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costume process-cut and paste



I learned to sew the way some boys used to learn how to build car engines or repair bikes--by taking junk apart to see how it was made. Or, more accurately, hacking it to pieces and then nipping and tucking it into something else.

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This dress was one of those Franken-costumes: a turtleneck maxi dress re-cut and trimmed with marabou salvaged from a dejected negligee in a Salvation Army reject pile--a little office number for Li'l Abner's Appassionata von Climax. I'd attached a bustle train with rooster tail feathers on the back and then loaned it to a broad-shouldered boyfriend for a drag gag and the bustle came back looking as though had been in a cockfight.

Finally, I retrofitted the backside with this saucy little peplum flounce made of unopened bills for a Hell-themed costume party. This was its last appearance. One shift of dancing in a go-go cage and the whole envelope went to hell. Student loan statements, old telephone bills, and insurance invoices fluttered down on the revelers below.

I was much gratified to see that my art camp students totally got the suit project.

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