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In the Craziest of Places

March 5, 2011

Steel Blue Jacket

After lots of sewing for Justine - I finally got around to making something for myself.

A few summers ago while visiting family in Wisconsin, I dropped into the Ace Hardware in Waupun. A big store with all sorts of fascinating things – paint, nuts & bolts, batteries, ****hillas (really!) and fabric. I think it’s considered a modern day general store (that term sounds old-fashioned doesn’t it?)

Yes – half way down the center aisle and then off to the left – there beyond the pipe cleaners, glitter glue and assortment of craft kits is the fabric. Everything from kiddie prints to calicos to some heavier weight stuff you might recover a chair with. And there it was. . . the most amazing shade of steel blue, with embroidery that had an Oriental flair to it – red poppies, sea green vines and white lotus. I had to have it. And so at $5 a yard it came home with me. Now to find the perfect jacket pattern – something long, with a Mandarin collar to reflect the Oriental feel. It took a while and once the perfect pattern was in hand – it took a bit longer (Motherhood has a way of distracting one from projects.)

Inspired by my friend Nikol (the owner of Sewtropolis), I began the New Year on a kick to get some projects done (or given away) and this one topped my list. So after construction of a muslin (to make sure the fit would be right) – I cut and assembled the jacket in what seemed like no time at all.

I debuted it with a white turtleneck and black slacks at the annual Destined to WIN conference (organized by Women In Networking). There’s nothing like having something to wear that makes you feel good in the midst of a number of really smart, amazing and generous women. And I mean generous – I got so many wonderful compliments that day on the jacket and lots of amazed reactions when I told them “I made it and it’s hardware store material.”

Perhaps even more fun – the project was featured in The Unfinished Sewing Projects blog as a Friday Finish!

So the moral of the story – you just never know when you might find the most amazing things in the craziest of places.

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