This blouse has a history.
I cut it out the night before a two-hour demonstration class last year. I taught piping techniques and set-in sleeves. Demonstration classes can be nerve-racking: thirty or forty-odd people watching you sew, a camera focused on your hands and beaming them to a screen behind you. I believe I wore a mike that day, too. It’s tough to keep up a running commentary while applying piping evenly to a peter pan collar, don’t let anyone tell you differently.
When I sat to “dem” these techniques, I broke out in a cold sweat and couldn’t find my tongue- this crowd wasn’t mommy-night-time-seamstresses but a large group of older quilters I respect deeply. Then I spotted a woman I’d grown particularly fond of at the back of a room- a blond woman I bonded with while teaching her to fit her figure. She smiled broadly at me.
A year later, the blouse languished in pieces on my work table. I needed to demonstrate a convertible collar for another class, so I reached for this blouse and taught Sherry’s excellent method. After that, it lacked only buttons and buttonholes, yet I procrastinated until last weekend. I’ve been feeling “meh” about sewing and life in general lately, hence the lack of blog postings.
When I finished it, I felt a quiver of fear.
“Darling, is this kitsch or simply outside my comfort zone?” I asked my husband, who is frightfully honest when I make sartorial inquiries.
He paused, considered carefully and said “Definitely kitsch.”
I KNEW IT! Without cutting the buttonholes, I hung it up.
Then this morning I turned on the news and just like that several month’s worth of blues lifted away. I saw liberated Libyans pouring into the newly-renamed Martyr’s Square. They did it! They really, really did it! Politics aside, I watched enraptured and laughed with them. I had to dress for work; as my eyes fell on this bright “kitschy” thing in my closet, I knew it was meant to be the Liberation of Tripoli blouse. It looks like I feel today.
Cheers to the end of a despot. The world could do with less of them.
I had to dance a little:
I made this from a favorite 1950’s blouse pattern- Vogue 8872. I hope every time I wear this silly blouse, I think of today and how I watched crowds of liberated people in a square on the other side of the world and drank a little wine, danced, sang Journey all day long and rejoiced with people I’ll never know, from the bottom of my heart. I hope I can remember that when the blues circle again. This is kitsch, but sometimes it’s good to be effervescently bright, hopeful.
Liberation Days are my favorite days.
(Thank you, Mrs. C)