Excerpt from The Fashion Designer





                                                                                                      




                                                                                                 
                                                                                                

                                                                                                         

                                                                                                      
       1912        
                                                                         
      New York City




                                                                                      

Annie Culver tidied her work table for the last time. She set her ruler and French curve to the
side, and placed her scissors, tablet, and pencil in a drawer. These tools of her trade had
become extensions of herself, a way to transfer a fashion idea into a dress pattern that could be
used by home sewers across the world. Idea to pattern to finished product.

I’ve come so far. Am I a fool for leaving it all behind?

“Get a move on, Annie.” Her friend and coworker Maude Nascasto stood at the door of the
workroom. “Risk not, want not.”

Maude’s strange phrase snapped Annie out of her reverie. “What does that mean?”

Maude pinned a straw hat onto her black, upswept hair. “Whatever it needs to mean to warm
your cold feet.” She paused and gave the room one last look. “Us quitting is a good thing,
Annie. As Mark Twain said, ‘I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be
one.’ We’ve seen the opportunity. We’re walking through this door and into a new adventure.”

“But is the opportunity a wise choice?”

Maude released an exasperated sigh, strode to the table, took Annie by the arm and marched
her out of the workroom. “Courageous people don’t look back.”

“I don’t feel courageous. I feel nauseous.”

Maude laughed. “I’m afraid it goes with the territory.”

They met Annie’s husband, Sean, on the sidewalk outside. He too worked for Butterick Pattern
Company but was staying in his position. Someone had to pay the rent.

He studied her face. “It will be all right, Annie-girl.”

“You promise?”

Maude starting walking, leading the way to a celebration commemorating their momentous
decision. “She’s being a worry-wart.”

“How can I not be, Maude? How can you two be so calm? This is an enormous step we’re
taking. We have no idea if our new business will succeed. And if it doesn’t, it’s not only me
who's out of a job, but you, and Edna too. She’s worked at Macy’s for decades, and is quitting
because of some hair-brained idea I came up with. What if we fail?”

Maude stopped walking and faced her. “What if that building there, suddenly falls to the ground
in front of us? What if that motor car jumps the curb and runs us down? What if—?”

Sean stopped her tirade. “Your examples are overly dramatic.”

She shrugged. “Twas all I could come up with on short notice.” She slipped her hand around
Annie’s arm. “There are worries big and small all around us. Some we can deal with directly and
some, we can’t.”

“I know you,” Sean said, taking Annie’s other arm. “You’ve never let circumstances stop you.
You won’t let anything get in your way.”

Annie tried to embrace their confidence, yet the worry remained.


                                                                 Copyright @ 2018 Nancy Moser
                                                                  Barbour Publishing Company