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Cassandra’s my dress form, purchased on sale and with a free shipping coupon. If you don’t know the myth, Cassandra is the young woman with the gift of prophecy who was cursed by Apollo… so that no one believed her predictions. She is my measurements, but not quite my shape. Thanks to American Duchess for the “Bean Boob” idea, though my mother said, when we went shopping for her post-mastectomy prosthesis, “It feels like bags of lentils. If I’d known how much [the prosthesis] would cost, I’d have made my own bag of lentils.” My mother is a tiny blonde woman with a weakness for Airedale terriers and violent cartoons.

But Cassandra has proven very useful, dressed as she is in the newly chopped- and-dropped stays. She’s also sporting the bodice of what will be a bodiced petticoat, as soon as I can bring myself to cut into the beautiful wool, of which Burnley & Trowbridge has no more. I’ll want that wool petticoat for another weekend at Coggeshall Farm, coming up around the corner on December 1, and for which much must be sewn, including a long-sleeved wool dress based on Past Patterns’ Lewis and Clark dress.

I nearly got the bodice and sleeves all done on Monday, from cutting to sewing, while “watching” the original Swedish Wallander on Netflix. It’s more a process of reading than watching, with moments of clarity when I clearly recognize words. Thanks to my Dad for the connection with our Swedish roots…fish stew, Aquavit, and proper swearing.

By the time you set these sleevils the fourth or fifth time, they go pretty well. I have made this dress three times before, with two muslins along the way. The changes I made this time include cutting the sleeve as one piece and not three, lengthening the sleeves to the wrist, and adding a little over an inch to the bodice all the way around. Older ladies wore their waists lower than teenage girls, and though I like the way the L&C dress fits, I wanted a lower waist to suit my age, and the earlier year.