Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing

Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing by KATHY CANO-MURILLO Read Free Book Online

Book: Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing by KATHY CANO-MURILLO Read Free Book Online
Authors: KATHY CANO-MURILLO
with a sample of her work to Carmen’s fan P.O. Box address that she found in the back of a magazine.
    Daisy’s sisters and aunt and uncle frowned at her obsession, scolding her for wasting her money and time. Embarrassed by her flamboyant lifestyle, they criticized, but Daisy simply responded by adding extra crystals and sequins to her designs. (Now we know why her work was so sparkly.) Her uncle even tried to tell her that Carmen was nothing more than a drug addict and a Hollywood puppet. He despised the woman’s act and hated that Daisy worshipped her. Little did he know, his resentment made Daisy adore Carmen even more.
    Someday, Daisy thought, she would escape Coconut Grove and her stuffy family forever and find her way into Carmen’s entourage.
    Then one day, a small parcel arrived.
    Daisy’s face flushed when she read the return address, and she raced to her best friend Saide’s house to open it.
    The package was from the president of Carmen’s fan club. She thanked Daisy for her support, and informed her that Carmen had indeed received, adored, and even wore one of her gifts—a wrist cuff featuring the outline of a parrot, accented with rows of gems, sequins, and rhinestones. Also included in the package was a small glass jar of green buttons from Carmen’s personal dressmakingstash. Carmen, impressed by Daisy’s devotion, had them sent as a good-luck charm for her design career. She invited the teen to attend a musical stage show and requested that Daisy bring samples of her collection. Carmen’s people would introduce her to a team of national sales reps, who would also be in attendance that night. Enclosed was a set of two show tickets to a live broadcast of The Perry Como Show and a reservation for a hotel.
    “We’re going to the Big Apple to meet Carmen!” Daisy cheered. The girls hugged, and jumped up and down on the bed. Saide snatched the letter from Daisy’s hands to reread it calmly, as if examining the fine print on a contract. A frown spread across her face.
    “The event is the Saturday after next,” Saide said, dejected.
    “Exactly!” Daisy replied. “We have two whole weeks to prepare!”
    “Daisy, New York City is over a thousand miles away.” She asked Daisy how they could afford transportation, and reminded her that she didn’t even have any products to show because Daisy had either sold them or mailed them to Carmen.
    Saide and Daisy had been soul sisters ever since grade school. Out of everyone in the universe, she knew how much this meant to Daisy. Can you believe she actually tried to talk Daisy out of going? Some friend, huh? Greeby. Instead of encouraging our Daisy, she tried to break her spirit. Grrr… people like that make me growl like a cranky mama tiger.
    Anyhoo, back to the story…
    You might think those little obstacles would hold Daisy back, but she clocked in extra hours at her jobs, evenpretended to be sick so she could stay home from school and work instead. By night the devoted designer enlisted her reluctant sister to help her build up the best samples ever. And, to add to the drama, she had to do it all undercover because no way would her aunt or uncle let her go alone with Saide to New York City! That was unheard of for two eighteen-year-old girls from Miami in the 1950s.
    On August 5, 1955, Daisy and Saide checked into the Plaza Hotel.
    Daisy couldn’t pinpoint why, but sadness hung in her heart. It took all her might not to cry, and that confused her. She hadn’t experienced such sorrow since a tragic bus accident took the lives of her parents ten years before. Those wounds were painful, so she pushed the memory out of her head and focused instead on her love of designing and the joy of seeing Carmen.
    Decked out in Daisywear from head to toe, the girls waited in the humid August evening in front of the hotel for a cab to pick them up and drive them a few blocks to the Ziegfeld Theatre. Saide paid the driver and, just as they exited the vehicle and shut

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