Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The end is nigh....

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

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! 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jo,

    Have now added your blog to my list to follow. Have a look at mine when you have a minute. Hope the wedding dress turned out well!


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