Thursday, October 19, 2006

All the Fabric in the World

A new adventure into the world of fabrics and custom made clothing. This journey started as a discussion with Jen a year ago about the cost of ballroom dance attire. It had occurred to me that it was probably possible to have a dress made at a very reasonable price. Armed with the name of a tailor recommended by a friend, Tom, May, and I went in search of her shop. We ended up in the "tailor" district, streets of small storefronts with mannequins of jackets, cheongsams, wedding gowns and suits. Not realizing that this women had moved from her previous location, her apartment, we found ourselves in a somewhat seedy looking hallway peering through the metal grating of her door. We were directed back out to the street. She studied Jen's Nordstrom printout quite carefully, quoted me a price of $37 in labor and sent me out to the fabric mart. This turned out to be a 6 story building with stall after stall, bolts of every imaginable fabric. Bargaining at 25% of quoted price, Tom, May and I had a blast matching combinations of fabrics for this dress design. Cost of fabric $10 for 6 total yards of silk and crepe, one of which was a beautiful blue sequined lacy blue fabric. Back to the tailor, who approved of our purchases. We are excitedly awaiting the results of this production-dress will be ready for pick-up on sunday afternoon. Stay tuned.....

We wandered onto the Bund at night-the lights of the foreign concession always beautiful. Later walking along Nanjing Road, we chuckled at the street vendors with their wares spread on the ground. All of a sudden, in about 3 seconds flat, everyone picked up their goods and walked off. Sure enough, the cause of all this action-a policman on a moped coming slowly up the road. In about 5 min. all the goods were back on the ground! This charade was repeated numerous times within the next half hour. No one was arrested, no one got fined, no one made any noise or got yelled at. Over and over again throughout the evening, police rode by, vendors casually went for a short stroll and pedestrians seem to take this all in stride.


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