I found The Birds in the summer of 2001, looking at its vast expanse of polyester (it was at least three sizes too big) and seeing only the perfect color combo of its print.
Can you believe I didn't pick up on the bird theme right away? I just saw shapes.
Believe it or not, I'm not a very visual person.
But I excel at imitating animals. Can't you feel the birdiness here?
I was just thinking about how weird it is that we eat birds.
Has anyone in this family ever even seen a chicken?
So far, the moral of the story is, birds are awesome, and also get things altered. But this is actually a sad story.
See, around the zipper in the back was sewn this flimsy woven material—I'm still not sure why they used this material instead of the polyester of the rest of The Birds. After I'd washed The Birds a couple of times, it started to come undone, and threads started falling off and getting weirdly long and loose.
Probably the sensible thing to do here would have been to hem the edges of this backing material, or finish it in some way that would put a halt to the destruction.
Instead, I decided to try to just cut it off. Please, please don't ever do this. The back of The Birds is now a total mess in the zipper area, with threads going every which way. Also, because that material was being used as backing, the neckline in back is starting to look unfinished and raw.
I am investigating a sewing guru and will ask her if she thinks this debacle is salvageable. In the meantime, I will try not to play with forces that I don't understand.
Oh, and polish up on my shadow animals.
All photos by Claire Loeb!