I spent yesterday with a friend who lives in a small town. She lives in a small house and drives a small car. She, herself, is rather small. But her heart is huge; her friendships bountiful; and her talents are never-ending. So it was no surprise to me that at the end of the day my pea-brain was swimming with new ideas for projects to keep me sufficiently crazy in 2011.
I have a collection of four million dresses from Goodwill. Perhaps this is an exaggeration, but then again maybe not. I appreciate the fact that I’ll never need four million outfits, and probably 3,999,989 of these wouldn’t fit me anyhow, but it’s the fabric I’m after. Ummmmm. Fabric. It’s like great sex to me, or it would be if I could remember what that word meant.
One of my friend’s talents is altering clothing. There’s a magazine for this, and she could be the editor; that’s how good she is. She brought out a box of her creations, and took me into the Fabric and Hat Mecca of Mt. Dora (her studio), and showed me just how complex the process is. Then we walked around town and stopped by the shops where her clothes are for sale. Then I saw the price tags. Then I decided I’d try to make my own.
I went to Wal-Mart, which is not the place to buy patterns if you’re looking to make something other than a pillow. JoAnn’s keeps their patterns at a constant 40% off, which tells me this is not really a sale, but rather a ploy. Any company can print any price on any pattern and then always have it at 40% off. That’s “Voo-Doo Patternomics.” Good grief! Sometimes we’re so dense.
There’s a lady sitting in front of me, turning catalog pages faster than my bank teller counts paper money. I’m feeling the breeze and wondering how she’s even seeing what’s on the page. So I ask her if she sews much, and she seemed genuinely interested in chatting. However, the fanning continues though now she’s not even looking at the pages. I ask her when patterns became $30 at Vogue. She laughs. I tell her I haven’t sewn an article of clothing in years, and explained how I wanted to copy (the height of flattery) my friend’s blouses because I dropped $40 on a pair of leggings and I’m now out of cash to complete the outfit. I told her about my used clothes stash and how I’m going to cut these up to make something completely new. Her hair started to glow and her eyes opened really wide. She said she loved the idea and she’d often thought about doing exactly the same thing with her own old clothes, altering and rehabbing them into something fresh and new. Then her hands abruptly stopped, pulled a U-ey and headed in the opposite direction. Without so much as a breaking light, she stopped at just the right page. It’s Vogue’s V7854, entitled Tunic and EASY. They had me at “EASY.” I pulled out my wallet.
It’s long enough to cover my derriere and keep my gender a secret (this happens when you get old; you become homogenized), and it’s pre-paneled (like it’s done in puzzle pieces so you can easily incorporate different fabrics). I am going to do this. I’m devoting twenty minutes a day to this project, right after the two rows of the schizophrenic psycho scarf, a few minutes on the baby blanket, two chapters in my current book, and let’s not forget all the merry meal-making, laundry, and housecleaning. It’s a wonder I’m not bored.
I should not have pulled out the instructions for the Serger so late at night. I found a little drool on the booklet and can’t remember how it got there, though it’s obvious I fell asleep at the sewing machine. I hope that’s not an omen. I really want to do this.