The Fall Retreat happened almost two weeks ago. I should have known that a full moon would bring about an interesting retreat weekend. And it wasn't just any full moon. It was the fullest moon of the year. I forgot half my sewing supplies, a guest made an amazing costume for a party that turned out to be happening while she was at the retreat, I spilled the entire bowl of salad dressing on the serving table just before serving lunch, and my dress -- oh my dress. I spent two hours sewing a dress that was 5 sizes too small.
And of course, it would make sense that I had my first rainy weekend in 7 retreats. Of course.
I'm not entirely sure what happened with my dress. I followed the sizing guide and even graded to adjust for my odd "tiny bust and wide waist" body type. I used Famous Frocks (by Sara Alm and Hannah McDevitt) and attempted to sew "The Stevie Nicks" with some gorgeous saree fabric that my cousin gifted to me a decade ago. I had an Indian wedding coming up and it seemed fitting. Except that it didn't fit -- at all. When I had sewn up the bodice, it measured about 6" too small. Disaster.
With the full moon sneering at me behind the rain clouds, I switched gears and plated a delicious dinner of polenta and braised short rib. The polenta was supposed to be crispy. It was somehow a soggy mess. No matter, soft polenta made a fabulous foundation for the saucy beef. Take that, Full Moon.
After a delicious dinner and an almost-as-delicious apple pie, (with no cinnamon... The list of forgotten things was growing longer by the hour) I sat down at the oversized dining room table and stared at the remaining saree fabric and the clock that ticked away. The ladies in the other room cheered me on from a distance -- they dared not enter the dining room where sobbing and 18+ language was about to ensue. Later that evening, one of the guests popped her head in to encourage me some more and to gently reminded me that I had mentioned something about making the dough for the coconut buns before bed. I mindlessly thanked her for the reminder and gently shooed her away.
Just before midnight, I emerged from the dining room with a scoop neck, low back bodice sewn onto the original handkerchief skirt. For fear of repeating a bodice that was far too small, I left lots of extra fabric that produced a loose dropped waist, a little Downton Abbey-esque. I was relieved. And more than satisfied with the final product.
I hung the dress up so I could admire it from the kitchen as it dawned on me that it was midnight, and I had yet to start the coconut buns: dough!
All in all, the retreat weekend was a resounding success. We rose early, worked late, and slept well. Bellies were more than content. I wish I could say that it ended perfectly, but I decided to squeeze in one last episode of Downton Abbey while I worked on my watercolour. The episode left me screaming at the laptop in horror, vowing never to watch another episode again. I concede that perhaps that Full Moon had won after all.