From Scraps to Treasures….

The journey to a new dress began with finding this beautiful calico fabric at the store. It’s minute little roses touched my heart just so. That was a few years ago. It takes time for me to squirrel away funds to buy a bolt of fabric. But, in time, it came to be and I re-found this calico… and it was on sale, too, which made it doubly exciting.

The next step to the journey was deciding what style of dress I wanted. I truly was thinking I’d like to make a Cherokee Tear dress… but alas I couldn’t get enough of the calico to make it. Ribbon, too, has been scarce these last few years. So, I began to look at other options. There was the standard Women’s Southern Cloth dress that I’ve made many many times…. but, I wanted something different. My own tribe, Shawnee, traditional wear is beautiful, and truly I prayed very deeply about going with that style (Strap dress, with tiered overcape). I even dug into my cloth and found I had enough black, and a yard or so of a fabric with little hummingbirds on it that would make a nice, single tier overcape. And, I will make that later.

I considered that I won’t be dancing anytime soon between pandemic and my health that just isn’t going to happen. Then, I was invited to flute for some friends and I thought it would be nice to have new regalia (given that I’ve passed on my Jingle wear) for that occasion. Which will be happening tomorrow! YEAH! And so, I started to pray and consider what kind of regalia would protect my privacy when I raised my arms to play, yet still be Native. In the end, I decided on an Ojibwe style dress. It’s NOT authentic, but hopefully not offensive either.

I like the dropwaist as it reminds me of the 1920’s… and I really enjoy the music and the “freeness” of that time. I envision flappers, and women’s sufferage, and all the dancing… tons of dancing…. So, the base gown was born. I added a little bit of ribbon for shimmer. Next was onto the underskirt… a simple wrap. Sorry, it’s not traditional. I’m allergic to the wool, and couldn’t afford the yardage for simulated wool right now. Not that the store actually had said fabric to begin with. Like we all know, pandemic has stretched our supply lines to the limit, so one must make do with what one can get… in my case, a basic cotton. It will serve for the moment I believe. So I made the wrap skirt, leggins and caplet to match.

Then came the hardest part… adornments. Natural designs are appropriate with elaborate beadwork. Frankly, all the images I saw were just too “fancy” for who I am. I am a simple woman. I tend towards the simplicity side of life. So, I wanted a design that reflected that part of my nature. Okay, so I found some patterns for embroidery and for applique, and they were all tremendously beautiful…. and would require a year or more to complete… and I was limited for time. I was almost to the point of tears and cancelling the engagement Friday. Then, I thought…. buttons… simple,, yet could be laid out quickly, and removed later when I had time to do it up proper. So, off I went to store in search of buttons to match in size and color to my dress.

No. Such. Luck. I didn’t want plastic. I didn’t want white, or black. If I was going to use buttons, then they had to be wooden or shell. No such luck. There was a distinct shortage in both wood, and shell buttons. Another option blown away by pandemic. Then, I slipped down the bead aisle. Maybe I could do a simple line of seed beads and later add to the design. Yeah, that could work, I told myself. Blew my nose, wiped my eyes, and changed my thought process.

To my joy, I did find some beads… and what do you know but that they were on sale at 50% off. I would’ve paid full price for them, but hey, I’m not gonna knock a sale. So, then I decided on a simple design that could be picked later if I chose to do applique or the like. So, for now, I have natural stones in place of glass beads… The deep brown of the Tiger Eye set off by the red of bamboo coral, and shell chips. Simple, yet I like it. The beads give just enough weight to keep the caplet from flying up in my face, too. So, I spent all of last evening and today sewing and knotting each bead into place. At the center front, I made a simple “fourwinds” type design.

It’s a far cry from my jingle dress, but already this dress is full of prayer and promise. The little roses bring a smile. The tiger eyes remind me of an Apache story. The red stones remind me of the blood of my savior, And the shells, hmmm… dare I say that they keep me grounded. reminding me to find the good in things most would take for granted, or not care about. None of the stones or shells are perfect, each one is unique.. like each of us. Together, we create our beautiful world.

Now, it’s time for me to get my flutes out and play a little as the sun sets on this gorgeous day. May you each find joy in your journey this week. Be blessed and know that I carry your prayers with me tomorrow as I play.

ScrapHappy – October 2021

Hi, All…. Sorry I’m running late this week, can’t figure out how to get pics off my new phone. Hubby walked me through the transfer again. Thank you, Skywolf.

Okay, here we go…. Happy Halloween month! As you can see, I’ve got Ms. Bones dressed in her finest for the month. A nice little 1960’s era dress, handmade with a few strips of ric-rac down the front for decoration. I’m sure it was made from scraps back in the day. The fabric is a heavy -hmmm– what I would call upolstery fabric today – linen. I like the autumnal colors of it, Don’t you? Boo!

