A new dress, and almost 39

I started sewing my 4th Demeter Dress during winter break, back in January, but ended up stopping after just sewing the darts and getting the bias facing clipped on, because sewing in our very cold basement just wasn’t super enjoyable (plus, you know, the semester started and life has been exhausting). But our exercise bike is in the same room as the sewing machine, and so I’ve been staring at this heap of blue ikat fabric every morning when I do my exercise, thinking “I should really finish that dress” and then just…not doing it.

New Demeter Dress!

Well, yesterday, when I was exercising, I remembered that we were supposed to wear blue for our ukulele orchestra performance at church this morning. Now, I have no shortage of blue in my wardrobe, so it’s not like I needed to sew a dress (remember when I actually did need to knit a whole cowl to have something yellow to wear?). But I saw that heap of blue ikat fabric and thought…that’s blue! I could wear it tomorrow! And that was enough of a motivation to finish it (plus the fact that it’s slightly less frigid in our basement now that it’s April, even though we’re having quite a chilly April).

New Demeter Dress!

The fabric is essentially the same as I used for my black ikat dress, just light blue instead, though the white “plus signs” are a bit crisper in the black fabric than in this one, where the white threads end up making stripes. It’s fine both ways, and I just love the way this fabric feels.

New Demeter Dress!

This dress is a nice birthday gift to myself. I turn 39 on Tuesday, and it feels pretty…non-eventful. I’m going to be doing a bunch of 1×1 conferences over Zoom with my writing students, and just generally dealing with end-of-semester business, made even worse by my university’s decision to eliminate our mask mandate, which has led to rising cases not just of COVID but of everything else, and students are understandably struggling to do their work. (So far, my own mask seems to be keeping me healthy, but it’s nervewracking as hell to teach to a mostly-unmasked group of students). The other day during class, I mentioned that I’d run the Boston Marathon twice, and my student who is from Boston asked which years, so I said “2003 and 2004”. Guess what year my student was born? 2003. I mean, on some level I knew that I’d reached the point where I’m 20 years older than my first-year students, but gosh, that makes me feel so old! We’ll see how this last year of my 30s goes. On the whole, my 30s have been great; this has been the decade in which I grew into parenthood and just gained a lot more confidence and understanding of myself in the process. I’m honestly feeling pretty grim about what is in store for my 40s, just given the way everything in the world seems to be going, but I’m going to try to keep learning and loving my people and making the best of whatever comes.


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