It was so long ago but how could I ever forget? The burlwood of the sewing machine gleamed, like a treasured possession. And there she was -- perched on the edge of a chair, her slender back as straight as a ballerina's. The pins in her mouth, the fabric in her hands, the spool standing at the ready.
No patterns were too complicated. The tucks, the pleats, the ruching. She did her own variations, riffing a slimmer sleeve, inventing a longer cuff, creating a placket where none had been before.
Into the night, deep into the night. I could hear the whirring -- a lullaby-- from my room.
My dresses were the prettiest. I wore one - a delicate French lace - to my senior dance. I wore another --a fine Belgian linen -- to my graduation. I was never embarrassed. Ever.
Where ever did you get that dress? they asked.
My mother made it, I replied.