There is nothing better than a good story. A good story can take you out of the present moment and set you down in whatever place, time, or event it chooses. It can move you to tears, or help you cope with any darkness in your life. There is one story that I have revisited over and over since the first time I ever read it.
When I was younger, maybe around 8 or 9, my dad came home from a business trip with three hard cover books. He set them down in front of my siblings and I and said, “I’ve heard these books are pretty good.” The illustrations on the paper cover caught my eye; a boy flying on a broomstick, a castle in the background, a three headed dog in the corner, and a unicorn racing across the page. I turned the book over and read the back cover, curious to know more. At this time, I wasn’t much of a reader, but that would soon change.
I remember the first time I opened the book. It was winter (because all of my favorite moments happen in the winter), and my family and I were on our way to Piatt’s Castle in Ohio. We were on our way to a castle, this book had a castle on the cover – it seemed fitting.
As the snow started gently falling outside the car, I cozied up in my seat and started to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
Twenty years later, and I am re-reading the entire series maybe for the 20th time. I still laugh out loud at the moments with the Weasley twins, and cry when my favorite characters are whisked away. I still get anxious during Harry’s first Quidditch match, and am struck with fear during particularly tense scenes. This series never loses its magic and continues to take on new meaning with every visit.
I cried on my 11th birthday once I realized I wasn’t going to receive a Hogwarts letter. However, luckily for me, I now live only a few hours from the Magical World of Harry Potter in Orlando, FL. My husband was on spring break last week, and on a whim, we decided to wake up at 5:00 AM on a Monday to visit the park. We have been to Harry Potter World a few times in Orlando, as well as to the park in Osaka, Japan. I have cried every single time we have ridden the ride in Hogwarts.
I decided that for this visit, I was going to sew up a special dress. With only a day and a half before me, I ran over to my closest Joann Fabrics, picked up 4 yards of this Marauder’s Map fabric, and set to it. While my fabric was in the washing machine, I looked through my embarrassingly large stack of patterns. You’d think I would’ve completed that step before buying fabric, buuuuuuuut I didn’t.
I studied every pattern I own, but I couldn’t find what I wanted. I had a very specific look in mind, and while I’m sure there is a pattern out there that would fit my needs, I was too impatient to look for it. So… I created my own pattern!
This is what I wanted:
- White collar
- Buttons up the front
- A fitted bodice, but not too fitted, and not bulky
- A non-gathered, non-pleated skirt – something that would gently drape around my figure
Check. Check. Check. Check!!
Let me tell you… this dress is my dream come true. It’s my favorite thing I own, and I would be happy to wear it every single day from here on out. I was up until 11:00 PM the night before, finishing this dress, but it was all worth it.
I love this dress because I designed it and created it, but also because I have the opportunity to wear something out in the world that represents something so important to me. J.K. Rowling’s books inspired my infatuation with reading, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Her writing helped me get through many tough times, and each time I return to this world she’s created, I feel at home.
Thank you, Jo, for convincing an entire generation of kids that reading is fun and for sharing this story with all of us.
Until next time,