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.
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.
And it had a surprise -when I disassembled it I found the lining was made from a perfectly a preserved printed feed sack .
I started making a songbird with it this weekend.
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.
And The winners of the first ever ann wood handmade caption contest !
The voter chosen at random ( # generated by random.org) 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:
“Now witness, dear friends, as David Blainebird prepares to package himself alive for 6-10 business days! Don’t try this at home!”
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.
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.
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.
Two really – one from each lace and tulle sleeve. And maybe later today a little boat with gauzy sails and little peach silk flags.
Finished! snowflake and ashton
I’m working on some new songbirds, hoping to finish today. They will be in the shop by the end of the week along with a small collection of other new things.
I have been pretty occupied lately with this group of birds. They’ve been finished, packed and shipped off and later this spring, for the first time ever, sweetheart birds will be available someplace other than my shop.
I’ll let you know where you can find these limited edition birds very soon .
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.
I’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 .
I’ 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most things start with a pile – the two little piles above are going to be ballerinas.
And patterns usually start with a 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.
My plan is to end up with a little perching owl who might like to be a passenger in a paper mache ship.
Some owls in progress with their horns in curlers; I’ll finish and name them over the weekend. And a havisham spider, the first thing made from the ghostly ballgown .
Have a lovely weekend and if you are in NYC checkout Heat Waves in a Swamp: The Paintings of Charles Burchfield – it’s wonderful and this is the last weekend.