This week we said goodbye to a friend who excelled in a lost art…making new clothes out of old clothes. Kerry made costumes for the local theater. What impressed me the most about her designs is how she would take a piece of clothing, cut it up and make a new costume out of it!
Years ago it was common to cut a new shirt out for a child from a larger shirt that was frayed at the seams. I remember one episode of “The Walton’s” when Olivia cut the skirt off of Erin’s dress and made a shirt for Jim Bob out of the top.
I’ll never forget watching Kerry going through some old “Show Choir” costumes from the local high school when we were practicing for “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Coat.” She explained that the skirts from the dresses would become vests for the 12 brothers. Below is a photo of my husband, who played Simeon, in one of the vests. (That’s me next to him. I played “The Baker” in one scene and was in the chorus for the rest of the play.)
I did make over one costume for a play, but it was nothing like the designs that Kerry created. It was my first foray into local theater and they were doing the play, “Music Man.” They split up the chorus into family groups, but they ran out of men! During the “Shipoopi” Dance, I was paired with the young actor who was also my “son” in my family group. Since, I was dancing with my son and there was not a man in my family group, I asked the director if I could dress as a widow!
I went through the costumes looking for a black dress of lightweight material as the production was planned for late June. I found a jumpsuit with a crew neck in a polyester material that had rows of tiny holes in it. You could not see the holes, but it sure helped keep me cool under the hot lights.
I remember ripping the legs apart, and using my senior prom dress as a pattern, I pinned up a “new” dress. My grandmother had given me a collar that she crocheted and I wore it over the pantsuit/dress.
Kerry inspired me another way. While she was undergoing treatment at the “Cancer Treatment Center of America” she made a quilt! I pulled out the quilting square I had neglected and started sewing again.