Time passed and the days got warmer and suddenly, it was time to bring our work to school. One Friday afternoon she announced all garments had to be finished and brought to school on Monday. Holy cow! My 15-year-old brain told me I was in big trouble, so I decided to ask — no, beg — my sewing genius mother to help me whip up something over the weekend. Since I was a very good student, she was surprised and absolutely flipped her lid. She informed me that she had no intention of helping me. What she would do is drive me to the fabric store and tell me everything I would need to make a pattern and sew a dress. She also informed me I was grounded until it was done.
Saturday morning found me at the dining room table with my mother’s portable Singer sewing machine and all the stuff I would need. I spent all day Saturday and Sunday drawing, cutting, pinning and, finally, sewing the whole thing together. By Sunday evening, I called mother to come to pin up the hem for me. I slipped it over my head, a little proud and glad to have it behind me.
She came in, holding the pin cushion. But she stopped stock still, staring at me. Then, “Jean,you have every single seam inside out! Look at the arm holes, the neck opening, skirt pleats,” she said, her voice rising with every word. “I mean, what were you thinking? You now have to take it all apart and resew it all. Seams are never on the outside!”
All the while she was shaking her head at her hopeless daughter who just wanted to write in her canoe on the river.
I just stood there, staring at the stupid dress hanging on me. “Well,” I thought, “the seams are inside out, but listen, I am nothing if not creative.”
In one minute flat, I had a plan.I thanked mother, smiled and headed for bed. On Monday morning, off I went, carrying my new frock in a big plastic bag. After lunch, Miss French herded about 30 giggling girls to the changing room to don their creations. Then we formed a line for her inspection. When she got to me, she stopped, stared, shook her dyed blond head and announced, “Jean, what is this? Your seams, they are all inside out!”
I smiled my sweetest smile and said, “That’s right. This is the new wave for women’s fashions. I give you the ‘Inside Out Dress for the Creative Lady.’”
Well, old Miss French was livid! She sputtered and fumed and asked, “Does that mean you don’t intend to remake your dress before the show?” I smiled again and she actually stepped back away from me. I think she was afraid that in my dementia, I was going to kiss her! The end result — I did actually wear that dress with all the seams inside out and as I walked on stage, I announced it was the new wave of the future. I got an F on the project.
Last week, I was watching “The View” on TV. On it was one of the top costume designers for the stars. One by one, these skinny, tall models came out to show the designer’s new line. I about dropped my teeth when out came the last model to show the designer’s most important creation for this year. The designer said, and I quote, “Here is my prize for 2012 — my inside out dress!” Weak-kneed, I ran to get closer to the TV and, sure enough, every last seam on that many thousand-dollar dress was on the outside! I am still trying to decide the best way to sue that famous designer. She flat stole my idea all those years ago!
The view from the mountains is wondrous.