Sunday, January 19, 2014

Reflections On Things

I have been working on my Make-It-In-Two-Hours! dress for most of the entire day and I probably would have finished it by now if I hadn't decided to put pockets in it and the pattern did not come with pockets but pockets are easy. Of course I screwed up the pockets so half an hour with the seam ripper and then putting it all back together and by god, if I were in the eighth grade I probably would be done with it by now but I am not.
I am also remembering how much I hate facings. I hate those little fuckers. And they always end up screaming HOMEMADE DRESS! no matter how carefully you interface and trim and iron and sew.
My mother had a saying, "Ugly as homemade sin" and it is one of my favorites. In this case, I do believe this dress is going to be a homemade sin. And as ugly as that implies. Oh well. It can always be a beach dress, should I ever go back to the beach again. Or perhaps I will just donate it upon completion to a thrift store so that some bargain-hunting round woman with no taste can buy it for 25 cents and wear it to slop her hogs in.
At this moment, I hate sewing and besides that, the old, worn rubber belts of the antique and beloved Singer are going to come apart. They are fraying noticeably. I need to find some place to have the whole machine refurbished, belts and hoses replaced, tires rotated. I know that I at least have to make Gibson a name blanket and so will need it again although I seriously doubt I'll be sewing another dress in the near future. If one could still find beautiful fabric it might be a different matter but I think that day has come and gone. At least in Tallahassee. I hear you can buy fabric on the internet but how can you buy fabric without touching it? I have always bought clothing by feel more than by look. That is just the way I am.

Ah-lah. I have spent a Sunday, shoulders hunched over seams and seam-ripper, iron and machine and as I have worked, I have been listening to Barbara Kingsolver reading The Lacuna in my ears and so that is not a bad day, no matter what the dress ends up looking like. (Shit.) This is the second time I've listened to this recorded book and before I ever listened to it, I read it in print and guess what? I love it just as much as the first time. I love how Ms. Kingsolver does the voice of Frida Kahlo as well as the faithful secretary Violet Brown. She is a damn fine narrator, Ms. Kingsolver, and it thrills me to hear her voice as she gives voice to the characters she has brought to life with her writing.

So that has been my day along with a little laundry, even some hung on the line, and filling up the chicken waterers and that is about it. But I am not complaining in the least. It has been a day with little to no despair or anxiety, just a bit of normal frustration and also some guilt that I have not been outside more on such a beautiful day. The air has been of that sweet cool temperature and shade of moistness that foretells spring and whispers that the dirt is warming up, getting ready. False whispers, of course, but still, I could have done some trimming and tidying, cutting back and making ready.
But really- what does any of it mean? These are merely thing we do in our lives as the minutes and hours of them pass. We can play solitaire or bake cookies or paint pictures or write poems or repot plants or plant trees or make dresses or stitch designs into muslin or read or watch TV or study Latin if that is what we so desire. Some days are not meant for earth-shaking purposeful intent and we are but the tiniest of not-visible-to-the-naked-eye specks in the great river of time in this universe.

Or maybe I'm just a complete lame-ass.


Love...Ms. Moon


  1. Yes, it was a totally uneventful day here. I did not even go outside. I did stitch designs into fabric. And I had a nap. And glued a ceramic caterpillar back together that my aunt made for my nana about 35 years ago. (It was one of the few things I took from my nana's house after she died and I felt sick when it broke.)

    I really want to see that dress!

  2. Birdie- That sounds like a perfectly fine Sunday to me. Whatever gets you through Sunday is a damn fine thing.

  3. Mary at you can not only design your own fabric if you wish you can choose one of theirs and also order a swatch of anything for $5.00.

  4. "so that some bargain-hunting round woman with no taste can buy it for 25 cents and wear it to slop her hogs in."

    You have described me perfectly, minus the hogs. I will buy it! =) =)

    I'm glad you've had a black-dog free Sunday -as you say, those are always an accomplishment.

  5. i can fix or alter any garment, but for the life of me i can't correctly follow and size a sewing pattern. i think tomorrow i am lengthening some corduroy pants with some 70's ribbon and making a jacket fit my bust better.


  6. I can't sew for shit. Or type. Or do any of those things (except cook like a bastard).

    But I am presently reading my heroine Barbara Kingsolver's newest (I think) novel called Flight Behavior, and you cannot miss this one. It is remarkable. And I loved both Lacuna and The Poisonwood Bible, as well as my introduction to her work--Pigs In Heaven.

    I made a chicken pot pie for lunch and my sister-in-law came over (she has brain cancer) and we laughed and loved and ate like queens.

    It was a good day.

