Friday, June 6, 2008

ReFashion Rejuvenation

Our family has always enbraced recycling and reusing. Initially, it was out of necessity.... the realities of self employment. But eventually, reusing evolved into a passion and an art. My husband, especially, has a refined instinct for thrift shop treasures, alley castoffs, patinaed
artifacts and found objects of all kinds. And it is reassuring that a new generation has embraced "refashioning" as a responsibility and a creative outlet, too*. 

Roberta Morgan is one of the many who have recognized the importance of recycling clothing and has transformed its potential into inspiration. I met Roberta during my visit to the Raleigh Capital Quilt Guild this spring. She was wearing one of her wonderful recycled and rejuvinated outfits with applique, embroidery and a bit of bling. Instantly recognizing that this would be a perfect use for the bags of Sassaman scraps that I can't bear to throw out, I asked Roberta if she would like some fabric to embellish her future projects.

A few weeks later a treasure box was delivered to the studio. WOW, WOW, WOW!! Each enhanced garment was a stunner. I was really tickled because she specifically sought out resale jumpers, obviously she was familiar with my teaching uniform... seven colors of the classic Nordstrom's jumper! 

The first jumper has been enhanced with a spray of flowers and fronds fussy cut from two Hothouse fabrics. Perfect on this cloudy spring morning.

This cotton jumper is the most dramatic of all! Roberta has skillfully dissected the spirals from the Tree of Life fabric and rearranged them into a colorful graduated motif. I like the simplicity of the composition. Then on the back, she has used the printed selvedge as a "designer" label. Eat your heart out Ralph Lauren!

This comfortable jumper is practical and stylish. Just the ticket for visiting the farmer's market on a Saturday morning! Wonder if I could order this in seven different colors?

Next Fair Claire models a casual jacket which has undergone a striking transformation. Roberta applied a spattering of color with Color Wash spray paints from Ranger before adding the tumbling leaf motif and the solitary butterfly to the collar.

Thanks to Roberta Morgan for her vision and enthusiasm! She has introduced us to more possibilities for using Sassaman fabrics, both handsome and practical. Hmmm......
I need a party dress for the upcoming cruise... perhaps a trip to the thrift shop, a little applique and a handful of crystals may just do the trick! 

If you enjoyed these garments and are smitten with refashioning, you may also enjoy Belle Armoire and Altered Couture magazines.

 *Also recommended is Selvedge magazine, Feb. 06 issue, The Cycle of Life- Ecotextiles: The past, present and hopes for the future. An enlightened and sobering essay about the impact of textiles on our environment.


Jeanne Rhea said...

Roberta is a member of our Mixed Media Guild and she told us about your blog. I love the black one and the one right after it! Amazing. I would wear these.

Penny A said...

Greetings! I, too, am a member of the Mixed Media Guild (AND a proud owner of a pair of Roberta's painted shoes); and never cease to be amazed at her vision and creativity involving the redesign of clothing. Her jackets, vests, shoes and handbags are each amazing and cohesive individual works of art. Thanks SO much for highlighting this creative (not to mention very generous) artist in your beautiful blog!

Lucy said...

I, too, am a member of the Mixed Media Guild and really have enjoyed seeing the features of the combined work of Roberta and yourself. Such creativity and wonderful craftmanship!

I'm Toni said...

I'm also a member of the Carolina Mixed Media Guild. It was great to see Roberta's work highlighted on your blog. I loved them all! She is so very creative!!

I also enjoyed perusing the rest of your blog - enjoyed myself very much, and I shall return!

Michelle Davis Petelinz said...

Another member of the Carolina Mixed Media Guild chiming in to applaud Roberta's creations. I love the black one too! Oustanding job on all of them...congrats.