If you ever hear me speak of Susan, she's not a real person. She's my height. Or she would be if she had a head. She also has the exact same proportions in the bust, waist, and hips as I do. But she has three legs instead of two. And she's blue.
She's not a Na'vi. Susan is my body double. My dressmakers form. And here's a secret. I can sew. And pretty darn well, too.
The last "simple" skirt I made had 18 pieces, and that's not counting the lining pieces. My favorite cocktail dress is a made-by-me sumptuous brown 100% cotton velvet completely lined and with boning in the waist. And no, I don't sew for others unless I've birthed them or married them. So don't ask.
On my way to Parents' Weekend at Finola's college last month, I made a pit stop in Manhattan. There are certain places in Manhattan that require a pilgrimage. One of those is a shop in the Lower East Side, but it was too far to travel for just one store. They have beautiful fabrics and are right next door to a bialy store. But a critical mass is more than one fabulous store in a two block radius.
How about dozens of fabulous stores in a two block radius? If you ignore the gentlemen's clubs and topless bars, my pilgrimage stores dot the side streets just south of Times Square off Seventh Avenue. So Rudy cleaned up Times Square. It just means that the seedier side moved a few blocks away from where the tourists are. Back at the fabric stores, I was like a kid in a candy store.
And when in the Garment District, 'tis best to dress in black, and funky shoes if possible. I didn't mention my pit stop to a friend I ran into getting coffee before getting on the road. 'Tis best to leave an air of mystery and then show up a few weeks (or months depending on how fast my project goes) wearing expensive looking togs that were handmade for more than half the cost of ready-to-wear.
And shhh . . . keep this under your hat. I don't want Dierdre to know that I shop at Mood, where the Project Runway contestants shop. She'll want a weekend shopping trip.
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