  7. Good for you for attempting to go back to sewing. I bet it isn't as bad as you say. When I was 13 I made a 3 arm hole dress in home ec (not by choice - we all had to make this thing) and it came out perfect but the pattern was for like a size 6 year old child - who knows what happened to that. About 10 years ago I took a sewing class thru an adult Ed program and had the courage to make placemats and a shower curtain - how could I go wrong, right? I love vibrant color and I chose or someone gave me this bright Chinese red fabric. I made the shower curtain out of it and it was blinding. I think it is in my "sewing cabinet" still. So a dress? With pockets? Give yourself some credit. And name blankets? You are a Martha Stewart talent in my eyes. Sweet Jo

  8. Honey, thanks for putting in the effort anyway. I live in an alternative reality where I weigh what I did in high school and anything looks good on me.

    Beth in la la land Coyote

  9. The idea of sewing a dress is so outlandish to me that I can only sit here in awe at your attempts. No matter how far-out they may be. Honestly.

  10. Well, I have a feeling that dress will come out much better than you fear. I hope you show us a photo!

    It's comforting, if a bit nihilistic, to think that in the end none of the things we agonize about will matter one whit because eventually we, and this planet and everything on it, will just be dust. I kind of like that idea, bizarrely. (It's the interim that's the problem!)

  11. Most days are meant for what is called mundane activity. I for one no longer have the energy to rise to the occasion of extraordinary days except every now and then. It's a relief!

    And, too, I love cleaning house, cooking, sewing on buttons and such (never learned how to use a sewing machine. They kind of scare me.)

    In the fairy tales, the heroines always do the housework while their sisters are nothing but couch potatoes. The heroines become proficient and end up living happily ever after. I'm all over the dusting, mopping and such. Oh yeah.

    Good luck with the dress!

  12. I'd love to hear it, I love the idea of writers reading thier own stories.

    Making your own clothes etc though - it's always such a nice thing in theory and you get all enthused, and then it doesn't work the way it is in your head/pattern and it just becomes a thing to be disappointed in even though you busted ass doing it. Blah, I hate that :)

  13. You should hold a blog contest and give the dress as the prize! Who doesn't need a frock to slop pigs in?!

    I made a blouse in Home Ec once and they were puffy, ruffled and had bands around them. One was a little smaller than the other, so it was ridiculous.

    I started crocheting a blanket. Um, I don't crochet.

  14. sounds like a good day to me. even with the sewing of an ugly homemade dress. been a long time since I sewed something for myself, like about 40+ years. I've made plenty of shorts and skirts and dresses for the grandkids though. I started taking apart of thrift store skirt that wasn't in the best shape when I bought it and is in even worse shape after wearing it for 10 years so I could use it as a pattern and make a new one and it's got the most complicated fucking pockets that I can't even figure out how to take them the fuck apart!

  15. I have a wonderful image of you in a quiet house on a sunny Sunday, leaning over a Singer (does it have a foot pedal? I'm gonna throw one in anyway), glass of sweet tea sweating on the table, Kingsolver's voice in the background, occasional toot of a train whistle... Lovely!

  16. sewing is a mystery to me so am mighty impressed.....knitting is another matter, bring me your needles and your wooly messes!!x

  17. I'm in awe of you anyway because I can't sew shit and have no patience to learn. Pockets would be mandatory for me though.

    Thanks for making me laugh today, and I hope you model your dress for us. I'm seeing you at the beach with shells in those pockets :)

  18. SEWING: always harder than you think. And for me, there's usually a wrestling match or two with the damn sewing machine. And yeah, that fucking interfacing....4-H memories return...isn't there a better way?
    I'm sure Elvis will adore you in that dress.

  19. Rebecca- Amazing! I can't wait to see what you ordered.

    SJ- Even the color of this dress, which I so liked at first, has become dreary to me.

    Mrs. A- Now see- I cannot do that at all.

    Akannie- I am glad to hear it.
    I am sure I will read that book.

    Sweet Jo- I would never think to make a shower curtain OR place mats. I get all my place mats at Goodwill. They have millions! I have gotten so lazy. A three armholed dress for a size six child. Ha!

    Beth Coyote- Yeah, I live there too. Then I wake up. It's ugly.

    Elizabeth- Eh, all women my age had to take home-ec. It's not that damn hard.

    Steve Reed- Facts like that comfort the shit out of me so there you go.

    Reya- But then doesn't the Prince come along and save the heroine from mundane chores? I am in complete wonder at anyone who loves to clean. Cleaning makes me angry. I swear.

    Jo- Probably, if we worked at it, we might get better and then we would not always be so disappointed. That's a theory.

    heartinhand- ANYONE can crochet. I swear. I bet you'll enjoy the doing of it, at least.

    Ellen Abbott- Okay. That made me laugh. Complex pockets? Good luck!

    Nancy- Of course it has a foot pedal! It's electric, though. And your picture is accurate except that I don't drink sweet tea. For some reason, they haven't kicked me out of the south yet.

    Youngatheart- My mother was that way with knitting. She was a wonder with the wool.

    Mel- Don't hold your breath on the modeling thing.

    Denise- Yes. Exactly. On all of that. I doubt Elvis will care much though. He would adore me in anything as long as I was bringing him food.

  20. Mary I ordered nothing. WAY TO $$$ for me.


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