Wednesday, June 29, 2011


So, I had this cardigan coat thing. I bought it about two years ago because I loved the buttons. Sadly, after hardly wearing it that winter, I realised that much as I loved the buttons, they made it look a little bit like a clown coat. Also, it wasn't that great for wearing open as it didn't have buttonholes, actually closing with giant press-studs that showed when not fastened. And if you can't wear a coat open around here, it's not likely you'll be wearing it very much. Plus, it was just a touch too big for me and the sleeves hung down over my hands. So I decided I'd have to do something to make it more interesting.

Here it is with the brand censored out (I'm sure they wouldn't like the clown comment). When I took this picture I had already removed the buttons and studs - I just balanced them in place here to show you what it used to look like. It sat in my pile of stuff-to-be-mended for a whole year, while I imagined learning to crochet and making sweet flowery edgings... but then I changed my mind.

You see, I'll buy with glee and wear to pieces anything that looks like it comes from one of my favourite movies, and a lot of my favourite movies tend to involve fighting, running, aliens, zombies, fighting aliens, running from zombies, vice-versa, etcetera. Which means that I'm guaranteed to fall for anything that's full of buckles and belts and pockets, and looks as if it were cobbled together some time after the apocalypse from an old pair of cargo pants and anything else that was unwise enough to wander past at the time.

So that's exactly what I did. The day after what some people thought would be the end of the world, I chopped up a pair of cargoes that had finally given up being pants (I haven't shown you the pants as they were because I know you'd know I was still actually wearing them right up to that point) and cut out the pockets, the waistband, and all the double seams with a bit of fabric on each side. Then I hemmed all the bits on a sewing machine and stitched them onto the cardigan by hand. I had to be careful, especially with the turned-up sleeves and the waistband, to bunch the knitted fabric together as I sewed. Otherwise the wool wanted to stretch out and go all curly at the edges. You can see it's still a little like that at the cuffs. So after much sewing and diligence....

Yay! I've been wearing the heck out of it since then. My mother thinks I'm odd. And the buttons? I'll just have to think of something to do with them...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Out of the attic: Lotus flower

Just a simple chalk pastel drawing from way back. Did you know that the lotus is most closely related to proteas and plane trees, and not at all to waterlilies?