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.