My interest in fashion came early in life, because my mother used to make my clothes. She was an expert seamstress. In addition to my clothes, she also made the draperies and slipcovers in our house. She made my sister's wedding dress, my bridesmaid's dress, my graduation dress, many of my concert clothes (I played the violin in my previous incarnation), suits, coats, pants, shirts, dresses and sweaters. She also upholstered the furniture in our home. Before she died, she was working on hooking a rug for my room. As you can tell, she was extremely talented and adept in the needle and textile arts. This was in addition to knitting, crocheting, needlepoint and embroidery that she did "just for fun."
When I was a little girl in elementary school, and I was wearing an outfit my mom had made for me, my teacher would take me out of the classroom during a break and call the other teachers in the hall to show off the outfit my mom had made. They marveled at her expertise.
One of the high points of my year came in summertime, when it was time to start preparing my school wardrobe. When I became a teenager, my mom let me pick out patterns, and she would whip up my back-to-school wardrobe.
I remember I used to hang out in JC Penney's basement in the sewing and notions department, on a high chair, bent over the draft tables, poring over pattern books: McCall's, Vogue, and Simplicity. I would trace the picture of the outfits on tracing paper and mark down the pattern numbers of the outfits I liked. Then I'd take them home to my mom, we'd come to an agreement on which outfits she would make for back-to-school (and Sunday School), and she would buy the pattern and fabric, trim and fastenings. When she had everything she needed, she'd cut the pattern onto the fabric on the dining room table. Then she would do the pinning (easily the most painful aspect of the operation to me, since it involved standing very still and potentially becoming a human pin cushion) and she'd make any adjustments to the fit of the garment that were necessary. Then she'd do the basting, and some more fittings. Then she'd sew it all together, finish the trim and zippers or buttons, and voila! I had a brand-new outfit that fit me like a glove and was exactly what I wanted.
Now I'm going to disappoint you, because, while I learned to sew, and I used to do embroidery, I haven't kept up with it, so I can't make extraordinary outfits like my mom did. I don't have a sewing machine, and frankly, my eyesight is not terrific, so needlework is difficult.
However! I did learn a great deal about how garments are made, how they are supposed to fit, and how to spot quality vs. inferior goods. I also read many books on style, fashion and beauty, and I've learned from them. I hope to pass this knowledge along to my readers.
I'm on a quest for improved household and personal organization. Peter Walsh is my organization guru. I'm a fan of FlyLady, too, and I try to follow her daily routines - not that I always succeed, but no one is perfect! I'm always in search of tips on household and personal organization, and I hope to pass those along to my readers, as well.
I hope you enjoy reading my blog, and that you stop by often. I appreciate feedback, so comments are always welcome. Just keep it polite and constructive.