Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Last night on Channel 11 News, the lead story was about a small town a few hours west of Dallas where UFOs have been sighted, well at least supposedly sighted. They had a bunch of (very cliché if I may say so) country folk talking about lights zooming around the sky. I'm sure it won't be long before conspiracy theorists suggest it is anyone from the ghost of Abraham Lincoln to Dick Cheney's third cousin that is causing the supposed UFOs, and alas I digress.

My post is not supposed to be about the UFO sightings in Stephenville, Texas as that hardly fits the self-imposed limits of this blog. Generally, when I say UFO, I'm not talking about flying dishes from Mars--I'm talking about those projects which disrupt one's feng shui, sitting around for years rotting and waiting to be used, I'm talking about UnFinished Objects. And this weekend, I came across my ultimate UFO. I was fishing around the boxes on the top shelf of my closet and I saw this poor bundle of cloth, half sewn, half pinned together--a project I started the summer after my freshman year of college. As a reference point, shabby chic was brand new then, and I hadn't heard of Anthropologie yet. So I vowed to finish the thing. Ordinarily, if a sewing project of mine isn't completed within a year, it meets it's demise in the form of a date with the garbage can. But this project is special for a number of reasons. First, my mother thinks its the most beautiful thing she's ever seen and the best project I've ever done, with the exception of a painted piece of glass that (hopefully) I'll be blogging about next week. And my mother would be really sad if this project bit the dust. Second, looking back, I do think it's pretty impressive that I did the whole thing without a pattern. I just started free sewing and I created something that looks pretty good. And third, I really love it too. I don't know what caused me to put it down, but I would guess it was left in Texas when I went back to Virginia for my sophomore year of college.

And some details about the UFO: It's an apron, with a hand stitched "H" across the front in both pink and green (as can be seen at the top of this post). I hand sewed the ruffles without a pattern (at right, the fabric really looks good on film, you get quite a sense of the textures at play). I figured out a pretty cool way of creating ruffles evenly using my fingers as the markers for where the ruffles belong. It's not an exact science by any means, but I don't mind because it all fits in with the "shabby chic" mentality I had going on when I started this project. And at this point, I've all but finished the top half of the apron, and the bottom half is also done (but not pictured yet because it desperately needs to be ironed. Seven years at the bottom of a box did nothing to make the skirt part photogenic). All that's left is some spot hand sewing and for me to attach the top part to the skirt part (a process which will require a trip to the sewing store for some fresh navy blue thread, I'm all out at the moment). Hopefully the whole thing will be revealed here quite soon!

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