Back in the 80s, I was embellishing a number of commercial garments with appliques and button and bead additions. This one I call my “Love Jacket” because of the “Love” pin on the left side of the zipper. It’s patterned after a US Postal Service stamp that came out around then for Valentine Day love letters. This bomber style jacket came with the large gold “fingerprint” motifs already stenciled on the jacket, so I wanted to add my own “touch” with the embellishments. There are a number of stars in various forms, and some circular designs that I like to collect in my fabric stash, as their shapes play off the round shapes of most buttons. There are a number of zippered pockets, and the problem with getting designs sewn onto the pocket, was being able to reach far enough into the pocket to fasten on the motif without sewing through the entire pocket. I would suggest that before you start such a venture, make sure that you can get your hand easily into whatever part of the piece of clothing you’re trying to embellish.
The back of the jacket didn’t get as much embellishment, because, well, if I can’t see it, then it’s not as important. It’s sort of like one of my cats who thinks he’s hidden when his head is under the bed, even though his whole back end is sticking out. There are some French-like words stenciled on the back, but they don’t make a whole phrase. I used some shisha mirrors to add shine, replicate the circular fabric motifs that I sewed on the back, and to repeat the large circle at the bottom of the jacket. While it’s still easy to find sources for those mirrors on line, the little gold and solver covers with tiny pearls that hold the mirrors in place no longer seem to be available. They’re an example of a design element that when you find that you like them, then buy as many as you can afford, as they probably will quit making them at some point.
This detail photo of the front of this embellished jacket shows the red, green, and purple “Love” pin at the bottom of the jacket to the left of the zipper in this photo. There’s one of those shisha mirrors up next to the knit collar, also on the left in the photo. There’s another one in the right middle, where I repeated the round shapes with a number of clock faces. Time marches on, as does Love, and I suppose I could go on and get quite pensive here, but I’ll spare you the ramblings. Suffice it to say that my life has changed drastically, for the better, I might add, since this jacket was first made.
This style of jacket was so much a product of the 80s, as were the embellishments. I did frequently wear it, even to school when I taught 7th grade science. I imagine that the kids, now parents, still remember their wacky science teacher. I however, had great, good fun wearing my art on me and showing others what I had created.
How do you show others what you create? Are you big and bold, or do you hide your work in your studio or closet? If you don’t go public, why not???
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