First, thank you ALL for the congratulations and good wishes (and sympathy with regard to difficult relatives). It means a lot that so many of you - most of whom I've never met - have left comments.
I didn't get very far on the dress this weekend, other than making a few yards of piping. The ideas for the dress are still percolating, so instead I got busy on what I knew I could get done.
Mario, as always, was into the idea of a new shirt, and he didn't mind having one that would coordinate with my dress, so I picked up a few yards of aqua shirting. His only request was that since this was a shirt for a special occasion, could it please have French cuffs?
I've never made French cuffs before, so I was happy to acquiesce; at least I got to learn something new while making yet another shirt. I copied the cuff from one of the shirts he brought back from Italy last year - the same shirt that supplied the reshaped shirt collar I use now. I hadn't actually thought about it, but it makes sense that there would be a wider measurement on the outer edge of the cuff, so that when it folds back it lines up properly.
Other than that, there were no problems or issues, except to say that there were no problems or issues. My new sewing machine showed up its predecessor nicely in that it managed to make buttonholes in both the collar band and the cuffs, through TWO layers of Pamela Erny's best shirt interfacing, which occasionally made the old machine wheeze and/or give me threadballs on the underside. Maybe there's something to be said for this new machine; I think in addition to its other problems the old machine was just tired.
I cut out and got the bones of the shirt done Thursday night. Friday I did sleeve plackets, constructed the cuffs and attached the collar, and Saturday I did finish work, made buttonholes, sewed on the buttons. Today I merely scrounged up his cufflinks for picture taking.
Besides that, I managed to put price tags on all the craft show items, write out my inventory for submission on Thursday, and realize that I need to make just one more piece - I said I was going to have 60 pieces, and somehow or other, I've only got 59. I think by Thursday I can add one more to the pile.
Parting shot: I figured a few of you might want to see the ring. It's actually my great-aunt's; when we decided to get married, we talked briefly about getting a ring, and then I got up, went in to my jewelry box and pulled out this one and my mom's engagement ring, and said I'd be happy to wear either one, since I had been wearing them both on and off for years. We decided on my aunt's ring, since it has a less recent history. It's a nicer ring, as well, and works well with the wedding bands we chose yesterday.