Litera T

The ?carrier? of the dressmakers, who came to work at the clients? houses ended, around the 70?s. This practice disappeared as soon as the bourgeois way of life faded away. The block apartments could hardly allot room enough to the sewing machine, besides this type of dressmakers became old and younger ones had not been trained. As a result, the women who knew to sew had some clients who came to their home. They worked without a working permit, and, therefore, with the fear that any neighbor could inform the financial department. The tailors and the dressmakers that worked at a craftsman?s cooperative, inserted some private clothes orders among the clothes sewn officially.

The fashion of those days and the designs that were promoted by foreign magazines (?Burda?) favored a tailoring that was available to anybody. A few lessons from a well-trained person or a course of initiation in tailoring at the Cultural Center turned a deft woman into a dressmaker. Besides clumsiness, women had to overcome the lacks on the open market: no needles for the sewing machine, no fine thread, zippers or elastic. When they found them, they bought much more than they needed. They stockpiled them.

Analyzing objectively the situation of the fabrics sold in the stores, we must admit that there was a great diversity of fabrics and natural fibers: wool, cotton, linen, silk were abundant. One kept searching among all sorts of bad taste patterns until one found what one wanted. The shopping was based not on choice but on lucky ?discovery?. The best appreciated were the fabrics one could not find in the shops: velvet, lace, lurex (a shiny fabric). For very high prices, they were available in shops with consignment of goods where those who received different objects from the West might have sold them. Anybody sewed for anybody. I and some of my friends, whose names, if mentioned, would cause sensation, we sew tens of dresses for the Fine Arts Shop. My wedding dresses reached the highest price at the store on Magheru Boulevard. I used kitchen linen towels (that cost 6 and 11 lei a piece), a very cheap cotton material which was used to make male drawers. I added kilos of lace and kilometers of silk fibers. Because I never succeeded to sew with a thimble, my philologist fingers had deep wounds. I must add, for those that can understand the absurdity of the situation that I continued my ?haute couture? carrier without having a simple tape measurer, chalk or pins in the house. (111)

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