After High School we moved to Florida and I started working at Sears part time, as I rode the bus everyday to work, the drop off point was in front of a beautiful shoe store called LaRose Footwear. I would look in the window everyday, wishing... his shoes were so expensive. One day Mr LaRose came outside to talk with me and invited me in the store to try on a special pair he had selected just for me! Well I could not afford them of course, he said that he had never extended credit to a teen before, but if I came by every Friday to make payments, he would let me take the shoes!! I came by every Friday like clock work, Mr LaRose and I became such good friends along with his wife Trudy, he said if you ever need work Rena you are welcome here. Come to find out after Christmas Sears laid off all part time help for a month, well not being able to be without a pay check for a month, I went to Mr. LaRose and asked for a job. That is when I started Modeling shoes for LaRose. I was a Model for him for two and a half years. The most wonderful job ever. My sewing continued all along, and when it came time to go the Midshipmans Ball, I designed my own formal dress. Back in the mid sixties you had to be invited to this formal affair. The LaRose's had submitted my name. For my formal I chose a material that was shimmery gold and pink, with a pink organza overlay I added pink Ostrich feathers around the neckline.It turned out fantastic!
Sewing has been such a fun part of my life, I never look at a pattern for what it is, I always see it the way I design it in my mind. Here are two more looks that I've made, One a jumpsuit ( I still have the bracelet), and a A-line dress with a bow. I used to love to sew with Kettle cloth or Voile.
When it came time for me the Marry, I made my own Wedding Dress from a Vogue pattern, I was 22. The dress was of a fabric called Candlelight, it had a slight shimmer, the front of the boatneck dress had a cotton lace panel that ran down the front, wide at the shoulders and narrow at the hem. The Train was made of the same heavy cotton lace, in the shape of a bow. A little pearl crown that I gathered tulle on to form my veil.
I often think of my Home Ec classes, it was such an influence on my life. If I'd only known I would have loved it all so much, the sewing, the cooking, the decorating, I would have started taking it in my Sophomore year! I say that because the Senior girls that had done this all along, were learning to make Mens Suits!! Holy Cow!