Monday, November 28, 2011

Just Writing

swish-swoosh.  the bright blue velvety swath floats down onto the floor. 

whooosh, smooth out all the creases, ease the seams into line

zzzzsnip, zzzsnip the sharp blades even up the ragged edges of the hem. 

snap out the brocade, the sparkly gold threads woven into a story of flowers and leaves, pink, purple, green and gold wandering up and down the turquoise field. Match the edges up again and draw the cutting line-- pen marks dash-dash-dash along the curving arc, the elegant sweep of a train. 


I'm making Sofi a dress. A medieval gown to wear on her field trip on Friday. As I finger the satins, the brocades and faux furs, the beading and cording and gold chain, I sense the excitement of the urge to create Beauty. To take all this treasure, swirl it around in my magic chamber and pull out a dress of such craft that when she puts it on, she will be transformed into a Lady.

 I've done this so many times before, and I never get tired of it.


My grandfather taught my mother to sew in his upholstery shop when she was a child. She worked for him in the summers sometimes. In college, she made costumes for the drama department (her drama department). When I was eight, she helped me make my first dress. It was green with little white flowers on it. I put it on and I felt pretty. And grown-up. And I also felt that first stirring of the joy of using my own hands to create something beautiful. That is a significant feeling for an eight-year-old.

My mother taught me to sew, one of the many wonderful gifts she gave me. She taught me to make dresses and slack and blouses and hats and baby clothes and towels and table cloths. But. She also taught my sisters and me to make Costumes. She taught us how to take a drawing, the beginnings of a dream of an evening of beauty and joy, and turn it into a reality. She took us to the fabric shop and we bought satins, brocades and faux furs, beading and cording and gold chain, feathers and pearls and diamonds. We took them home to our magic chamber, swirled them around and pulled out dress after dress after dress of such craft that when we put them on, we were transformed....


OH! It was such FUN!


linking up with Heather, from The Extraordinary Ordinary, for this week's Just Write.


Polly said...

Now I'm all smily and warm and wonderful inside. You've captured it--such delight! Thank you Mom--so very much!! You gave your girls a very lovely gift. :)

Hosanna said...

Yeah..... fun times. :)

Gramoni said...

You're making me cry. Sometimes you know that mothering is worth the effort!

However, a lot of those things you make, you taught yourself to make. Have to be honest...

Also, so much fun for me to make for you all. Even Hosanna, (semi- adopted daughter) whose blue dress that I made was too tight, but she was kind enough to wear it anyway--and looked fantastic in it!

Jenn and Casey said...

Awww!!! Love this. Beautiful dresses!