When I’m making ships I spend a lot of time with a big box of pale ruined dresses and parts of dresses, edwardian mostly, and each time I go through it I pull out little bits to save – things too fragile to use but too precious to part with or things I find so interesting as they are I don’t want to change them.
A tattered bit of very old silk lace with tiny bright green beads attached to each point – it was a cuff – it must have been a magnificent garment.
I finished 2 more ships today and photographed them – one similar to The Louisa May and another paper mache.
This style of ship is also one of the patterns I’ll be publishing and I spent some time breaking down the steps today. I would also love to teach a paper mache ship class in person – it’s such a satisfying project to make.
PS – all the new ships will be available in the shop tomorrow (6/5).
It’s really just part of a gown – the lace part. I love the asymmetrical skirt – it would have floated over a longer silk skirt. I’ve already used almost all of it – every little bit. The heavier lace became ring pillows.
I have a little collection of ring pilows made from antique gowns and petticoats available at bhldn now. The rest of the lace became gowns for little brides – also for bhldn.
Last fall the Citizen Watch company commissioned a special piece. My assignment was to “re-imagine” one of their timepieces and to make an object that fits my imagination and personal language.
The watch is called the eco drive- EYES. I re-imagined the watch as an owl and I called my piece ” The Time Keeper”.
He is an expression of the eco-drive watch and an expression of time itself. Focusing on visual and conceptual aspects of the watch, first and most significantly – his face- his eyes specifically, refer in a direct way to to the face of the watch.
Extensive mending was necessary to give the fragile garment structural integrity and that mending is apparent and celebrated, time marks, time transforms. The stitches express the characters and marks of the watch face – stitches sometimes measured and precise ( marking seconds). Stitches and patches expressed as numbers and letters and circles or portions of circles sometimes shifting in scale.
The marks refer to the design of the watch as well as illustrating a passage of time across the owls surface and acknowledging the history and life span of the ruined antique bodice he is made from.
He has gone off to live in the Citizen showroom in Tokyo. Also he is featured in Real Scale Magazine ( a supplement of Ginza) in Japan. The article was written by David G. Imber and Yoshida Mika with photos by Jen Causey.
I think the article will be available on line soon and I’ll post a link when it is.
A sharp eyed friend surprised me with this ruined Edwardian bodice.
In the years that I have been transforming these sorts of things there have only been one or two that were this fabulous. I love the faded greenish black color, the fine wool texture, the extensive wear and it’s personality and presence.
The lining and button holes have unexpected handstiching in bright red and there’s a little pocket on one side for a little watch maybe?
I can’t wait to take it apart and see what other suprises it has.
( thanks so much laura)
josephine and fritz
Inspired by this antique gown – josephine’s gown is made from the white tulle:
The little glass feet it floats on is my favorite part.
Mr. Knickers is made from this pair of wonderful dark and tweedy woolen knickers:
The wool has tiny flecks of purple and green and I used my antique swim bloomers as well as bits of lace and antique glass buttons for eyes. The Mr. N pictured above is the first of a very small numbered edition – 1 and 2 are available now and more soon – as many as the knickers allow – I’m hoping for at least two more.
This was a great dress, it was ruined in such magnificent ways. I’ve been making things with it for almost two years and it still has more to give – transparent silk chiffon, a little more lace and bits of shattered silk - not sew-able but perfect for tiny corsages.
I wish I had spent more time photographing it when it arrived so I’m giving it a last hurrah now – it’s last breath in it’s original form.
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.
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
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 .