Some garments leave you with a visceral memory of their construction.
I was living at home with my parents, I was starting my life over, and I was sewing by myself in my mom’s sewing room because that is what my life had been reduced to. It was overcast, so the room was filled with flat, gray light.
I was playing a CD in the background that my sister had sent me in a “you’ll get through this” care package. Seam by seam, I cut, I sewed, I pieced, and I meditated. The dress just flowed together in the way that well-drafted patterns do when you pair them with the right fabric. (This is Simplicty 2406, one of the Cynthia Rowley designs.)
At one point in the day, “Indestructible” by Robyn came on. As embarrassing as it is to admit that I had a defining moment inspired by techno-pop, it’s entirely true. When I heard the chorus (“I’m gonna love you like I’ve never been hurt before/I’m gonna love you like I’m indestructible”), I just connected with it.
I wasn’t anywhere even close to thinking about dating or starting a relationship, but I realized that in the future, when it was time, I would be able to find a way to move on. I didn’t have to stay broken, I could put myself back together, and I could be stronger. There’s something to the idea that allowing yourself to be vulnerable is an act of bravery and strength. So, thanks, Robyn (and my awesome sister), for your message of powerful vulnerability and your ridiculously good Body Talk album.
I finished the dress, I wore it the next day to meet up with a couple of treasured friends I hadn’t seen in years, and I gained a little peace of mind that day, just me, my sewing machine, and Robyn.
Here’s me, wearing the dress that next day (friends cropped out for their privacy):
Wearing the dress to work:
And wearing the dress in a photo that was on my OKC profile, where I met my current husband:
For sewists, your life story can be told through your wardrobe. This dress is proof.