One of the things I cherish so about sewing is the ability to tap into the fantastical, imaginative, creative, romantic part of my heart. As a child, I loved dearly my dress-up box and the feeling of swathing myself in cast-off scarves and old nightgowns and my mom’s clothes from bygone days and becoming a different version of myself. I carry that transformative potential with me still, seeing the many facets of my wardrobe as opportunities to live in this world a bit differently every day.
Sewing, sometimes, can be place where I heighten that even more. I mentioned with my Medusa dress snowstorm pictures that I was looking forward to doing more photoshoots; when Morgan mentioned that their family’s cabin had beautiful stretches of woods and the most perfect river, I started planning out a frolic in the woods for us both.
I’ve had this fabric since last summer, and I knew I wanted to do something that used its full length. My dress I made using the Cashmerette Montrose top, cropped at the waist, with a gathered skirt attached. A length of black elastic over the top cinches it in. The bodysuit underneath in some pictures in the Seamwork Ariane. Morgan’s wrap is just a few rectangles stitched together.
Please settle in, put your mind in the forest where magical things happen, and enjoy.
for we in our youth
did these things
yes many and beautiful things
Sappho, fragment 24a (trans. Anne Carson)
Never in my life
had I felt myself so near
that porous line
where my own body was done with
and the roots and the stems and the flowers began.
Mary Oliver, “White Flowers”
Our feast is but beginning.
Night yet is early,
Warm and dew-pearly,
Wakeful and starry:
Such fruits as these
No man can carry…
Christina Rosetti, “Goblin Market”
Three things for which no one has found a word —
Wind in the poplar, tremor under the skin,
Deep in the flesh, a shiver of more than blood
When lovers, water, and leaves are wholly one.
May Sarton, “Three Things”
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Mary Oliver, “Wild Geese”
not wet so much as
painted and glittered
with the fat grassy
mires, the rich
and succulent marrows
Mary Oliver, “Crossing the Swamp”
make Pallas wonder,
yet your face
H.D., “Myrtle Bough”
My eyes are full of rivers and trees tonight,
The clear waters sprung in the green,
The swan’s neck flashing in sunlight,
The trees laced dark, the tiny unknown flowers,
Skies never still, shining and darkening the hours.
How can I tell you all that I have been?
May Sarton, “After a Train Journey”