Dressed Intentions, Frivolous Friday, patterns, personal, sewing project, silk taffeta, silk velvet, vintage sewing, wedding dress
Every morning, I sit at the table in the main room of our townhouse in the dark with my SAD light. To my right, I watch the sun rise over the fence, and every morning the orange-blue-pink-purple morning sky delights me. This hasn’t been the easiest year, but it has been bittersweet, cold and warm, like a winter sunrise. Lady Cat’s death was dreadful, and the last memory I have is ugly but goading. She fought so hard to stay alive, every single moment; remembering that, I am ashamed any time I verge towards the hopeless, and try instead to reach for the light.
So, despite the creeping feeling of hopelessness that lurks around the edges of something I want very much, I thought I would carry on with a partial fulfillment of desire. Three weeks ago, I more-or-less asked Drunk Tailor to marry me.* This was exciting, and pleasing, and generally felt like a good thing to finally express. The hopelessness creeps in because, after an unhappy afternoon and evening of calculations, the truth is we can not afford to marry until I land a job with health insurance benefits.** However, that doesn’t mean we can’t have a party of some kind at some date-and-place-to-be-named.
The sunrises make me think of fabrics and dresses, colors and textures. What began as an idea for a wedding dress has morphed into a party dress, which was easy enough because I never intended a “traditional” dress— unless we are talking about being in an enormous pile of Turkish Angora kittens, white floof isn’t for me.*** The sunrise colors appealed to me, and I ordered swatches from Silk Baron, planning on a dress-and-jacket combination.
I played with combinations for a while before settling on two groups. I’ve narrowed those down, I think, to cordovan silk velvet with winter sage taffeta. Cross your fingers there’ll be enough in stock when I can afford to order the fabrics! In the meantime, any Vogue pattern called “Average” is likely to create excitement in fitting and sewing– plus, a zipper! I haven’t set a zipper in years, so this project should have all the funs.
One way I thought I could cheer myself up and make the best of this intractable situation was to make this a blog-able, documented project. It’s outside my usual time zone but within my style preferences — you say bolero, I say Spencer– so why not make it a project I have to do? Pretty clothes can be a way to get joy out of disappointment, so from muslin to finished garment, let’s do this thing.****
*More-or-less because in the written proposal I made, I recognized that marriage might be a financial impossibility.
**This revelation capped a pretty awful seven day stretch that began with one day of excellent news, followed by multiple job rejections, frightening health insurance premium calculations, and the now-quarterly revelation that my workplace cannot afford to pay me for the hours I’ve already worked this month (and possibly not through the end of the year).
*** The best nap I ever had was in the back of a Subaru Outback, on a stack of bayonets. I dreamt I was in a pile of kittens. It was a warm spring afternoon (kittens) but I was getting poked by sharp things (bayonets, also, kittens).
**** Pending supplies. $212.50 for fabric is right out of my budget scheme at the moment– that’s a lot of chickens, cat chow, or half a health insurance premium, depending on the metric you prefer.
Elizabeth Mees said:
Oh, Dear Kitty:
Please take heart….I am sadly in agreement with all the darkness of late…sending you digital hugs…can only hope that things will improve….
They will improve; spring will come! Thank you. ❤
Remain hopeful, things will improve! In the immortal words of Daffy Duck, “we have no where to go but up”.
You are so valued and appreciated for what you do. I look forward to your missives so much. Thank you
Daffy Duck is a personal hero. (And possible role model…?) Thank you!
Vicki Lynn Embrey said:
This, too, shall pass. I know it doesn’t help you feel better, but it will. Think of the pleasure you will get from this project. The 50’s are my favorite period for modern dresses. They just never go out of style.
Thank you, Vicki. I do believe this — and other projects— will help a lot. Doing something constructive always does. I once owned a dress not unlike this one; it was emerald and black changeable silk taffeta and I wish I still had it. Maybe I’ll add it to the list.
Congratulations! Just get married, forget about all the stuff that needs expense and THEN have the party when things sort out. Weddings are wonderful, but marriage is the point after all….
Oh indeed- I agree and I wish we could. The problem is that in the US, health care continues to be a for-profit concern. So it’s really a choice between getting married and having no health insurance, or having health insurance. Because I’m self-employed, I buy my insurance on the insurance exchange created by the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). (I don’t mean to be patronizing; I know you are in the UK, and you have a very different system. Actually, pretty much anywhere in the developed world has a better system than the US right now!) I can afford my monthly premiums because I get a tax subsidy through the ACA. If we get married, I lose the tax subsidy, and the insurance premium will more than double. I was last paid three weeks ago, a check which will have to cover November and December expenses, which would be $500 short of two months of unsubsidized health insurance premiums– and leave all the other bills unpaid. My income is too variable to risk losing the subsidy, and because I have a family history of breast cancer, and a recent scare (the one day of good news was an all-clear mammogram), I need to keep my health insurance. That way, an early lumpectomy will only cost me $6800 instead of $25,000. In the end, it makes more sense to have the party now, and get married when I get a job with insurance benefits or become eligible for Medicare, whichever comes first (presuming the GOP doesn’t manage to kill Medicare before 2031).
good grief. oh boy it sucks over there right now huh? [that’s how it seems to us all over here anyway, even with our NHS being gutted and asset-stripped under our noses [with Trump’s bug fat orange arse well in May’s face…]
I follow enough people in the UK on Twitter to be able to marvel, aghast, at what they’re doing to the NHS. My condolences on the Brexit mess too– how did we get stuck with these idiots? But yeah, I find the government less than ideal over here right now. New House of Representatives in January should make things more interesting, and thank goodness for sewing!
Sewing is the best therapy. Brexit is terrifying, and [like you predicament over there] the result of ignorance, blatant manipulation of the media, and despair giving in to apathy. I do what little I can as a teacher to open minds…