Today I will shop for food and do some prep work in advance of cooking for four guests—none of whom have ben here before. Two are a lovely couple I have met in my building. (They have a heavenly dog, Frank.) Also coming is my long-time friend and incredible actor, Jillian and her man, Mike.
I am happy and relieved not to be sewing. I have done nothing but, for a full week of 10 – 12 hour days of it.
I am not walking. Neither have I been cooking, and it is all due to my having so many things to do for Trudeau, the Felons & Me. I have head forms to make of the two actors once they are cast, and their wigs have to be built. And I have to build the costume for Vivcean’s partner, Basil Follycraft-Proud.
Plus, Vivicean has a parasol as part of her costume and I need to make a shawl for her for her second scene. (Each time she has a scene she must change visually.) For Basil, I must build a paper cane and paper medals, and of top of all that, two re-writes of the script.
My house has become a studio. I have dumped my rug to make cleaning simpler and I can re-arrange everything easily to create lots of space. In my living room, I can work in the sunlight and there is plenty of space to walk around the dress forms.
I have learned so much about sewing: I now value the right needles, the right thread, using paper clips and clamps instead of pins, thimbles, waxing the thread, etcetera. But more than skills, I have found unparalleled joy in sewing. I may never stop making paper costumes. And it is very nice to be a writer—capable of concocting narrative to support extravagant paper costumes.
I sew on my feet, working on the draped fabric. That is fabulous. And I sit for the “routine” tasks such as gathering fabric onto twill tape or sewing both sides of a meter of ribbon in tiny stiches on thin, thin seams. I LOVE the mindless tasks because at the end you have something beautiful.
“Oh my God. Why haven’t I been doing this all my life?” I asked myself that today, and immediately remembered cutting up mothers clothing after she moved out of our home when I was in my mid-teens. I repurposed them; I converted all her furs into hats for friends who skied. And I made some of my own clothes in grade seven—that impressed the boys. Not. So this love of making things is not new; it is a reborn passion.