Ahhh, love these crisp autumnal mornings where the fog is slowly lifting through the trees on the hillsides, and the sun is breaking through the clouds. Perfectly fitting for the chilly air. I’ve been so topsy-turvy these past few weeks that it’s been hard to find time to slow down when I didn’t crash into sleep almost instantly. That said, I have been doing little things, mostly finishing up projects I’ve been working on for a few months, at least. The little accomplishments are good, but not always “scrap” worthy. That said, I have quite a mixture of things to share this time….

First up is the completion of an additional prayer kapp. This one I made with a little bit larger hair cover to accommodate a small bun. No, my hair is nowhere near long enough to even bobby pin back, yet. I just want it to be there. This time I recorded time, fabric to finish…took approximately 4 hrs. A quick project, but took me two days to complete. I’ve used very small, Victorian style stitching (about 15 st to inch). You can barely see them unless you look really close. Why it took two days, really. I had to sit in direct sunlight to catch the glint of the thread to see the stitching. I’ve worn it almost non-stop since.

Next up is a sweater I’ve started. Top down crochet. It’s out of the last “Interwearve Crochet” magazine that I picked up for all the shawl patterns. I had a half skein of variagated that has turquiose, magenta, dk blue, dk brown, tan, and maroon in it. It’s really pretty. I thought it would look nice for this sweater so I started it. I got to the point in the pic and decided that there was too much of the variagated, so I ripped back and did an alternating between dark “coffee” brown and the variagated. It looks better in person. It’s hard to see in the photo at this point. So, now, I’m into the section of dividing out the sleeves v/s body. The rest of the sweater will be in coffee brown, with variagated again in the cuffs and maybe a line on the bottom edge (still deciding that part). I only have one skein of the coffee brown at the moment, so I’m pretty sure I’ll have to get another skein or two to complete it.

If you’ve known me for long, then you’ll know I’m not exactly fond of kits. I find them most frustrating mostly because there never seem to be enough thread to complete the project as instructed. So, it’s out of the ordinary for me to buy one… then, there was the pandemic! Shelves were virtually empty of any crafting supplies. And so, there was this lap quilt block set with campers on it. I thought: “Well, it’s better than nothing”. I picked it up, used the thread chart and stocked up on the floss needed (adding an extra skein for each one to stave off frustration), and came home. I started this up while laundry churned away. Then, somehow it got misplaced when I packed to move. found it this week. Need I say more???

I did put the final scallop row on the bottom of this little throw. It fits perfect on my cot (that I pull out when the ptsd makes sleep impossible). No scrap of yarn to be wasted. This was made with the last of my yarn stash decimated by the pandemic isolation period. Now, I’m slowly rebuilding scrap bin until the start of a new blankie. I’ve got a few small (cue ball size) balls of yarn so far. It will come together in time like they all do. In the meantime, Leahmae has adopted this blankie as hers. She gets upset if I use it.

It’s still a bit wrinkly as I haven’t taken the time to press it, yet, but here’s the latest dresser scarf. Another pandemic kit picked up out of desperation. It was a fairly quick sew up for what it was. cross-stitch and backstitch. It will serve it’s purpose. I should probably attach some lace around the edge, though. Maybe I’ll get out my needles and do some tatting.

Before the sweater above was started, I made up a couple of boggies for our church group “Purls & Chains”. They’re both toddler sized cappos. Both made with left over yarns. I’m sure that they will be put to good use this winter for some child who wouldn’t have any otherwise. I’ll be delivering these along with some blankies and layettes to the women’s shelter here soon. In the meantime, there’s already another blanket’s worth of yarn waiting to be stitched up into a layette. I’ll share it soon, no doubt. In the meantime, it’s boggy time!

Last, but by no means the least is this small quilt. Hexagon shaped, Christmas themed. Something my Buddy and I started sewing before she succumbed to Covid. I finished up the binding this week. It is beautiful in person…. made with scraps from Christmas’ past. Every year, we made it a habit to wrap our gifts for each other with cloth. Cloth that we later used to make scrappy quilts for the homeless shelter. This small quilt is made up of scraps left over from those larger quilts. No scraps were wasted in the making of this. Even the batting is a used blanket. Too small to be donated to the shelter. I think I’ll keep it for a while in memory of our friendship. A reminder that we can persevere through even the hardest of times if we but take it one stitch at a time.

I hope that this month finds you still persevering through these uncertain times with courage and strength. Trust me, you CAN do it. Just slow down and take it one small stitch/step/minute/second at a time. Inching ever forward.

Now, I’m off to scrappy land (AKA: my closet) in search of something to do today…. Happy scrapping…. and watch out for those skeletons in the closet… BOO!