Tales from the Cutting Counter: A thirty-something-ish couple walks up to the cutting counter. She tells me they want to make a curtain, and shows me her measurements. Could I help with the fabric selection, she asks? Sure, I say. Do you want sheers? or something opaque? I want fabric for a curtain, she says, looking at me like I am a total moron. I know, I say, but what function does the curtain need to perform? I need to know if we should be considering opaque fabric or sheer. O-what? she says, looking totally flummoxed. OPAQUE, i e-nun-ci-ate. What's that? she says. Not see-through, I said. As opposed to sheers. They make scissors just for that? she asks. I don't know what happened next; I spontaneously combusted.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Tales from the Cutting Counter: I was putting a bolt of fabric back on the shelf today, and saw a customer at the end of the aisle. She was about my age, short, dressed in a purple velour jacket and pants, and had dyed-black long hair pulled back with a sparkly, glittery purple doo-dad. Her makeup was bold and perfectly applied. As I approached her, I smiled and said, "Hi!" She looked at me, sighed, shook her head slowly and said, "Don't I wish."
Monday, November 17, 2014
Tales from the cutting counter: Yesterday was busy, and I was multi-tasking most of the day. I was answering questions, giving directions, and cutting fabric all at once, flat out busy. A petite woman comes up to me and asks, "There's a pattern on the wall and it only comes in tall, eight-one-eight. Do you have it in any other size?" She gives me the pattern number. Now, keep in mind that we have thousands of patterns, grouped by manufacturer and then filed by pattern number. There's no way I can know this off the top of my head. What I *do* know, though, is that there are no tall patterns in any of the pattern lines we carry. And the "eight-one-eight" has me flummoxed. I'm more than a little confused. "What line is the pattern?" I ask. The woman doesn't know, so she goes back to the pattern wall and grabs the pattern in question. I look at the cover. "Ma'am," says me, pointing at the printing in the corner of the pattern cover, "that doesn't say 'tall,' it says 'taille,' which means "size" in French. This pattern has a size range from 8-18."
Monday, November 3, 2014
Tales from the Cutting Counter: Two interesting customers today. One woman, well into her 80's, bought several 1-yard cuts of cotton. She confided--almost conspiratorially--that she buys baby dolls at a discount store, makes a blanket, pillow and matching dress for each one, and sends them to hospitals in Ohio, where a friend is an administrator. Last year, she shipped 500 dolls. "You've gotta do something to stay busy!" she told me. A young woman with long dark hair and freckles, asked for 5 yards of extra-wide white tulle, like you might use for a bridal veil. I asked her what she was making. She giggled, and said, "a dress." As our conversation continued, I learned that she was not local, but came into town frequently "for appointments and things". She then asked for apparel trim with "dangly beads or fringe." It became apparent that this young woman was working either private parties or at a gentleman's club, and was doing her best to preserve her anonymity while doing so. She was very nice, and thanked me for the help I gave her. Because, I guess, "you've gotta do SOMETHING to stay busy."