Amazing! Customer Creates Wearable Art from Scarves

Amazing! Customer Creates Wearable Art from Scarves

Nora Store DIY Feature: 
Polly's on Point with this Stunning Boho-Inspired Skirt!

One day in late 2015, I noticed that one of our regular customers, Polly Points, was avidly searching through our collection of Indonesian batik scarves and sarongs -- laying them out, matching and contrasting colors, pulling them into the sunlight to compare their unique patterns. Of course, I HAD to ask what was up, and if I could help. What ensued from that point is an inspiring story of courage in artistry -- a story that's best told in her own words:

After I retired from Lilly, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Having been a very active and athletically inclined person all my life, the gradual loss of the ability to walk was puzzling and quite a blow. PD is not curable and as mine has worsened, balance issues have become more prominent. The safest activity when my balance is bad is to just sit. Thus, I picked up sewing again after 40 years and have thoroughly enjoyed creating items for friends and family.

I dislike using patterns and  love to figure out how to use a beautiful swath of material in a creative way. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. When I saw the beautifully colored sarong scarves at Global Gifts, the idea of making a skirt didn’t come immediately. But I was looking for a birthday gift for a very dear friend who is a swami. I wanted something that honored her belief system as well as honoring her. The string of silkTibetan prayer flags made from recycled saris came to mind, but how could I use them?

As I perused Global Gifts, I spotted the sarong scarves, turning them every which way to help me determine how to use them with the flags. Then the idea of a skirt lit a light bulb in my head. If I bought one large scarf and two smaller ones, I could cut them in half and make a skirt with the fringe as the hem.


Picking out the large scarf and coordinating the colors and patterns with the smaller scarves to be used as side panels was the most fun. Then choosing the best colors in the string of flags to sew about 12 inches above the fringed hem was icing on the cake. When I got home I immediately started laying out the scarves and figuring out the best way to cut them and still have enough material for a waistband and pockets, if wanted. I ended up using nearly every inch of the scarves but I achieved what I envisioned.

My friend was delighted with the result and when I took the skirt in to Global Gifts to show them the result of my contemplative shopping, they, too, were thrilled. [Store manager] Kelly tried the skirt on, which fit her to a T, and then decided she wanted one too. Seeing the beauty in the fabrics and the flags again sparked my energy and excitement to get started right away. I made some changes to Kelly’s skirt that were not part of the original one. Those changes took more time but I think improved the skirt and Kelly was a knockout in it. 

I want to emphasize that I am not a seamstress; I am just a sewer. Besides the sarong skirts, I have made many pillows personalized with pictures, fabrics, and colors for the person I am giving them to.

Polly's modestly aside... WOW! What a stunning creation of Boho-chic!

She may not feel like a "real" seamstress, but Polly is an accomplished artist, writer, and poet. For example, several years ago she published a collection of poems using handmade paper, with the help of a hand-cranked Vandercook press. According to Polly, "writing is a great sitting activity that keeps me out of trouble."

We simply LOVE the creativity of our customers. If you have a Global Gifts collection or DIY project, won't you share it with us? Drop us a note in the comment box, below. We'd love to see what you've done!

#Fairtradeandfabulous #DIY #Fairtradefashion #bluehandbatik #Bohochic

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