Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Something completely different

I'm not much of an artist but I got out my sketchbook Saturday night and worked in a frenzy to draw special items from my childhood and teen wardrobe.
It all started a few months ago when we were watching old family movies. I saw myself in a couple of my all-time favorite outfits. Most were made by my mom. And they stuck in my mind, how much I enjoyed them and how good I felt to wear them. Well, mostly. the lace on the dotted Swiss above was a bit scratchy--but I still loved the dress and puffed out with petticoats skirt.
This is the one that triggered the sketches--my "Indian" dress. I loved this dress and was very sad when I outgrew it. I think I was four or five when I wore this colorful dress.  (Indian made more sense if you saw me in it with my long dark-brown braids.)
I wore this wool skirt in high school--no idea what with, really. I just loved the skirt. Mom made it and it fit perfectly. I may have worn it with the popular mohair sweaters.
This sheath from the 60s was worn to our Homecoming dance my senior year. I always wore it with a multistrand, multicolor long necklace of plastic beads.  I really liked this dress. Mom used this same pattern to make another dress I begged for--wonderful red velvet. I felt very grown up! (I still have it.)
The frothy pink dress above was the result of a new teenager's temper tantrum. I have to give it to mom, she bought me the dress (rare to have a store-bought dress). And it did not flatter my figure. I wore it to 8th grade graduation and I loved how it made me feel--so feminine and pretty. 

 Not at all like the beige tailored pleated skirt and overblouse she wanted me to wear (mom loved beige). Our compromise must have busted her budget--she actually bought me both dresses. I wore the dull beige dress (which I hated but was admittedly more flattering to my plump self--even at 13 I knew that) for church confirmation. (no drawing of that ensemble, although I remember it quite well.)
This was my prom dress. It's the thing I liked best about prom. My date was a cousin's cousin. My boyfriend had just broken up with me (I know now because he didn't have money to pay for prom). The dinner was exotic (the Sabre Room with the very foreign shish kabab!) and the dance so-so (I loved to dance--my date didn't) and I had my hair done (for the first time)--on top of my head in big ringlets. I felt beautiful--a rare thing.  The next day we defied my parents and skipped the beach and headed to Old Town and all of the hippie shops. (The Ps and I had a serious discussion afterward about their having forbidden this and my taking a "Ghandi" civil disobedience stance that I knew that and made my own decision, contrary to theirs, and I'd live with the consequences. There wasn't much of a  consequence that I can remember.)

This was another bought dress, with gorgeous Schiffli embroidery. It fit like a dream (I'd lost some weight my senior year, the result of endless hours of jumping rope in the basement and not eating).  I remember thinking that perhaps one day I could use it as a wedding gown. (In the end I made my wedding dress, perhaps I should draw that one, too).  I still have my prom dress, in the back of a closet with the red velvet. Every once in a while I think I should donate it, but I'm not quite ready yet.

Now that I'd got the sketching bug, I hope to keep it up. I never seem to keep the momentum going and I'm sure my skills would improve with practice.

1 comment: said...

LOVE your sketches and you do quite well. Love the stories for the outfits as well. Thanks for sharing them.