Inking up!

Inking up!

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Revealing History of (Catherine's) Underwear

Okay, you are going to have to wait for the underwear. First - Party Dress!

I made Party Dress back in 2004. I still have copies to bind (and sell), and today I was working on that. I thought it would only be appropriate to wear one of my mother's party dresses while making them, so I put one on. Bill came home from work and took a picture of me.

I was pretty excited when my mother gave me this dress of hers. I remember it clearly from her closet. Party Dress is a book all about my mother's party dresses and how I played in her closet and watched her get ready to go out with my father. She was so glamorous and I ached to be like her. I have a few of my mother's dresses from when she was in high school. I love wearing them, but seldom have an occasion. It's amazing to me they fit, because my mother is 4-5 inches shorter than me. Usually the waists are a little high, but I wear them anyway.

My mother was an amazing seamstress, making many of our clothes and even wedding dresses for hire when I was young. I can't sew like my mother -- I pretty much have to stick to sewing straight lines. Still, I enjoyed adding stitching to Party Dress.

Here's some text from the book: "I played with that dress as it hung in your closet. One push and your entire rod of dresses would dance - swoosh, swoosh, swoosh, swaying to a stop." and "You were a starlet with hair pinned in a French Twist. Pssst, pssst, the Aqua Net called from your vanity. Sparkles floated around your shoulders." I would like to do another edition someday with a different design. Only because I have more paragraph/pages of text to add in. I would definitely do something simpler though!

Okay, as if one cut out dress book wasn't enough, a few years later I made "A Revealing History of Women's Underwear." I have even more copies of this to bind, as it is a much larger edition. (The stitching is "knots" on this one, holding the top foredge of the folios together. Simpler.) Here are some pictures:

Unfortunately I haven't taken slides of any text pages, but there are 9 of them - a long piece of text I wrote and had edited and worked on for several years. It is justified left and right to fit the shape of the book. The history of underwear is pretty informative and can teach you a lot about politics, class, women's freedoms (or lack of), and how fads can grow from odd things like hiding a pregnancy. (There's some other juicy bits probably not allowed on this G rated blog. You have to read the book, or do the research yourself!)

And now for the history of my underwear...

It occurred to me today that I had a photo of myself in a crinoline and "bra" outfit - the same as the clothing in the last print in the book! I couldn't believe it. (Not the actual clothing. The prints were made with Barbie doll proportioned clothing that would fit into my printing press and pressure printed.) This photo was taken 20 years ago. My younger sister was standing next to me, and I cropped her out because I don't think she was quite G rated in this photo. We were going to a girl party, and asked to dress up in lingerie or something, I can't really remember. Maybe this is when my under wear book became a twinkle in my eye, I don't know, but I find it interesting to look back on this photo and give it some thought. (My sister lived with me for one very fun year when she was 20/21 and I was 28. She is super creative in different ways than me and I would love to co-create with her again.)

After taking a break from writing the blog and going to bed last night, I remembered a time not long after my sister lived with me when my mother sold underwear at women's in-home parties! So another link between Party Dress and A Revealing History of Women's Underwear. My mother has always been an amazing salesperson. I am sure I could do a book someday about it. I'll have to think on that. And there's a little bird telling me there is yet another women's dress book in my future, but I am keeping that under wraps for now.

Besides binding party dresses and underwear, the weekdays are about the subscription - yes, I swear I am working on the next issue. I am pretty excited about it and will tell you all in advance it is called "How Strawberries Came To Be: A Cherokee Love Story." If you are not a subscriber, but would like to be, contact me and I will send you the prospectus. The price goes up as the year passes by....

Weekends are rarely about books and studio work. Maybe reading books for pleasure, but usually it is about the garden, the kitchen, hiking, and the grandkids (most often Emily who lives nearest). The last few weekends have been packed full and here are some highlights.

We dug up about 60 pounds or more of potatoes - 4 varieties.

We split and stacked the last of 3 cords of rounds.

We made and canned applesauce (thank you Phil for the apples!)

There's always time for nature, exploring, swinging, tree climbing and getting close to the crawly things. Emily will pick up anything but spiders. And she loves to feed the roly-poly's to the carnivorous plants. (Note her magic wand!)

The fall garden is full of yellows and purples. So beautiful.

That's all for now -- back to work!

1 comment:

  1. Great photos of you! The garden is looking like autumn, and you write so beautifully!