Last October I had a brilliant idea while strolling Fabric Row in Philadelphia. Why not buy some fabric to take home and have a couple of dresses made? What a perfect memento of my visit to Philly.
So that’s what I did. I perused the family run shop Maxie’s Daughter on South 4th Street and chose two cotton fabrics – one with a violet color print and the other a brown/orange print. I knew I wanted shirtwaist dresses I could wear with sandals in the spring/summer and with tights in the autumn.
The middle-aged salesladies from South Philly seemed more serious about the upcoming baseball playoffs than fabric. “We’re gonna beat you,” they teased. “OK,” I said. “I have no problem with that.” Heck, I was a San Francisco visitor with absolutely no attachment to ballgames, I wasn’t going to argue with Phillies fans.
When I returned home, designer Theresa LaQuey sketched a retro shirtwaist dress with buttons down the front and a knee-length hem (very vintage nurses uniform). A few months later, voila … I had dresses that are well made and fit.
Wait, there’s more. As a Christmas surprise, my sweetie paid to have the dresses made. Now every time I wear them I think of my visit to Philly, those nice fabric shop ladies and my favorite guy. Now, those are dresses with a story.