Dr. Denton footie pajamas. (As you might deduce from the plastic rocket he's holding, my brother was the brainy one.) The year was 1963.
I learned to sew as soon as I was old enough to reach the knee pedal on my mother's old black Singer. I insisted that she teach me to sew teeny little clothes for my Barbie. Since my mother hated all things domestic, I learned more swear words during those early lessons than sewing skills.
For the life of me I can't remember what pattern I used, but I loved this blouse that I made. How do you like those long collar points? (Circa 1974 - Please ignore the goofy hat and concentrate on the matching nail polish instead.)
Growing up, one of my favorite pastimes was flipping through the pages of the pattern catalogs at the local W. T. Grant store. My favorite pattern company at the time was Butterick. I was fascinated by the Young Designer line of the 70s. I loved Betsey Johnson, Gil Aimbez, Clovis Ruffin, Kenzo!
For my high school graduation in 1976 I wore Kenzo. I sewed the jacket and shorts from Butterick 4793 in a crisp white linen cotton blend. I added a red cotton tank top and rope espadrilles with a wedge heel and ankle ties, just like on the pattern envelope. (I made those pants, too, in black cotton, just like on the pattern envelope.)
I could have sworn I had a picture of myself wearing that outfit. Who doesn't have pictures from their high school graduation? Alas, the only photo I have of that momentous occasion is this one:
Cute, huh? But no Kenzo suit in sight. You can barely see the espadrilles peaking out from under my graduation gown.
What I remember most about that day, (besides finding out that I was one of the top 10 smartest kids in my graduating class - I guess my brother didn't get all the brains after all), was the reaction of my classmates to my choice of outfit. Over and over I heard, "Why didn't you wear a dress?" "Everyone else is wearing a dress!" My point exactly. I didn't want to look like everyone else. That's why I sew.