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Friday, July 31, 2009

Vintage Talents

Every woman should know one thing, if nothing else, how to sew.  This does not necessarily mean she should sew all of her clothing like an Amish mother.  This skill will help her in separating those well-made garments from the garbage bags that are mass produced in sweat shops across Southeast Asia for the mere fact that she comprehends how they are made.

Once upon a time women valued the knowledge of fabrics and dress cuts, in turn helping them to look their best.  Those women must have appreciated the feeling of running their fingers through expensive fabrics.  A feeling most undoubtedly equal to digging your fingers into a bowl of Mikimoto pearls.  

Distinguishing shantung from crepe, or silk from chiffon takes a certain amount of effort, but coming from a person who grew up digging through fabric shops in Souks across Riyadh, it is a talent worth having.

Unfortunately, these various talents don't grow over night, and cannot be learned by studying books on the tricks of the trade.  Believe it or not, it is all about trial and error.  Buy a sewing machine, a pattern and some cheap fabric.  Start somewhere.  

Now I will fill you in on a little secret, two words... Vintage patterns.

If you happen to be of a shapely yet petite frame like myself, you will realize that patterns of era's past were created for you.

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