Dreams sometimes come true in ways you never expected.

My grandmother Nina and I were like conjoined twins — so what if we were 58 years apart. We both lived to sew. She was the town's personal seamstress and stylist. She was everything to me — sewing mentor, fashion design coach, my business partner, my emotional Internet connection, and my daily dining buddy. She and I were supposed to go conquer New York City together. She wasn't supposed to die when she was only 71.  

Nina had left very specific instructions for her funeral, so I whipped up a black Breakfast at Tiffany's style sleeveless shift with an above-the-knee hem, put on Nina's black satin gloves that went all the way to my elbows, ordered myself not to cry, stood up in the pulpit, and began to talk about who my grandmother had been to me.

Hours later, I'd lost not only my Nina, but also my boyfriend Muddy, who was supposed to go to New York with me but suddenly decided not to, and my awesome Singer Quantum sewing machine that had been in Muddy's trunk when he drove off and left me standing by the side of the road. But even with my life in shreds, I was still determined to get to New York, so I straightened my black shift, pointed my toe in a vintage Mary Jane with an ankle strap and a pearl button, flashed a bit of leg, stuck out my black satin thumb, and hoped for a safe ride.

I knew that as soon as I got to the Big Apple, everything was going to be different. In New York, I could be anything. 

Or nothing. 

Will Cat's dream of creating her own clothing line for Bloomingdale's come true? Will she conquer the city, or will it crush her like it has so many others?