I made myself a dress. After reading all of Jane Austen’s novels last year, an empire dress seemed inevitable and not made any the less likely by having binge watched Bridgerton. I amused myself with full on Regency hair to boot, because it’s not like I was going anywhere and it kind of made me laugh. There are worse things to be than a Jane Austen character for the day! When I was young people used to swear that I looked just like Jennifer EhIe in Pride and Prejudice. I’m not sure that the resemblance still stands, but if there was ever a time for it to show, I suppose it would be while I was dressed like this.
I made my littlest love a dress as well. I haven’t really sewn in a year. The last thing that I made was a dress for Mairi for a dance last Valentine’s Day. There was a quickly thrown together Halloween costume fiasco, where Elijah practically propped me up at a machine and handed me everything I needed, while I just settled for trying to make sure that things stuck together, but that doesn’t really count. I sewed Mairi two dresses last year and Seraphina none and this is a very sore spot. The fact that Seraphina gets piles of hand-me-downs, both from Mairi and friends, and had at least ten new-to-her and perfectly lovely dresses last year and Mairi had zero hand-me-downs from anyone, means nothing to her. All that matters is that I sewed Mairi dresses and not Seraphina.
I bought myself the fancy little French violet candies, in the charming little tin, which have been kicking around the back of my head for two decades. And now I taste like violets. I thought about getting roses, because it would be fabulous to have roses right now…maybe pale, pale apricot ones? But decided that it would be wiser to invest in a new house plant to pad out my rather paltry indoor garden. I spend a couple of weeks obsessing. Did you know that Etsy offers tons and tons of house plants?? I did not. Game. Changer. In the end I wanted so many that I couldn’t decide on just one, so I didn’t get any at all, which is so very like me. As it turns out, a friend ended up in possession of a whole bunch of just past their prime flower bunches and she left one on our driveway. So, there were flowers after-all.
I put little piles of pink foil covered chocolate hearts next to each of their plates because, as it turns out, candy is as welcome with my adult children as the six year old. The kitties got heart shaped treats and catnip. The home-made sugar hearts (and flowers and chicks) went out with the girls’ valentines.
Mine is the Folkwear Empire Dress pattern. Hers is cerisier en fleurs on top, with just a simple skirt I whipped up on the bottom. All of the fabric came from our old homeschooling co-op, where we maintained a community fabric stash. It was two old duvet covers with coordinating fabric on front and back. By the time I got to them, there had been some random head holes and things hacked into them in wild form, by children playing who-knows-what game. Luckily there was still enough fabric left. We over-dyed it and the yarn for Seraphina’s with avacado pits and peels because I look god-awful in white and, besides, nothing in this house stays white for long.
I resisted the temptation to add on the optional train, but oh, it was hard! Highly impractical, I know, but gosh, it would have been so much fun! Still making a dress from the late 1700′s/early 1800′s seemed eccentric enough. I actually think I’ll be able to get away with it as regular wear, without too many people pointing and giggling. Certainly without the ribbons in my hair. And probably dropping the sash as well.
These days I try to live part time in a fantasy. Balanced with as much time as I can endeavoring to be very, very present with my kids. It’s easier to pretend myself a stricken fairy tale character than to fully face the very unromantic, though still somewhat tragic, medical and practical realities of my world. I’m not really ready to look at everything head on. Just a periphery glance will do, thank you very much. Or maybe the modern day version…those gorgeous women on Instagram who swan around in dreamy dresses, putting pretty little touches around their homes, and writing their rose covered lives out like poetry. Yes, I think I want to be her for a while.