Yesterday I turned 22!
(Before you ask: I loathe the Taylor Swift song of the same name, and all those who have sent it to me have been taken out back and made examples of. You’ve been warned.)
My family makes a Big Deal about birthdays. I’m an only child, so there were only three to celebrate each year; I suspect we would’ve put in less effort were there more of us to plan for. We do the gifts, the cake, the balloons and streamers blanketing the rafters. We cook and laugh and enjoy a closeness that I’ve come to realize is pretty unusual. In the past few years, though, I’ve felt weirdly pressured to pretend I don’t freaking love my birthday, because adults who still care about it are…weird? Stunted? I don’t even know.
But my mom turned [redacted – a lady never tells] last month, and we did the whole cake-and-streamers thing for the umpteenth time, and it was still great. It’s sad that people think they have to outgrow joy.
We ate dumplings and sponge cake on the back porch, as we have done for my past fifteen birthdays, and drank whiskey by the fire, as we have done for my past three. I wore my new purple dirndl dress, which just happened to be one of the hardest things I have ever made. Pull up a chair for my litany of woes.
First of all, it was my first time sewing a button placket, and my copy of Vogue 2960 was not at all clear. I had to reset the placement at least five or six times. And this fabric is pretty thin – it doesn’t take kindly to pinholes, of which I made dozens. It’s still a little puckered; I hope a wash will sort it out. After I finally got the placement right, I spent another two hours messing with my Kenmore’s buttonhole attachment before finally giving up and sewing them by hand. I think my buttonhole foot is missing a screw; it keeps rattling around, and I’m pretty sure I’m not doing anything wrong.
Among my other troubles:
- Cutting the bodice way, way too wide and having to take it in twice
- Cutting the shoulders too loose and having to yank the armholes up
- Misplacing the bust gathers on multiple tries
- Realizing that the shape of said gathers doesn’t suit any bra I own, and resigning myself to going without for these photos
Yeah. It was a trip.
But, all tantrums aside, this dress more or less resembles the pattern cover. Most of the flaws aren’t visible unless you squint. And I love the skirt. With a 130-inch sweep, it might be the fullest skirt I own. However numerous my bodice woes, my skirts always turn out well.
I picked up this hat at a flea market over the weekend, where I got four hats for four dollars. I also picked up some fresh ink, which I’m kicking myself for – I love the new design, but it’s supposed to hit 85 this weekend and I’m not allowed to go swimming. Tiny violin for me.