As many of you know I am part of a group of freelancers called Creative Juice that meets weekly to discuss our creative endeavors. About six months ago an amazing woman named Karen Williams joined our group. Karen is one of those people who has amazing presence, contagious enthusiasm, and dogged determination. She also has a grand plan to open a sewing studio called Sewendipity Lounge where people can learn to sew garments. What does this have to do with a wisteria pomander skirt you ask? Well, she recently found a location in downtown Cincinnati and decided to have an opening so people could see her new space. She decided to have various groups around town decorate creative holiday skirts and to have people vote on their favorite by donating money that would be given as scholarships (Skirts for Scholarships). So naturally our Creative Juice group decided to make a skirt decorated with juicy, aromatic pomanders.
When we originally heard about the project we all suggested a variety of ideas. One of the ideas I threw out there was to weave a skirt out of wisteria from my backyard. Then Lisa did a little sketch of the skirt covered in pomanders and we were on our way. I had always dreamed of harvesting wisteria to make a basket and this was a good reason to try it out. Honestly I wasn't sure it would really work. But one day Margot and Monica showed up at the house and we got to work harvesting. It only took us about an hour to have a rather large pile of wisteria. My main concern when I thought about this project was that we wouldn't have enough wisteria, but I had nothing to worry about. I probably have enough wisteria back there to suit up an army with wisteria skirts.
We started by weaving a wreath around our dress form's waist and then inserting the vertical stays into it. Once we had the stays it was quite easy... just over under over under until we hit the ground. You can see a short video Margot made of the weaving here. After we had a good start on the skirt my neighbor John came over and helped me finish weaving the skirt. Somehow John always gets roped (or should I say wisteria-ed) into my projects and I can't thank him enough.
Once the skirt was built Monica, Margot, Lisa, Robin, Cindy and I brought elements we found in our yards to decorate. We added some greens at the foot of the skirt and more for her top. We also added a spray of grasses to her back, a bustle of more greens, and we experimented adding sprays of greens to a few pomanders.
Here is a stop motion video Margot took of our primping.
At the end of the day we had her looking pretty good. All we needed were pomanders.
At the next Creative Juice meeting we made pomanders the whole time until there was quite a pile.
The giant grapefruit pomander below was my favorite.
We meet at Red Tree Coffee shop and by the time we left the whole room smelled of cloves and citrus.
Last night we attended the grand opening of Sewendipity Lounge. It was well attended and we had a great time seeing her beautiful space and congratulating Karen on her exciting endeavor. If you are interested in learning to sew I highly recommend stopping by her website to learn more.
Below is a photo of the front and back of the final skirt in the store window.
Robin made us a lovely sign to attach to the back of the dress. (If you ever need calligraphy, Robin is exceptionally talented).
Working on this project with these beautiful, creative women was truly a wonderful experience. I rarely get the chance to collaborate like this and it made me want to do more. Being a part of this group has been life-changing and I can't wait to see what kind of lemons life will offer us in the future!