This was Sunday, three days ago. I actually finished making this dress about a week before Christmas. Sunday was the third time I wore it. It is a special dress, made in a lonely two evenings to seduce my husband. I should qualify that. I suppose if it were made absolutely exclusively to seduce my husband, it would look a lot different—more scarce, perhaps, and I certainly wouldn’t be posting a picture of me in it on a blog for the world (that would be my friend Gaylynn, some cousins, and an in law or two) to see. So, it was made also (secondarily) for picking my husband up at the airport, for going out with him, and ok, yeah, I could wear it to church too. If Frank happened to be with me. Which he isn’t a lot lately–he travels so much.
This dress is also special because I tweaked my pattern and made-do, and was actually exhilarated by the creative outlet I discovered in the process. I had some rich, velvety burgundy corduroy that I bought probably five years ago for some other, forgotten purpose (this is so typical of me). I had a pattern left behind by my mother—the result of a frenzied brainstorm for an evening dress for my little sister Nola. I was missing Frank. I wanted something Jackie O meets hippy chick. So I squared off and extended the top of the bodice pieces into peasant blouse lines while I cut them out, and treated the neckline to a little elastic. The sleeves were originally tiny raglan caps (a natural for peasant blouses); I lengthened them (a lot) and put elastic around the sleeve ends. I found a perfect bit of ribbon with beads and sequins, bits of orange and pink and pearl on an antique gold ground, that complemented the burgundy without over-matching it. If I were to change anything, I’d make the neckline lower, and alter the back waist to fit me better (my Grandma’s ancient Elizabeth Bishop troubleshooting book has diagnosed me as “swaybacked”). Frank loves the dress.