Sunday, August 5, 2012

Assembling the Sleeping Cover

I have assembled the pieces of the sleeping cover (see previous post) that I am calling a hybrid boro yogi. A yogi is a garment-shaped coverlet used to cover a sleeping body. I saw one first in Stephen Szczepanek's beautiful catalogue for the show Mottainai: The Fabric of Life. A proper yogi would have a removable stuffing, which this one doesn't. Doesn't yet at least. I'll see.

I have made this one from components- the back panel, two front side panels and four pieces for the sleeves. I thought a lot about the process of constructing a garment while I worked on this- setting the pattern pieces, pinning them, cutting, etc. This is very different. The seams are lapped, and I just closed them with running stitch. And none of the component pieces is complete at this point, and now I'll just work directly on the cloth, stitching across the seams where the components meet. The blue cloth above is the lining of the sleeves which will be covered with patches. Here is a view of the back (and Emma Goldman the old man cat/my shadow):



And here is a view of the front. The cloth on the sleeve on the right will also be on the left sleeve. This over cloth is the first thing I printed with native wild blackberry leaves two years ago. The cloth is an old diaper (found in a box of rags). I'm going to work around those prints. They look very elegant to me. And they evoke being outside to me; these leaves are from the blackberry we grow just along the fence at the right of this photo, but are from seeds and berries the birds must have foraged along the river. I think this is very definately cloth for being outside. Maybe for sleeping outside.


I need to figure out something to do for the collar; a proper yogi has a collar like a kimono. It suggests the shape of the back of the neck. It is kind of like a lapel on a jacket. It runs from midway on one front panel up around the back of the neck and back down the front. I think it needs to be one piece of cloth so that it will stand up, and give the impression of hugging the sleeper's neck.

I also have a plan for making it a sleeping bag- I found a matched pair of extremely long skate laces in a parking lot last week. If I attach them to the yogi, then I can tie it into a bundle. Like this:

14 comments:

  1. This is extraordinary.
    So in keeping with the true nature & purpose (multi-purpose) of boro.
    Very glad I stopped by!

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping in; I went over to your blog and love how all of the water/plant/cloth mingling you are doing over there. Beautiful.

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  2. I love how you work. so thoughtFULL, deliberate. then
    how you tell about decisions you make. reading and looking
    i am always so touched by it all. and the Yogi is maybe
    the perfect Form to tell of your Mission.
    Beautiful, Wendy, lovingly beautyfull

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    1. Thank you always Grace; the form of the yogi is so evocative I think. Just the idea that garments and blankets aren't separate. The form seems old, like a trace of a time before the two kinds of cloth diverged.

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  3. Beautiful work! I love how all the components are found and lovingly
    cleaned and patched together to create something new...just lovely : )

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    1. Thank you for stopping in Marie, and for your lovely comments. I will continue to show this as it progresses.

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  4. Brilliant. Your work and storytelling, I'm speechless. The catalog is beautiful.

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    1. Thank you Nancy, you are very kind. This project really emerged from the cloth, all on its own within the context of the inspiration of mottainai, Jude Hill's work, the work of the many other artists I follow. I am starting to think that from now I might direct the foraging into a project, if that makes sense, rather than just 'rescuing' stuff because it is there. Maybe the purpose for the foraging can come first? It's what is on my mind now.

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  5. there are whispers in your work, that can bestow enlightenment, were one to listen with presence and openness. i never come away from your blog feeling a thirst...but rather filled with wonder and a desire to *see* things differently. perhaps more like you...the delight in the discarded and forgotten and find their newness and treasure! thank you for this!

    and thank you for introducing me to the concept of the yogi! i love this idea and will be looking deeper into the tradition. i can hear the possibilities calling me in the darkness...and now simply must have my own yogi! :)

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    1. Joe, it has taken me forever to think of how to respond to this generous, kind and thoughtful comment. I'm quite overwhelmed by the depth and sincerity of your reaction and response. Thank you.

      And I am so happy to know you are taken by the yogi form; I have just found this work by Lezlie King who also used this form and tells a compelling story about her response to the yogi: http://www.lezlieking.com/current/kaimakistory.html

      She uses the term 'kaimaki' for this form, which I have also just discovered is the name used for these garments when you buy them commercially today. Just google-image the word and you'll find a couple of them.

      Thank you again Joe, your words give me lots to think about and I will look forward to hearing about a yogi you might compose.

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  6. i see you are still going...

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  7. Wendy...this morning i find you right next to be on
    Jude's sidebar...How good this feels. love,

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  8. The yogi is looking fantastic!

    I have nominated you for a Liebster award, I hope you'll be happy to join in :-) To take part you must write 11 things about yourself and then nominate another 11 blogs which each have less than 200 followers.

    All the best, Chloe x

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