Saturday, May 19, 2012

Crafts: Armed Forces Day

In America, Armed Forces Day/Armed Forces Week pays tribute to the men and women who serve in our military. I'm fortunate that my husband is one of these men.

Today I am repurposing some of his old, decommissioned uniforms to make wearable goods for the women in our family. I know they'll be proud to wear and give new life to the uniforms their father/brother/uncle/son-in-law wore. And perhaps the bags will help remind passerby to recognize, respect, and remember our military service members year-round.

I am using patterns from Jen Eskridge's Deploy That Fabric. If you're part of a military family and unfamiliar with the book, please get acquainted. Jen offers 23 inspirational, practical, and fashionable patterns that mix military uniforms and designer fabric (accessories, quilts, home decor, as well as holiday and baby items). Also be sure to check out her website, ReannaLily Designs, for more uniform upcycle patterns and ideas.

I've completed one project in the book so far: the Reversible Tote (p. 39).

It's the perfect-sized tote for everyday wear, and because it uses quilt batting instead of stiff interfacing, it's also comfortable against the body and easy on the shoulder. Of course the upcycled pockets and nametag are my favorite parts of the bag, but I also love the featured Amy Butler and Anna Maria Horner prints.

Notes: The pattern calls for 1 1/8 yards of print fabric, but you only need a single yard (or two half yards). To simplify matters, baste the batting and fabric together before constructing the bag.

I fully intend to make the Hipster Purse (p. 16), Grocery Tote (p. 20), Grommet Purse (p. 28), and Military Monster Tote (p. 51) in short order. I'll post my progress.

I also plan to make a quilt with my husband's uniforms, but not until after our next tour (I'll then have a greater variety of uniforms to work with). Wouldn't that make an excellent retirement gift?

Hug a military service member today!

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