This season of Top Stitchers has been a true challenge for me- as a sewist, as a dreamer and within myself, personally. My challenge prompt was to create an Over the Top look for boys using a song about birds (or other winged creatures) as inspiration. I present to you, Angels Among Us, a beautiful collaboration of an incredibly emotional, creative mind (that’s me), a beyond talented photographer (Hailey Faria), a stellar stylist (Autumn Negron) and one adorable young male model (Jonah Benros, with Wilhelminah Hawaii).
I have been dreaming of this photo shoot for years. I am so thankful for this opportunity to make a dream a reality.
Let me take you back to 1993, when Alabama first released Angels Among Us. It was a song I remember singing along with my Grandma, Aunt and older brother while bumping down the old dirt road that led to my Grandma’s house. Well over 20 years later, and the lyrics run through my mind almost daily.
“I believe there are Angels Among Us,
Sent down to us from somewhere up above.
They come to you and me in our darkest hours
To show us how to live
To teach us how to give
To guide us with a light of love.”
Those three family members have since earned their angel wings among many other family and friends. I have always wanted to do a photo shoot representing the concept that in your troubled times, or even in the busyness of life, there is an angel among us. Thankfully, Hailey ( Hailey Faria Photography) and Autumn (Dream Compass Styling) were able to capture my vision and make it into this beautiful photo series.
For the angel’s wardrobe I made a double breasted frock, button down dress shirt, chinos and wings.
The double breasted frock was made from a jacket pattern by Shwin and Shwin. I struggled to find the right style jacket pattern pdf, and was able to adapt this free pattern into the frock inspired by this pin:
I used a light blue linen blend for the outer jacket and a beautiful blue dupioni silk for the lining, purchased locally at Fabric Mart.
The button down shirt was made from the Ethan’s Shirt Pattern by Sis Boom. I modified it to be short sleeve (although not shown), since I knew we’d be shooting in the island heat. I used a cream dupioni silk, also purchased locally.
The pants were made from Peekaboo Patterns‘ Chinos, with modifications to include a side stripe.
For the wow factor, I made the angel wings using pages from vintage books. My helpful husband assisted me in creating the mount for the wings, and Hailey helped with putting together part of the wings as well. Lots of glue, staples and blistered fingers- but the end result was a showstopper! We created quite the stir during First Friday excitement in Chinatown! The jacket had perfect shoulder tabs that allowed the harness to stay positioned on the model’s shoulders. He was a trooper as we roamed street blocks looking for great crowds and perfect backdrops.
If you’ve been a long time follower, you would have noticed that I hardly ever sew boy items. This season of Top Stitchers proved to be a true challenge in that I just had to make things that were not in my normal spectrum of styles. There’s just not a lot of exciting fashion for young men, and so to get creative with a simple jacket, shirt and pant pattern was a definite push to my creative boundaries. I also sew mostly for my own children, who are on hand to measure and test muslins at any moment. Working with a model, it was nerve wracking to hope that everything would fit as I wanted it to, and if it didn’t there wasn’t much I could do about it on location. Also, I am a solo artist, and very rarely get the opportunity to put my head together with some of the most talented ladies around. It was relieving as well as stressful to put vision into play with this dream team. Lastly, this was a challenge for me to open up emotionally to my readers. When I was 15, my older brother passed away in a car accident, yet I survived. Since then, I have felt that he was my every day angel. My parents had a really beautiful painting in their home of a boy angel hugging Jesus and I loved that symbolism. Most often, angels are portrayed by girls and I wanted to be sure that we used a male model to make my vision complete, just like in that painting. I am grateful for such a wonderful young male model to complete the vision, he was so great at following direction and fit the concept to a T! Even his mom had said she always thought he would make the perfect angel; I would most definitely agree!
I hope you enjoyed seeing this new collaborative project I was thrilled to be a part of! Hop over to the Free Notion blog to see what my amazingly talented competitor created and vote for this week’s Top Stitcher’s Challenge!