In January I blogged about how our Sketch-A-Day project was coming to a close, but I was looking forward to a new creative outlet in 2019. I promised to ‘do something arty most days’. Shortly after that published, I placed my first order for pom poms.
The question, of course, was what exactly to do with them? Cynthia Toops’ pom pom jacket from a 2008 WOW show kept running through my head. Could I do something like that? She embellished a jean jacket with some excellent red yarn pom poms. As you might know, red is my favorite color, so I was already drawn in, but then seeing she had hand-made each pom. Just wow!
I was in love and wanted my own. Two things, though: 1) I wasn’t up for making the poms like Cynthia did – just not quite my style, and 2) hers were really heavy! I think if she’d finished covering the jacket she’d have had trouble picking it up, much less wearing it! So, that’s where my pom order comes in. A couple of Amazon clicks and vacuum-packed poms arrived at our door. Let me just say, that was the first of MANY orders/trips to JoAnn Fabric/trips to Fred Meyer and Target. I used a loooot of pom poms. More on that later. Anyway, following a long design process that we don’t need to delve into; I decided I would cover a blouse from my closet in poms, attaching them one at a time with needle and thread.
A note for mom: Is this the blouse I ‘borrowed’ from your closet in 2014? Yes. Is it the one you messaged us in South America, asking ‘Is that my blouse in that photo?’ Yes. Is it the blouse that was perfect for this project and will forever more be known as the Pom Pom Jacket? YES!
For half of January, all of February, March and half of April, I sewed. Most nights I tried very hard to do at least a little…an hour if I was up for it… as I knew this project would take some consistent and persistent work to complete. Sometimes I sewed in the art room while Aaron kept his sketch-a-day project going. Other times I would load up some trashy TV and sit on the couch and sew. That actually worked quite well as anyone from Seattle knows: Jan – March is the perfect time to stay warm and cozy inside sewing rather than heading out in the dreary cold drizzle.
I tried a lot of different layouts before deciding that Random was pretty much the best way to go. Just an added bonus that it was super easy when I found myself paying more attention to Netflix than the jacket! Oops.
So how many pom poms does it take to make a Pom Pom Jacket? Approximately 1,400!!! Pretty good mix of ones from 1-2″ – sure covers more when you work with 2 inchers! I got very good at putting 3-5 stitches in per pom, knotting, cutting, and moving on to the next. Didn’t take too long before I figured that the right length of thread — one that minimized tangles and was comfortable for handling — was good for about three and sometimes four poms. Doing the math I guess I probably threaded the needle about 400 times. No wonder my fingers were sore!
I’m so proud of the results and loved debuting it at the spring 2019 WOW party along with Aaron’s fancy pattern-cut-vest.
Plus, it was an absolute hit at Gay Bingo, where we celebrated our anniversary. I could not walk 10 feet without being stopped and the pom pom jacket celebrated. My favorite quote from a wonderful gay man who came up to me breathless: “Oh my god! I’m literally gaygasming over your jacket!” Can you get a better compliment than that?
Totally off the hook and one of my coolest projects, ever — if I do say so myself!