With Mother’s Day soon approaching, many of us are thinking of creative gift ideas and alternative ways to celebrate our mothers and the women who have filled this special role in our lives.
This year, unlike others, will be different for each of us to some degree as we continue to be impacted by the ensuing effects of COVID-19. However, it’s so important that we find healthy and imaginative ways to create our own precious memories during this time. This Mother’s Day can be just as special as any other by simply adding a little extra thought, care, and a steady stitch of creativity into our gift and/or celebration plans for this particular occasion.
Whether you’ve exhausted every possible gift idea, or if you’re wanting to add something with a sentimental yet sustainable and stylish touch to your Mother’s Day gift bag, Xunopia’s debut Clam Shell project may give you the inspiration to craft your very own piece. You can also explore the many gift options within the Clam Shell Boutique such as a lovely Xun Diva Clasp or a fashionable Xun-Tye.
Continue reading to join in on Pearl’s creative process and unpack the inspiration behind this gift making venture!
Before photos of the garment selected for this project.
MONAH: Please tell us a bit about your latest Clam Shell project.
PEARL: This new project is an upcycled blouse from my mom’s closet. The top I’ve selected is at least 15 years old. I will convert it into a trendier top, which she can pair with black pants or a skirt that I know she already has in her wardrobe.
MONAH: Why did you decide to choose this project in time for Mother's Day?
PEARL: My mother is always expressing that she has challenges finding outfits to wear that have the right fit for her, and I know that she likes the blouse that I chose for this project. I also like the fabric pattern and colourway.
MONAH: What level of experience is required to complete this project?
PEARL: I would rank the complexity level of this project as 3 Ananse Ntontans out of 5. If you can rip without shredding, and can cut and sew straight and curved seams you'll be better equipped to recreate something similar.
MONAH: What style/fit of blouse is needed to produce the best results for this project?
PEARL: For this project, the blouse I chose has a large fit with generous sleeves. There is a lot of material to play with. It is also made of high quality polyester material. I was intentional about using a top that can easily be paired and styled with other items and accessories because of its solid black base colour.
MONAH: What other materials/sewing tools are needed?
PEARL: You will need a seam ripper to deconstruct the design of the garment.
MONAH: Approximately how long will it take you to complete this project?
PEARL: I am allocating 1 week to complete the final look of this project. I will be teaming this blouse with black pants or a skirt that can be worn during Mother’s Day brunch.
MONAH: How does this project reflect the concept of turning the old into the new?
PEARL: This project reflects this concept because I always enter Xunopia with the intent to creatively repurpose and extend the life and utility of loved pieces that are sitting in our wardrobes and have not been worn in years. I knew reviving this blouse would create the perfect gift since it is well loved but over the years it has been abandoned and stored in the very back of my mother's closet because it is out of vogue.
MONAH: What makes this an eco-friendly option?
PEARL: Based on advice once shared by a wise person, if you have not used an item after a significant period, you probably do not need it so why hold on to it? Let it go! When we heed this advice in regard to clothing, we become aware that even after donating, an excess of 80% of used clothing gets discarded in landfills. Therefore, by finding creative ways to repurpose and regenerate existing clothing, we produce less waste and minimize our harm to the environment.
MONAH: How would you describe this project’s design process?
PEARL: It’s always fun to create something new. This can be challenging when working under the constraints of various fabric patterns, type, and quantity. It is also challenging when one of your goals is to keep the project a surprise. This leaves the onus on you to match the finished garment with the personality of the individual who will be wearing the final piece. However, I absolutely love what I do!!