the dismemberment of Austin Brown
At the end of Mum's hallway there is a useful cupboard where she stores things that are not in use right now, but that might be some day. Rolls of leftover wrapping paper live there, along with boxes of old Christmas cards, board games, and hundreds of recipes cut from magazines that she always intended to categorise and paste into albums, but never got round to it.
Among the things in the cupboard there are certain items of clothing that Mum knows she will never wear again, but that she won't get rid of either, no matter how much we pester her. From time to time, however, she decides to let something go, and during my last visit to see her, that something was a vintage Austin Brown wool coat in a glorious shade of red, best described as the colour of affluence.
Upon parting with the coat Mum made me promise that if I wasn't going to wear it myself then I must give it to an op-shop so that it could be of benefit to somebody else. I promised her that I would, but a couple of weekends ago, on a chilly Sunday afternoon, I broke that promise and dismembered the Austin Brown coat.
My justification for this destructive act was that although the coat was much too big for me, and I knew I would never wear it, there was so much material in the coat, and the quality of the fabric was so fine, that I knew I would be able to make a whole lot of things from it. These many things, I reasoned, would ultimately bring happiness to a lot more people than just the one lucky soul who would come across the coat at the op-shop. Also, in the process of unpicking this coat, and learning the story of Mum's attachment to it, a new short story is evolving, as well as a concept for a gift book, so that has to be seen as a positive!
Anyway, enough with the words. Here's a show-n-tell of two bags that I've made so far from Mum's Austin Brown coat:
An asymmetric pocket bag for my sister