Tuesday, April 22, 2008

long leg panty girdle

When I first heard of Mara Havinoviski's 'Patterns for Fabric Economy' (1969), I got very excited. A trawl through the websites of various Sydney libraries came to nada, and in the end I organised an interlibrary loan. Not sure why but I always feel guilty when I do, like I'm bothering the librarians, although it's all done impersonally through the library website.

The book arrived last week, from the Washington State University library. It smells of old book, or Santa Claus's armpit, to the extent that I have to keep it at arm's length at all times. At most I can only read it for five minutes at a time. More worryingly, I can't seem to understand half of it. The tables, the diagrams - it's all gobbledegook to me. The images of pattern pieces, which should have been self-explanatory, baffled me to no end, until I saw on another page that they were in fact the pieces of a 'long leg panty girdle'. Whatever that is, I think my collection needs one. We all need one.

But, I will persevere. The book is essentially about fabric inspection and usage, and tackling fabric waste in the traditional way, and I think Tyler's book probably covers most of this in a more user-friendly manner. I do like Havinoviski's writing style with its own idiosyncracies like the frequent CAPITALISATION OF SIGNIFICANT STATEMENTS. And thanks to Havinoviski, I'm now aware of 'Parkinson's Law', which just about explains the universe to me at the moment.

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