Monday, January 22, 2018

Take Back the Nightshirt


Pam encounters herself in the Take Back the Nightshirt

Experiments with t-shirts and lace continue. I still have lots and lots of Tennessee Williams' mother's curtains at my disposal (for the back story on how I got the curtains, and to see the original art piece created from these voluminous drapery sheers, see Rise and Shine: Tennessee William's Mother's Curtains). For this version of the nightshirt, I decided to substitute the sheers for the lace.

The original inspiration for the t-shirt and lace nightshirt came during a spiritual retreat at Findhorn in northern Scotland. Our group for the week was a motley international mix of ages, inclinations, neuroses, and nationalities. My roommate Sondra, a high-powered, type-A businesswoman from Hong Kong, appeared one night in our bedroom wearing what appeared to be a regular old t-shirt with a deep border of lace on the hem. I jumped (as well as I am able at this point in life) out of bed to inspect the garment more closely. Below is a photo of Sondra, clearly sliding from type A down to type P or Q after feeling the Findhorn influence of fairies and garden sprites.

Sondra, looser than when she arrived at Findhorn.

My first stab at creatively interpreting Sondra's nightshirt was a children's wear twist on the theme (which tosses in two poets for good measure), The Longfellow, Williams, Milne Memorial Nightshirt for Fractious Young Women. This time around I tried an adult version. In both cases the shirts were failures in a sense: they are just too charming to be worn in the dark. 

The Take Back the Nightshirt

This version of the nightshirt incorporates a large, gray, man's t-shirt from the thrift store, a swath of Tennessee William's mother's curtains, and a length of white ribbon. 

Border detail: the "rise and shine" quote

I have once again used a Willliams' quote from The Glass Menagerie: "Every time you come in yelling that God damn 'Rise and Shine!' 'Rise and Shine!' I say to myself, 'How lucky dead people are.'" I suppose that could be seen as depressing, but those among us who are "bad-waker-uppers" will appreciate the sentiment. The letters were hand-printed onto the ribbon using a vintage alphabet printing set.

Detail: polka dot

For the polka dots, I used a cardboard template to cut out a bunch of circles from the drapery sheers and then used a simple blanket stitch to attach them to the t-shirt and keep the edges from unraveling.

And here is my friend Pam doing a fabulous job of modeling the Take Back the Nightshirt.

Note the single polka dot, center back.

Pam, experiencing the power that only a Take Back the Nightshirt can endow.

2 comments:

  1. I love the embellishment & curtain story.
    Pam owns the moment.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I can see why you said they're too charming to be worn in the dark. It came out just beautiful!

    ReplyDelete

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