Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Jacq The Ripper

Sometimes when I am in the thrift store, I feel a little like a deviant- stalking the ladies' wear for just the right "look"; the perfect specimen.  I touch places I shouldn't. Turning down collars, fondling the buttons, running my fingers along the bust line, and looking under the skirt.  Oh my!  It all feels a little...... naughty!  But I need perfection in the piece.
I've never met an old garment I can't re-purpose but making just the right selection is a skill I've honed over time.  All fabrics beg to live another day; to be spared the dump where their fine lines, petite buttons and natural threads will disintegrate like old magazine pages.  Doomed to return to the dirt, so far from their glamorous retail showroom roots.  But I fancy myself as a pied piper of the lost fashions, a re-maker, a ripper.
Vintage coats are my favorite deconstruction.  They tell a story of fine craftsmanship and simpler times when a dress coat didn't pull double duty and therefore usually survives the decades in pristine condition.  This cashmere coat is a recent find.
Don't be fooled by the simple exterior.  Looking inside, the detail is astounding: hand quilted silk, intricate pocket details, and an owner's label.  I love finding these names, like souvenirs of the hunt, elegantly stitched into the lining.  I wonder who these ladies were and imagine their joy at picking up such tailored lovelies.
No piece of coat ever goes to waste.  What is left after the careful cutting, lining extraction, and label preservation- all those wee "unusable" scraps will become traditional stuffing for rag pillows or dolls to replicate the old lumpy stuffing used in the primitive crafting tradition. No evidence left at the scene, so to speak. ;)
Autumn is fast approaching.  The grounds are primed for closet cleaning and the annual tossing of the old in many homes.  I will be there..... Waiting.....  At the thrift store.... or maybe I'll even show up at the estate sale.... but oh yes.... I will be there...to rescue the forgotten.


  1. HAHA! Your title truly reeled me in! LOVE your writing and your wit Jacquie! ALWAYS a pleasure to read! Enjoy your ripping!