Saturday, 6 June 2009

memory lane

Having managed to tame the Beast I also managed to get a few other things sorted and for one reason or another as I worked I had a little trip down memory lane.
It started because of a converstion the other week and some fabric I pulled from the shelves.
I have a few pieces of tie silks- no not Thai silk- silks (or rather rayons) used in making ties and I was chopping them up to make bag linings. I have a clap-trap memory for where I found fabrics and the one below was from the wonderful Michael's Corner Store. 

Ahhh..... Michael's Corner Store!
It used to be on the corner of Russell and Bourke Streets in the city, yes where the Evil Hungry Jack's is now.
It was seven floors (I think) of pure textile heaven. Job lots of every type of thing made from fabric, from clothes to napery and hundreds and thousands of metres of fabric. Fabulous. And the lifts! You all think the ones at the Nicholas Building are great- phthhhwt I say!- the ones at MCS were an experience in themselves! 
I was studying Textile Design at RMIT and often on the way to the bus I'd drop in and buy 2 1/2 metres of the most outlandish 60s and 70s curtaining material to make a shirt for the next day. $1.99 a metre......... I wish I had these fabrics now......... I'd be as rich as Croesus! It was an Aladdin's cave of the most crazy fabrics, all bought at the big warehouse auctions which heralded the start of the end of the Australian textile industry. 
These were the last of the golden days. On Flinders Lane you could still see trollies of clothes being wheeled from workrooms to agents, and hidden away up rickety stairs and creaking lifts were  fabric and haberdashery sellers. Within a few years all these people sold up and retired and an era ended. 
I still dream longingly of Michael's Corner Store and, in hindsight, what I missed out on.


  1. that's just like those op-shop dreams where it's $5 a garbage bag full and everything's your size... only real, and gone...
    word verification today is derse, i'm imagining this as the word that describes that special regret we all have for super cheap extrodinary fabrics we never purchased acres of.


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