Thursday, December 1, 2011

Throwback Thursday - Seatbelts and Cows

Does anyone remember when Kansas City did the Cow Parade?  I think some of the sculptures are still around in various malls and museums.  My dad and I had been in Chicago for the weekend to see the Cardinals play the Cubs, and flew back through Kansas City.  We went to the Plaza to check out the cows, and buy some new school shoes for me.  It was a great day!

This is not an impressive outfit.  I think my jeans and t-shirt were both Express, and I'm rocking Skechers tennis shoes.  No, not that exciting, but what is exciting is my purse.  Seatbelt purses hadn't really caught on in 2001, but I had seen one in a little boutique and I loved it.  It was about $75, safely out of the high school girl price range.  I decided I was going to make one.  Can't be that hard, right??
  • Step 1 was the hardest:  Find seatbelt material.  Now in 2011, that's pretty easy.  Just google "seatbelt material" and you get a bunch of websites with various colors.  10 years ago, that wasn't happening.  I finally convinced my dad to go on an adventure to the junkyard.  The guys there thought I was crazy.  I found a little Geo Metro, and had to pry the doors apart to get to the wound up seat-belts.  Blue wouldn't have been my first choice for color, but beggars can't be choosers, right?
  • Step 2 involved a lot of Dawn soap and a toothbrush to get the dirt and grease out. 
  • Steps 3-6 was the sewing process, which was mostly done by hand, as I broke a few sewing needles on the thick material: 
    •  First, I cut strips and sewed loops together
    • Then I cut strips and wove up between the strips, and sewed around the top.
    • The strap was a long piece, and I wove down both sides, and through the bottom, so it would be really strong. 
    • Then I made some lining with lime green satin, and sewed that in, using another strip of seatbelt for the binding around the top.  

I was pretty proud of myself for this project.  After this, a friend told me about an airplane supply store  downtown that had a whole aisle of different colors of seat-belts.  I got red and black and made myself and my sister each a purse, in a different style.  I'd like to make some more someday.  Maybe I will check out those websites that Google found for me to buy the supplies...

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