Oh hey guys,
Last four months in a nutshell: move to Vancouver; attend law school; subsequently let law school take over life as expected, knitting needles gather dust; most free time spent visiting boyfriend and/or eating; take up cooking!; foolishly visit Vancouver yarn store in the middle of exams, possible consequences to Torts midterm; only now realize Sweet Georgia Yarns is based in Vancouver; visit home i.e. Toronto; DON’T STOP CRAFTING, NO SLEEP TIL CHRISTMAS; return to Vancouver; POST ABOUT IT.
The “take up cooking” part of that whole dealio, will be in a different post… maybe even a guest one for GGLE? My Christmas present crafts are also coming, fear not! It’s just that not all of them are out yet since I just got back to Van, and I don’t want to ruin surprises. Soooooo…
Yay I finally learned how to shorten a dress! I found this baby in a basement vintage shop on hip little Johnson Street in Victoria. (I will have to check the name once more but) the shop owner is so friendly and does some tailoring for reasonble fees as well. She has a ridiculous amount of vintage embroidered textiles! I have never seen so many! Handkerchiefs, tablecloths and runners oh my!
As an embroiderer myself, it is always overwhelming to see so much hand-stitched fabric in one place. It’s exciting to think about all the work, as well as how many (inevitably) women it took to produce so much quantity. I also like how it was so necessary at one time. You couldn’t just have a plain one because your table cloth needed embroidered geese on it! The decorative/domestic/entertaining/”good housekeeping” thing is irritating in many ways: this is what was expected for good housekeeping which probably brought a high level of stress upon women who had alot of other things to do in a day. Yet at the same time, I am one for increased personalization of your home, outside the realm of simple consumer choice, which is something (as I’ve already blogged about) I think in inherent in embroidery.
ANYWAYS I dig Vic ALOT. I find that the island is the truly what people back East think that the BC lifestyle is like. Vancouver seems to still have a chip on its shoulder about how it’s so much better than out East… it very well might be, but it would be even greater if they just let the city’s awesomeness speak for itself, and didn’t try to sell it so hard. Vic on the other hand doesn’t have anything to prove, and I dig it. Small, yes; might get boring after a while? maybe; but relaxing and the exact place you’d want to be most weekends during law school? Fer sure.
But I digress… The dress is Mid-sixties and used to be floor length. Imagine *that* much of that fabric. It was special. Nonetheless, the white embroidery on that electric blue heavy cotton weave was too much to give up, and probably really expensive to buy per yard, back in the day. The above picture is of my Nonna’s amazing hands, which basted most of the hem since she claimed I was “too slow”. I probably was. She kept claiming she didn’t have the hand for it anymore (“Non ho piu il mano!“), but there were many times when she got so consumed in sewing again that I’d have to beg to do some parts myself. And despite having pretty poor vision, her stitches were invariably better than mine. I was the designated needle-threader though. She’d almost be done and then yell out for me to start getting another one ready. It was a great day spent back home with Nonna, something I really used to take for granted.
Something that I can learn from my grandmother and my mom is how thorough they are with their projects. It wasn’t enough just to shorten this second hand find. Instead, we had to go through the entirety of its hems, including those around the neck and arms and repair any fallen hems or broken darts. When I started to wane and just wanted to put the damn thing on, my Nonna refused to let it go without intricate hand stitching on all these problem areas. She was happy to announce that the dress was not made well to begin with and that you shouldn’t have bought it, and her friend could have just made you one… but it looked really good on you, Martina. Haha, such is the way of the women in my family.
This thoroughness that I lack in craft is probably the reason why I am so nervous to start sewing to begin with. However, I think that taking projects on and stopping when I know I am starting to get lazy, picking it up some other time will allow me to get better at this craft. Unfortunately the middle of law school is not when this is going to happen. haha.
Will employment be better?? Maybe? SIGH. Not enough time in the day. For now I will be happy that this winter break produced another bangin’ dress to add to my collection, and something to wear to the first Law Formal of the year.
More posts to come, more often, I promise.