You Can Change Your Clothes, But You Can't Change the Girl

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This shining population center is considered the jewel of The Sylira Region. Home of the vast majority of Mizahar's population, Syliras is nestled in a quiet, sprawling valley on the shores of the Suvan Sea. [Lore]

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Re: You Can Change Your Clothes, But You Can't Change the Girl

Postby Angelabeth Dunkirk on August 8th, 2009, 1:27 am

All right, Angelabeth thought. We can work with this. This was why she interviewed the customer first, rather than going off on her own and risking disappointment later. And after all, it wasn't like Angelabeth had anything she really wanted to do.

"I think a forest would be fine, but if you prefer something in a sage, we can easily arrange that." Angelabeth moved two bolts over to a softer green. "And we can easily work the purple in with the silver in the striping." The reluctant seamstress nodded to herself; it was easily enough done.

Then she started taking measurements. She smiled and nodded in the right places as Cynthia rambled on, but there was a real limit to how much she cared about the topics of conversation. Cats, grandchildren, Syliran Knights...none of that held any interest for Angelabeth. There were a few nuggets of information -- the bit about liking U-necks and disliking pleats -- but trying to find them in the unending stream of inanities was like trying to catch a trout bare-handed during a flood.

Angelabeth looked cheerful enough, however, and there was nary a hint of her sardonic thoughts on her face. After the measurements were completed, she smiled again. "I think that I'm ready to begin the design, now that I know more about what you're looking for." She would say whatever other pleasantries were necessary, and then look for a pencil and paper to do a rough sketch.

She had plenty of practice in drawing clothing, and before long, the picture began to take shape. A U-neck, the cut of the front and back material comfortable without being baggy or loose, sleeves slightly past the elbows to allow for maximum flexibility in a variety of temperatures. The unpleated skirt portion was neither form-fitting nor overly flared. The hem was low -- not as low as she would have made it if the wedding were going to be indoors, but as low as she felt like she could make it under the circumstances.

Then she began indicating which fabrics would go where. The bulk of the dress would be the sage linen; she added alternating purple and silver vertical stripes from the skirt to the waist. They were thin, almost pinstripes -- nothing that would call attention to itself, but enough to produce the proper effect. A couple of them would continue up the bodice, though the sleeves would be left carefully neutral. She added a brief sketch of a simple purple wrap in the same color as the stripes.

When she was finished, Angelabeth held it up and looked at it. It seemed to fit all the qualifications that Cynthia had given her, and she believed that it would make an excellent impression at the wedding, given the older woman's figure and features. The seamstress wouldn't have said she liked it -- like was a word she never used at work -- but it appeared to be satisfactory, at least in her judgment.
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Re: You Can Change Your Clothes, But You Can't Change the Girl

Postby Gossamer on August 9th, 2009, 5:57 am

"No no... I trust you completely. A forest green it is - oh but that sage is lovely. Yes, lets go with the sage. You know what your doing, or so Navia says... we'll go with your first instinct - or rather, the second..." Cynthia said, excited by the fabrics Angelabeth had shown her. The woman giggled a little as her measurements were taken, and blushed a whole lot at where there was more fluff then there should be. She made a few comments about how good of a cook she was and how much that showed - but otherwise she was well mannered.

Cynthia watched the sketchwork, muttering appropriate approvals and asking for a dart in the soft upper bodice of the blouse to give her more 'stretch'. Otherwise she was very happy with the design, and now that she'd seen the fabrics used, she could go pick out shoes and jewelry to wear. That part, to her, was fairly exciting. But, like all good customers, she had some questions.

"I think that will suit me just fine. When will I need to come back for a fitting and when can I expect to see it completed?" She said, not talking about price at all. She'd settle that part with Navia when Angelabeth was busy working with the fabric. Once Angelabeth had answered her questions, Cynthia knew it was time to take her leave and bowed out quietly, leaving with a smile for Navia who was working the front counter cutting some silk for a customer.

Once Cynthia was gone and Navia was alone in the shop, the woman joined Angelabeth again and nodded towards the workroom. "Feel free to use anything there at the sewing stations. You can use the big cutting table in there as well, and please make free use of the mannequin. I want you to feel comfortable while your sewing her dress. There's a table with great daylight where we often sew, and you can use the orangery too. Now, is there anything else you need to complete this project?" She asked, sincerely wanting Angelabeth to succeed.
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Re: You Can Change Your Clothes, But You Can't Change the Girl

Postby Angelabeth Dunkirk on August 9th, 2009, 8:39 pm

The change Cynthia asked for was easily enough accommodated. "I imagine that if you come back in a week, I'll be able to do a fitting. We should be entirely finished two weeks before the wedding, so that if there's something we really need to change, we'll have plenty of time to make it happen."

After giving her goodbyes, Angelabeth looked over to Navia. She thought about the question, and shook her head. "I can't think of any other supplies that I'll need besides the ones you've mentioned." Frankly, Angelabeth was already a bit overwhelmed -- her mother's shop wasn't anywhere near this well-equipped, and she was used to working with a smaller selection of tools and supplies.

