Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lemon Lime slipdress — 3rd in a series of, gasp, 24

I'm working on a green and yellow upcycled slipdress now.  I seem to be obsessed with slipdress alterations, even though I know summer is quickly petering out and I should be devoting time to fall and winter accessories. 

I think part of the story of my etsy shop will be "One torn chemise; 24 spruced up slipdresses." For context, I'll direct viewers to the story in my profile about how much has changed in 24 years, from a rude comment about my torn chemise to my quest to bring out the beauty in something discarded.

Here's the story:
Twenty-four years ago as a fresh immigrant and impoverished newlywed, I relied on thrift stores to clothe myself, my two preschool stepdaughters and infant daughter. My husband had asked me to give up my job and stay home while the children were young, and, wanting only the best for them, I did.

One day, my husband remarked unkindly on the large rip in my chemise. 

It wasn't until a decade later that I developed enough assertiveness to remind him of that remark and retort, "It never occurred to you to buy your wife a new chemise." Another decade would pass before I realized, "Hey, why didn't I just darn the darned thing?"

Fast forward to today. The last child has left the nest, and her bedroom is now my haven for creating and crafting. I've filled a closet with vintage gowns, lingerie, scarves, aprons and gloves, all queued for metamorphosis into daywear extraordinaire. I study junkmail catalogs for trends and "aha!"s the way I used to digest academic journals in grad school. In the process, I've honed my eye for handwrought embellishments and quirky touches. I love these timeless beauties almost as much as my rescued Maine Coon — but never the twain shall meet.

And the husband? After an extensive five-year renovation (separation, counseling, everything short of a lobotomy), he earned the privilege of remaining my mate. We grew to appreciate and respect each other, and have entered a blissful state with a giggling grandson to enjoy!

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