A Maria vision in calico

I felt a bit like Maria in TheSound of Music.

Not the good all-singing, all-dancing Maria, the Maria that sews fairly dodgy play clothes made out of old curtains for her charges.

I was galloping through that job list that gets transported from one diary to the next every year, annually written down with best intentions but with that secret knowledge that it might never, ever happen.

But there I was, stuck at home along with the rest of the world and crossing off those little things like a trouper (and wondering why I never did them years earlier).

I'd gurneyed the paths, cleaned the windows, whitened the shower recess, touched up some paint and I was tackling the sewing pile. There is a piece of material there that I have wanted to make into a dress for about 15 years now.

What has put me off is that I really like this material and I don't want to stuff it up. My vision for it is something that wafts, creating that arty looking garb that would fit in at art exhibition openings and the like.

It was this exotic vision that was both a stimulus and a hinderance, frightened as I was to ruin it with the final creation.

And so, it seemed wise to make a draft using some old calico curtain lining (and yes, this is where Maria comes in)

The material would also serve as the pattern for the dress, created as it was out of my imagination and a bit of help from various other outfits I have in my wardrobe.

I hummed The Hills are Alive as I cut, pinned and sewed. And suddenly there emerged the vision in calico that I so desperately imagined.

The calico fell just so with a wistful waftiness. The dress was slightly too big, but I figured I could fix that as I cut into the material of my dreams.

At the end of the furious creation and with a sense of joyful expectation, I tried this one on too. The material just didn't fall the way it should and perhaps I had forgotten to make it slightly smaller around the neck and arms. Hmm.

And so I tucked and I sewed and I re-imagined the outfit all over again. It remains in my wardrobe, yet to be worn. But the calico dress remains a firm favourite.

- Linda Muller