I spent last night with my 92 year old grandma and some prohibition-era bathtub wine on the back stoop somewhere out in greater Appalachia at midnight ringing a giant farmyard bell. That can only mean that the new year has begun and now I’m gearing up to head back to the big city, roll up my sleeves, and get to work.
I’ll be carrying with me almost a thousand patterns for the archive from 1938-1972 and am in the planning stages for everything from lectures on Charles James and his particularly prickly design process to programs for the American Sewing Guild using Pattern Magic, the regular sewing class schedules that keep me focused, busy, and challenged to bring my best to the table, my work with the Haute Couture Club of Chicago, and a bit of a new lease on life as it relates to sewing and design.
It is slowly sinking in that we are in the 20s again; I am just old enough to have known and remember any number of people who danced the night away in Chicago on flat-bottom floating dance halls just far enough into the lake that the cops didn’t pin them for alcohol possession. This doesn’t make me feel out of touch or particularly old, but rather makes me realize that there is this corporeal human continuum to all of our timelines that expands beyond our own years connecting us to things that we can’t touch but still have a sense of.
That chain of continuity has always driven me intellectually and creatively. Although I can’t identify with the core esprit of the 1920s*, I plan on doing my part to make the next ten years ROAR in their own way for me. Get ready.**
…um…and if you are on Interstate 65 or 90/94 and see a big black pickup truck with two mannequins, a working dress form partially draped, and some leftover firewood in the bed that can’t stay in its lane or merge smoothly, please give me some space and don’t sideswipe me.
Aside from brief forays into the river bottoms I really belong in a fabric workroom in the city and absolutely NOT on the interstate. Sorry. Sorrysorrysorry. Sorry.
Also: How do any of you people DO this daily?
* I asked a friend who was born in 1906 about their time in the 1920s and they said: “It makes me sad that no generation after us will ever have the same feeling – we lived those years up until 1929 and the crash thinking that things would never stop getting better. We had no idea as young adults that there would ever be anything other than constant progress and wonder.”
** I mean, I’m not saying that there won’t be a flapper dress or boater hat involved in my work in he next 10 years, but thats not the focus here, folks.