Thursday, November 01, 2007
Fictional Books About Sewing
Since time on airplanes has kept me away from sewing recently, I at least was able to read books related to sewing.
Add me to the list of those sewers who enjoyed reading The Collection by Gioia Diliberto. Never good at describing books, I'll defer to Amazon's description:
Following the death of her fiancé and family, fictitious 22-year-old seamstress Isabelle Varlet leaves her provincial town in 1919 and takes a low-level job working for Gabrielle Coco Chanel, joining a gaggle of young women sewing until their fingers bleed to serve Mademoiselle in preparation for the upcoming fall collection. Dresses are depicted in magnificent detail; fellow couturiers Madeleine Vionnet and Jean Patou are vibrant and alive, and Diliberto even incorporates period fashion journalism.
I also recently read another book with a sewing / seamstress angle, Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani (Loved, loved, loved her Big Stone Gap trilogy.) Per Amazon:
Poignant and feeling, it looks back on the experiences of the beautiful daughter of an Italian-American family in Greenwich Village in the early '50s. Kit Zanetti, a young playwright in present-day New York, accepts an invitation to the apartment of "Aunt Lu," as she is known in their building. Aunt Lu on first glance is an eccentric lady in her 70s who trails around in a fur. Once Kit can be bothered to listen, however, she finds out that Aunt Lu was once the most beautiful girl in Greenwich Village, Lucia Sartori, an intelligent and ambitious seamstress in the custom department at B. Altman's, who's determined not to let the traditions of her loving family lock her into the patterns of the past. When her impending marriage to childhood sweetheart Dante threatens just that, she refuses him, startling her beloved family. Then, fatefully, she meets the dapper John Talbot, who seems the man of her dreams, even draping her in full-length mink, and she ignores the signs that he is trouble and plans marriage. Jilted on her wedding day, Lucia finds out that he is a con man.
I enjoyed both of these books very much.