By Rebecca Demarest
I made almost all of my own dresses for my high school formals. Junior Homecoming was not going to be an exception, but this time I decided to tackle one of the most difficult patterns there is; a Vogue
I pulled into a
He leaned into the window, resting his forearm on the top of the car. His musk reminded me of summer football. “Nice car,” he said and then pointed over his shoulder to his parking spot. “I’ve always been a fan of the Dodge Neon.” I looked at the Ram on the steering wheel of my blue Neon and then glanced over my shoulder at his black Neon.
“I like her, she drives well.” I looked up at him through my lashes, trying to be coy, decided I like being able to see his smile better, and looked straight into his brown eyes.
“It’s too bad yours is an automatic, takes all the fun out of it.”
“I’m sure you do. I’ll see you around, Becca.”
After the fabric was cut, I focused on getting the seams of the outer dress sewn at the perfect three-quarter inch width. There is a kind of Zen meditation that falls over me while I’m sewing the long, straight lines of a dress. I could go forever, pushing the foot pedal and inching forward until I need to stop, rearrange the material and my hands, and then continue forward another foot, two feet. Long seams are the easiest and fastest things to sew, so much better than zippers and boning; seams are kind of like stretching before you start strenuous exercise.
I am in my typical spot in the bleachers at the football game. I go to every home game, third section, thirteen rows up, on the left hand side
The game is rough, he goes out to catch his breath after a
I wait for him outside of the locker room, but of course he’s one of the last out. He and coach always liked to discuss the game while it
I take a step after him, but can’t decide what to say, what
While I love wearing corsets, creating one to provide support in a strapless dress is about as fun as trying to reassemble a broken vase when all you have is bubblegum. There are so many small pieces of fabric that have to be just right and the boning never wants to bend in the direction that it needs to. But even though it takes forever to put the jigsaw together, it is always worth it when you are through.
It has to be perfectly tight; loose enough so you don’t faint and tight enough that when you raise your arms and breath out it doesn’t fall to your waist. That balance is hard and it may take three or four adjustments of the seams.
“Hey!” I run to
“I have to work that night, but I’m going to try to get there for the last hour.” He stops and turns towards me. “You going?”
“Well, yeah, with my friends,
He turns down the hallway towards the library and I stare after him for a moment, a silly grin on my face, before I continue to the yearbook room. My advisor is standing over the printers which have decided to be difficult, again. Dropping the corrected proofs onto his desk, I ask, “Have we decided who’s taking pictures for homecoming yet?”
He stops tugging on the jammed paper long enough to push
My smile falters and falls away. “Well, I guess…Look, I don’t technically have a date. I…I can take care of it.” I pick up the camera, fiddle with the zipper, hoping he’ll say no.
Of course, sewing is much simpler when things don’t go wrong. If everything worked the way it was supposed to - the machine didn’t jam, the instructions were clear - everybody could sew. The bolero jacket looked simple enough; I’d read over the directions and
My mom and I scoured the directions, looking for where I’d gone wrong. Turns out it wasn’t me at all, the directions were just out of order.
I hand over my ticket at the door and walk down a balloon tunnel to the gym where the decorating committee had managed to turn our bleacher-ed and basketball hoop-ed monstrosity into something resembling a child’s fantasy of heaven. There was loads of bunting in awkward streamers, crisscrossed strings of Christmas lights, and cut out clouds. All that was missing were the angels playing harps.
“Hey, Becca! You’ve got the yearbook camera, great, take a picture of us!”
“Sure, just a sec. Do you know if he’s here?”
“Haven’t seen him. Great dress. Later!”
I circulate the floor, hoping to spot his tall, Arcadian figure striding across the plywood to where I am. I take picture after picture
My best friend drags me upstairs to the official photographer and insists on paying the eleven dollars for our picture
It is thirty minutes before the end of the dance.
The yearbook camera drops on its
Hemming is the last step to any dress. It has to be last because you need to know exactly how the dress is going to sit before
About The Author
Rebecca A. Demarest is an award-winning author, book designer, and technical illustrator living in Seattle, WA with her husband. Together, they maintain a household jungle, cater to a dog-like cat named Cat and a Portuguese Water Dog named Teal’c. When she isn’t writing, you can find her at the Bureau of Fearless Ideas teaching the youth of Seattle how to get their ideas onto the page, crocheting, embroidering, and playing lots of Dungeons and Dragons. She is currently working on the sequels for everything, so, before you ask, yes, you’ll find out what happened to Benny, Sophia will keep sticking her nose in dangerous places, and Thea will find the seedy underbelly of Oz.
Rebecca’s website: http://www.