Every year I make the last dress of summer. (Some years I make it more than once.) Even here in Greater Suburbopolitan San Francisco … digression: I really have trouble with the phrase “the Bay Area” — I mean, it sounds like something you tell your doctor when you have an embarrassing ailment: “It hurts in … [vague gesture] the general bay area.” Also: lots of places have bays: Massachusetts, Tampa, Wisconsin [they have a Green one!].
Sorry, epic digression. As I was saying … hereabouts … where it will be summerishly warm for another couple of weeks, at some point in October lightweight and light-colored cottons start to feel seasonally inappropriate. And judging by the number of people I saw in the city wearing corduroy and tights today (when I was perfectly comfortable in a sleeveless dress), I’m not the only one who inclined to go by the calendar instead of the thermometer.
I really like the key motif. (Prediction: I think keys are the new bicycles. They may even be the new birds, mustaches, and owls.)
The way you can tell when you’re sewing the last dress of summer is that it takes a real effort to finish it. When you started it, you were excited to get it finished so you could wear it, but then at some point … you slow down. You start to fondle pieces of corduroy in your fabric stash, and think about what might look good with boots and leather jackets. You work on it, not because you want to hasten the wearing of it, but because you need the cutting table for something that has sleeves, or is mustard-colored, or that is plaid (or all three).
If you give in to giving up, if you don’t buckle down and finish the last dress of summer, one of two things will happen: there will be a freak early-fall heat wave just when you are SOOOO BORED with all your summer clothes, and/or you will gain or lose a size-changing amount of weight before summer dress time rolls around next year. This is guaranteed. If you *do* finish it, though, you’ll only wear it a couple-three times before it gets autumned out by last year’s unfinished Last Dress of Winter wannabe, which you will finish immediately after finishing the Last Dress of Summer. This is also guaranteed.
The upside is that the Last Dress of Summer often turns out to be The First Dress of Spring, because when you dig it out on the first warm day next year, it will feel absolutely brand-new.
There are other ceremonial-slash-seasonal types of clothing, of course … some of my favorites are The First Day of Wearing Those Tights You Bought On Clearance Last Spring That You Thought Would Never Go With Anything, But Somehow This Year Work, and It’s Still Too Cold For Sandals But These Are Super-Cute Day (in Chicago this would happen in late April/early May), and everyone’s junior-high favorite, First Day It’s Cold Enough to Wear Your Fashionable Back-to-School Sweater. (Which, when I was in junior high in Florida, didn’t usually happen until after Thanksgiving. Torture!) And of course many people celebrate Charmingly Ironic Holiday Sweater Day (or week) as well as (under varying levels of duress) the annual Day of Wearing the Gift Well-Meaning Relatives Gave You Last Year at This Event.
Of course, you can’t take these seasonal influences too far … or you wind up with this.
What’s your last dress of summer?