I have the spectre of a tudor dress hanging over me. My eight year old daughter has 'tudor day' next wednesday and must arrive in full costume. Apparently she would like to have royal status - Anne Boleyn might be a starting point. We had a note from the teacher yesterday that said;
'if you do not have anything suitable for your child to dress up in... we can lend your child something from the Drama Store'
But, in my skewed housewifely opinion, to admit to being unprepared to the teaching staff would be tantamount to admitting to being a neglectful mother.
'Oh' the teachers would say, 'there's the poor little girl/boy who is dressed in Romeo's outfit, but you see nothing else fitted her! We did try our best!'
In Kenya we do have options. There are 'side of the road' tailors where ever you look and they run up things very reasonably, so in truth, no need to make a dress myself. However, I am painfully aware that if you do delegate the making of the garment to somebody else, it could lead to misunderstandings and wasted fabric and possibly not at all what you wanted in the first place.
A friend of mine got a local tailor to come to her house yesterday to begin on her daughter's costume. As she was explaining how a tudor queen or princess would have looked and sketching things out, her confidence progressively waned as the 'fundi' in question kept saying,
'yes fine madam, yes fine, yes fine, yes I understand.'
She was thinking 'why the hell should this chap understand how wealthy English nobles looked in Britain in the 1500s? How on earth is this going to pan out?'
An added pressure is that my mother made me a fabulous tudor dress for my 'tudor day' when I was at primary school. It involved an old velvet bridesmaids dress and wire coat hangers and is deeply embedded in my memory. I am now feeling that 'what goes around comes around' and I had best knuckle down and get on with it. Also, I have three girls so I figure that it'll get some wear - even if it's just rolled out for tudor day three times then it will be worth it.
Being a cheap skate, I rooted through my collection of fabrics that I already have in a huge brown cardboard box and found some old but not too bad bits that could do the job. Sadly I cut out the pattern sort of 'free hand' and got it all wrong. The bodice was a slapdash disaster and much too small. Fortunately I have just enough heavy brown (watermarked) satin to try again, but there will be no room for more mistakes.
Am I a glutten for punishment or what? An eventful weekend at the sewing machine lies ahead but oh, it's so easy to think of 101 things I would rather do....like tap away on my computer for instance...