Friday, March 07, 2008

Sewing Projects

A manufacturer of upholstery and drapery material is not far from the Zamek. I shop there at the factory sometimes. Then I phone our upholsterer who incidentally did the furniture at Obecní Dùm when it was renovated a few years ago.

Once we needed felt for Christmas ornaments for gifts and to sell. First, questioning IWAP members and then searching in Prague, I found a store. I even learned the Czech word, "filc".

A dressmaker near the Zamek sewed outfits for me, my mother-in-law, and for two daughters, including the wedding dress for one of them. We shopped for fabric, drew pictures or took patterns to the dressmaker, and went back for fittings.

But the project which still amazes me took place many years ago. I made a silk dress for a thirteen year old girl. Are you familiar with the concerns thirteen year old girls have about clothes?

"Mom, I really need a new dress for the dance next week."

"Alice, why don't you wear the floaty two-piece white on white, satiny stripe, I made last year."

"Mother, I can't wear that! There' s no contrast: you know we're all wearing white stoles. I need the dark blue silk you brought me from India last year. I really want a sheath; that would look nice."

"I don't have a pattern. Alice, you are not a paper doll, you are not flat, you are three-dimensional. I've made doll clothes that wouldn't fit the dolls." [Where we lived at the time it was nearly impossible to get patterns.]

"Oh, Mother. You can do it. Just use a pattern you have to shape the armholes. It will be so easy for you."

It wasn't exactly easy. The armholes needed facing, also, which was another cutting problem. I had to think carefully and measure for darts. Of course, I had to make certain there was enough room on the sides to fit in a person, even someone slender like Alice! Finally, after she'd tried it on many times, I put in a zipper and did the hem.

She was very pleased with the dress. She looked lovely in it with the white stole. I was proud of how I'd managed to construct it!

Now, Alice is a mother of girls herself, contending with their reasonable and unreasonable requests.