Daily Archives: October 12, 2010

Tattered Gatsby


I began sewing strips of muslin that had paint marks on it from wiping my brush while painting, and I was going to just use random stitches and make some pretty little flag flappers to hang outside like Lynn does lynnehoppe.blogspot.com  does for her beloved trees!  But I began seeing dresses instead.  So I added bits of scraps, a piece of very old silk all tattered and torn, snippets of long ago crochet that someone started and never finished.  Small pieces of old doll dresses, the more worn and tattered the better!  These Daisy Buchannen like (F.Scott Fitzgerald) gowns emerged, and that’s why Tattered Gatsby seemed like a good name.   This is pure relaxation stitching – no rules!  No straight lines, or hemmed finishes!  The sewing is crooked, sometimes irregular, and raggedy.   When I read F.Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby many years ago, I imagined all the beautiful gowns that Daisy would wear, and although the story was great, it was the fashion that stuck in my mind.

“Pink,” with a little brass butterfly and a pink pearl, a very tattered dolls pink petticoat, and a corner from an old beautifully made handkerchief with an appliqued heart in the center.  Hanging on a 4- inch hanger, measuring about 9-inches from the shoulder – can’t you imagine Daisey on a spring-time picnic?

“Glamour,” as in a small spell to bewitch.  I’ve added a piece of twine and a silver face-shaped charm making it look like a long Repunzel type braid fastened off with a silver flower.  A small piece of kimono silk for the top,purchased from mantofev.com ,  and a sparkly scrap at the bottom in gray and purple purchased from Patty at ramblingrose.typepad.com, and blanket stitched in rose-pink embroidery thread.

I haven’t named this one yet – still have some finishing touches to add.  The flounced skirt at the bottom is a piece from a white silk scarf that is so old and tattered Daisey might have owned it herself!  More silk flounce at the yoke.  A brass masquerade mask with a dangling pearl against a hand sewn silk rosette from the ancient scarf.  What is interesting to me is that I have had all these little worn out fragments, some of them for years, and never knew what I was going to do with them.  I think, as artists, we are often compelled to save the oddest things.  Things that a less eccentric person would ever consider saving, or collecting in the first place!  The thing is, as artists, we know we will find a use for it someday.

I thought some might want to know what the backs look like.  I’ve finished off two of them with walnut-ink stained muslin.  I don’t think I’ve finished the one on the left yet, so I haven’t finished the back.  I like the weight the muslin backing gives to these projects – although the unfinished back is kind of interesting too.