Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


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Monday, November 29, 2004  

I spent a long half day, after a suitable bit of procrastination, wrestling with fabric and doubts yesterday. Since Virgo’s have a corner on self-doubt, I found lots of reasons to fret and pick and nag myself. There is nothing like worry and doubt in one part of your life to make you remember all your other weak points. Before long, the fears I have about the dress spilled over into other areas of my life, my character and my soul, shedding light on additional failings and weaknesses. All afternoon, past sins paraded through my mind, whispering imprecations and accusations and promises of retribution. Am I too big a blabbermouth (a.k.a. gossip)? Has careless chatter, harmlessly ment, but thoughtlessly spewed, come back to highlight my self-centered nature? Are deadlines, given a polite nod, then promptly forgotten, ready to spring out of drawers and off of calendars, to whip me into an emotional and physical wreck? Are even worse crimes, long languishing unpunished, waiting for just the right moment, when I’ve most completely forgotten but have the most complete public attention, before they fling off their cloak of oblivion and demand justice?

To add to my doubts and recriminations, my dizziness isn’t really getting better. I’m just managing it better. Getting up is a process, now, instead of something I just do. Slide up the pillow and wait till my head is steady; push up on my elbow and wait again; sit all the way up; stay there till I’m steady at last. Lifting my head from the prone position is what causes all the problem, so I also have to watch it during the day and not let my head get too low; you know the drill, stoop don’t bend. Probably good for my back anyway.

To be off for more than a few days with an unfamiliar complaint is the perfect place to be if one wants to imagine all the opportunities for an early and painful demise. Believe me, I have plucked a goodly portion of them out of my database of motherly medical knowledge. Armed with enough maladies, it is but a short hop from "I am sick" to "I am being punished for my wicked ways." The perfect melding of two Virgo traits - hypochondria and masochism.

Of course, there are countering Virgoian gifts and one of them is manual dexterity. Regardless of my fears, my fingers are skilled and they put together the heavily interfaced bodice lining for TheWeddingDress muslin (perhaps I ought to call it a "Satin" since that’s what I’m using to make this sample). I also worked with the shirring for the bodice. This is a new sewing technique for me. I’m using net, which is much fluffier and stretchier than the silk organza will be, and harder to work with too, but it will create the effect and give me practice without costing more than a few pennies. I’ve decided to make the dress in two pieces, a skirt and a bodice, instead of making a princess line underdress and a 2 piece overdress. The shirring will be sewn in as the bodice is put together and the two skirts will be added after the bodice is done, but before the lining is tacked down inside. God help me when it comes time to put in the zipper. I may outsource that to a better seamstress than I. At least I’ll consult with my skilled and knowledgeable friends - Oh! Oh! Yes! I just remembered someone who really could help me. Goodness - what a relief that is! I can feel my whole brain relaxing.

I sewed till 6 o’clock and then packed everything up. By then I’d made three mistakes and Mama’s Dictum is: 3 Mistakes and You Stop. This is the wisest counsel she ever gave me and it carries over into all walks of life. No matter what the pressure; deadlines, money, commitments, promises - after 3 mistakes I stop whatever I'm doing. Walk away. Come back later. Do something - anything - else. It’s the greatest frustration eraser I have ever known.

There are 9 weeks till the wedding but I have a self-imposed Weekend Before Christmas deadline. I believe I can do it too, but it’s difficult for me to get a feel for the pace of this project. When I used to sew all the time I pretty much knew how much time I needed to make any garment. I’m both rusty and on new territory so I can’t tell if I’m moving along at a sensible pace or stalling out just past the starting line. What I do know is that once I’ve made the muslin, once I know for sure what each step is, I’ll be able to repeat the process with sure deliberation. Thankfully, the fabric of TheWeddingDress is much easier to work with than the cheap imitation stuff.

Another powerful ally ranged with my deft fingers on the side of Bess Is Not Either Such A Worthless Horrible Person is the litany of loving compliments and reassurances I get constantly, from my nearest and dearest. Last night BD payed me one of the deepest compliments, identifying me with a social archetype in a book he was reading on how to build a better community. Talk about a feel good moment - having my life’s work associated with an archetype! BH also waltzed through my mind yesterday as I thought over events, both recent and long past, when the complete understanding we share made it almost unnecessary to finish sentences, certainly needless to explain ourselves. How fortunate it is that when she says something, it makes sense to me, instead of lying like an unexploded mine, waiting to shatter into fragments of misunderstanding. How fortunate that my relationship with my mama is similar. I wonder if we three women all speak a different language - or were we born with different ears.

So, the day passed and Monday is here again. A busy Monday with an enormous huge deadline that I can miss by a day or so, but which must be the target of my energies. No time today for inner struggles. Action is the word.

posted by Bess | 7:04 AM