Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Goodbye March!

The last assignment that I had for my class was to make something out of materials that were not fabric and then translate them into fabric.
I had a few ideas kicking around my head but nothing really concrete until I walked by the library where the librarian had just put out some packing material that had come with some new books.

The light went on, the wheels turned and this is where it ended up. Very "non-fabric"!
Now came the fun part. Translating it into something that was made of fabric. It only had to be loosely translated so that made things a lot easier.
It reminded me of a down filled vest, so that is where my idea started.
The original had the usual advertisement of the product and the warning labels that "this product is not a flotation device" and "keep out of reach of children". I decided after much deliberation that I wanted poems of some sort that spoke of winter and cold. A few google pages later I came across the haiku diaries and found the words that I would use. I asked for and received permission from Rachel and Jenna (haiku artists extraordinaire) the use of some of their winter haiku's. ( I don't know if the 's is correct or if haiku is one of those "plural and single all in one" kind of words, so I will just use haiku from now on)
I made a silk screen (even though the screen mesh is some frighteningly synthetic material and not at all silk) and exposed some of the haiku on it.
Here is a close up of one of the haiku.
And printed them on the organza. I debated what colour of organza to use and finally decided to use a tan colour. It reminded me a bit of dirty, melting snow.
Then cam the fun of assembling them. I tried a couple of different things but they did not turn out at all satisfactory. So out came the stitch ripped and out came the seams.
I decided to pair each haiku fabric piece with a plain piece and create pillows quite like the air filled pillows of the original vest.

I sewed up most of the seams, leaving only enough open to stuff the pillows.

With what did I stuff them? Feathers of course! These are lovely polka dot feathers that I found at the dollar store. Nature is truly amazing!

After all of the stuffing, I hand stitched the openings closed and then stitched together the corners. I then decided to make a couple of smaller pillows to act as the closure area.
And the final product! I am not completely happy with the end result. I like the idea, I like the haiku, I like the feathers. But the final construction leaves a bit to be desired. But there is only so many hours in the day and so much energy in my old bones, so I decided to leave it for now. I think that when I get it back from marking, I am going to pick the bottom apart and reassemble it to more resemble the original. I am also going to sew all of the adjoining seams. But seeing as all of that sewing will be hand sewing, I am going to wait until I have a little more spare time and things are not as hectic.

Thanks again to Jenna and Rachel for allowing me to use their words.

Oh, and the name of the vest is simple "March Vest" which brings us back to the title of this post...

Good bye March!
Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out!


tanita davis said...

It's a parachute! Or, a life jacket... something to float you out of March, anyway. I like the idea of haiku on organza - it's National Poetry Month in the U.S. in April, so you're on to a good celebratory tactic -- and the polka dots are very spring-esque. It'll e interesting to see what you're happy with in the end.

Rachel Dickinson said...

Very cool, Jackie. It's nice to see the haiku in "print."


Valerie said...

I love it!! Thanks for sharing your process.

Before you sew up those seems....you could thread some inkle or cardwoven bands between the pouches. Or perhaps even ready made ribbon.