Victoria Day is the traditional beginning of summer in Canada and although the weather was anything but summer like this weekend I decided it was a great opportunity to launch my new ship jacket. The inspiration for this jacket was a famous ship from Nova Scotia , the bluenose . You can read about my connection to Nova Scotia in an earlier post . Okay, picture me standing on the dock with a large bottle of the very best champagne , the band is playing and then with a huge smash , the sounds of broken glass and wasted liquid my boat is christened, The Bluenose Ghost.
This is a very inexpensive white linen jacket that I stripped of buttons , shortened the sleeves and removed the epaulets ( never liked these things) . I drew an outline of the ship on the linen, and then started cutting and sewing the ship and its sails using only vintage fabrics from my stash. The only new fabric in this is some small pieces of felt. I added vintage trim, lace, ric rac and buttons. Vintage buttons, how I love thee!!!. The last step and the one that takes the longest is to embroider all the details of the masts and ropes , waves in the water , etc. The last time I did a boat I did the embroidery before the applique an most of it was lost under the sails. Here are some close up shots . It is hard for me to pick a favorite sail but I will tell you which one is the most special . It is the larger blue sail on the left side of the ship. If you look very closely on it you will see that the center of it is a different fabric from the outer portion. This came from a very old vintage sheet I found at a rummage sale ( yes, under a table) . It was so old an soft I was going to buy it no matter what condition it was in. It felt like your favorite denim jeans that you have worn for a million days and they are so soft an thread bare that they feel like they are a part of you. When I got it home, washed it and was folding it I noticed that it had circles of different fabrics in it. Some wonderful person had patched its holes in a very beautiful unique way with tiny little handsewn stitches. The patches are like little works of textile art. I am thinking of framing a few of them and I was very happy to include one in this jacket of mine. Here is a close up, see if you can spot it.
Inside the jacket I printed onto yellow vintage seam binding the name of the jacket, Bluenose Ghosts and I also printed a line from one of my favorite songs from damien rice . The line is "cold, cold water surrounds me now" . My youngest daughter did a modern dance solo to this song this year and every time I saw her dance it I had tears in my eyes because it was so beautiful and moving.
I am looking forward to warm weather and wearing this jacket to my favorite beaches this summer. I am sure you will be seeing more of it soon. Have a wonderful start to your week.