The Canada Adventures of Arielle Gabriel
Home Sewing & Retro Clothes I Made
When we first moved to Vancouver, the mother and the three children,
the hen and the chicks, I took a keen interest in fashion. As did my mother. Home sewing was economical. All sorts
of things could be made.
- cushions and pillows
- toys and gifts
A good quality sewing
machine was not a luxury, and Mom immediately acquired one. I took sewing lessons, but loathed more complicated tasks, like
installing zippers and button holes, and stuck to the Quick & Easy patterns, that involved no waistlines, and sometimes
no set-in sleeves.
I was obsessed with my appearance,
and borrowed both my mother's and my brother's clothes, sometimes wanting to appear older, other times more boy like.
I soaked my Army & Navy discount blue jeans in the bath tub over night,
altering their almost black colour to a very faded pale blue.
I ironed my slightly wavy hair on our ironing board with a steam iron, umtil it was fashionably straight.
I took ten minutes every morning to apply my eye make up, grey on my lids,
brown in the crease, white on the brow bone, dark brown mascara, dark brown eye liner.
My mom sewed me a beautiful outfit that was a two piece dress in soft red and pink plaid wool boucle. The pleated
skirt was attached to a pink slip top, and a blouson top covered the slip. She made me a few skirts as well, a navy blue one
and a shell pink one.
I sewed myself an orange corduroy
dress with a U-shaped neck, made to go over a bloue or sweater. I liked bright colours, and loved a lime green tent
dress with white sprigged flowers even more. Both were easy for me to create. I gave up on a green plaid skirt with a Scottish
look to it, because it required a zipper. Mom had to finish that for me.
My most beautiful dress was the white raw silk dress Mom made for me for High School Graduation. It had an
empire waistline, and wrapped to one side, all the way from the bodice to the floor. It appeared an A-line, form fitting,
but the side wrapping allowed motion for me to move or dance. There were small puffed sleeves, and several pearl buttons
on one side of the bodice.
My mother was not verbally
expressive in declarations of her love for us, yet what were these acts of creation, if not statements of love?
Love seeps through into our lives, even when we are unable to recognize
Lamma Island * Lantau Island * Cheung
Kong * Mui Wo * Peng Chau Island
Tung Chung * Shenzhen * Nanning * Hunan Province
Bobcaygeon * Pointe Claire * Montreal
Peterborough * Lake Sturgeon * Ontario
Vancouver * Richmond * British Columbia
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