He’s been gone for nearly 20 years but in 2014 I started transforming the last four items of clothing that his wife Ann has held on to into a surprise gift for their daughter (pictured below) who is now just a few years older than me.
Ann was so excited when she found my store and saw some of my handmade creations- when I told her that she was welcome to use her own fabric or items of clothing she got even more interested. She told me how she had been hanging on to some of her husband’s shirts for years and how her daughter would be thrilled to have a scarf made from some of her dad’s old clothes.
Later, when she stopped back in to the shop with a bag of fabric she seemed a little less excited. “I thought that I had held on to more but I guess it has been so long that over the years I must have let some things go.” She seemed nervous as she placed the bag on my worktable, “This is all that I have left…”.
Ann opened the bag and took out two dress shirts (sleeves missing), a pair of beat up jeans, and one necktie. I looked at the odd collection of items and then back to her and made a promise: “We can make this work”.
She seemed slightly unsure but agreed to trust me, and I set the project aside for a little while knowing that it was going to be a bit of a challenge.
A few days later Ann stopped back in with some photos of Larry and I scanned them on to the computer. We chatted a little more about him and I again assured her that the scarf would turn out beautifully. A few days after that I started cutting the pieces for the scarf, only the slightest bit nervous about how I was going to tie everything together.
This is one of the first heirloom projects that I had ever worked on, and to have the experience of talking with Ann, seeing pictures of Larry, and knowing how much the scarf is going to mean to their daughter made this project quite meaningful to me. (I was honestly nervous to make the first few cuts!) I am completely thrilled by the way that the piece turned out, I called Ann and left her a voicemail to let her know that the scarf was done and she arrived to pick it up within hours.
She entered the store with that familiar look of nervousness and I am sure that I was just beaming, excited to share the final product with her. (I honestly should have recorded the exchange because it was really incredible). She again admitted to being nervous about the end result but was excited nonetheless to see what I had whipped up.
And then WOW, magic happened. Real magic. She was so thrilled and I was so honored- it was such a moment of joy. I told her that when I was cutting up Larry’s clothes I experienced some really powerful moments – I do believe that objects carry stories and that we can access that history through our awareness of it.
Remade to Remember is truly a reflection of all of my passions - sewing, storytelling, art, philosophy, human connection. Every project that I work on is an honor that leaves me feeling humbled to get to do such meaningful work.