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I was sitting, sipping my coffee, swiping my iPhone, when my eyes focused on the cork bulletin board immediately to my right. At the top, in black upper case letters were the words, “For Hire.” One particular card drew me to its interesting font, which looked like charcoal sewing stitches. It was attached by a pink push pin, which I removed, taking the cream coloured heavy stock card in my hand, my eyes scanned, “Seamstress Services by Selena. I bring creation to cloth.” Without understanding why, I placed the card in my shirt pocket.

      Later at home, cuddled in my cozy PJs, I picked up the card, my fingers danced over the keypad tapping in the numbers for Selena. The phone rang three time; just as  I was to hit stop, the ringing silenced.

            “Hello. This is Selena. How may I help you?”

            Her voice sounded younger than I had expected; however, I was unsure why I thought Selena was any particular age.

            “Hi. I saw your card and I wanted to get you to reconstruct a dress I’ve been holding onto. I love the fabric, it’s silk, and, somehow, you seemed suited for this restructuring.”

            “What’s your name?”

            “Haha, oh, sorry about that, I’m Mave, Mave Keir.”

            “Hello there, Mave. I’d suggest we make an appointment so I can see the dress, talk with you about the possibilities, the costs, and we can go from there. How does that sound?”


            In a brief span period, we agreed to meet the following Tuesday, at her sewing room. Upon hitting end on my phone, I stood up with enthusiasm and expectation, striding to the basement, where my mom’s dress lived in her zippered shroud.

            In my mind, I’m five, gazing at my mom unzipping the garment bag as if it were gift-wrapped present, reaching inside, to withdraw one pale purple padded hanger draped in creamy cotton.  As if watching a movie, I hear my voice “Is this your special dress, Mommy?” Mommy shook her head.  My eyes were glued, gazing as little by little, up higher and higher the cotton revealed the silky shimmery fabric, mauves married with greens. My favourite part was when Mommy held up the dress as if she was dressed for a ball, bending into deep curtsy.

            “Well, here’s the dress.”

             With shallow breath and moist palms, my eyes tracked Selena with the gown — comforted by her care and courtesy. 

            “Let’s see. I’m always so excited to see what I’m working with”

            Selena slid the cotton off uncloaking the familiar shimmering silk.

            “Wow! So beautiful: such style, fantastic fabric.”

            Her fingers caressed the softness skirt, sliding down the arms, examining the hem, seams, zipper, and the buttons. With a soft smile, Selena turned towards me, a question in her eyes.

            “Mave, so what did you have in mind?”

            What did I have in mind  — a good question I wasn’t even certain what had possessed me to pick up Selena’s card in the first place.

            Selena sat in stillness, the silence empty of words.

            “It was my mom’s dress from a long time ago; a time when she was a woman, not a mom, before me. Mom held onto this dress and it's been a part of my childhood memories and I’ve stored this dress in my basement lough these many years. She’s gone now, well she’s been gone since. Oh,  that doesn’t matter.”

            My cheeks pink, my words jumbled, “I’d like to be able to wear the dress, to modernize the styling while honouring its history. I hope that this makes sense!”

            My mind took meandering journeys while I stood on her raised platform, my arms extended like a dancer, my back straight as a rod. Selena measured, documenting the topography of my body, discovering I shared similar measurement with my mom.

            Later, standing  draped, and pinned into the pieces of my ‘new-to me-dress plan,’ Selena my Svengali, swirled in sensual sensations.

            The final fitting, standing still and straight, feeling the coolness of the silk being fitted, my body tingling as the zip rode up my spine, mom’s spirit shadowed this process.

            “Okay. All set. Ready for a viewing?”


Selena’s feet sped  three steps towards a mirror angled away from my sight, tipping the surface, until my eyes seized upon my image. My body swathed in a cocktail length skirt skimming my calves, while the snug bodice with its boat-neckline accentuated my lissom neck. Smiling, On tippy-toes I swirled setting the skirt swinging around my body like a hoop.

            “Delicious! Oh, Selena, it’s absolutely everything that I had hoped. You’ve captured precisely what I had envisioned. My goodness, you are a magical marvellous miracle worker.”




BIOGRAPHY—C Alexis is a poet, flash fiction, short story author with plans to complete her first semi-autobiographical novel. C Alexis spends her free-time vicariously enjoying the lives of characters while reading an eclectic selection of novels. C Alexis is completing a Creative Writing Certificate at Fleming College. Former Principal and Teacher, C Alexis, now turns her observations and insights into her creative writing projects. 




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