What my hands made once

Early school days: A dirndl skirt of unbleached muslin printed with a floral pattern in indigo dye, my first hand-made creation, made from cloth given to me by a textile factory manager when my father took me on a factory-visiting trip when I was seven. A reddish corduroy sleeveless jumper dress. Both garments surprised me in how a piece of flat cloth is transformed into something dimensional, beautiful, resilient and useful.

High school days: Bermuda shorts of soft cafe-au-lait woolen flannel, for early-fall football games. A pastel-checked bathing suit with cuffed halter top and uncuffed boy shorts bottom. A boat-necked, belted jacket of persimmon fancy-patterned cotton corduroy, closed with buttons of red-brown woven leather and a buckle to match, lined with fine white silk printed with a navy-blue geometric pattern, something Dad brought home when I was little, for looking cool at school. A straight wrap skirt of peach cotton sateen for looking gracefully sexy at school. A brown slub-textured cotton suit for trips to NYC’s museums. A hip-stitched box-pleated skirt of lightweight claret woolen flannel, as a high school requirement of the time. A petal-pink silk damask bell-skirted boat-necked cap-sleeved bow-waisted dress, for a prom. A white linen sleeveless long gown with over-the-shoulder panel, lined with bridal silk, for graduation.

College days: silver silk blouse, navy-and-mustard wool bouclé skirt with matching sleeveless tunic, grey crêpe skirt, navy silk dress, for going out in Brooklyn Heights with my Zenie cousins to have fun and drink scotch and beers.

Early mom days: everything my son and I wore except for socks, shoes and underclothing. Most pieces were wool or cotton.

note to me: sketch these.

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