Sunday, February 28, 2010


I was at Target today buying groceries and saw a mother and a couple of teenage girls shopping; one of the girls could have been me oh, about 40 years ago, I guess. She was tall and slim, had short reddish hair, was wearing a miniskirt, lace stockings and little boots, and was carrying a big fabric bag. She actually looked a little bit like me, but it was the outfit that caught my attention.

I don't do a lot of shopping for clothes, but I'm in Target a lot and I've noticed that much of the new stuff looks like the 70's--ethnic prints, gypsy dresses, floral prints, tie-dye, smocking, gauze. When I was in my last year of highschool I made a huge piece of patchwork by sewing together hundreds of small squares of fabric, then I laid a tissue pattern on it and made a maxi-dress with ruffle at the bottom, an empire waist, and little cap sleeves. Around that time my high school banned long dresses, but I would wear it when I went out on dates. Why would they have banned long dresses? I don't remember, if I ever knew.

It's just funny how clothing styles go in and out of fashion. And it wasn't at all unusual to make our own clothes. I don't know if anyone does that at all anymore. We were sitting at lunch at work one day last week, and one of the guys--who is involved in theater--said he wasn't able to wrap his brain around being able to take a flat piece of fabric and turn it into a piece of clothing.

It was a way to have new clothes that cost less than buying them ready-made, and I remember spending hours at the fabric store looking through pattern books and deciding what fabrics would work. I also spent hours at the remnant tables in the fabric stores, and a lot of my clothes were made of fabrics I found there, some were made from drapery fabrics and things like that. Both unusual, and less expensive, two qualities that I looked for.

I took home ec in high school, and I remember making a little suit out of a heavy purple and cream-colored fabric; I remember sewing corduroy, and the fuzz that would result when cutting it. I remember making maxi-dresses--that patchwork one in particular--I remember making something in an evening that I would wear the next day. I don't have the time or the patience anymore to do that, but it's nice to know I could, in a pinch.

Oh, and the girl that I saw today was wearing some kind of headband that had a long chain hanging down on one side with a charm--a leaf, I think. Something that would have fit perfectly in 1972.

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