Thursday, February 2, 2012

Paisley Pants!

I never tried to be in fashion for the sake of being in it, and seldom,
I think, to be out of it for the sake of being out of it.
Logic and history have been the only external guides I have accepted in temporal things,
  except where pure taste has reigned alone.
                George Saintsbury

 I am standing here wondering what to do with 4 yards of this 100% cotton paisley material that I had picked up a an auction and  remembering back to a time when I owned a pair of paisley pants that I loved.

I think I was in grade six. Someone had given us a bag of clothes, I always loved someone else’s hand me downs I remember we would all gather around the bag and Mom would open it up. This always felt like Christmas to me and I was always hoping there was something that fit me. These were usually clothes that others had tired of, or had out grown, or were now out of style. All of my brothers and sisters were wishing the same thing I am sure. We all had different ideas of what was cool, and depending on fit there was never too much arguing about what was whose. Well I must say one brother, not mentioning any names, always seemed to get the bottom of the bag; the combinations of his clothes were very interesting to say the least. I swear this lead to his amazing artist abilities, and colour sense today.

Mom pulled these bell-bottom pants out of the box, she held them up and I grabbed them and ran to try them on. I know my sister really wanted them and I wanted to get them first. They fit perfectly, they were this faded yellow and green paisley patterned pants with frayed bottoms. They had been too long on the last owner and had dragged on the ground making a string effect. I loved them, they were long but that was fine by me.

I wore them to school the very next day with my faded green shirt. I thought I looked fabulous. Someone came up to me and stared at me for a while, I thought they were admiring my fashion sense. All of a sudden they started laughing and told me how weird I was. I was very upset, thoughts of running all the way home to change popped into my head. My brother (the bottom of the bag one) came up to me and told the kid to leave me alone. From that point on I decided I did not care what that boy thought and was not going to worry about what others thought. If I did I was always going to be trying to fit where others thought I belonged. I liked these pants and I thought I looked fabulous. I came to the conclusion some people just have no taste.

Now I find myself wondering if paisley bell-bottoms will ever be back in style, and whatever happened to my pants. I am also at a loss about what to make with this fabric. Isn’t it cool? Does anyone have a pattern for bell-bottoms?



  1. Such a sweet memory...until the mean boy stepped in...then turning sweet again when your brother came to your defense. I'm so glad you learned to ignore the ignorance to others.

  2. I loved and lived for hand-me-downs. The rest, we sewed.

    I am proud that you did not run. If you feel good inside, you look great outside.

  3. I'm sure we ALL have a similar story to tell about fashion and growing up and being made fun of. Unlike you, it really used to affect me. Kids can be so cruel.

    Love the material -- four yards... I might be tempted to make some pillows, because that's all I'm really able to sew! :)

  4. If I had paisley bell bottoms, I'd still be wearing them. (Those might be one of my main-stream wardrobe choices, actually.) Loved that story...thank you!

  5. LOVE that fabric! i had a pair of frayed-bottom thin denim bell bottoms that i loved, too!

    and i grew up on other people's cast-offs. my mother was a cleaning lady and we were poor. the women she cleaned for gave us bags of clothing - and it was like Christmas...

  6. Awwww darlin' that young boy just didn't recognize a fashion diva when he saw one! Woohoo for your brother.

    I always wanted a big brother but it never happened...Heehehehe!

    Hubs met me at the bottom of the stairs in a pink and purple paisley shirt and purple dress bell~bottomed pants for our first date. We were in college and it was the very earl seventies. :o)

    I married him anyway.....

    God bless ya and have a wonderful day my friend. :o)

  7. Sounds like you learned a very valuable lesson from the pants, (makes me think of Pale Green Pants by Seuss, but for another reason). I'm glad you realized you're a better judge of what you like than anyone else.

    As for those 4 yards of beautiful cotton paisley~~~the possibilities are endless!

  8. I adore Paisley! I think a peasant top would look amazing in that fabric. This pattern would look great in that fabric.

  9. Lol, I've always been renowned for my 'weird' dressing. When people make pointed comments I tell them I like the way I dress but they don't have to look at me if they didn't. Glad you had a brother who had his own sense of 'self' and happy you stuck by your choices. With 4 yards a nice dress might be the way to go or a top and skirt as it's too pretty a material to languish unused in a cupboard. Cotton is also lovely to wear in summer as it's nice and cool.

  10. Just last week, a friend of my mom's brought over some of her grandchildren's clothes for my kids.. We did the same, we all gathered around the big garbage bag and pulled out all sorts of lovely clothes-- many still look brand new! They had a little fashion show afterwards and not one pouted because they had to wear someone else's hand-me-downs. Dones't matter where the clothes come from!

    I can just picture those old yellow and green paisley pants-- they would have been my favorite, too!

  11. You brought back great memories. My mom had lots of cousins and there was a wonderful friend of my Grandmother who lived in Hawaii. Getting a box was like Christmas for us also. I remember some purple overalls and a paisley hat. We lived so far from anyone, who knew what was in fashion. I love the paisley material and say a shirt would be great!

  12. "well. I think you look FABULOUS!!!as little feralgirl hooks her arm into the crook of her friend buttons arm and drags her down the school hallway..."

    I love that material- all i can think of to make would be those roll pillows to go onto the bed - you know, the ones that our husbands toss off at night before they crawl into bed and wonder "why in the heck does she put these on when we cant even use them???" LOL

  13. hand me downs are wonderful! my kids LOVE when they get a bag of clothes to go through. i love the fabric. not sure what to make, i dont know how to sew.

  14. Mean kid. I think paisly bell bottoms sound groovy! Reminds me of a couple of pair of pants that I wore all the time. Purple and orange kind of swirled together and the gray and red peace sign t-shirt. oh my....

    Cindy Bee

  15. Kids can be very mean to each other, that's for sure. And they can be opinionated, even if they don't know what they're talking about. I'm sure this child thought that if it wasn't "in fashion" then it was weird.

    Personally, I think you were much better off NOT being "in fashion" so you could develop your own sense of style and not be swayed by marketing campaigns and advertising. But hey! I've always been bit on the weird side of things. Never a follower.


The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

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