Thursday, July 10, 2008

Book Review: Life in the Little Black Dress, by Christine Jonson

I've done a short review of The Little Black Dress on Pattern Review and I thought I'd add some more personal stuff here.

I worked as a little sales girl in Christine's Retail Store in Royal Oak, MI starting in 1995. The story about "Button Decisions" in the book brought back memories from that time. Christine would have Susan cut out the collection, and then it would be sent to the sew-ers (I wasn't allowed to sew way back then!). One woman would do the serging and we (me and or Susan or Christine) would have to press up hems and press/shrink the fabric and then one or more sew-ers would finish the hems and topstitching. After everything was finished and pressed and hung on hangers Christine would pull out the buttons. It was a big production and everything had to have the perfect buttons. I think many of Christine's customers enjoyed the attention to the buttons as much as the fit of the garments.

I also remember the joy Christine takes in choosing beautiful fabrics, that much hasn't changed!

Much of what I do in sewing is from watching and listening to Christine, I think I learned to really sew from her Patterns. I love the easy way her patterns go together and especially the fit of the armholes. I often find myself adjusting other patterns to make them easier or more friendly, eliminating facings, pins, serging darts,etc.

The article "Clip Those Threads" actually gave me a chuckle, it is one of my bad habits to leave some threads hanging, it is actually the thing that I get the most comments about! I do try to be neat, but I chronically leave the threads at the start of hem seams. I think I do end up getting them, unless I'm on a tight deadline and working really fast. People do end up not complaining after a while, so either I get better or they give up!

I also love Christine's take on "The Little Black Dress" and how it relates to sewing "...it signifies all the good things about clothes. If you have the perfect little black dress in your closet, life is good. It is something you can depend on. You can be in your comfort zone the second you slip that dress on. It's a state of mind."

All and all I really enjoyed the book, if you are looking for some fun informative reading about sewing I highly recommend it!

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