Fake Merry Til You Make Merry

My friend told me that I have the most holiday cheer of anybody he knows. It was meant as a compliment (or good-natured teasing), but it made me feel misunderstood. Once October hits I get very busy. This is intentional. I do the things and I buy the things and I make the things. But to me it doesn’t feel like cheer. It feels like desperation. Not desperation to make all the things or do all the things or have a perfect holiday. It’s a coping mechanism. I keep busy while I feel like I’m heading towards a cliff I can’t see. I worry that I’ll careen off that cliff and I have to do as many things as I can before that happens. My avoidance masquerades as excitement. I let myself get lost in the trappings so I don’t have time to think about the spirit.

The confusion this creates is understandable. Look, for example, at the Christmas outfit I made this year. I’ve already talked lots about my new Christmas sweater, but I haven’t mentioned my new skirt.


Pattern: Everyday Skirt by Oliver + S
Size: Medium
Fabric: Moda, Berry Merry, Reindeer Games Cream
Mods: No pockets! I rather miss the, but didn’t want to spend the time or fabric.

If I was going to make a sweater-babe-style sweater I needed a skirt to go with it, after all.

What I actually look like when not posing provocatively.

It’s more a costume than an outfit. You know how faking a smile will improve your mood? This is that in clothing form. But I’ll tell you a secret: there are moments when I wonder if my friend might be right. It may be that I do have a lot of holiday cheer. I tell myself that I’m faking it but maybe it’s that I’m finally letting that cheer assert itself a little. This year maybe there’s room for all the feelings the holiday brings.


My first skirt! If you don’t count the abominations my girl scout troop collectively made in 4th grade. We all wore those shapeless sacks to school on the same day and I wish I hadn’t gone along with the idea because that skirt was so ugly and I was so embarrassed and uncomfortable.

Let the healing from that indignation begin by reveling in our own autonomy. Nearly 30 years later I’ve made a skirt whose fabric and pattern I selected myself with much more positive results.

I even get to decide for myself when to wear it!IMG_7828

Pattern: Everyday Skirt by Liesl + Co.
Size: Medium:
Fabric: Alison Glass Petals in Eggplant from Hawthorne Threads

This is my first time working with a border fabric. They’re so pretty. I wasn’t sure, though, what to do about the hem. I didn’t want to lose any of the border, but it seemed weird to not hem at all. A cursory google search revealed no quick or obvious solution so I cut the pieces out less the 2″ hem and decided I would deal with a hem later if it needed one for weight or wear by adding and folding over a(nother) border.

Not hemming meant having to find a way to deal with side seam selvages that would usually be encased therein. Mitered flat-felled seams seemed to do well enough.


I would have preferred solid eggplant pockets, but I didn’t have enough fabric. They’re fine with some pattern peeking out.


It still feels weird to not hem. My 4th grade girl scout troop leader would be appalled.