modeled by me. Long time ago.

Way back when, I wanted a vest that would be fun and floaty and make a dramatic entrance. I made this one by looping over a core of bias-cut fabric strips. That's right -- it's entirely hand-stitched. It took many hours and a full spool of Irish waxed linen. But I didn't spend a cent on the fabric: It was all upcycled from three boxes of goodies my friend Diane gave me after cleaning out her aunt's estate.

This fall, I decided to remake the piece before someone has to clean out my estate. So I cut off all the floaty bits (don't worry -- I saved them), seamed the thing together on the sewing machine, and added a braided leather strap.

I can't help but look at this vest now and wish I'd been able to wear it with the white vinyl lace-up granny boots I bought a really long time ago with a year's worth of babysitting wages. Loved them. Couldn't walk in them. If I still had them, I'd probably remake them into something else. Probably a bag.

So what would you remake if it was still in your closet? And what's there now that might be on its way to another incarnation that's both fun and functional?

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