Category: WIP

new garment

I’m not sure exactly what this is.  It is old -my guess would be  depression era – and it’s home made.  The back is shorter than the front  and that  seems intentional, as opposed to a missing piece – I wonder why.

 antique teal jacket

The fabric is spectacular – wonderful teal flannel with a very fine stripe to it and the color variations where it is faded and worn very thin are  shades of soft grayish teal. The little collar is cotton sateen –  a fancy little detail on what seems like a plain everyday type garment.

antique teal  flannel garment - detail

And it had a surprise -when I disassembled  it I found  the lining was  made from  a  perfectly  a preserved printed feed sack .

feed sack lining

teal songbird

I started making a songbird with it this weekend.

work in progress and caption contest results

I’m working on a little group of things – bats and perching owls mostly. I’ll put some of these things in the shop next week – most likely in time for delivery  (in the US)  before Christmas.

bats and owls

pearl gray bat

And The winners  of the first ever ann wood handmade caption contest !

The voter chosen at random ( # generated by is:

comment # 15 – Geiger. Who is apparently a black cat with a recently replaced hip.
And for a variety of reasons I have decided to award birds to the top 2 vote getters and those winners ( it was very close) are:
7. Lauren
“Now witness, dear friends, as David Blainebird prepares to package himself alive for 6-10 business days! Don’t try this at home!”

8. Cari
Darlene had told only her best friend, Eliza, but by the time her mail-order groom was set to arrive, the whole town had heard about it.
Thank you and Happy Holidays to all participants ! (winners – I’ll be in touch for address etc.)

P. S. – Another first ever for me – I’m going to teach a workshop!! (boat making). I’m something beyond excited about this and plan to go on and on about it next week but you can find more info right now here if you like.

Filed under WIP

a new garment

This  antique gown arrived a while ago. I think it’s Edwardian  but it was definitely reworked at some point  – it has fasteners and hardware and repairs that were added later. I guess it has had many lives.

antique lace gown

The peach silk is almost all shattered, it’s torn, stained and many of the seams have let go but the gauze, sheer silk lining and lace are still strong. First I’m making  a bird.

lace bird
Two really – one from each lace and tulle sleeve. And maybe later today a little boat with gauzy sails and little peach silk flags.


snowflake and ashton
Finished! snowflake and ashton

miss tulip gown


This dress turned up here in brown pieces –  I’m not even sure how it really goes together. I soaked it for days and days and then had lots of  fun pinning it into a dress shape. The under and over skirts are weighted and the overskirt has a lovely tulip shaped hem.

tulipdetail_smI’m making some things from it now – I’ll show you next week. I’m also working on a new kind of little boat -they’ll be finished and in the shop next tuesday .

little boat work

deconstructed gown

girl in progressI’ m making some one of a kind fancy girls from this antique  ball gown. I used most of the large sections of lace for the pip and estella set and it’s almost gone. Now I’m using the chiffon and appliqueing  tiny motifs I cut from the lace that is too damaged to use.

lace detail

The under skirt of that gown was kind of a surprise, after several days of soaking years of grayness away  it’s a beautiful pale pink and blue  floral tulle. I’m making a little  troupe of blue ballerinas from it.

blue underskirt

Filed under WIP

new shape

new shape

This is one of the new things I’m working on  for 2011 – a small  bird with a more realistic shape. I’m planning a little flock all made from  this antique bodice ( hoping to get an owl out of it too).


The fabric is really interesting, it has a tiny  geometric print of metallic gold specs over a silky cotton with little squares woven in.

antique bodice detail

boat work and a bat


I finally turned out another bat ( I’ve just added it to the shop).  It’s made from beautiful plum kimono silk (courtesy of Stephen Szczepanek). Some of the patching and mending is mine and other stitches are from other hands a long time ago.

plum bat

I’m  also working on new boats  (with merry wobbler passengers)  and  lots of other stuff too.  I’m adding new things to the shop every day this week.

wobblers and boats

autumnal owl

hand stitched owl

Find the pattern to make your own dastardly owl here.

I’ve been saving the buttons for his eyes ( I only have 2)  for 3 years.  I started putting fabric aside for him  about a year ago – bits of quilts and blankets, a tiny piece of threadbare  russet velvet from a crazy quilt and linings from several garments. And just lately I found the last thing I needed, the heavy  dark brown cotton his body is made from, lining an antique walking skirt.  I’m hoping to finish him today.



ballerina work

Most things start with a pile – the two little piles above are going to be ballerinas.

And patterns usually start with a drawing.

owl drawing

A hopeful sort of drawing followed by lots and lots of experimenting – making  and taking apart, adjusting – over and over and over again. If nothing else I am persistent. Relentless might be a better word.

owl draft

My plan is to end up with a little perching owl who might like to be  a passenger in a paper mache ship.

Filed under WIP