Come back in memory with me, to a sunny Sunday in September. I have the pieces for two long, flowing sleeves in front of me and I really, really want to finish them today. Like, REALLY.
If I didn’t, it would be so inconvenient. You see, a dear friend asked me to help him with a custom costume a couple months prior and we had only a little bit left to finish. However, he needed the tricky bits done by the next day because he left on back to back business trips and wouldn’t return before traveling to Salem for the Halloween festival. If the sleeves were done, he could finish what was left in the evenings in his hotel. If I didn’t get it done, then I would be faced with the very tedious endeavor of getting the rather voluminous costume across the country by mail. Oh, and I was due to give birth to my son on that Tuesday. So, obviously: the sleeves must be finished!
The complication? I was pretty sure that my water broke earlier that morning. I call Labor & Delivery to check in, but the nurse didn’t seem in a hurry to have me come to the hospital. Perfect! I have lining and fashion fabric to cut out and organza to hem!
My friend and my mother arrive, and we buckle down to work. Cutting, measuring, fitting, the whole nine yards. Which it was, because did I mention the sleeves were going on a CLOAK? Around 10am or so, I feel some twinges that could be contractions. I get out my phone, open up my contraction-timing-app, and tap its big red button to start and stop the timer while I hem the organza.
Chug chug chug, stitch stitch stitch, pause, tap, chug chug chug, cut thread, start a new piece, chug chug chug, pause, tap, stitch stitch stitch. Sometimes I notice the contraction after it had already started, and some I miss entirely. I am not worried.
And so it continues for another two hours. SO. CLOSE. to finishing these sleeves!
Around 11:30, I notice the contractions are getting strong enough for me to notice them every time. I make a mental note and promptly return my attention to pinning the crap out of some slippery velour (seriously, I swear it’s made of Teflon). My mom taps my arm to tell me I’m grimacing. I’m not sure if it’s because of the velour or because the contractions are starting to ramp up, but I blame the velour anyway.
At just about noon, I get hit with a no-nonsense contraction. It meant BUSINESS. I involuntarily grit my teeth and hold my breath. ButbutbutBUT I have just ONE MORE SEAM.
After I finish the seam, ignoring the hovering by my partner and mother, I write out instructions for the remaining work to be done and hand it off. I let my friend know he is welcome stay at the house to use my sewing machine for whatever he needs. My partner hands me my phone with the Labor & Delivery number all ready to go. Delivery nurse answers and tells me it’s time to come in and have a baby!
Tune in next week for the conclusion! (Spoiler: there’s a baby involved)