It’s always a bad sign when I wake up with a monster headache. It’s a worse sign when I decide to sleep in a little bit, and the headache only gets worse. This was not an auspicious start to a day in which I had to teach for several hours. Today was the day that I had set for my “Eloquent Epistles” workshop, a day-long foray into the joys of writing real notes and letters. Even a large dose of meds and a larger dose of tea did not fade my headache, so I just took a deep breath and went forward with my preparations.
My students today were five lovely young ladies, all of whom I have taught before and all of whom I am very fond of. We worked our way through various kinds of letters, from thank you notes to notes of encouragement and apology. During the breaks, the girls played outside and I tried not to scream in pain while preparing for the next session.
Meanwhile, Mary and Jordan went off to meet with the professor who will be officiating at the wedding, and Lina went off to meet up with her old piano teacher, who is a dear friend and I was so sorry to have to miss it!
During the last break, I got the bright idea of letting them try writing with a fountain pen, because I love fountain pens and want them to be loved by the new generation. So, I frantically went through my pen stash and was actually able to locate five fountain pens. One of them had been neglected for so long that the ink inside was dried and the plunger couldn’t go down because of it. I had to spend several minutes flushing it out with warm water before it was operational again.
The fountain pens were a big hit. I also had three kinds of dip pens that they could try, along with different colors of ink. I felt pretty smug. More people would write with fountain pens if they actually tried them! We also made envelope templates and then made envelopes using a small fraction of my massive “potential envelope” stash.
By the time the girls left at 4:00, my headache was a little less overwhelming, which was a good thing, because of course I still have a lot of wedding sewing to do. Which brings me to a dark place at the moment. The first thing I needed to do on the underdress was to sew the center back pieces together and then do the zipper. I was very, very careful. I sewed the back center seam and then carefully basted the zipper in place. I carefully sewed the first line of topstitching and almost cried when I saw how puckered it was. It was awful. I decided to sew the topstitching on the other side with the fabric upside down in case that had a better outcome. I carefully sewed the full length of the 22 inch zipper and then turned the fabric right side up to see how it looked. It looked horrific, because (and I can’t tell you how much I hate to admit this) I had sewn this second line of topstitching on the exact same side of the zipper as the first! Furthermore, I had somehow reset the stitch length without realizing it and the stitches were infinitesimally small.
In normal circumstances, when I do something this stupid after 46 years of sewing, I assume this means that God does not want me to sew right now, and I go have a good cry and forget about my project for a few days so I can recover from the trauma. But today, not only did I totally make a massive withdrawal from my LSA (lifetime stupidity allowance) while working on my daughter’s wedding dress–I did it while under extreme time pressure, so there was no hope of setting it aside.
All I could do was take a deep breath, pull out my seam ripper, and stare at that zipper till my eyes almost dried up. White fabric. White zipper. White thread. On the right side, the thread sank into the satin so it was impossible to pick out without damaging the fabric. On the wrong side, the thread was indistinguishable from the zipper tape. I had to pick out two long lines of tiny stitches with painstaking slowness–one stitch at a time. It took over three hours.
I wish I could tell you that when I finally got the seam picked out, I redid the topstitching and it looks fabulous. If I did tell you that, I’d be lying. I got the topstitching re-sewn, all right. It looks like it was done by an eight-year-old who drank a couple of Monsters while eating a large bag of Skittles before sitting down at the sewing machine. My only consolation, if such you can call it, is that this is after all the underdress, which means that it will be somewhat obscured by the chiffon overdress. And if you are coming to the wedding, I just have to beg you to please not look at the zipper on the back of the dress!