The Pink Suit by Nicole Mary Kelby

The Pink Suit book

Every single day, without fail, I’m reminded how wonderful it is to be a part of such a wonderful sewing community. So much more than just sewing. Who knew? Only those of us that are part of it will truly understand. And then, and only then, is when one knows exactly what I’m on about!

Opportunities. Chance meetings. True friendship. Support. Experience. Education. Skills. Not to mention a fabulous wardrobe. And so much more. Tantamount to proper therapy!

And did I mention free gifts? No? Probably because I’d sound like I was only in it for the win! Which I’m not, of course, but one never looks a gifthorse in the mouth, right?!

Now back in April, a certain Little Brown horse contacted me to see if I would like an uncorrected bound proof copy of The Pink Suit by Nicole Mary Kelby. Talk about targetting an audience! Er…. like, yes please!!

For those that don’t know, I have freelanced as a designer in the publishing world for more fingers than I can count on which might give the impression that I am well-read. Haha… I wish! I proof read and I skip read and get to read the beginnings of manuscripts but I can not honestly tell you the last time I sat and read a whole real book, all by myself, just for pleasure.

I can’t read as I walk to work. Fear of treading on pigeons or in other unsavoury stuff. My tube journey barely allows enough time to bagsy a seat and get the book out of my bag. After-work hours are filled with schoolwork, catering, chores and some shoe-horned sewing time, obvs. And if I ever attempt to read before bedtime I’ll be asleep before the first para!

But. Given a book with a title like ‘The Pink Suit’. I would make allowances. I would sit in the park in my lunch-half-hour. I would risk taking out a couple of pigeons en route to and from work and I would whip it out at any opportune tube delay or in any waiting room.

I had given up the ghost for a sewing-related book. I’d even considered writing one myself because I couldn’t find any. It could be argued that I didn’t try very hard but that aside and in any case, I am so glad this was my first. And I loved it. Properly loved it. The characters; the setting; the facts and the fiction. For this story is based on the reality surrounding the Pink Suit that was created for the First Lady, Jackie Kennedy by – shock, horror, gasp – an Irish immigrant working from the back room of an American couture house… and not Chanel! That self-same suit that got spattered with the blood of her husband on that fateful day.

You can feel the bouclé, smell it even. You’ll find your self checking your tights for bits of pink fluff and if you’re anything like me, you’ll completely get how obsession and passion runs through every page. And you’ll come to realise that your own passions are far stronger than you think they are.

I’d so love to tell you more but I know how precious and rare this book is for us sewists and I don’t want to ruin your experience.

But what I can tell you is that it wasn’t just a good story. It was a great one in fact. But more than that it was a shed load of inspiration. I drew strength from the main character and worked late into the night on my own projects spurred on by Kate’s enthusiasm. I relished each of the next stitches I made, I refolded and neatened my fabric pile and I planned for future dresses and blouses… and suits!

The only downside to a good book is that it comes to an end. I so didn’t want it to end. I got so sucked in that I felt quite sad as I approached the last pages. First time I’ve ever read a set of acknowledgements too. I was that desperate to hang on to every last word!

I do hope you get as much from this book as I did. And if you do happen to hear of any similar reads, I’d be so grateful to hear from you.

Incidentally, the roses in the photo are care of my lovely milliner friend, Jayne. I popped in to her gallery to ask how she was feeling (she’s been ill for weeks) and yet SHE was the one to give ME the flowers. That’s how lovely she is.

18 Comments on The Pink Suit by Nicole Mary Kelby

  1. Amanda
    June 11, 2014 at 7:44 pm (4 months ago)

    Alas, I can fully relate to not having enough time to read… all my “free” time for the last year has been spent doing more work – ha! And whenever humanly possible, squeezing in a little sewing and knitting here and there… idle hands right? ;) Still, I do love to devour a good book, and you have got me PROPERLY intrigued by this one. Now that I’m not working every waking second, I may actually have a fighting chance of reading it this decade too! Going to add it to my Amazon wish list right now – thanks for making me aware of it!! :)

    Reply
    • ooobop
      June 23, 2014 at 8:39 am (3 months ago)

      More than welcome, lovely. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. With regs time to read, I do believe if theres something that grips you you will find time, even if it seems impossible! x

      Reply
  2. MaciNic
    June 11, 2014 at 9:21 pm (4 months ago)

    Isn’t the Pink Suit a lovely read! I had the most overwhelming desire to sit & hand stitch a little french jacket ;) My local independent bookstore pre-ordered it for me – so easy and I love supporting small, local bricks & mortar stores when I can ;)

    Reply
    • ooobop
      June 23, 2014 at 8:40 am (3 months ago)

      A little French jacket is totally on my sewing list! Glad you got the same vibe!

      Reply
  3. Scruffy Badger
    June 12, 2014 at 7:57 am (4 months ago)

    I was entranced too!! An amazing read. Beautiful and yes, I think I might be a little more motivated when I hand stitch now also!!

    Reply
    • ooobop
      June 23, 2014 at 8:41 am (3 months ago)

      Takes time to realise that hand-stitching isn’t such a chore. Quite a long time!!

      Reply
  4. Miss Demeanour
    June 12, 2014 at 10:55 am (4 months ago)

    Oh darl what a lovely description. Ordering this immediately and I agree sewing is so much more than well fitting clothes. Can’t wait to see you soon toots. Also lovely friends are really what life is all about mwah

    xxx

    Reply
    • ooobop
      June 23, 2014 at 8:42 am (3 months ago)

      Hope you love it too. Loving your flower garland btw. Mwah, Mwah! xxx

      Reply
  5. Carly
    June 12, 2014 at 12:58 pm (4 months ago)

    I’ve finished reading this book a couple of weeks ago and totally loved it! And obsessed with the pink suit, I bought a Coco Chanel biography! Too much? :)

    Reply
    • ooobop
      June 23, 2014 at 8:43 am (3 months ago)

      Not too much at all. I read that a couple of years back and I think Nicole must have done too because she definitely did her homework! :-)

      Reply
  6. TinaLou
    June 13, 2014 at 6:53 pm (4 months ago)

    Thank you for bringing this book to my attention; I’ve just added it to my library queue.

    Reply
    • ooobop
      June 23, 2014 at 8:44 am (3 months ago)

      Happy reading TinaLou! :-)

      Reply
  7. Mandy Munroe
    June 15, 2014 at 8:15 am (4 months ago)

    I think I’ll have to pick up a copy of this, thanks for the tip off.

    Reply
    • ooobop
      June 23, 2014 at 8:44 am (3 months ago)

      Very welcome, Mandy :-)

      Reply
  8. Jilly
    June 16, 2014 at 1:12 am (4 months ago)

    Such a junkie for reads like that. Have you read the Dress Doctors yet?

    Reply
    • ooobop
      June 23, 2014 at 8:45 am (3 months ago)

      No but I’m off to investigate. Thanks for the tip off Jilly x

      Reply
  9. charityshopchic
    July 2, 2014 at 11:10 am (3 months ago)

    I’m not a big reader, but I enjoyed ‘Lucia, Lucia’ by Adriana Trigiani. The central character works in the couture department of a department store in New York in 1950.

    Reply
  10. Fabric Tragic
    July 12, 2014 at 11:54 am (3 months ago)

    Lovely review. Can I recommend my favourite sewing novel, The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham, an Australian writer. Dark but very funny at times.

    Reply

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