During the Depression, when people didn’t have much money, clothes not only had to last, they had to be versatile and possible of change.
I could create a Pink gown with long sleeves and high neck on Sunday, and by the next Sunday, have turned it into a pale lavender scoop neck with three quarter sleeves. By the following week, it was deep blue, interfaced with white lace.
The few inches I’d cut from the sleeves of the Pink Satin would be cuffs on another gown, the piece scooped from the neckline, a bib on another; I wasted nothing.
I spent many mornings visiting the garment district for what I could scavenge or buy when necessary.
Damaged material, odds and ends, were the basics of my purchases, and I did get unwanted bits for free as I was a steady customer.
Although I looked and acted as if I was poor, I did have a lot of money in my flat. I had never trusted banks, knew nothing about stock. Couldn’t imagine writing a check. When the stock market crashed, when banks closed, I was not effected.
Because I had saved my money I didn’t suffer as much as others. As I wasn’t suffering I let my customers pay in bits and barter without pressure.
This made me even more popular, and the Depression was my busiest time, my most fulfilling. When women can not afford to buy clothing, the dressmaker turns straw into gold.