Songs for a Tailor

The title for this piece is from the Jack Bruce album “Songs for a Tailor”. A tribute to  Jeannie Franklyn (“Genie the Tailor”). A maker of clothes for 60s rock musicians, who was killed along with Fairport Conventions drummer in a van smash. This is my song for a Tailor; a mender, on the Tufnell Park Road.

I bought a fine velvet suit the other day. It’s one of those charity shop bargains, that must have passed under the radar of the donations sifter at my local store. These days you can expect to pay through the nose for second-hand goods. Its not just the tyranny of vintage; its because people now sell their stuff on ebay. Moneys too tight to mention I suppose.

Anyway the pants didn’t fit, but the jacket did. So I took a chance; things can be let-out.

Now tailoring is difficult; believe me I’ve been there. Needle in hand, thread between the teeth. And then there was the moment of madness, when I decided to become a fashion designer. Bought myself a sewing machine and some fabric from Rolls & Rems on the Seven Sisters Road. Blasted through a shirt pattern, with little regard for accuracy. The button holes are pleasantly gaping. The collar, not exactly symmetrical. But those delicate tortoise shell buttons, they belong on a better garment.

Emboldened by this great success, I bought cloth for a suit jacket. The realisation that I wasn’t cut out for the fashion business came when I tried to attach an arm to an arm-hole. It hung there half attached, mocking me every time I opened the wardrobe.

My fine velvet suit trousers are now with the menders. A woman with much more skill than me is adjusting the cloth.  When she’s done, my suit will live again. Recycled and renewed.

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