Saturday, October 25, 2008

Altered Sweatshirt...Finished

Progress on the sweatshirt was interrupted by my neighbor calling to say, "We're picking grapes down here. You want to come down and get some?"
Well, yes.
Three of the tastiest batches of grape jelly ever made ensued....with much more juice in the freezer for more jelly later in the year.

But the sweatshirt is officially done as of this morning. Summerset Banks, the art clothing maker extraordinaire, gave me a great suggestion for making the sweatshirt fit better...four vertical tucks in the front and in the back, which were easy to pin and sew by hand.

Here is the front...

No dear friends, I am not going to model it! It does fit fine, though.

And the back...theose dahlias stayed with me and suggested this circular lay-out over the amorphous felting I had put down. The button in the center matches the button on the front used for my closure.

My final thoughts on this experience are these:
--It was a great challenge to see what I could make from a simple $5 sweatshirt. We are all going to need to do more with less over the next few years is my prediction, and this kind of project fills the need to have lots of sewing fun for little money.
--There was no pre-planning involved. I just winged it with the colors and materials I liked to see where the design would take me. A cheap sweatshirt gave me "permission" to do this, but I would recommend a solid plan if a more expensive garment or fabric is involved.
--I am just not an art garment person. This sweatshirt is so flashy and outside of my comfort zone it will be very hard for me to wear it! I will try, though.

Meanwhile...I thought you'd enjoy seeing this bounty get transformed...

Thirty-five pounds of Concord grapes here...

...de-stemmed, squished, and simmering...

...and ready for toast with peanut butter. So, so yummy.

Now I think I'll clear my head and do some piecing, just for the heck of it! Who knows what kind of trouble that will lead to next.....

28 comments :

Marty52 said...

Ah... verra nice. The leaves really bring focus to the design. You have such a knack for stopping the embellishment at just the right time! I've been reading Summerset's blog lately and she is so detailed and good with the ideas and such. I would like to see you model it though!

Mmmm... the smell of cooking jelly in the morning... sublime!

Jennifer said...

That sweater is beautiful.

Debra said...

there's always Etsy. . . . .

Cori@SAHMbles said...

I like the front, but oh the back when I saw the back - Allie... it took my breathe away. Remember the Heaven Tree? That's the first thing that popped into my mind.

Deb H said...

Gosh Allie, I started a sweat shirt probably 2 years ago when I 1st got my felting machine. I got only as far as the felting around the edges, just like you did, but never got around to finishing the darn thing! I may have to get inspired now with what you've done! I love it!
(After I finish up the Irisha Dance dress of course!)
That jelly looks so good I can almost smell it!

Plays with Needles said...

What a whiz you are! I'm not sure i get the tucks...are they in the vertical middle of the sweatshirt so as not to disturb the edge embellishment?? Hmmm? I agree with both Debra (the Etsy thing) and Cori (the Heaven Tree thing)-- the back is the fave. I think the grocery store is crying out to see something other than jeans and sweats; imagine how happy you'll make the checkout girl who loves Project Runway but thinks her town is boring? It's for others, Allie, wear it to the grocery store and report back your findings...inquiring minds (OK, maybe just one mind) want(s) to know...

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Even if you don't wear it often it is an amazing creation! And you designed and made it!

The jelly reminds me of days spent at my grandma's where I thought everyone canned jelly, and came home to realize that most cityfolks buy it from the grocery store. :)

Judy S. said...

It looks great to me, Allie. I like both the back and the front! If you don't feel right wearing it, the holidays are coming and you might just find someone on your list who'd love it! That is if you're not tempted by Etsy. It's kind of fun sometimes though to step outside your normal persona though...like Susan suggested.

Vicki W said...

That's pretty much the only sweatshirt jacket that I've seen that I would wear out of the house. It looks great and I love the back!

Jane said...

Yeah, yeah, I see it... the catwalk down isle 8, the spice isle, the wine isle -he-he! Very pretty Allie and I know you'd look fab in it and Esther would too. I thought I saw the peeks of something happening on the back...but alas, I think I'm like you, even one too many buttons can turn me into feeling stiff and overdressed for my way of life. PS... Thanks for all you do for CQ Mag... just heard it's out.. congrats on another issue!

Christine said...

That's gorgeous. I know what you mean about wearing conservative clothes out and about. But I do get "textile envy" when I see traders at the Craft Shows wearing beautiful hand made original clothing. And then there's the times when I wear my different costumes on public transport going to costumed events... hmmmm.. perhaps I'm not the best person to comment on this one, VBG, but I LOVE it!!
Hooroo,
Christine.

Barbara C said...

Nice jacket, though I know what you mean about wearing artsy garments.

And those are my favorite grapes. You've got some good neighbors.

Cat said...

This came out beautiful. When I enlarged the picture of the front and looked at the button and loop... I saw a bird head with an orange beak... with beautiful plumage wrapping aound the sweatshirt.

JoWynn Johns said...

Now why would you write to me that this is "just a sweat shirt"? It is "an art garment"! And how!!! So beautiful. And so YOU! If you don't want to wear it, hang it in plain view for all to see. Thanks for showing it to us.

TattingChic said...

Wow! your sweatshirt is beautiful! What a fabulous job yuou did!

shebaduhkitty said...

that sweatshirt is spectacular! it gives me TONS Of ideas... as I am losing weight and can't bear to get rid of some of my now-bigger clothes... I should just alter and resize them! I too am not a big art clothing wearing type... but might have to explore it none the less.

Michael said...

What a stunning garment!! Such a work of art.
But i also just had to comment on that vat of grapes you just made into jelly. What memories that brings back to me of when my mother made jelly. I can smell those grapes simmering right now!!
thanks
Sara

verobirdie said...

Allie, I was not really thrilled by the previous pictures, but the final output is much better :-) I like it very much. You did a great work.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Absolutely stunning jacket! I know what you mean about wearing art...I always think I want to and then, when it gets right down to it, I chicken out. Think it's because I'm 5'9" and feel like I'd look even bigger than I am. Ah, the dreams tho'....
I can almost taste that jelly!!

Kay said...

Very pretty! Better than that actually. When I read that you were going to make it fit AFTER the embellishment, I wondered how that would work. But what you did is a clever idea.

Summerset said...

Thanks for the compliment, but truly you've done some stunning work here taking a plain black sweatshirt and making it so beautiful!

KT Foust said...

WOW~ I'll wear it if you won't! But you might just try it once, with cool jeans, a white tee and hoop earrings! Wear it in Portland and someone will undoubtedly try to buy it off your back!

Lovely and very very cool!

Vivian Love said...

The sweatshirt is just beautiful! Great job! I'm amazed at your creativity!

black bear cabin said...

a lot of the altered sweatshirts are too cutesy for me, but this one is very beautiful and elegant!
if you decide its not for you, it would make a lovely gift for someone else...the holidays are just around the corner :)

Anonymous said...

You can wear that scrumptious sweat shirt because as gorgeous as it is, it would never outshine your beauty!

Granny Fran (Blogger doesn't like me, again, this evening.)

Anonymous said...

Forgot to say, you need to figure out how to use that wonderful photo of the grapes; the shapes and colors are fantastic!
Granny Fran (again)

Jean said...

Allie your jacket looks really kozy! Boy, the first thing I thought of when I saw the back was a Tree! I'll bet b/4 long you will be wearing it all the time!
You sure did a great job! Love the colors.

tamdoll said...

That jacket looks so amazing, you really did a fantastic job.