Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Emergency Dress


It's been a while, I know. Thank you, everyone who's left a comment or sent an email to ask if I've been OK. Yes, I have. In fact, I've spent the last who-knows-how-many months writing a very long post about that, and I promise I will share that soon. I have three high-schoolers this year, and it's been wonderful and overwhelming and all kinds of busy. I remember that I'd had three babies in five years ago, and that was busy, too, but not like high-school busy. Those infant-toddler-preschool years seemed in hindsight like a walk in the park compared to these teenage years. Then, knee-deep in diapers and spilled Cheerios, and singing The Wheels On The Bus on repeat, I would never have believed a day would come when I'd be busier, but here we are. 

Wanted to pop in and show you a dress I made. I don't have the time to blog much these days, and I still don't have a system for downloading and editing my photos, so it's all in a bit of limbo. I'm still sewing the odd project here and there, though, so when I finish something, I'll take a photo with my phone and try to post it here.

This past weekend the girls needed dresses for homecoming and as I was out of the country during the time I could've sewn them, we decided to buy them online. Jenna and Kate found lovely outfits which needed no alterations (yay) but Emily's dress did not ship, not even days before homecoming weekend. So she asked if I'd sew her the dress instead. It was a ludicrously busy week, for all sorts of reasons, including a broken washing machine (in the middle of swim season!!! Not cool!!!), but I said yes. There really is no other answer, is there, for a sewing person whose kid got stood up by the Online Dress-in-53-Colors-and-Unguaranteed-Fit Industry?

It felt a little bit like the Halloween Costume days of yore, I will say. I had low-level nostalgia throughout, although I marveled that the hemlines these days were so much shorter, and the fabrics so much sheerer than those fleece-lined Narnian getups the girls chose when they were but yea high. Still, there was so much still familiar about this recent experience: the desperate fabric shopping, the manic sewing at unearthly o'clock, the disaster that is the sewing room floor strewn with piles of polyester and glitter-organza scraps stickier than velcro, which ride on your socks into supermarkets and plain view of the neighbors when you step out of the house, wild-eyed, for a five-minute break.

Garment-making always looks so meditative on social media, doesn't it, with people posting in-progress shots of themselves standing calmly before a mirror, analyzing a dart or being philosophical about a sleeve? In my house, however, it's pure madness. Maybe because it's always an emergency of some kind - from the initial draft to the final hand-stitched hem, there's the sense of there being not nearly enough time for the number of mistakes one can hardly afford to but will inevitably make. Like procrastinating, which I am always guilty of, except for this time, because we were already beyond eleventh-hour late when we began.

But I loved making this dress, and it really was a fast sew, especially compared to a typical Halloween costume. Here it is. 

I might have hacked at the sheer hemline a bit more with my shears after I'd taken the photo, I can't remember. Emily wore it, declared the fit great, and danced out into the evening (uncommonly warm for October, thank heavens) with her friends, their wrists bedecked with flowers. Incidentally, she DIY-ed her corsage this year. Having decided that it was both more fun and economical than paying a florist, she'd spent the day before making corsages and matching boutonnieres with those same friends, and had a blast. I didn't get a picture till she got home and had taken hers off, so here's a shot of it after an evening of action. I thought she did an amazing job. 

I hope you're enjoying fall (or spring, if you're in the Southern Hemisphere). And I hope the year has been kind to you thus far. Eat some pumpkin pie and cider and some good apples and breathe that good, crisp air. Back soon! 


  1. The misty, fairy like overlay is gorgeous.

  2. Emily did a beautiful job on the corsage! Much better than what the professional florist made for my son's prom date.


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