Saturday, June 16, 2012


You remember your little village, your little kitten, your little river.

We made dresses out of throwaway fabric modeled after Barbie clothes circa 1988.

The girls in the community have an old Indian USHA sewing machine from 1947. It uses a hand-wheel on the right side and when the needle moves forward it makes the sound of a train. The needle can't go backwards but it is easy to maneuver the fabric to reinforce the stitches. The machine has been in the family since the partition. It feels like a tiny factory.

In a family of dressmakers, the little girls hem the edges of the skirt while they wear similar skirts.

The little chaps make a puzzle for the kids to play with because they try to keep the needles away from the children.

The girls have a puzzle of their own by trying to make sense of the old foreign patterns. These sorts of things used to be casual but for today's woman are unusual. Most of them are eager to learn new things and think it is funny to try them on and stuff the ruffles in the chest with pieces of scrap fabric and leftover shoulder pads.
The boys are not allowed to watch.

each hand holds hands with another hand
each neck fits into another neck
each hip fits into another hand
each neck is fit for a face
each piece has two faces.

When I got to use the machine I was like a child, overexcited by the sound of the train. I
 made a series of pockets to keep all of the pieces in.
We made two hundred and forty three pieces in real color.