Episode 14: Breaking Up With My Dress

I think it’s time to start over.

I’ve been struggling with this thing I created for months now. It’s spent the last month or so stuffed into a County Market grocery bag, hidden on a chair or tucked into a corner of my craft bin, waiting for me to have an epiphany. And I think I just did.

The problem, I think, is that I’ve been approaching my handmade wedding dress as if it’s a relationship. In the beginning it was so exciting it made my heart flutter; I couldn’t wait to rush home and spend time watching TV with it; I bragged to friends and family about how awesome it was. I took it on vacation. Then when the project grew stale I went into denial. I’m not bored, I convinced myself, this is just what it’s like when you’re in it for the long haul. I tried to pretend that I just needed to hit a milestone, finish the skirt, start something new, and the spice would come back.

Then things seriously derailed when I tried on the skirt and found that it didn’t fit in all senses of the word. It didn’t fit my body and it didn’t fit my style or needs; it didn’t look like a wedding dress so much as a lacy sausage casing. I tried to rationalize that it was possible to save the thing by hiring a really talented seamstress to install some kind of magic liner; I assumed that, like a relationship, it was more important to work on salvaging what was there than to scrap it, throw on my sexiest pair of knitting gloves, and hit the internet in search of a new dance partner. (Okay, that’s enough with the metaphor.)

In truth, the dress as it stands is not right. Unlike my relationship (sorry, I lied about the metaphor being over), it’s not something I’m proud of and I don’t think it can or should be saved. I still have some insane quantity of yarn left, like four gallons or eighteen miles, and I still have my needles and the drive to do this right. I can learn from my mistakes and make something that won’t look completely tragic.

Maybe I’ll use the first-draft skirt as a reception dress, or just a fancy white party dress. I think it could work if I hiked the waist up to my armpits, stapled in some elastic, and called it tea-length. Like relationships (DIE DIE DIE), it’s pretty rare to get it right on the first try.

Here’s to better things ahead,

The Carpal Tunnel Bride

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