The Red Dress

My Daughter came home one day in December and said she needed a red dress for school. Her English class had the assignment of dressing like their favorite character from one of the books they had read for class.

SEW I DO, so I made a red dress. Because I wanted the dress to do double duty, I selected fabric far more formal than needed. My hope was it could double as either a holiday dress or something she could wear to a school dance event. When I finished, she looked at the dress and said it would never do.

She was planning to dress as Curley's wife from John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. I was familiar with Lennie and George, the main characters and knew of Lennie's disabilities. I also knew that George watched over Lennie as best he could. I had never read the book so I knew very little of Curley's wife.

My daughter found this clip for me on YouTube:

With only a day to go until the scheduled event, I had to agree t
hat the dress was not going to be suitable for the character. Furthermore, she advised that the character needed to have red high heel shoes with peacock feathers on them.

Photo image from Google Images - microscopy-uk.org.uk website

I gave her a pair of my red shoes and found a pair of peacock feathers at the local craft store. We glued the feathers to the shoes and I wondered just why it was that someo
ne would wear peacock feathers on red shoes. My daughter asked me why the peacock feathers, then denied that she had ever asked for them. Fortunately her brother confirmed that I had provided what she had requested.

I took a look at the story and it turns out that Curley's wife wore red mules with a picture of ostrich feathers under the foot.

Photo image from Google images - Armchair General Website

Hum, how did she get peacock feathers on red shoes out of that? Anyway, with just hours to go I started over on the dress. Luckily, I had just the dress in a storage closet. We made some simple emergency alterations and the dress fit and moved like the one in the movie.
The red mules? Well, I could not change shoes to mules or paint on ostrich feathers, so we had a good laugh about her mix up. Chalk it up to experience, but when sewing costumes for characters, do your own research about who the characters are and what they wear. Sometimes the request does not match the requirement.

Maybe she will wear the red dress to a school dance.

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