Would you Adam and Eve it? I, Alienora, long renowned for having two left thumbs and the sewing ability of a dead platypus, have started creating a costume for the forthcoming Silent Eye weekend of ritual drama!
As I said to a friend: Cooking?! Sewing?!! At this rate, I shall be crocheting antimacassars and playing light airs upon the virginals!
Could it be that I, tomboy from my earliest years, am turning into a girly?
So, there I was, with two weeks to go, no nearer getting my colourful costume sorted than I had been back in January. Until, that is, sudden inspiration sleeted down from the firmament and showed me a potential way out: A way of dealing with the problem using ribbon and safety pins, that is! I was going to adorn my famous purple cloak with Beltane-like streams of bright ribbonage so that, by the end, I looked something like an ambulant Maypole! Just hoped, to Goddess, that no-one grabbed hold of the ends and tried to plait me during the first ritual!
Secure, or so I thought, in the known and easy-to-cope-with strategy, I popped into town, heading – by a wonderful irony – for Sew Over the Moon (the wool shop I referred to in a previous post!).
Once there, my inner kid-in-a-sweet-shop took over! The colours, my dears! The fabrics! The feathers, buttons, gew-gaws and Magpie-attracting shiny, glittery things! There was a container full of off-cuts of various different kinds of material. Don’t ask me what they were; I am still at the most basic level on this and have yet to get beyond ‘shiny’ ‘rough’ ‘smooth’ and ‘sequinny’!
I grabbed hefts of purple, green, glittery net turquoise and sequinned silver, added feathers and a spring flower assortment of silky ribbons – and a few other things I’ll keep a secret for now! Safety pins completed my purchase and, pausing only to tell the very nice lady shop owner about the telephonic mix-up (basically, she had decommissioned a number, but this had not been sorted properly by the Powers That Be, at time, Cretinous!). We laughed!
Home, I placed all the bolts of brightly-hued material upon the kitchen table – and saw, immediately, that they were much bigger than I had initially realised. The purple piece, in particular, was easily large enough to make a skirt – and the silvery stretch, added to purple, had great potential as a bodice.
I bought a basic sewing kit soon after arriving here – not, I hasten to add, with dress-making in mind; no, it was for repair purposes only.
But I surprise myself sometimes! Increasingly so! Out came the pins and needle. After a few false starts, and the odd minor puncture wound, I had lilac cotton threaded through the teeny eye of the needle and, Na Fili giving it some serious Celtic welly in the background, put sharp implement to soft cloth for the first time in decades!
I’ve a long way to go on Project Ali’s Costume. My sewing would not pass muster with those more experienced in the art than I – and it may well be that the whole thing falls apart during the first ritual!
But I am so pleased, so happy, so bucked by this! I have faced another of my ‘I am not a proper woman’ demons – and kicked the insidious little shit into touch!
I can sew! I can cook! And, even if I couldn’t, I am still a perfectly good example of womankind and do not have to keep hiding behind the tough tomboy persona!
My costume will reflect something I have long identified with and hold especially dear. It ties in with all manner of other traditions, symbols and moments. But I shall say no more for now – simply leave you with a couple of images and let you imagine the rest.
Now: Back to the sewing board!
In my own way, I am a champion! Not because I’ll ever win prizes, or come top, for sewing; but because I have faced up to the fear of failing as a seamstress and started making my very own costume irrespective of its merits as judged in the wider community!