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


Bess, dear, take a deep breath, have a cup of your very favorite tea, and remember just how fabulous you are. It wasn't ego that made you take on this challenge, it was well-earned self-confidence. I'm not going to say "oh, don't be silly - it'll be fine!" because I really hate it when someone says it to me. You have the encouragement and positive energy of those who love you.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:27 AM  

I fully believe as much love as you have put into this project will go into the cosmos and come back to you tenfold... you could probably just take a vacation and come back and little fairies will have finished the dress, so much love is infused in the project (though I wouldn't recommend testing my theory, as fairies notoriously dislike being taunted)

Love you so much!

By Blogger Amie, at 12:29 PM  

Honey, I understand *completely*! I have finished 2 twin quilts and a wall hangin in the past week...a lot of stitch-in-the-ditch and free-form...The back really takes it on the chin this time of year! (Doncha just love mixed metaphors...?) ;-) I'm ignoring Mercury and will *keep going*!

By Blogger Margaret, at 6:18 PM  

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Friday, December 17, 2004  

Mercury has been moving backwards through the sky. It is about to start moving forwards. Scientists may insist this is just an optical illusion but it looks pretty convincing from here. And it is deeply symbolic. It suggests that real progress can occur after a period in which everything has been difficult. There's just one problem. Because Mercury is now changing direction, it is currently what we call, 'stationary'. It is hardly moving from one night to the next and it has chosen an awkward spot in which to stand still. Heed its warning. You'll be fine as long as you keep moving this weekend.

Now, there are those who say that when something as frivolous as a horoscope hits the nail on the head it is because of random circumstance. All I know is that I sewed and sewed and sewed all day and I still don’t have the skirt attached to the bodice. I had hoped to have the zipper in by now. I suppose baby steps, but slow and steady is my mantra for the weekend, then.

It was cold as blue blazes yesterday and the house took forever to warm up. I don’t start sewing till I’ve cleaned the living room, dusted all surfaces, vacuumed and mopped the floors -each day - after all, this is white silk. Then the huge sheet gets spread on the floor and that’s my work surface. I’ve always been a SitUpStraight sort of person. My back only really feels good when each vertebrae is stacked neatly upon the next. I much prefer a stool to a chair and I sit cross-legged on almost any surface (I shamefully confess, even in restaurants, my legs begin to ache and the next thing you know I’ve hauled my feet up and I’m in a nicely perched lotus position with my knees beneath the tablecloth.)

The first thing I put together yesterday was the heavily interfaced bodice lining. I knew I’d be wanting to put the zipper in and the added thickness of that lining would determine how far into the center back edges that zipper had to be placed. Even if I didn’t sew it in, Bride could don both lining and dress while I marked off the seam line. Once the lining was completed I started cutting the new organza skirt. This new skirt used up all the fabric so there could be no mistakes. Because the skirt is cut on a slant I had to figure out the angle of that slant when measured over the added width of the skirt. Not a difficult bit of geometry. I just put a little mark at one edge of the skirt front, where it joins at the right hip and on the other edge where it is sewn to the left hip and then drew a straight line from edge to edge. It was 81 inches across, just about twice the total hip width or 4 X bodice edge. Not quite, of course, since the slanted bodice creates a longer edge than a straight across bodice would.

The same measuring took place on the two back pieces and then it was time to sew the miles of gathering stitches. I made three rows on each piece, French seamed the pieces at the side seams, and began gathering and pinning it to the bodice. Believe me, by this time it was nigh on to 4 o’clock and I’d been sewing since 10. Of course, there had been plenty of breaks for mind relaxation and lunch and to calm myself.

I needed the calming because it was impossible to not obsess all day about BH and the custody hearing. I know it’s not my problem and there isn’t anything I can do about it either, and I also know that her choices are what got her where she is. But it is still difficult to let go. When doing manual projects, slow, quiet and alone, the mind is free to pick at emotional scabs, and alas, mine scratched away all day. It’s possible I ought to have stopped altogether, for late in the afternoon there was such a near disaster I’m still shaken by it.

While pinning the skirt and bodice together I pricked my finger on a pin and before I could blink an eye a drop of blood flew out and splashed on the front of the skirt! Never, in all history, has the human body so successfully defied the effects of gravity as I somehow managed to dash to the kitchen, fill a bowl with cold water and arive back in the living room to dunk that tiny, but oh so visible corner of fabric into the healing elixer of cold water, before the stain set. Disaster averted, but at what cost to my heart? Thank goodness for the finish on the organza, which caused the blood to pool a moment before sinking into the fibers for all time.

That was my signal to stop, though, I did hand baste the skirt to the bodice so that Bride could try it on. I have the zipper seam marked and that is today’s task, after I do something with the right back skirt. For some reason it’s a little too wide. And I could see by her plucking that Bride wants more fullness right at the side seams, so I will redistribute the gathers there a little too. Nothing serious.

By then it was 5 anyway and time to wrap the whole in a new clean sheet and carry it up to its safe deposit in the upstairs bedroom. The Darlings came over later and I got those zipper placements, during an intermission of Emma - the Gwyneth Paltro version. Nowhere near as good as the BBC P&P, but entertaining enough. Most of the films I see on my video machine have such dreadful sound tracks that even piped through the amp system we installed, it’s hard to understand what people are saying and the music is always way too loud. The BBC stuff is always perfectly balanced. I would suppose it was a function of a real movie projection system, only, it’s just as bad at theaters as it is in my den.

So - today I will put in the zipper, the rest of the center back seams and the lining, then begin the long stretch of hand sewing. A small handsewn hem has to go into the organza overskirt at the back center seam, and all the bodice lining must be tacked in. After that, I will have to make the petticoat, because we can’t mark the hem till we know how the skirt hangs. Since I need several miles of ribbon to make the petticoat, I believe I shall finish the zipper and then drive down to town. There are some business chores I ought to do and a dear friend from Oregon is visiting his parents and would like to have lunch with me. Alas, this is not really a week for me to dally over lunch, but then - when shall I see him again if I put him off this visit?

And so - that is TheWeddingDress report. I had hoped to be a little more light hearted about it, since really I am just sewing now, not creating. But I am not. In fact, I am feeling pretty blue about it all. Full of doubts that all this effort is going to produce an amateurish effect. I am wondering what sort of outsized ego would ever have agreed to make a wedding dress and why ever did I pile so much onto my shoulders right at Christmas time? And how ever am I going to get anything else done and what is going to be snipped off the to-do list before I am once again relaxed and positive? I believe I can blame the stars, and perhaps, the King & Queen Co. domestic courts.

And so, I shall follow the advice above and just keep moving.

posted by Bess | 7:59 AM