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A Childhood Dream

At a very early age I remember dressing up my dolls in as many outfits I could. I especially liked the bigger dolls, whereas I was able to use newborn baby clothes that my mother had been collecting over the years. I guess every little girl did that. But, I think not everyone's girlish habits continued, like it did for me.

I was now in the 4th grade and dolls didn't interest me all that much anymore. I remember I had gone to my mother and said that I would dress Jimmy, my two year old brother from now on. Coming from a large family my mother was so happy to hear that I would be in charge of washing, ironing, and folding Jimmy's clothes. And he sure did have a lot of clothes. My mother is the type of person that recycles clothes from one child to the next. I really didn't know what I was getting into at that point. I had just liked the idea of having to coordinate his shirts with his pants. Even if the clothes were a little outdated, at least he looked neat and most importantly, matched.

Well that episode didn't last long. I remember just giving up after I had all his clothes well organized in his drawers and I had been dressing Jimmy everyday for a couple of weeks. I didn't realize that it would be a lot of work. I was always trying to keep him clean all day long so that I wouldn't have to scrub his clothes down like my mother usually did. And since Jimmy was only two, he didn't like the fact of having to wear his shoes all day, his shirt, and his socks. He would take them off whenever he felt like it and always misplace them.

At age nine I went to Mexico for my summer vacation. I visited many of my relatives and noticed that all the females had a special talent. They all made different things at home. Some made special crafts, some knitted quilts, and others made clothes. I was very much interested in learning how to do some of the things my aunts and cousins were making, so I joined them in several occasions. When I came back home from my vacation, I immediately begged my parents for a sewing machine.

My wish was granted. I was a proud owner of a brand new sewing machine. And now it was time for me to go to work. I had asked my mother to give me all the ripped clothes she had of the family and I would sew them up. Since my mother didn't know how to sew, she would give my poor grandmother big bags of torn clothing for her to mend, which would take her forever since she did that manually. Being the tailor for the family is all I really concentrated on for next couple of years.

At age twelve I started buying monthly issues of the Mademoiselle magazine. I remember seeing so many other similar fashion magazines, but I wanted to stay consistent and buy the same name always. I also couldn't afford to buy more than one issue at a time. I saw that magazine as a valuable source of beauty information. So I made sure that I read every single page, word for word, including the ads. I was a real sucker then, because I truly believed everything that the ad said about a specific product. And if I liked what the ad said, I would remember the product, and buy it. Even today, I admit that I tend to believe advertising ads if they sound okay. But it's only beauty products that I'm always willing to try out.

This same magazine also exposed me to fashion. Most of the time I didn't like the clothes that were being modeled. They just seemed a little too funky. I mainly had thoughts of dressing the women with the same clothes, if that's what I had to choose from, and I would coordinate them differently. Like maybe the blouse that the first model was wearing with the skirt the other model was wearing and visa versa.

When I was fourteen I had a best friend named Annabel. We were members of the same church and were inseparable. Some how I found out that her mother knew how to make clothes, so I asked my friend if she could ask her mother to make us some matching outfits. When Annabel's mother agreed, my friend and I went to the thrift store and bought about four yards of two different types of fabric for just two dollars. I was shocked at the cheap price and couldn't believe that clothes will be made out of those bundles of fabric. The next day, Annabel's mother gave us our matching skirts. I was amazed on how fast that was done. I then decided that I would make myself clothes for a very cheap price.

Since I had many magazines now, cause I never threw any away, I wasn't as consistent on buying every monthly issue of Mademoiselle. I just worked with the ones I had. The next big project that I brought upon myself was to clip all the photographs of models in the magazines, wearing clothes that appealed to me and that I would one day like to make. Although, I did try to make a blouse for myself in the simplest form I could think of. The material was a thin, red, cotton fabric with white small polka dots. The blouse was to have a round neck, with no sleeves, since I thought that would be easier, to resemble a tank top. To my astonishment I was able to make it. I was very proud of myself. But, since I hadn't measured myself or even thought of doing so, when I tried it on, it didn't fit. I had to give the blouse to my little sister. I then knew deep down that I had to learn how to sew.

I was now sixteen and in high school with so many other important things going on in my life, that I hadn't experimented with my sewing machine or thought much about it at that time. One day as I was walking home from school I noticed a little shop that sold sewing machines. Not only that, but it had a little sign on the window that said sewing lessens. This excited me very much, but at the same time I knew that the lessons were probably very expensive, and I knew my parents couldn't afford it, so I didn't pursue it. Little did I know that from that day forward my conscious would haunt me forever.

I was now determined to learn how to sew properly and make clothing like the top designers do. And not until college was I able to pursue my childhood dream. I'm now able to attend sewing classes and create my own fashion designs. And now when I look at fashion magazines my outlook is a little different from that of my childhood days. I pay closer attention to the design of the outfit and learn more about the type of fabric that might have been used. I believe that fashion magazines are one of the most valuable sources for today's fashion, so I take that medium very seriously in my line of work.

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