It turns out a sewing machine and a tin whistle make for a surprisingly fun night in
Esther O’Moore Donohoe describes herself as a podcaster, writer and rhythm Dancer. This week a sewing machine and a tin whistle make for a wild Saturday night in.
My Saturday nights are beyond wild at the moment. As with most nights out, the best part is getting ready and a lockdown night in is no exception.
I usually begin by standing in front of the wardrobe mirror and drinking myself in. Words could never do justice to what I see before me. All you need to know is that I most likely slept in the things that I’m wearing i.e I look like a total babe.
The first big question is, bra on or off? ‘Off’ is what I’ve been going with mostly and it works well with the majority of my outfits (adapted tents). Next up, I focus on glam. I toy with the idea of going all out and washing my hair but after three seconds deliberation, I come down firmly on the side of leaving it as is. There’s no point gilding the lily etc.
Last Saturday, I wanted to switch things up and go somewhere a bit more exclusive and less crowded. I considered the options. Hanging out in the hall mightn’t be too bad. I could try on different coats
Then there’s war paint to consider. Should I dewy up my skin and add a flick of neon eyeliner for a simple but strong look? I immediately laugh so hard I pull a muscle in my shin and then smear lip balm all over my face.
Hanging out in the hall
The next big decision is where to spend my crazy evening. I’ve been going to the sitting room a lot lately. To get some atmosphere going, all you have to do is flick the centre light on and off repeatedly. You may blow a fuse but it will give you seconds of fun.
Last Saturday however, I wanted to switch things up and go somewhere a bit more exclusive and less crowded. I considered the options. Hanging out in the hall mightn’t be too bad. I could try on different coats or change the code on the alarm. The lack of seating put me off though so after prinks (tea with a banana bread chaser) I settled on the top of the stairs.
When I got there, I decided not to bother with a chair after all. Instead, I lay on the floor, half in and half out of the spare room/office with my laptop on a footstool. A perfect system. In the real world, bars and restaurants frown upon customers lying on the floor so I wanted to take full advantage of this rare moment in time.
As I lay like a giant baby doing tummy time, something at ground level caught my eye. Oh hello old sewing machine bought ten years ago and barely used since. A thought began to form.
Perhaps instead of re-watching The Sopranos, I could…gulp..make something?! With full and unwarranted belief in my abilities, I decided that I was going to make a face mask. I hit a stumbling block almost instantly when I realised that I had no clue where the lead was. Just as in real life, the best nights out/in are the ones that take turns you never saw coming.
Forty-five minutes later, I emerged, covered in cobwebs and armed with a tin whistle, my debs dress, an assortment of photos and the sewing machine
Cut to me, minutes later, inching my way slowly through the crawl space in my attic. Was it in the box of Barbies I will never let go of? No. Could it be hiding in the box of school homework journals and McDonalds Happy Meal toys I will go to my grave with? It was not. My gut told me it had to be in the most awkward and out of the way box right at the very back, and I was right. Nestled amongst blank CDs, phone chargers and random cables, was the sewing machine lead I needed to help jumpstart my fashion career.
Once secured, I made my journey back towards the light of the attic door, only stopping to open every single box along the way. Forty-five minutes later, I emerged, covered in cobwebs and armed with a tin whistle, my debs dress, an assortment of photos and the sewing machine lead.
I played Raglan Rd on the tin whistle in my debs dress for my audience of banana bread and sourdough starter.
I did some quick Googling and downloaded a mask pattern that was sold as ‘easy’. Well, it may as well have been written in Elvish for all I could understand: ‘Pin the top layer and middle together so that they make one piece, then with the two top layers facing each other, stitch along the CF seam’. Hmm? Excusez moi? It was like gobbledigook.
My treacherous expedition to the attic had clearly worn me out and after a solid eleven minutes, I admitted defeat. My night ended where the greatest parties always do, in the kitchen. I played Raglan Rd on the tin whistle in my debs dress for my audience of banana bread and sourdough starter. My neighbours loved my performance so much, they even banged on the walls to encourage me.
Sew, I mean so, all in all, a pretty fantastic night in.
Esther O’Moore Donohoe is a writer and broadcaster. On her podcast The 80%, she interviews guests whose success she is 80% happy for.
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