Once she was free to work, Angelabeth would begin the process of deciding where the cut lines should go and beginning to design the actual pattern. Although she was conscious and careful of what she was doing, it was a process that was very nearly automatic for her. She noticed the light, the quality of the fabric, the cleverness of her own design...but she didn't enjoy any of it. It was just something that needed to be done, just another thing in an endless sequence of things that occupied her life.
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Re: You Can Change Your Clothes, But You Can't Change the Girl

Postby Gossamer on August 10th, 2009, 5:34 pm

Angelabeth was sitting there, reviewing her sketches and pile of fabric - getting ready to make lay out the first pieces of the dress she'd need to cut for Cynthia when she overheard something. It was a conversation that was quietly taking place in the workshop area of the store between two other women who moved about the place as if they worked there, but wore nothing (no name tags, no seamestress aprons or wrist pincushions) that made them exactly fit in. One woman looked rough - even slightly dirty - while the other one looked worried. They had identical features. "Salmia, you need to be careful trading with them. We need to send a male or just swallow our pride and pay what the importer wants us to for the fabric." The first one said, the one that was cleaner. "I can handle it sis... Its just a small nest, and they won't be stupid this close to Syliras. Besides, I had a retired knight ride out with me." She said, opening the door wider. Angelabeth got a full view then of the small cart they were unloading. A pony, hitched between the traces, dozed as if it had been on a long trip. The cart was full of wrapped bundles of cloth - silk by the look of it. Expensive Symenestra Silk if she didn't miss her mark.

"Don't you worry? I know of two people that have already disappeared. Both are women. One's husband is claiming his wife would never run off. But everyones snickering at that. I don't think its funny though. We should report this to someone. I don't care if they have the best fabric ever - it's not worth the danger. Old Jacob isn't exactly a quality protector. Was he even awake for the trip?"
The first one said as the second one shrugged it off.
"It will be fine. I'm just worried FOR them more than worried ABOUT them. They seem like good people, but no one here will truly tolerate them." She said, gesturing at the door at the city. "Word gets out, someone will go clean that place out and there will be a whole bunch of bodies." The second girl added. The first girl then shrugged... "And we'll have to go back to buying our silk at 200% the markup and dealing with the importer. So thats why we don't report it." She insisted.
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Re: You Can Change Your Clothes, But You Can't Change the Girl

Postby Angelabeth Dunkirk on August 10th, 2009, 8:59 pm

Angelabeth had a pretty good idea of where to go from here on the pattern. Since the design was a conservative one, the actual sewing of the dress wouldn't take that long, and she would probably have it finished well ahead of the time she had set for the fitting. The girl sat back to rest her eyes for a moment, and it was at that point that the conversation caught her attention.

Some of the details were missing, but the girl picked up the basics of what was going on fairly quickly. She'd only seen Symenestra silk once or twice in her life -- anything made of a material that expensive usually arrived in Zeltiva as a finished product -- but she did recognize it. And apparently, these two women were getting it on the cheap because they were picking it up directly from the source. Which was the next closest thing to suicide, but some people didn't place as much value on their lives as they did on cash.

Additionally, it seemed that it was their little secret. Which made things interesting, given that she was now in possession of that secret as well. The seamstress had no qualms about that -- in Angelabeth's mind, anyone who couldn't keep a secret didn't deserve it anyway. The only question was what she should do with it. There were several options, but for the moment, playing her cards close to her vest was probably the best choice.

She stood up, looking only at her table and the pieces on it, as if she hadn't heard any of the conversation that had just taken place. Then she stretched -- which was genuine, as she could use a stretch at this point -- and then looked around the room. As if seeing the two women for the first time, she put on an agreeable smile and walked over towards them.

"Hello," she said cheerfully. "Do you work here? My name's Angelabeth Dunkirk, and I've just started today as a seamstress. It's very nice to meet you."
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Re: You Can Change Your Clothes, But You Can't Change the Girl

Postby Gossamer on August 28th, 2009, 8:47 pm

The girls in unison raised their eyebrows. "Work here? No... not exactly." One snickered, while the other curled her lip in disdain. It wasn't outright disdain, not really, but there was a definite 'better than you' vibe emanating from the girls. They didn't introduce themselves. It was almost as if they expected Angelabeth to know who they were - exactly who they were - without any prompting. "If you just started work here, don't you think you should actually be working rather than socializing?" The one that the other girl had called Salmia said, glancing pointedly back to Angelabeth's workstation. "We're rather busy here." She said, gesturing out to the cart.

The first girl, who's name Angelabeht hadn't heard, slipped off, and soon two boys were moving through the store from where they'd been working in the basement, and began unloading things. The girls supervised, ticking off a list attached to a clipboard as the boys passed with their bundles. Eventually, the cart was unloaded, and one of the boys went to unhitch the pony and stable it out back. The girls breezed through the workroom, their twin gazes missing nothing - clutter, a disorganized display in the main showroom, and then disappeared irritatedly into the upper reaches of the place to evidently 'correct the issues'.

The silk had all been carefully unwrapped and racked up behind the main desk - where its expensive nature could be admired by all yet guarded from dirty hands fondling without buying. The mistress of the place eventually showed back up. Navia smiled, and checked on Angelabeth's progress. She noticed the twins had been there from the new stack of silk behind the counter. "Oh, did you meet the girls?" The woman said, smiling slightly. "They just got back from bringing in some silk from the importer at the Bazaar. I thought I'd come look at it. It is a very rare day when we actually get to sell silk." She said pleasantly. She stopped at the workspace Angelabeth was using and looked over the dress. "Nice choice of fabrics..." She said, reaching out with a hand to finger the linen Angelabeth had chosen. "Cynthia should like this a great deal. She wears a lot of greens."
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Re: You Can Change Your Clothes, But You Can't Change the Girl

Postby Gossamer on October 13th, 2009, 5:42 pm

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