Keep in mind that my daughter has been a procrastinator since before birth. It was a dark snowy January night when she arrived on the scene, and she had to be yanked out then.
Over a month ago Hillarey bought fabric for a new dress to wear to a friend’s wedding. She also picked out the yarn and pattern for a lace shawl that I agreed to knit. On July 28 I cast on for her Happy Trails shawl. I knew I was working on a deadline.
Hill had picked out some pearls that perfectly matched the olive green satin she’d chosen for her dress. The beads were to be knitted on the picot edging so I knew I had a few weeks before they were needed. The holes were tiny and wouldn’t fit on the fingering weight llama yarn. I tried drilling them but it was miserable and I couldn’t seem to make any headway. In fact, I shattered several pearls with the pliers I was using to hold them.
One night Chris and I took Hillarey and Lance to see Long Way Down at the theater. (Hillarey had seen Long Way Around and suggested we rent it. Great movies – go rent copies.) She told me she needed a bit of help with the darts. I told her I was struggling with the pearls and handed them off to her. She came over later and we got the darts lined up.
About three weeks along I finished the main body knitting on Hill’s Happy Trails. On the next weekend Hill handed off pearls that she’d managed to ream.
Last weekend I finished the shawl and put it on the blocking wires Monday before heading to the farm. Hill called during the week and said she was going to need some help making the dress fit and putting in the invisible zipper.
Zippers. Invisible zippers. It’s been a few years since I’ve done any serious garment construction and zippers were never my forte. This didn’t sound fun.
Yesterday I pulled the shawl off the wires. It was better than I’d hoped. (See photos below.) We agreed to meet today to finish the dress. The dress for tonight’s wedding. We got started on the dress about 10:30. She was right. She needed fitting help. The bodice was just a bit too tight so I took out the center back darts. Thread by thread I picked out stitches from the delicate satin, then I reattached the skirt to the bodice. It made a huge difference in how the dress fit. Things were looking good.
Then I pulled the zipper out of the sleeve. Now I’m no dummy. I read the directions. I ironed down the coil and pinned it in place before I started stitching. Not so bad, I told myself as I eased the zipper up. Then… it stuck. Right where the bulk of the fabric is at the join of the skirt and bodice. It wouldn’t budge. I cursed. I tugged a little harder. I cursed a little harder. Then I yanked it. It broke. The freaking green zipper broke!
One side went one way, the pull stayed put and so did the other side. Broken zipper.
Hill was calm. I was pissed at myself. I was pissed at the zipper. She told me she needed to run to Hobby Lobby to get something to finish the necklace she was going to wear. It’s 1:15pm. She said she’d just pick up a zipper while there. So off she went across town while I picked out the zipper. Thread by thread.
My phone rang. Hobby Lobby had no green zippers. Black and burgundy. Buy ‘em both I told her. There was a bit of plum in the pattern on the dress. Maybe it’d be okay.
By 2:51pm I had the new black zipper in. It worked like a dream! All that remained was the hem. I had Hill slip into the dress so I could mark the hem. Then she ran home to put on makeup, paint her toenails, and finish her necklace. She’d give me a call to pick her up so she could dress at our place. Lance, her boyfriend, was the best man and he’s also the lead guitarist for the band so he was already at the wedding venue by this time. I’d drop her off so they only had one vehicle to keep up with after the shindig.
By 4:40pm I finished hemming the dress and had picked up Hillarey. She was putting the finishing touches on her necklace so it would match the dress. She’d also managed to pick up a purse at the vintage shop across the street from her apt that matched her shoes.
The woman was pulling it all together.
The thread on the sewing machine was green. Chris had green twill pants that needed hemming so I thought I’d squeeze in one more task. Suddenly she looked up and asked the time. I glanced at my watch. 4:57pm. Panic!
The wedding was scheduled to begin at 5:15pm. She grabbed her shoes, purse and shawl. I grabbed my keys. We flew. The Dresser Mansion where the wedding was being held was only a few blocks away. She put on her shoes in the car and wondered aloud what she was doing wearing high heels. I told her just to walk slower. Everything would be fine. At twenty-three my daughter is your basic hippy kid. She wears Birks. She wears patchwork skirts and tank tops year round.
As I pulled up in front of the Dresser Mansion, she slipped the lace shawl around her shoulders and stepped from my Jetta wagon. People were behind me waiting to park. People were streaming down the sidewalk. All I could see of Hillarey was a partial profile. In that half beat moment I saw a poised and elegant young woman, dressed in satin and lace and totally owning the moment. Then she disappeared into the crowd.
Some days are filled with drama. But completely worth it.