Monday 19 December 2011

Poetry & Clothing Project: November

Alrighty, today I can finally share with you a garment that I made before this whole Poetry & Clothing project had even been invented. The first garment I got to make for myself whilst working at TRAIDremade was this remade sweatshirt with a contrast Peter Pan collar that made back in November 2010. Well, Harriet saw that on this lil' blog of mine and asked me to make her something similar. It took me until the following March to finally get it completed, and then the Spanish postal system managed to lose the damn thing. Thanks for that, Spanish postal system (AKA Correos). I have had many a beef with Correos, but now is not the time or place...

Anyways, I really enjoyed making the sweatshirt for her and it somehow sparked the idea for the P&C project, which I started the following month (April). Eventually, the package conatining the sweatshirt reappeared in the UK by which my sewing-thoughts had already turned to warmer weather garments, so the sweatshirt got put away until the weather got nippier again. Well, in an unprecedented show of sewing-project organisation, I spent much for my sewing time in November making a long list of Christmas gifts. To give me more time for that, I decided November's P&C garment could be the long-lost sweatshirt which Harriet had first desired a whole year before! I really hope she hasn't gone off the idea of it after all that time!

So, in much the same way at my own Peter Pan collar sweatshirt remake, this garment started life as an unwanted mens sweatshirt. I recut the pieces for a closer, cuter, more feminie silhouette with slight gathering at the sleeve head and 3/4 length sleeves. The over-sized collar is made from a scrap of red and white spotty cotton, and the buttons, which IMO look distinctly edible, reflect that pop of colour.

And on to the more interesting half of this exchange: the poetry! Harriet's poem that I am sharing with you today was written in response to October's P&C outfit:


We cover our fabrics with leaves, birds, butterflies, strawberries, animal prints and wander around urban jungles in this way, imagining ourselvesto be somehow wild and essential because of it. I follow Gaudi's curves as though they were sculpted under the majestic reign of nature herself. And yet in these reprints there is something luxurious - the way we love to refer to grass and sky as velvet. There is lavishness in simplicity - something strangley opulent and timeless about a collar which bends like the polished wood of a hand-carved pew and at the same time, something shocking about sitting in a church dressed in leopard print. What I love about this church is the way it ridicules austerity. I love the playfulness, the festivity, the way it allows for bawdiness, greed and generosity all at once. And as I sit there, I notice something strange happening. I become camoflage. I slowly morph into something as imperceptible as dust. My skin, such as it is today, is at home here. The black and orange make perfect sense among the huge pacific shells filled with holy water, the purple butterfly wings flung open against the sky and the ghosts sliding in on flakes of dust, settling on slices of glass pineapple. Like me, they are quietly measuring the circumference of light.


Alessa said...

The shirt is really pretty, and such lovely poetry!

skippysays said...

That shirt is amazing- the collar and buttons are just too cute!

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