I’ve always wanted to fix things and make them better since being a tot when I’d smuggle sick or injured creatures into the house in an attempt to nurse them or make splints (which I learned to do from dusty books of physiology and remedies which held great fascination for me) In the inanimate world, teddies that had received tough love from my sister, mine and hers, would be meticulously repaired with carefully sculptured replica organs. Usually made from Fimo and modelled from drawings found in the aforementioned books, these would be stowed away amongst the fibre filling of the bear, secret clay viscera which I fancied would give them a better life. A bit over the top really.
Anyway, what’s this got to do with owt? Well, it occurred to me the other day that I have the same approach to found objects or even things I make that aren’t quite right. I just don’t seem to know when to give up. It’s a bit of a pain really as I become focussed on fixing things like the occupants of the shop in Bagpuss do when I really would be better making new creations from scratch, but the urge to repair and make amends always rises to the surface. Though nowadays it’s seen seen as a movement to refashion it’s been at my core for as long as I can remember. Making my Mum newsboy style hats from candlewick bedspreads or the rag bag from under the stairs to wear on a night out, the next week it would be zipped clutch bag or a pillow case dress (I’m often reminded I was about 5 years old when these type of fripperies started appearing and I’ve seen a box full of these strange garments and accessories that my Mum has kept and so tolerantly worn out of the house after kissing me goodbye) So I am hell bent on repair and remaking, it’s a compulsion. I don’t know what all this means, probably something to do with a fixation on remedying something attainable in my world when I have no control over other forces around me, within me or whatever. So without further ado, I’ll sully this introspective and start banging on about another blouse.
I came across a linen top for a pittance and liked the fabric, it may have originally been a tablecloth. It was a home sewn by someone else creation, shapeless with hideous puffed sleeves and ruffled cuffs (a double hit of no-no for me) yet I found myself parting with a few pennies as I felt the need to salvage it, another bird with a broken wing.
The whole thing was unpicked and new sleeves were hewn and everything assembled, ties were made the rouleau loop way for the cold shoulder type-thing going on instead of the previously uneven folded and topstitched tabs. A bias bound neckline replaced the original turned-under version, a method that strokes my fur the wrong way.
Also at the end of a weary day yesterday, it got some random application of naive stitching in green fine embroidery cotton to give it a bit of oomph. Here it is after that bit of tickling:
I was quite satisfied with the salvation job until I tried it on and I don’t know, all that tying on the shoulder and the exposed flesh left me reeling in horror and I had Victor Frankenstein moment and thought what have I made?
I’d spent all that time and it was not what I had in mind. Thankfully though my mind instantly conjours up ridiculous solutions and settled on fashioning a new cowl neck out of two vintage embroidered tray covers, partly because if I recall whilst in the throes getting my solution finding kick – the linen was the same colour. Though not the same weight, I reckoned it would tie in nicely and all be a bit serendipitous. I think it worked out this time though and have worn since finishing it this afternoon.
I’m hoping that my next sewing project will be something started afresh instead of fixing-up but as time goes by I realise this inherent need has to be gratified. Have I fed it a bit for it to lay dormant for a while? I shall see.