Saturday, 14 June 2014

Midsummer murmurs

i had made seven dresses
for the seven daughters-seven sisters exhibition
due to open in Portugal next weekend
but in a bit of a Sagittarian moment
i had an attack of claustrophobia
caused in part
by someone telling me they'd seen clothes
looking very much like mine
in a store in LA
that wasn't Church Boutique
i suddenly decided those seven sisters
needed to be a completely different shape
and so 'slow cloth' went out the window
and speedy sewing came in the door
assisted by Yoda-san
he found it exhausting
so did i.
but it was worth it in the end
and now they are in the cauldron
and that, my friends, is as much as you will see of them
until they have had a chance to dance at Evoramonte
because i want this exhibition to be fresh and lovely
a dim shadow
that has already been replicated
and offered for sale by someone else
before the sisters have had time to settle in their castle


now please
don't bother making comments that shout down the replicant
or are intended to bolster my ego
this is not about that

by happy coincidence
the Dogs Above smiled
and showed me a new way of putting together cloth
to form three dimensions from two
literally sculpting dresses from silk
almost impossible to draft on paper

it took me into the Gehry zone
where the model has to be made first 
in order to understand
how the engineering works
and while i don't think i can explain the process
i'm pretty sure i can do it again


  1. Ah, the Sagittarian moment. So familiar.
    This work sounds fresh and exciting.

  2. Wow, India. That's quite a story! I am looking forward to seeing how the seven sisters architecturally morphed into their new form through the magic of your fingers and Yoda-san's paws.

  3. Scrolling down your pictures for a moment i thougt you where cooking Yoda- San............
    Looking forward to see the 7 cooked sisters.

  4. Seems the fates are smiling upon you and Yoda-san. Actually, me thinks it's really the other way around. Looking forward to seeing the seven once they've been properly introduced to society. Enjoy!

  5. Necessity being the mother of invention and all that - even emotional necessity - to coin some other important words, I'm certain everything you needed was right there.

    ROCK the ramparts!

  6. oh no india safe travel to portugal with the seven sisters , enjoy

  7. I totally get it. Exhilarating post.

  8. In al it' s mysteriousness, it's looking great :)
    Have a safe trip!

  9. i never think about the sag thing until AFTER it happens, but i so get you. i love how you make garments. really.

  10. can't wait to see. kudos for using the moment as a springboard instead of lament-issuing

  11. It is always interesting to see what the Universe decides to throw at us when it is time to make a achange

  12. It is always interesting to see what the Universe decides to throw at us when it is time to make a achange

  13. I am loving those bundles.... but its worse than christmas seeing the beckoning parcels but not seeing what's inside... and having to wait... impatiently... for the reveal

    (but that sort of wait is better than other sorts.... like waiting for test results... or karma to do its thing....)

  14. sometimes it takes a detour sign to find a new and exciting path. Can't wait to to see the sisters unwrapped!

  15. The universe encouraged you to sing another song .... with notes of intrigue ... the reveal will happen in good time

  16. The Ghery Zone with Yoda-san is a place we have not gone before! How liberating of you to liberate us too with your new designs! Can't wait to see them!!!!!!!!!! Looking forward to getting a link to the show from you, after it opens!!!!!

  17. I love Yoda-san. Please pass on my greetings and ear scratches!!

  18. i opened the bundles this afternoon - waiting longer would have been desirable but they needed to be dried for packing - and am delighted to say this collection of seven sisters is some of my best work. thank you Dogs Above.

    1. OH, thanks be to them Dogs, fine news ;>]

  19. Congratulations, can't wait to see your work!!

  20. Well we won't be able to wait until you get them out and cool them down and hang them up - most intriguing!!

  21. Sometimes we need a shake up to produce new ideas. My curiosity is stirred!

  22. Wow! An epic post that reads like a fairy tale. I'm waiting breathlessly for the next episode of the Seven Sisters!

  23. Wonderful to hear you have pulled off something splendiferously architectural that goes beyond past achievements in this challenging context. Hoping Portugal is fabulous!

  24. The Gehry zone is an interesting place to be in. Do you use a dress form for it or something like a stuffed cloth sack? ;o) And are the seven sister dresses supposed to be worn someday or will they stay exhibition pieces forever?
    Oh, and please, make a blurb book out of them, I love those.

    1. the sisters are eminently wearable no matter what your size. and the Gehry principle refers to them being literally sculpted from silk, so that to reproduce them you would have to mark all the seam lines, cut them open, create a pattern and then reconstruct. something i am not going to bother with!

    2. thank you. I was less interested in copying the sisters but in you process if you used a dress form to shape them on. I like my dress form but am not absolutely happy with her since my body has some shape changes over the time I have difficulties to reproduce (I sew only for myself). It's much easier to sew something for hubby since I have his body at hand and can change it directly for him without the body translator of a dress form. I'm not quite sure I am making myself clear. For a free forming process I could imagine a huge sack filled with something pliable and then sewn into shape. Even if my dress form can be changed in many places it is still very unmovable and not very me.

    3. i began with flat cloth and shaped using my sewing machine - ordinarily i would sew by hand but time was of the essence. although i am quite capable of drafting patterns i prefer to freehand cut. if i need to measure i use a piece of string. in a few months time i will be self-publishing a guide to making personal garments, using my grandmother's "string theory" system, for others who [like me] have trouble with tape measures and numbers :)

    4. this sounds good. I'm looking forward to your guide. Thank you.

  25. Magnificent! I hope to be able to travel to Évoramonte to see the sisters in person, even though the Alentejo in full summer is something to be reckoned with (we were in Évora Saturday and Sunday and temperatures were in the high 30s C).

  26. I suspect it will be much like home in summer...