So here we are, the hem is almost finished and with it the mammoth task of making a wedding dress. I promised it by the end of the month and, phew, I'm almost there in the nick of time.
Just before this photo was taken I shed a few unexpected tears. The emotion of all this sewing, the importance of such a task as this was suddenly overwhelming. I had been having a bit of a hemming crisis - this morning I unpicked everything I'd done last night as I just wasn't happy with it. By this afternoon (having had to rush out for more thread - those hoops and frills just used it all up - ha ha!) it still wasn't really going right - I think my eagerness to deliver the dress today wasn't really helping. I'd been thinking a lot about my Mum and how I really want to thank her for having taught me to sew - thanks for getting me into this mess, Stick! - and wondering what advice she would give me to sort out the blasted hem. Then I realised, she would, without doubt have asked for some heavenly assistance. In fact I could almost hear her saying "Right, Lord, what are you doing here? Why isn't this working? What are you trying to teach me?" So, I asked exactly the same questions. Unfortunately I don't know what the answers were/are but I did feel able to carry on and finish.
I subscribe to the podcast of Desert Island Discs and the last one I listened to was Alfie Boe. I hadn't heard of him before but he sang in Les Miserables and Moulin Rouge...You can find out more at http://www.alfieboe.com/
Anyway, the poignant bit was when he talked about his Dad. Alfie was the baby of 9 children and very close to his father. He tells how he held his Dad as he was dying and even felt him leave. I can totally relate to that! And then he said that his Dad had told him this: "When I'm gone, there will be a point in your life when you'll see me." For Alfie, that was going into the kitchen, making a cup of tea and noticing his hand and the way he stirred the tea.
I suppose this has been on my mind with all this sewing. My Mum sewed a lot. Amongst other things she would make me miniature versions of her Laura Ashley dresses when I was a child. I learnt by watching, listening and trying it myself. I'm still learning. But I realised today that I sew in the same way as she did - too many pins in my mouth (such a bad habit), foot slightly at an angle on the electric pedal (Mum had a reason for this. Rheumatoid Arthritis meant that her foot wasn't very straight and that was the most comfortable position. I have no reason at all!), the knack of biting off more than you can chew but managing to swallow it anyway (is that me?!)....
Yep, scarily, I am turning into my mother!!! It's a revelation, but why am I that surprised? And actually I'm proud of all that she achieved so I'd say she's not a bad example to follow.
No more tears, just happiness at having been given this gift. Now to try to work out what to do with it!