Monday, July 23, 2012

Ruffle Butt Extravaganza

 I have been crafting like mad lately-- partly to continue to get ready for Shimmy in the Grain in two weeks (*gasp*) and also as a part of my mom's annual week-in-Madison with me.  Mom does not sew at all, so she saves up all the missing-button, mending, and alteration projects  from the family to bring to me.  This time I shortened a pair of dress slacks for my brother, shortened 5 tank tops for my mom, and created a bunch of throw pillows. 
Mom had this idea shortly after Grandma's passing of making pillows out of Grandma's clothing, which I find  morbid and comforting all at the same time.  It is sort of like the necklace that they made of her thumb print... when I touch it, it is reassuring that that is the impression of her hand, but it is also rather macabre to think that they made the impression after death.  The pillows go into the same category for me; the fabrics that Abuelita chose for clothing is so beautiful!  It is genuinely nice to see the bright patterns and floral prints imbued with the memory of her.  On the other hand, when I first attempted this project for Mom, I ended up crumpled in a ball on the floor crying... Somehow, cutting up her clothes so fresh with her memory was like cutting her up too. 
This time around though, I approached it more like an art project, and the results were quite pleasing.  I deconstructed and creatively assembled 3 pillows for Mom.  I made her sit up in the loft with me and help with ironing and deconstruction so that she'd know how hard it was, because initially she was under the impression that making these pillows would be some small task.  To be fair, I suppose it would have been much simpler if I wasn't such a perfectionist about lining up seams and having patterns that actually looked like pillows--not like a nightgown made into a pillow.

After all that sewing with Mom, I ended up feeling driven to continue to create for myself after she left.  Jesse watched "ROME" with Rosie downstairs, and I ascended into the loft to craft my heart out.  I ended up making 2 new Ruffle Butt Belts that I am so proud of!  They are just gorgeous.  I really need to get a model into them on my etsy store, because the flat photos of the belts laid out just don't do them justice at all.  They are very perky on the derriere if you know what I mean! 
I made one in ivory and black with bright gold accents.  I was envisioning saying something about the finished belt like, "Fit for a steampunk queen, not an airship pirate!"  It is certainly girly and frou frou, rather than strong and tough.
The second belt is really striking with alternating black and white laces, a striped ribbon in the center and bright silver trim.  I love the big O rings on it. 
Today I just kept going!  I have two more Ruffle Butts in the works--one with a student, Kristina, specifically in mind, and one for myself to perform in personally. 
...And that is what I'm off to work on right now... Ta ta!

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