There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio, / Than are dreamt of in your philosophy [science]. – Hamlet to Horatio, William Shakespeare
Of Fabric and Time
The dress had been set aside for quite some time while I pondered reconstruction.
It had a center back seam I could cut but the lower panel was gathered and that would make it more complicated to match the seams. Best to keep it simple and cut the sides. I opted to do one side at a time so I could measure and keep it equal with the opposite side.
Material cut, panels measured, thread ready. Sitting at the sewing machine, piecing everything together, I had an idea of what it might look like and began to sew, opting for pre-cut patches as a quick fix at the shoulder seam to give the top more room.
Listening to the steady buzz of the sewing machine, mind drifting, I gradually noticed a thought stream relating to being sad at missing the beautiful weather outside because sewing was always a first priority.
I first attributed the thoughts to a person who had worked on the garment in a factory or sweat shop because the label said ‘hand creation’ and I began to feel sorry hoping it didn’t reflect on their life situation. As I continued to hear more of the thoughts it was clear I was being given information. It was interactive.
This person said she had been a seamstress.
I asked why had I not heard from her before now? She told me, “You did not require my assistance.”
What changed? “I was encouraged when you brought out the sewing machine.”
Filling me in on a bit more of her story, she said she was a former resident of the house and earned a living by sewing. It was a lot of work. Even on the nicest day, she could not afford to play or the work piled up.
As it turns out, she is also the one who turns off my coffee pot and fiddles with the dryer.
Unlike my husband who can set the dryer on automatic and anticipate it running through the cycle as designated, I have to select a specific time or it will shut off a few minutes after it has been started. Same thing with the coffee pot. It will brew and then it’s a guess whether it will shut itself off within a few minutes or stay warm for the designated hour. (Coffee pot number two – because we thought the other one wore out.)
These things she has done to get my attention. I chalked it off to another quirk to work around.
After I realized we had a dialogue rather than a monologue, I asked her if there was anything she wanted me to know.
She offered advice on my dress. My original plan had been to use denim panels on both sides to add more width to the dress and keep it uniform on both sides.
She suggested one side panel and a pocket to tie the look together. I followed her instruction and it turns out I like the asymmetrical look. Her idea was better than mine.
I don’t know if I will hear from her again. It seems she may have intended to remain in the background – just toying with me for mucking about in her kitchen space -until the sewing machine caught her attention. I have a few more projects in mind.
I do know one thing. She has a creative eye. Her ideas are worth listening to.
Was it me or she who called to Andy last night? 7.13.21. At first, he thought it was me. He heard a very soft whisper. My voice: “Andy? Andy?” Asking if he was awake.
I was asleep.
I’ll follow up in a future post with another interesting story about this house worth sharing: Where the bones are buried…