Saturday, November 12, 2016

Divine Inspiration

Do you ever have a difficult project to tackle and the solution hits you in the middle of the night?  Sometimes those wakeful hours are productive and result in your sewing space looking like this the next day.



It all started about a month ago when our pastor approached me in need of help for a vintage cope that he had recently acquired.  He had spotted it at a children's play, being used as a costume.  He managed to convince the school that he would replace the costume if they would give him the cope.
Well....to say that the garment was in need of repair would be putting it mildly.  This had definitely seen better days.








The original label was still inside so that is where my research started.  They were great help in dating it for me - the 1950s - but were unable to offer help in obtaining original fabric, trim, etc.  Thus began my search.

The fringe is a metal bouillon fringe with large sections missing.  One phone call led to another and another and another, but I eventually located some.




The fabric was a dead end so there it sat.  I could use a different fabric that "blended" but felt that the impact would be lost.  That is when the middle of the night inspiration came to me.  I could use the fabric under the gorgeous trim.  I could replace it with a neutral fabric as it would be under the trim when I sewed the trim back in place.  The lining fabric would be fine just blended.  The red velvet trim is in remarkably good condition.  That would have been really hard impossible to replace.




 Complete deconstruction started.  It took a full day for that.  Patterns were made and work started.  Parts were so badly worn that it was hard to even make a pattern from the old, but I managed.







Then there was the black paint!  Oh my!  The cope was apparently worn around a wet stage.  ;-)  Fortunately, I managed to only need to remove 3/4 of an inch from the length.  The garment has extra length across the back anyway so it will not be noticed.



After several days of sewing the final hand stitching was completed today.  The Cope is now ready for another 75 years.








Onto a new project .... are you joining in for Bonnie Hunter's En Provence?  It all starts in a few weeks.  There is still plenty of time to join in on the fun.



26 comments:

sunny said...

You are a genius! Great job with the restoration. My brilliant ideas come to me just as I'm falling asleep, then I'm up for several more hours.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Brilliant restoration!! Just a fabulous piece of history restored for future generations.

ES said...

It's looking as good as new :)

Ramona said...

What a wonderful treasure you have preserved. It is interesting when we get our inspiration sometimes. I'm going to participate in the mystery for the first time and am excited.

creativity amongst chaos said...

You have done a beautiful reconstruction job Mary. It is sometimes harder to reconstruct than to start anew. It is so wonderful to see such a great piece restored. Well done sweet lady. Your quilt-a-long looks very colorful indeed. Good luck!

sewyouquilt2 said...

great way to preserve that cape. i love the colors in Bonnies mystery but just have too much going on to join. I will watch from the sidelines as others make one of her wonderful mysteries.

KimM said...

What a beautiful resolution to a piece that needed love and care. Well done.you are so very talented.
xxx

Quilting Babcia said...

Fantastic job with this restoration project, congratulations! I'm in awe of your clothing construction/pattern making skills. No mystery, sew-alongs, or BOMs on my schedule for next year - I need to finish a few current projects!

Siouxzq64@gmail.com said...

That is amazing. Good job solutioning how to fix and rescue. I can't decide whether I want to do the mystery this year or not. I seem to do one every other year.

Teresa in Music City said...

What a beautiful job Mary! Divine inspiration indeed :*) That was certainly a labor of love, and well appreciated I am sure!

Abby and Stephanie said...

Masterful

Createology said...

A pure Labor of Love and a gift for now and beyond. You have done an amazing job on restoring this beautiful piece of history Work of HeArt. Blessings...

LA Paylor said...

MUCH harder to repair a garment than make one. Good job!

Quiltsmiles said...

What a beautiful recreation you finished. Great insight with using the original fabric under that trim, sounds like you may have had divine inspiration for that bump.
Many blessings to you and yours in the upcoming Holidays.

Soma @ whimsandfancies.com said...

Wow! That is brilliant. You are so clever, Mary, it looks like new now. Fantastic restoration!

-Soma

barcord said...

Well done Mary. You did a great job.

barbara woods bewtjw@gmail.com said...

Great jib!

Maria said...

You did an amazing job with the restoration...

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

What a great job you did, Mary!!!! It looks new...going to check out the new project too

Quilter Kathy said...

Wow... amazing garment restoration! You should work for the Smithsonian!
So excited for the new mystery to start... great fabric selection!

Denise :) said...

Oh my gosh, what an undertaking ... and what a terrific, fantastic job you did of restoring it!! It's really beautiful, Mary -- great work!! :)

OPQuilt said...

You amaze me...always. And just today I was looking at a black skirt in the store wondering if I could make a simple hem adjustment, and here you go and recreate/reconstruct a cope! I love that your pastor found it and rescued it, and knew just who to bring it to. You did a really beautiful job on this. Just lovely!

I'm going to jump in with Quiltville, but hoping I can make some color changes. We'll see if I do (it would be easier to do it her way, I know!).

Bonnie said...

Kudos to you for saving the cope. Perhaps you should be a fabric detective!!

lindaroo said...

What a remarkable and worthy rescue!

Carol S. said...

What an incredible job you did on saving this beautiful vintage piece! It's like a piece of art and so worthy of saving.

Jeanna said...

Amazing work, Mary! Your dedication and attention to detail RE-created a beautiful garment.