Good times.

Early morning 6:30 am walking to work to arrive in time for a shared cup of coffee, bread, and the NY AM/Metro read picked up on the way. Charlie already at his commander and chief station and Mr. Pasquale aka Passi across at the machine reading his Sagittarius daily horoscope. Say hello to first arrival at the elevator door as the cutters head up and then Passi made his rounds in the shop before everyone would arrive figuring out the days agenda. Deep voice, big smile, and a cloud of smoke from his trails. Sleeves tags checked and matched, running the lining machine, finding fabric scraps, and dressing the tailor dummies. Take a step back at the stairway hall where the corner thoughts smoked signals out where he would sit and stare out the window. Always checking on how everyone was doing and knew how to ask any of vast amount of personas at work on how to get issues resolved. Wisecracking and filled with tales I remember asking him a question and he smiled big and opened his briefcase where he brought out a single photo he kept close that was from his favorite time in life. The photo was of him playing accordion hanging out with his brother and wife smiling in a scene of good times. There are so many good times working with this guy and was no doubt an honor to learn from. Down to earth and respectful with sass he always made sure we were doing alright and could talk about anything. Working with him he always gave insights on managing the trade that wished would never get lost. It is Friday and it would be the day where we would celebrate lunch with local Chinese food for another week we made it through. A many of times where Passi, Charlie, and I laughed so hard crying at such a ridiculous circumstance. Passi sitting down by the pockets writing down the lotto numbers from Denny and asking whats the three numbers of that day. We joked that we all would catch a Friday lunch soon but in each our own tailored hazmat suits. This Friday, amid an endless pandemic hold up a glass of wine to cheers to Passi for living a full blazing life that now can catch a break in a restful place. From the year of the dragon, saludes and ciao!

Tailor Talk .1

New tailor skill test:

Stand 6 feet away from the customer and scan their measurements with your eyes accurately (via virtual reality) and write it down to set for pattern.
Oh wait, many tailors already claim they can do this as an expected knowledge to practice. The very first tailor I trained with was Maduka Udengwu in Los Angeles. The genre of tailoring was women’s mermaid skirts and structured blouses that are in demand locally. There are many styles and ways could work with each fabric which is always a big choice in women’s wear. In womenswear there are vast variations of expression but all in harmony with each shape. Velvet, Dutch prints, wax wovens paired with lace or beaded decorative nets. Simple tricks like candle wax to rub on stretch/latex fabrics or a hot iron to mark off the glued beads then chisel off with slotted screw driver the melted beads to pass under the presser foot.
“See that collar up there on a men’s embroidered tunic…how wide is that collar? I know, its 2 1/4”, Maduka once said. See it, pixels at a distance. This is the same known knowledge to a painter, when trying to capture on canvas the direct view of an image. Thus knowing distance to direct measurement prior cut. By ruler or tape it was never Reaganomics.
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