I’m not dressing in my work clothes daily. Every time I look in my closet , I realize how many of my dresses are black. A few months ago, in a fit of something, I took a beautiful silk Mom probably bought in Thailand and with an old pattern (ca. 1983) made a slip-on dress that actually fits! It’s a beautiful silk, but predominantly black. I think I need to add color to my wardrobe.
In the Marie Kondo practice, recommended by my daughter, I went through my drawers of volunteer t-shirts that never see the light of day and made discoveries! I found a favorite blue handwoven dress bought at Perennial Designs on the town square of Bloomington, Indiana. What a wonderful store, filled with unusual merchandise – clothing, jewelry, decor, kitchenware. I still have the Mexican glass bowls bought there in the mid 70s! Is Perennial Designs still there? I also found two dresses I made with Hungarian blue cloth, a traditional cotton fabric brought to me by my advisor, Dr. Linda Degh. [Speaking of cloth and Mexico, the sun dress made from yard goods she brought from Mexico is stashed in another drawer. I house sat her house and huge dog, Billy kutya, when she and her husband traveled]. All these clothes from grad school still fit, too! That’s another story of another friend, for another day
Back to the t-shirt drawers … I also came across my cache of colorful African fabrics. Some for one of Danny’s Angolan clients, other from my museum colleague from Congo, Pascal Makambila. Then I remembered the Marimekko. This bright piece of fabric was given to me by a friend in Cleveland, thanks for house sitting many, many years ago. She used it as a tablecloth even though the cut ends were uneven and unfinished. I used it a few times, but frankly, the large purple, burgundy, and burnt orange lily pattern clashed with all of my dishes.
And, it’s not Marimekko, but Tampella designed by Marjatta Metsovaara. The pattern is Liliana. I found reference to the designer on-line and images of the pattern, but not my piece. Marjatta Metsovaara (1927-2014) studied at the Helsinki Institute of Industrial Arts and was a leading light in modernist pattern and color throughout Europe in the 1950s and 1960s. She was was one of three women who brought Finnish design to the world stage after the war. She was especially known for her rhythmic abstract patterns and scaled up fabulous flowers, manufactured in Tampella, Finland. That’s my fabric! While some of her patterns are being reproduced now, vintage fabrics are highly valued.
I’m inspired now to do some more sewing, to bring some more color into my daily life, to remember the friends associated with the fabric.