Team Graduate Anne-Christine Strugnell shares her story about taking creative action to transform a well-meaning gift from closet clutter to a unique, stylish Japanese Hapi.
My RN team inspired me to try to live simply, aspiring to a zero-waste, minimal-consumption lifestyle. These days I only want things I need, and I pretty much already have them all. Less is more for me. Except for friends. Can't have too many of those!
Some of my friends understand my desire for simplicity and give only zero waste gifts, like slavery-free rainforest-friendly chocolate wrapped in paper! But others give me things. On my birthday this year my dear friend, who loves clothing and accessories and buys them frequently, sent me a shawl.
It was a beautiful design, but I find shawls cumbersome and already have a lot of them. They seem to be the gift of choice to women over 50. But I love my friend and didn't want to hurt her feelings. And I liked the pattern of this one. But I really didn't need another shawl sitting in my closet.
How could I make it something that I would use and enjoy?
I did some thinking and plotting. I mapped out the pattern and dimensions of the shawl on a piece of paper, then cut and taped it until I had a scale model pattern for a Japanese-style hapi coat. Then I cut the actual shawl and sewed it. The entire project took about 4 hours, but, full disclosure... I used to sew all my work clothes and did my wedding dress too which took way more than 4 hours.