29 November, 2009

creative nostalgia

While home for Thanksgiving I went looking in my old room for a few things to bring back with me. What I didn't expect was to open a box and find my life circa 1990-91. I found my first pair of Chucks, which I wore into the early part of college. Size mens 3 1/2, a full size smaller than I wear now. Two pair of tights: hot pink and lime green, both worn bunches in my early 20s (and also sadly a full size smaller than I wear now). But then I also found a hat. The most ambitious one I'd ever made at that point, and probably my second or third hat ever.

First a bit of backtracking; I received my first sewing machine in 1991, an exchange at Sears for the microwave I actually was given for Christmas. Before that (and if I'm to be totally honest for a good six months after as technology scared me), everything I worked on was exclusively hand sewn. So when I started making hats, it was absolutely done with a needle and thread and a lot of craptastic stitching. When I did this one in the fall of 1990, I wanted to make something romantic without being pink. Something to wear out on the town. Well, that didn't exactly happen, though I did wear it out; the hat made its debut at a campus screening of "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover." Yeah, I was kind of a weird girl.

Memories of social awkwardness aside, I have to admit I'm pretty fascinated by this hat. I mean, despite the fact it's a lint magnet, and that the lining looks like it was stitched by Dr Frankenstein, it's not half bad. I learned with it that buckram takes patience (which I don't completely have) and that oversized floppy hats are not necessarily a good look for me. It's fun to look at it and realized I've grown in taste and skills. Technically speaking I have greatly improved as a designer, which makes me happy. All I can do is hope to improve.

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