My sewing projects have been few and far between these past months. The holidays were filled with family and the post-New Year period filled with catching up with friends. Throw in some full time work and I’m left with very little sewing time. However, this sewing machine withdrawal period has allowed for some reflective moments- sketching some design ideas and muse on my muses. Where does inspiration come from? Everywhere. Most often, I find my inspirations when I’m amongst my friends, and this has always been evident with the company I keep. My girlfriends in particular, beginning with my own mother, have had a great influence on my past creations. This week’s vest creation is a nod to one of my nearest & dearest, Lady Veronika– a love-story of sorts.
Veronika and I have been friends for nearly ten years now. I still remember the first time I saw her- she caught my eye with her stunning smile, killer dance moves as she sported this awesome retro vest. She embodied cool. My brother introduced us (at my request) to which Veronika smiled and grabbed my hand leading me on to the dance floor. I quickly began to understand that that gesture, confident, chic and cordial, was classic Veronika. All of which is reflected in her style. Her style has evolved over the years, as have her beautiful paintings, however her innate ability to always look elegant and classic yet utterly unique has never ceased. Maybe think Annie Hall mixed with John Lennon mixed with feminine eastern European style. That night Veronika had paired her oversized sheep skin/wool vest (her mother Danuta‘s I later learned) with a off-white lace trimmed blouse, paint stained blue jeans (she was in art-school at the time) and an eclectic mix of bracelets and rings. Make no mistake about it, this was love at first sight.
This image of my friend inspired my latest upcycle project, making my own vest using faux fur. One of my recently found pleasures has been rescuing faux fur coats from the thrift stores, All under 15$, I have been salvaging and recycling the fantastic fabric of some great faux furs coats that I don’t believe will ever find homes again (apologies to those who would wear them as is). I drafted a pattern using an old nylon/down vest as a gauge and incorporated the original collar of the coat into my design. I removed the lining from a light gold Donnybrook faux fur coat, cut off the sleeves and separated front from back. I cut the fur and assembled it together. I sewed the bottom and arm hole hems. I’ll admit they look a little rough but I’m pretty pleased considering the improvised nature of this initial iteration. I also repositioned the hook and eye closures. I pair her with my plaid flannel or my floral polyester shirt, jeans and some Dior lipstick and voilà, my own version of the Veronika Vest!