So many years ago, when I was starting out in my sewing lessons in middle school, there was a fellow classmate whom I admired from a distance. You know how young girls could be–seeing someone and wish we could be like them. Maybe have their hair, their clothes, their eyes, or something that we just don’t have. So it was with Carolyn.
Carolyn was a quiet soul; rarely bothered the teacher, seemed to catch on quickly, and at the same time, very, very quiet in class. She was beautiful with her long dark hair and her black eyes. I would smile at her while working, and she would gently smile back.
Then came the day we were to make dresses. Oh my! A dress. Something I hadn’t tackled yet. I chose a navy blue open weave (I seem to remember the term, “hopsacking”?), so “open”, the dress had to be lined. A scoop neck because I happened to like them, and short sleeves. Three brass buttons went down the center front, and that was it.
But Carolyn, dear Carolyn! She chose a dress with a waist tie, long sleeves with elastic at the wrist, and ruffles on the collar. And in yellow dotted Swiss! Fine flocked dots in white danced all over the thin organza fabric, and her dress had to be lined too. A lot of work for a semester, and a lot of learning because of all the techniques; lining, elastic, ties, ruffles, collar, and the lining. She even installed a hidden zipper (we called them Unique zippers back then) in all of that! But Carolyn pulled through, and we both got to wear our dresses in the fashion show held at the end of the year. She looked beautiful; long black hair tumbling down her back, and a very proud smile on her face.
So when I came across a pink dotted Swiss hanky in my stash, my first thought went to Carolyn and that day when she wore that beautiful dress. Even now as I look at the soap sachets I made from the hanky, I still think of her.
Maybe dotted Swiss has a memory for you too?