Silk Brocade

Ann Gallagher was listening to the wireless, cutting out a boxy short jacket with three-quarter-length sleeves, in a pale-lilac wool flecked with navy. She had cut the pattern from her own design—there was a matching knee-length pencil skirt—then pinned the paper shapes onto the length of cloth, arranging and rearranging them like pieces of a puzzle to make them fit with minimum waste. Now her scissors bit in with finality, growling against the wood surface of the table, the cloth...

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