Last fall I was given some clothing from a friend & asked if I could make some memory scrappie critters. To be honest I was blown away, a privilege that I didn’t take lightly.
I met with Debra & her sister in law, Denise, to discuss which pieces of clothing had special meaning to whom & we took notes. It was a lovely chat, a necessary one to get to know Lawrence more too. I was given permission to use other materials if I so desired, to compliment the clothing I was given, but after much thought, (after our meeting), I felt it would mean more to limit bringing other materials into the picture.
Having made that decision, I still spent an inordinate amount of time planning out how to create the scrappies I was entrusted to. This is fairly typical for me, but I do admit a greater level of responsibility felt, means more time I spend in ensuring execution goes as smoothly as possible. I spent a while pulling out Lawrence’s clothes & packing them up again, not quite ready to cut them. Playing with scraps of random fabrics from other projects is one thing, but as with any memory items I’ve made in the past, when you are working with items of clothing that someone has held onto, you MUST respect the treasured memories they hold. I familiarized myself with Lawrence’s clothing, grouping different clothes together (cross referencing a list that I had) and spent a lot of time checking out images that Debra shared on Facebook of Lawrence & asked questions as they cropped up, before I was ready to cut.
The first piece of clothing that I deconstructed, was an Ottawa Senators hat (pictured above). I needed to make a scrappie with the Sen’s logo on it for Lawrence’s brother, Alan. They both spent many hours together, watching different sports games. Lawrence was a Habs & Sens fan, so I felt the need to incorporate colours for both teams. The appendages were made of appropriately coloured materials, which included a t-shirt, some collared shirts and a tie. The hat was actually part of the brim of a hat on a raincoat. I’d never made a scrappie with a hat before, so it was especially fun to do. The main material on the front was a light coloured pair of pants & the back a redish coloured shirt.
The Sen’s hat was actually an integral piece, it openly tied all the scrappies together in so many ways. Something that I hadn’t really expected until I got into the thick of it.
The hat had a nice black fabric on the brim that I used for the pupils in each scrappie. Lawrence had brown eyes, so I used a brown pair of corduroy pants for the iris on each too. This wasn’t the only way that they were all tied together though, a less obvious addition was an old favourite cut up t-shirt, that I was asked to include a little of, within each scrappie.
The Sens hat also had a beautifully weighted red fabric too. It was the perfect fabric to use in creating little applique hearts on a couple of the scrappies, but the hat also contained an unexpected treasure, a little St Perigrine. It was small enough, that even Debra didn’t know it existed, until I mentioned it. Lawrence was always full of nice little surprises apparently & when I asked who might appreciate it most, she told me to attach it to the scrappie for Denise, as it would have the most meaning to her.
The next Scrappie that I made after Alan’s was Debra’s. This one had to incorporate one of the Scout leader badges that Lawrence had on his shirt. Lawrence had actually joined the Scouts so that his son could be a part of it. I have never unpicked badges with such care. I had asked Debra if any of them had any particular meaning & knew that the beaver ones (not Tic Tac) had to go onto scrappies for her & her daughter. They came from the shoulder loops on the shirt that Lawrence had, so I knew they had to go on arms.
The one for Debra’s was attached to an arm that was made from a leather glove (see picture below) that I cleaned up, cut & then sewed together again. I wanted Debra to have the leather glove on her’s specifically, because I felt that it would be as if his hand was touching hers when she touched it.
It was whilst I was creating Debra’s scrappie that she mentioned it would mean a lot if I could tie in some Star Wars, specifically a Boba Fett reference, into the ones for her & their kids. They had many wonderful family memories that focused around Star Wars, so it would mean a lot if I could. Fortunately, I have a bit of stash of fabrics (one which I am working to reduce) & had a Star War’s material with an actual image of Boba Fett on it. I offered to make a patch, I make them for my kids clothes, so why not this? I had all the supplies; material, medium weight interfacing, bo-nash (a powdered fabric glue, often used for patches) & a sewing machine to do some some zig-zag stitching around the edge. As you can see in the pictures they turned out not too badly either.
In the past I’ve gravitated to only using certain fabrics for my scrappies, staying away from stretchy fabrics, where I don’t want stretch to happen, because it was just easier, but when you’re working with items of clothing that hold memories within them, like a Rashie, T-shirts, Silk Ties and more, you work with it. I reinforced many of the materials with interfacing & others I stitched a piece of non-stretchy material behind, from another item of Lawrence’s clothing. I realise it might not be noticed, but I felt better about it, as I was limiting the amount of materials that were not his, into these creations.
Debra asked me at one stage if I could incorporate a pair of goggles onto hers or Kate’s, because Lawrence wore them, when swimming. The goggles, which probably look a little like a superhero mask, were actually inspired by a couple of rubber holders we had from buying a couple of bottles that came with a small sample, on each. I used some denim from a pair Lawrence’s jeans to create the goggles.
The critters for Debra, Kate & Alex all had ears, which tied them together as well as, the Star Wars badges. Alex had ears that were made from the ties on a favourite pair of pj pants, Kate had ribbon that I carefully unpicked from a football (soccer) hat & Debra had belt loops from the jeans that I used for the goggles. As mentioned before, I used the beaver patches for both Debra & Kate’s scrappies, I purposefully positioned them so that when they sat next to each other, they were almost joined.
With Kate’s I didn’t have any more embroidered sports related patches, so I used part of a football hat that had an image on it, to create a patch of sorts. The hat was made with different coloured pieces connected to look like a soccer ball, they weren’t very symmetrical when you pulled it apart though. I had thought of trying to correct it, but decided to keep the rather wonky shape when dismantled (as it was going from a curved shaped item to a flatter surface), because that was more in keeping with the original item it came from.
Alex’s scrappie received the majority of the Scouts Badges, because they had more meaning to him than anyone else. I didn’t originally intend to cut up Lawrence’s Scout’s shirt, but in the end it seemed appropriate that if I was going to use so many Scout’s badges on his scrappie that it also incorporate part of the Scout shirt that they came from.
After I made those 4 Debra collected them, as they were an Easter weekend gift & Then I set about making the next 3, which actually turned into another 5.
Denise wanted a couple of scrappies, a little one potentially for a child & another one for herself. These two I really liked because they were different again to the last 4 & they tied together nicely. The little travel sized scrappies are a favourite, because they really can go anywhere with you & I loved the little heart (Sen’s hat) & the pants I used for the back (blue tartan) as shown on the arm of the bigger scrappie, was cute too. The bigger scrappie incorporated a tiny little pocket from the same pair of shorts that I used for main body, which I embellished with a little heart to hold the little St Peregrine that I had discovered (hopefully you can see this detail in the pictures)
I had a couple more to make, one for Lawrence’s mum, and another as a surprise for a niece. I used a yellow & red raincoat for their scrappies, which I alternated colours for both on each & the backs were made up of the same t-shirt, split in two, which I really liked. They were embellished with more Soccer related items, with one (Maria’s) receiving the last Scout’s badge.
The last scrappie I made was, actually a little gift, it was a little travel scrappie to go with the one that I made for Denise. This one had ears that were made from the corners of a couple of Lawrence’s shirt & some of the ScoobyDoo pj pants fabric that I used on the backs of Alex & Kate’s larger scrappies. They looked really cute together don’t you think?
This really was a family of scrappies that I throughly enjoyed having the honour to make. There were a few challenges along the way, but nothing that couldn’t be overcome & the solutions for each just add to their connected & yet unique charm.
I have to finish, on this wonderful picture that Debra sent me, taken just before many of them made their journey’s onto other family members to remind them of moments shared with Lawrence.
Aren’t they incredibly cute?