Friday, August 17, 2012

fancy work

Still a bit under the weather, so I'll be brief.

Sewing: I did a little stitching on my Loulouthi hexies last night before bed. That project is coming along really nicely now, almost done...if not for that one row that really needs to be moved....Photos soon.

But wait, there are photos: before I got sick I made a little skirt for Frida, the girl who (generally) wears dresses only.  I really wanted to use my Oliver + S Music Class pattern, which Frida approved of in the abstract, and I also wanted to finally use up (most) of a couple of Echino prints which had been stashed for a couple of years.  I didn't have enough of one single print to cut the pieces for the whole skirt, but fortunately they coordinate and this pattern has side panels that are just asking for special treatment.  So here it is....


Music Class skirt in Echino


She's a happy girl, as you can see.
she's wearing a skirt! Yay!  This is the Oliver + S Music Class skirt from stashed Echino





























And as for Washington Square? Done.

I'm happy not to know the critical literature on this novel; it's nice to have a break from that larger discursive realm sometimes, especially when I'm reading to pass the time while sick. Here's my take on it, this novel that feels more like an extended sketch, so small in its scope but with characters so well drawn: ultimately we can admire Catherine and only Catherine, as obstinate and plain as she may be described to be, she also achieves a kind of autonomy. Those around her are revealed to be such fools, all so narcissistic in their individual ways.

The novel ends with Catherine "picking up her morsel of fancy-work," which I'm sure many critics have taken as indicative of both her conventional femininity and a certain pathos and futility. I know that's how most of my students would read it.  But (without spoiling the ending) I would like to think that James has a more nuanced understanding of what a woman's needlework might signify. And it's lovely to have an audience for whom I don't need to spell that out...!


5 comments:

LizA. said...

What a darling skirt for a darling little girl. Just curious, did you line it to hide all the seams or did you use a serger?

Prof. S said...

Thanks Liz! I serged all the seams and then edge-stitched where appropriate. I love my serger!

Archie the wonder dog said...

That skirt is gorgeous, as is Frida!

Prof. S said...

Thank you, sweet Helen!

quirky granola girl said...

that skirt is absolutely adorable. i think i may need a skirt like that.