Sunday, 31 May 2015

SEWN: THE NOSTALGIA WRAP

Memories are a funny thing. They are powerful, yet often flawed.


This project has a bit of history to it. Sarah has heard a bit of this story after I commented on her fabulous Woodland Stroll Cape. You see I've been planning a cape/poncho/winter thingy for literally years.


I have this rather precious memory. I recall being small, maybe four, and I was the proud owner of the most wicked poncho ever. Crocheted in green and white, pom pom drawstrings, I was a child of the 70's. That thing was the bomb. And I remember very clearly one particular occasion of wear. I was sick (nothing major I suspect) and my father allowed me to keep my pyjamas on with my precious poncho thrown on top to head to the doctors. I remember striding with pride holding my Daddy's hand. I seriously felt like the queen of the world.


I've pretty much always wanted to create a newer, more modern and fresh version of that famed poncho. A few years ago I fell in love with Tessuti's New York Cape when I came across Kirsty's version showcased on the Tessuti blog. Oh my, be still my beating heart. I rushed to buy the pattern, and then... stalled. I don't know why. I just never got around to it.


Then last winter I visited The Fabric Store to buy something completely different. And whilst making my purchase I saw a roll of the most amazingly perfect pure wool coating I'd ever seen. Shades of apple green, cream, fawn and brown.

Please don't tell me it's back there because someone bought the whole roll I begged the staff.

Um yep, it was. But my angel on earth (one of the shop assistants) chased some up from another store and one phone call later it was winging its way to me.

Coordinating wool binding was purchased from Tessuti and I was ready to go... and then I stalled again.

Why?

Because this fabric needed to be honoured by the right pattern. And when I saw Anna's divine Winter Wrap it became all too clear that this is what this fabric was meant to be. I knew it was perfect and I had to have something just like it.

I fired up Google and minutes later I found this tutorial and the capacity to make the cape/wrap/thingy of my dreams.

This is a super quick project that basically requires you to cut a "neckline" out of a square of fabric and then bind the edges. You could use regular bias binding or even handstitch a blanket stitch around the edge. I had the wool binding so was set to go. I used Anna's fabric dimensions, a square of 1.3m x 1.3m, because I liked the fall and drape of hers.

I have had in my stash for some time a couple of Tasmanian designed and crafted wooden buttons purchased by the hubby on a business trip to Hobart. I wanted to add just a little something, so used this beautiful bird button as a "brooch".


Back to memories. Why are memories flawed? Because my mum just informed me the poncho was red, not green and white!! And as soon as she said it I thought "So it was..."

Green, white, red, it just doesn't matter because good god I love this thing. It might even cause me to show my teeth...


And the reason it holds such nostalgia for me? My father passed away in my early teen years. Wearing this capes brings back such powerful memories of him and how dearly I was loved. You may have been gone for twenty-eight years Daddy, but I remember you. I remember you Daddy and this one's for you.

55 comments:

  1. Yay! Lovely fabric, poncho and story! Brought a tear to my eye xxx

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  2. What a wrap, what a story... I may have a tear in the corner of my eye. And you MUST smile for us all more often beautiful lady. 😘

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  3. It turned out so beautifully! It shows how much it means to you. Isn't it wonderful that we can create something like this for ourselves with such meaning? May you feel wrapped in love whenever you wear it, like the queen of the world. And I love your teeth! I have always wanted that little gap between the front teeth ;) You see, my mom used to have that before she had them fixed when I was a teenager and I think it is just so pretty! I had to wear braces as a kid, so no chance for me to ever develop it ;)

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  4. What a powerful project for you to undertake. I hope you get lots of wear out of this snuggly wrap and can think fondly of your Dad as you stay super warm and stylish.

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  5. Oh bless! It's beautiful, and so is your story. So glad you feel you did the fabric and your memories justice xx

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  6. Oh this is so beautiful. Feeling pretty choked up now xxxx You are such a gorgeous girl x

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  7. how wonderful! Its such a snuggly looking cape and no matter the colour as long as it remindes your of your pa thats more important. It such a great fabric and pattern! Good on you!

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  8. Oh wow, that is such a touching story and powerful memory that has been all sewn up in this wonderful cape! So glad you managed to get some of this beautiful fabric to make this dream cape, I just wish I had spotted it first! ;-)

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  9. Just gorgeous Jillian! Very cosy and very chic.

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  10. Beautiful. You've got me all revved up to make a poncho now!

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  11. That's so lovely! Ponchos were such a thing over winter but I never quite found the right pattern. You make me wish I made one too. I'm going to store up this idea for the end of the year.

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  12. It's beautiful, I love it! You stalled for the right reasons!

    xoxoxo

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  13. What a special memory! Beautiful cape, looks so cozy.

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  14. Damn you... Making me cry on the train at 8.30 in the morning. Beautiful story. I lost my dad 19 years ago but his memory is still strong and he is missed too.

    Your wrap is divine, and i want to steal it. Funny I was thinking the other week that I need a poncho wrap thingy in my lfe and voila yours and Anna's popped up.

    Must get this pattern.

    Enjoy.

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  15. This is beautiful, and what a beautiful story to go with it!

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  16. tears in my eyes, lovely story and such a lovely warm blanket cape. Perfect.

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  17. Beautiful! Story and Cape. And this! This is why we sew.

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  18. Awww thank you! Didn't you use this fabric for a coat too? Isn't it gorgeous??

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  19. Ha! I have a goofy smile. But it's funny seeing my face in repose in most of my blog shots because I'm known for my expressive, mad face. Faces... so weird ;)

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  20. Thanks Ute. My gap doesn't actually bother me at all - I wouldn't be me if I didn't have my gap. I just feel weird smiling in photos! My brother had braces on his much worse teeth - ouch, I'm glad I went without!

