OH MY GOSH!
BETSIE WITHEY IS A GODDESS!!!
I said it before in Part I of The Gowning . . . But what the heck.
I’m gonna say it again.
She started out with the pattern.
Well, you’ve already seen the pattern. It’s in PART I!
But just in case, I sum up.
So she took the pattern, and then she made the dress in muslin.
She made the dress in muslin TWICE!
WHY? Because she wanted it PERFECT!
Each time she made it, she re-wrote the pattern to fit my non-Vogue-model body EXACTLY!
She followed all idiosyncratic curves, discrepancies, peculiarities, and my STRANGELY ENCHANTED shoulders from which all straps SLIP OFF FOREVER!!!
She wrote all my measurements in her little notebook. Measured and remeasured.
Betsie’s little notebook.
Betsie, writing in it.
Then she made the main part of the dress.
Out of the FANCY GOLD STUFF OF GLORY.
(This isn’t even the best part.)
(As Betsie will herself tell you, “My great strength is embellishing. Free-hand embroidery.”)
Then I went a-traveling. I get home, and what has my MAGNIFICENT TEXTILE ARTIST ROOMMATE DONE?
A GREAT DEAL OF EMBELLISHING!!!
Tomorrow, we pin them on me in the places that will most exactly suit my body.
There’s also a train.
A FRIKKIN FAERIE TRAIN!
And it’s even PRETTIER NOW, because she made more flowers, and they’re going to sort of ASYMMETRICALLY CASCADE.
And a big one for my hair and a ribbon for my throat, and she’s gonna sew all those little crystals we bought RIGHT INTO THE FLOWERS . . .
AND it is SO BEAUTIFUL, it’s like this living thing, this piece of LIQUID SUMMER SUNLIGHT AND BUTTERFLY FLOWER FLUTTERY THINGS AND I LOVE IT!!!
(Her gifts know NO END!)
She told my beloved Carlos Hernandez that she would make a flower for his hat.
<— This VERY HAT, in fact!
(I got it for him. Birthday present, precious. Gollum, Gollum!)
And these fine items from the VICTORIAN GENTLEMEN’S EMPORIUM:
So the flower she made?
Will look a bit like this.
With either a tiger’s eye bead in the center, or a dark emerald-colored pearl.
And he will look very fine.
And VERY RAKISH.
Like a Gentleman Cardsharp.
So I’m just sayin’ . . .
BETSIE WITHEY, EVERYBODY!
Find her at The Faerie Market, on Etsy!
And I’ll be wearing her art PROUDLY at the Nebula Awards Banquet. Which I’m sort of viewing as Prom for Grown-Ups.