Saturday, October 20, 2012

God Sew the Seam! Craftarchy Upcycled Totebag

I am a Craftarchist, 
Don't know what I want 
But I know how to stitch it. 
I wanna destroy all fabric 
'Cos I wanna be craftarchy!

Call me an Anglophile!  The Beatles invaded my heart at age fashion persuasion swings towards 1960s mod London....Vivienne Westwood and her '70s punks revolutionized my way of diy thinking.....oh and I am always 'loving the alien', err I mean David Bowie.

The imagery of the Union Jack has always been an inspiration to me.  A simple graphic with 3 colors-- the juxtaposition & placement of the various crosses (each representing one of the countries that combined to form the United Kingdom)-- this symbol captivates me!
Origins of the 'Jack'.  Image found off the web.
So powerful!  Be it representing a nation, or representing a rock band, this flag flies across many bounds, continuing to inspire many!!
The Jack Represents!  Clockwise from top left: David Bowie sporting an Alexander McQueen jacket on his 'Earthling' album cover,  Def Leppard in Union Jack '80s exercise gear, Geri Halliwell of the Spice Girls wearing her new line of Union Jack inspired fashion- in sequin dress & posing in front of her trademark '90s Spice Girls Ginger Spice get-up, The Rolling Stones at the Alamo in 1975, The Who with Pete Townsend- symbols of a new young Generation, and Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols in torn ripped Union Jack sleeveless tee a la 1970s punk.

A few years ago, my aunt sent me a package of some things she had kept of my grandmother's and great-grandmother's.  There were loads of designer scarves from the 1960s and 1970s- my grandmother, Mooty as we called her, was a fashionista in her time.  Always impeccably dressed to the 9's in every situation- I must have gotten my love of fashion from her.  My great-grandmother was a crafty one.  She crocheted and produced many intricately constructed doilies and crochet piecings that would grace the tabletops of many a home.  Perhaps her crafty spirit was passed down to me too!  At the time my aunt sent me these relics, I had no idea what to do with them.  They sat in a storage bin for 2 years.  But lightning struck me one day when I was cleaning out my closet and came across them.  Maybe it was the recent celebration of the Queen's Jubilee or the London Olympics....the Union Jack was on my brain (and in my tummy):

I'm All Lost in the Supermarket....I took this pic of the Union Jack icing on the cake at my local QFC grocery store this past summer.

Sew Inspired was I - I took my Grandmother Mooty's Geoffrey Beene 'Nineteen Hundred Seventy-Six' scarf (how's that for some irony?!) and used it as the base fabric for my Union Jack piecing on the Craftarchy Bag.  I glued it with the spray adhesive on some cream canvas.  Then I added my great-grandmother's crochet rectangle pieces as the white cross seen on the Union Jack.  I used some cotton webbing for the diagonal white crosses, and finally added the red tonal striped seersucker fabric to the red cross (a la St. George).  Crimson lace was topstitched on to the cotton webbing (similar to the St. Patricks cross).

As I began stitching my creation together, I came to the realization that there were 4 generations that were involved in the making of this creation:

  1. My Great-Grandmother's Crochet Pieces
  2. My Grandmother's Geoffrey Beene designer scarf
  3. My Mother's Sewing Machine
  4. Me.....Uniting it all together- breathing new life into past relics.  

Kind of similar to how the symbol of the Union Jack came together.....

Talkin' Bout My Generation!  Four Generations Come Together (right now....)

So here I present, in all its new found glory-- my upcycled CRAFTARCHY totebag!  Front, Back, and Side views shown below.  Safetypins adorn the bag as a nod to my favorite fashion designer- Vivienne Westwood- who was responsible for bringing the anti-fashion punk style of the 1970s to the fashion forefront!
Top to  Bottom:  Front of Bag; Back of Bag; Side view of Bag (note the scarf edge)

And the bag is not complete without a fancy inner lining:

Happy Jack- right down to the inner lining!


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