Monday, October 19, 2009

Dusting Off An Old Hat

The weather has been absolutely disgusting for weeks which has kept me seeking refuge inside instead of being outside finishing up the porch painting.  Somewhere in there I got distracted and found myself ogling Victorian style dresses.  Let me just say, it just takes a peek at something lovely for it to begin to snowball, then to grow tentacles, until eventually, you've just got to have one-ok two-well maybe 3-half a dozen-2 dozen?  And so on. 

Naturally, someone is supposed to take the blame for all things abnormal about one's life and the finger of blame on this one points to my mother (who can blame it on her mother) who introduced me to fabrics by teaching me how to use the sewing machine when I was 8.

I remember going to my grandmother's house when we were kids.  She had enclosed her front porch to turn it into her sewing room, so to get into the house, you had to go through her sewing room with the stacks of fabrics and trims and the sewing machine out with a half-finished project or two nearby.  I always loved looking at all those pretty colors!

During my childhood, I always looked forward to birthdays and Christmas because Mom would always make me pretty new outfits.  We really couldn't afford to buy too many new clothes (with the exception of new Toughskins from Sears at the beginning of the school year) so Mom made most of ours.  As I grew older, she began teaching me how to make my own and how to read a pattern and what the terms meant.  A trip to Hancock's with Mom was more exciting than any vacation I could think of!  Oh! The colors and patterns and textures!  And the choices!   It was like swimming in a sea of dreams!

I remember-and can almost still feel-the velvet flocked flowers on the sheer sleeves of my lavender 8th-grade graduation dress.  This was the first project I did that was a full-length dress-even then I loved them!  They were called a "Granny Dress" back then, although I never saw any of my grandmothers in one.  I was so proud of that dress!  I don't remember what the "pretty girls" wore (you know, the ones with the good hair?) but I don't think they had a dress as nice as mine.

The next dress (as I'm not typically a dress person) was my wedding dress when I was 18.  It was a simple dress, but notice the similarity in style to the one I did at 13?  Hmmm....same high collar, same high cuffs, same modest cover over the the cleavage?  Apparently, I have a style preference. : )   If I remember right, the cuffs on these sleeves were almost to the elbow and satin covered buttons all the way up.  Ooooo, they were pretty.

It was several years before I had the time to start sewing again and this time it was when I was about to leave the military.  I was stationed in the Philippines where fabrics were cheap and different than what we find here in the stores.

My favorite wool pinstripe suit

So, off to the local markets I went to collect fabrics for my new civilian wardrobe with lots of great fabrics and coordinating colors and patterns.  In the end I dragged back a nice wardrobe that I used for years until I finally turned 30-something and became wider than they were.  Oh dear!

One of my other favorite outfits with removable bow tie thingy

So, one to today when I find myself with plenty of time on my hands and a tentacle-growing snowball of a thought that I'm dying to get started on.  This time up, I've got my eye on making a few of THESE!

Or (make that-AND) these:

A few of these? But, of course!

But right now, if I don't get out and paint something-since it is actually a gorgeous day, I'm gonna be in trouble with Donnie.

Have a good day!

1 comment:

  1. What a delightful read!! You have a true knack for sewing. Your dresses are spectacular!! I can't wait to see where this new journey takes you. Your talents are many but the most wonderful talent you have is your ability to focus on a task and see it through to completion paying attention to every last detail. Best of luck friend! I'm cheering you on.