Flora Baumbach is a dressmaker. She is an older woman who is currently living by herself.
She was married at one point in time and had one child. Her husband left her many years ago
and does not send any money. She once owned a bridal shop but sold it after the death of her
daughter, Rosalie. Throughout the story, she develops a close relationship with Angela Wexler.
The Career of Dressmaking
A seamstress is a person who sews as an occupation. In the olden days it was a woman who made all of the clothing for the family. They were not paid for their efforts; this was something they were simply expected to do. Therefore, they couldn't complain or say "no," like some would today.
The role of seamstress started long ago when there were no stores to purchase clothes. That left this role for the women of the families. Everyday the woman would also wash and hang the outfits, checking for items needing mending. Her role, therefore, was not only to make and mend the clothing for each family member, but to also wash and clean the clothing. One famous seamstress from long ago is Betsy Ross. She made the first American Flag for the United States. Following her success with the first flag she continued her career as a seamstress of American Flags.
Another role of a seamstress or dressmaker that has not changed over the years is to have a keen sense of fashion. That means a seamstress/dressmaker must keep up with what is acceptable and in style during a certain time period. A dressmaker is in many ways a creator or inventor. They begin with scraps of material and other items and put them together to create a new product: clothes. They create articles of clothing for anyone, adult or child.
One aspect of dressmaking that has changed over the years is that either a man or a woman can perform this job. In years past, only a woman pursued this type of career. A man was given other more "manly" type jobs. Many males have enjoyed very rich careers from the fashion designing (another term associated with dressmaking and seamstress) market.
| Where do cows buy their clothes from?|
| Cattle logs!|
Dressmaking is also related to fashion designing. A sense of fashion developed in Northern Europe and Italy based on social status. Throughout most of fashion's earlier history, government laws or regulations controlled it. The government wanted to keep the divisions between social levels. Some laws were established to help a country's economy. For example, laws in England at one time forbid people to wear cotton, because it was made in another country.
Changes in fashion have occurred for various reasons. Long ago it was common for women to wear long dresses or skirts covering most of themselves. As people began to change their views on modesty, women's clothing began to change. It was more acceptable for women to wear pants, shorts and even short skirts. Men, too, have seen changes in their dress. They use to once wear elaborate, bright, and fancy clothing jewelry and shoes. Now it is considered more appropriate to wear darker, plainer suits. Everyone has enjoyed Levi Strauss & Company's invention of the blue jean for purposes solely of work at one time. As people have become more health conscious, athletic-type clothing has become daily attire instead of only being worn during times of working out.
Fashions continue to change as the years pass by, but people continue to follow fashions for similar reasons. They may want people to notice them, want to look like someone or group they admire, to raise their social status, etc. Fashions let people express themselves and their beliefs.
To become a successful fashion designer, seamstress or dressmaker you must have a good education. Most popular dressmakers or designers suggest a background in business and sewing. This career can be very rewarding. Income levels vary substantially from moderate to elaborate salaries. It really depends on the success of the designer.
In order to design a piece of clothing successfully, there are several steps to follow. The first step is to create a sketch of the design. Once a sketch is completed, a pattern can be created. From the pattern, a sample piece should be sewn and put together. Then the sample must be tried on and worn in order to determine what changes are necessary to make the piece work. Finally, a final product can be made after any adjustments are applied to the original pattern.
As you can see, this career is extremely time consuming and requires lots of hard work, though most say once the final product is completed, it's worth it!