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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Wacky Wednesday #79—Fans

I’m wearing fans today. Why? Why not!

Well, okay. There’s always a reason behind my costumes. The origins go back a few years, when I was given fabric by my neighbor, Evelyn, who used to sew. She’d carefully cut out four fans, and I liked how they looked. Although I didn’t know what I wanted to use them for, I was certain that one day I would incorporate them into an outfit or art. I saved them in my official SSS (Sew Something Someday) collection.

A year or two ago I started noticing how beautiful hand held fans are. Some are highly decorated and truly are pieces of art. Fast forward to today. I am wearing fans of various shapes, sizes, colors and materials. Three I bought, four are from Evelyn, and I made the rest. Somewhere along the way I decided that this outfit might be worn near Chinese New Year, which begins this Saturday, January 28.

Red is a big theme in Chinese New Year celebrations because it is believed to be lucky and to ward off evil. My outfit today features a lot of red (a tank top and skirt I already had). Next, I started adding fans to my outfit. One of the fans on my back has the Chinese character fu, which means “blessings and happiness.”

 The Chinese character fu.

Throughout the ages, fans have been made of various materials: bamboo, leather, feathers, paper and silk, among other materials. Some are hand painted, beaded or embroidered. Many are decorated with cherry blossoms or a Chinese dragon, which symbolizes good luck, power and strength. Did you know that the two oldest existing Chinese fans date back to the 2nd century BCE?

These three fans are ones I made from fabric and wore in my hair as a fascinator:

The larger fans on my outfit are ones I bought, but I made smaller ones from origami paper and fabric from my sewing stash. Total cost for 3 fans: $3.

Whether you’re celebrating Chinese New Year or simply adjusting to writing “2017,” I hope this year brings you good health and lots of laughter.


  1. Your fan outfit is GORGEOUS! Loved all the different kinds and especially the tiny earrings!

  2. So beautiful. I do love fans, especially in the heat of summer. It's surprising how much they cool you off. And your fans, Sarah, are truly works of art!

  3. I hope that you are making a photobook of these wonderful, weekly photos and words!

    1. Hi Jen, thanks! Well, this blog is my photo book for now. It's all digital...