My trusty, 3 year old gray Jansport was finally beginning to come apart at the seams, and beside, it made me look like an overgrown child. I bought not one but two great cross-body bags, but still found myself using the Jansport when I was really lugging stuff across town. So I started to look for a new backpack, but nothing in my price-range fit the bill of not looking like a child's bag and being well made. So I decided to give it a whirl myself.
The fabrics are all thrifted upholstery remnants, and the leather, I'm not totally sure where I got it from originally, but I have about 50 ovals of it in random colors, I think they might have been samples for something?
After a lot of fussing and measuring my old backpack, I had something:
I hate putting in zippers so there's a lot of snaps, o-ring straps and drawstrings instead.
Drawstring in action. It came out a little too big, next time I would downsize it an inch or two.
Put some of that leather on the bottom for reinforcement. That's where my original backpack gave out in the end.
And the back, the straps are padded with some scrap batting. Pretty comfortable, although next time I would attach them to the side seams rather than the bottom seam, the bag hangs off my back a little funny because of it.
But yeah, not so bad, and it's stood up to a good week's use pretty well so far. I'd change somethings if I did it again, but I think I learned a bit of making backpacks.
I started this quilt almost three years ago. I was using leftover t-shirt fabric from some clothing projects I was working on to make some tiny little 3" 4-patch blocks--the center chunk of the quilt is all of those blocks. After a while, I was busy with school, and put it aside, and basically ignored it until this summer, when I dug it out and decided to finish it at any cost.
I really did not want to make any more tiny little blocks so I bought some old black and gray shirts from the thrift store and made some border with them, and the left-over scraps of colored t-shirts I had saved.
I then sandwiched them with a black jersey knit sheet and an old comforter, and tied it together with many colors of embroidery floss.
It's very thick, and soft, and I'm quite happy, after three whole years, to have it finished!
I haven't posted on here much lately, I feel like the better my work gets in context, the less it fits here, and the less response it gets, probably because it is less 'crafty' in nature.
But anyway, this one's pretty simple with some quilting, so I thought, why not. Plus I'm taking a class in portfolio documentation, so I actually have some not-terrible photos of it.
Wool was originally an army long coat, dyed black and recut. Silk was hand-dyed in shades of red, then cut and sewn into the traditional "grandmother's flower garden" hexagon patchwork. This was then formed into the lining of the coat, with batting in between, and the entirety was quilted all the way through to the outside of the jacket. Collar is a section of felted wool sweater. Button is carved out of stiff leather.
Technically all my work right now is reconstructed, but since most of it isn't t-shirt or random wacky item based, I'm just going to post it here, since it's the fabric itself I'm reusing. This was originally a Dutch army officer's jacket, and some unknown army's strange mesh tank top. All the crewel wool is pulled from old kits I've collected. Outside:
I'm working with the idea of restricting the outsides of my garments to shades of grey, but the insides are hidden, so I can use a lot of color there.
Starting to work on a thematic level here, getting ready for my senior year. Working in grey scale with recycled garments. These were original 1 pair of olive green 1960's French army uniform pants and one shetland wool sweater. Dyed both grey, felted the sweater, combined them with a lot of herringbone stitch in black crewel wool. Once I get a chance, I'll post a better explanation of process on my blog.