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  21. This thingy is gonna get so much wear, I didn't take it off yesterday. Who doesn't want to wear a blanket in the dead of winter?

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  22. Thanks Sarah. And thanks for lending some inspiration to finally get this done :)

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  23. Nawww thank you Kirsty. I'm avoiding reading it again myself as it's a bit exhausting. It was quite a cathartic make this one

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  24. Thanks Catherine, it's the snuggliest piece I've ever made :)

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  25. It's a gorgeous plaid and it's wonderful to have been able to weave some memories into it.

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  26. Thanks Kirsty. Who would have thought wearing a blanket could feel so chic? Haha! I'm so pleased with it :)

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  27. Do it! So easy to make and wear

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  28. Thanks Debbie, you would totally rock this look xx

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  29. Yep! Sometimes our heart knows better and I'm glad I finally hit on the perfect project for me.

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  30. Thanks Lisa, and yes, it's verrrrry cosy :)

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  31. Steff I'm sorry to hear you lost your dad too. It's an awful thing to lose a parent. And first the cowl and now this! Go on, you know you want to xx

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  32. Thanks Nic, it feel pretty perfect x

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  33. Yep, this is why our sewing can have so much power. Thanks for your comment xx

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  34. Oh you got me right in the feels there! I can't imagine not having my daddy around. Major virtual hugs being sent your way. This is a gorgeous cape and such a beautiful story to go with it xx

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  35. SeamsOddLouise.Blogspot.com2 June 2015 at 07:03

    Your last last words have choked me up, memories are funny things. I was telling my Mum a tale about my dad (he died 30 years ago when I was 9) anyway I told my mum, and she said quite plainly "that happened to your cousin not you" I must have seen it and over the years conflated it to have happened to me! I hope you enjoy wearing your wrap it is lovely.

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  36. Gorgeous story, its just lovely to hear how something hand made makes you feel enveloped in love and happy memories. I sew a lot for my girls and I tell them that when they wear something made by me its extra special cause they are wrapped in my love. Love this fabric too, my daughter picked out the very same fabric and I made a bomber jacket for her out of it.

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  37. Thanks Kat. You know I'm more affected by my father's death now that I have a child. It absolutely brings me to tears to think about my child losing me or her daddy.

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  38. Oh wow, you lost your Dad so young, I'm sorry. Although it's not easy at any age: I was 14, my brother was 17 and it was a horrid time that scarred both of us for many years. Memories are definitely funny things.

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  39. Thanks Eliza, it is rather special. I must make more for my daughter. I have made sure that whilst every RTW item she's outgrown has been passed along, her me-mades are all stored carefully as a bit of a memory repository. She can always choose what she wants to keep, that she holds dearly, later and then get rid of the rest. But I can't because of the love bound up in their seams. Your daughters are very lucky indeed :)

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  40. What a beautiful story. I love how you brought the magic of your girlhood poncho to life and your attachment to your father who held your hand and am glad all the pieces of this poncho magically came together. I love your smile in the the last photo.

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  41. Such a lovely story. And the cape is super beautiful. Love the colours!
    Isn't it wonderful to be able to create something so special? I inherited quite a few fabrics from my grandmother when she died (she was a seamstress and one of the most loving people on earth). Sewing and wearing a garment made from her fabrics is so special and always makes me think of her.

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  42. Oh it's just luscious, and the wool binding is so perfect - I wish I'd thought of wool binding for my jacket; it's so much lovelier than raw edges, and I'm sure nothing can unravel from under there!


    I'm glad your wrap makes you think of your daddy - that's so special, though you're making me all teary! I can't imagine how tough it must have been on you to lose him when you were a teenager! xxx

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  43. Oh my goodness, I love how sewing can help recreate a memory for us! It is a lovely piece and a wonderful story. The wool binding looks really well done, too!

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  44. Thank you Melanie! Yeah, I don't always give a big smile in photos, it feels a bit goofy. But this project makes me so happy it was impossible not to :)

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  45. Oh how fantastic to have your grandmother's fabric, that's super special! Have you blogged some of the projects you've created with them? I'd love to take a peek.

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  46. The wool binding is a nice finish, but it's easy for it to become the most expensive part of the project, overtaking the fabric. Yep, really. I think it's always tough to lose a parent, no matter the age xx

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  47. Thanks Helena! And is lovely to have a project that is associated with warm and fuzzy feelings :)

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  48. Unfortunately, my blog is too young, but you can see some projects on my old burdastyle account, i.e. http://www.burdastyle.com/projects/50ies-inspired-skirt?image=301776 (from my very first sewing class) or http://www.burdastyle.com/projects/the-pink-hoodie-just-for-fun?image=301795 (the lining was one of her fabrics) or http://www.burdastyle.com/projects/my-very-first-tote?image=301826 (the red fabric) or http://www.burdastyle.com/projects/hausherrin (where I used her apron pattern).


    She was pretty much into simple plain fabrics and most of the ones I enherited were too small to create an entire garment, but it's nice to have a small part of her with me, even if it's just in the form of a lining or a beautiful button or some bias tape binding that was made from one of her fabric scraps :-)

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  49. Beautiful cape, beautiful story. Now I'm welling up on the bus in peak hour!

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  50. Oh dear, sorry Alex :) It seems to have provoked far more emotion in far more people than I thought it would. And thank you - it wraps me in both physical and metaphorical warmth often xx

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  51. Thank you Michelle. And it really doesn't matter if the colour is "right", it ticks all my boxes :)

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