My brother Johnny was a very stylish and talented young man. In his teens, he was already a fantastic drummer in a band that played at local dances in Toronto, including the school we attended in Willowdale. He wore all the great styles of the 60s inspired by the British Invasion. However, sometimes he imagined clothes that weren’t available. So one day he designed a suit and bought pinstripe fabric in a unique shade of green, perfect for the stage! (It’s hard to describe this shade because it was not bright, not dull, not dark or pastel.)
Johnny asked me to make his suit. I was 16 by then, but I started sewing as a child. My first creations were hand-sewn, designer fashions for Barbie. My mom bought a sewing machine and I began sewing my own clothes at the age of 10; first, a lovely summer sundress in a pretty shade of pale yellow and then several shift dresses and floral bell-bottoms, which were very fashionable at the time. Johnny’s suit was my first and last! It was a lot of work and frustration, never having had experience with tailoring, but amazingly – and to Johnny’s approval – it turned out great! He wore it with pride!
Just a few months later, on December 1, 1968 Johnny was killed in a horrific car accident. I am so glad I was able to make that suit for him, which he loved and was buried in.
Forty three years have gone by and time has not healed the wound, I miss him more every year!!