What you see and the path to getting there

What you see here is a knit pencil skirt with a paisley print. it looks completely simple, a no brainer.

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The fabric for this skirt came in a Fabric Mart mystery bundle. It was a 3/4 yard length of a print that was bright in two areas of the fabric and faded to dark. There wasn’t enough yardage for a dress. I had some fabrics that I could possibly marry to this one to create a dress. the other complicating factor what the placement of the lighter areas of the print.

 

I kept the fabric near my sewing machine ad every once in a while would take it out, look at it, wrap the fabric around my body and realize that I still hadn’t figured out what to do. Finally, last week the light bulb went off in my head. If I cut the skirt with the lightest areas front and center (and also at the center back) I could end up with a skirt that didn’t look like it was made by a blind seamstress.

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The skirt came together quickly after the months of mulling. The solution seems obvious. maybe it would have been to someone else, but to me, it wasn’t so easy.

This is another dress that was head bangingly difficult to figure out how to cut.

I had become besotted with a black knit with a yellow and white stripe, again the fabric was from Fabric Mart. The stripe appeared at an awkward point in the yardage. The fabric itself actually has kind of a nasty hand, it feels a bit like the sort of fabric one might use to make uniforms for fast food workers, a poly pique’. I loved how the fabric looked like Charlie Brown’s shirt. After a few false starts I ended up with this,

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A dress a Boston Bruins fan could wear to a game. I love the early 1970’s vibe. No, I don’t have the chunky white patent leather shoes to wear with this dress. It’s another dress that is completely simple in execution but took lots of thinking to make happen.

Next up is a sweater that I purchased but it comes with a long back story. For my mother nothing beat the elegance of a cashmere sweater.  When I was really little my mother had a grey one. I was with her, a pre-schooler when she bought it’s replacement a pale blue one.  My mother gave me that sweater when I was in my 20’s and I wore that blue sweater to death, until it was to ragged to wear.

I have inherited the oatmeal colored cashmere sweater my mother bought my grandmother for her 70th birthday. I love the sweater, and the idea of the sweater but the color is dreadful on me so I wear it rarely.

My mother favored “classic tailored” clothing over fashionable or flashy clothing.  The ultimate place to get the sorts of tweedy clothes my mother felt was the height of elegance was Peck & Peck. I think that Peck & Peck  closed it’s door in the late 1960’s or early 1970’s.  My mother was sad when they closed their doors.

About 15 years ago my friend  Marcia was dying of cancer. During those difficult times I was Marcia’s source for dumb stuff that would make her feel better.  One of the things on Marcia's list was a “lipstick pink cashmere sweater”. While I was able to buy her affordable cashmere sweaters, I couldn’t find exactly what she wanted.

 

The other day in the thrift store I found this.

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It’s more of a lipstick orange-red than a lipstick pink. But an elbow sleeved cashmere sweater from Peck & Peck.

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It was $10. I took it home with me. I am wearing the sweater as I type this and I remember Marcia and I remember my mother.

I am also putting in work on the piece that has taken me the longest.

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Like the Boston Bruins dress and the paisley skirt the solutions to this project have come only after lots and lots of mulling. I can see the light and the end of the tunnel on this one.

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