I spent the day behind my sewing machine working for a very important client. And talk about pressure. She was standing over my shoulder all day long supervising my every move.
The request started simply with a dress for her baby. No problem. She had been asking for clothes for the baby for awhile, so I had her pick out the fabric and the pattern from my stash and a cutting and stitching we went. By lunchtime, the dress was complete, and the baby was happy. As she swayed with the baby back and forth my little client sighed, “I’ve been waiting sooooo long!!” I looked at her and said, “For Baby L’s dress? Well, now it’s all done.” She looked at me with wide eyes and said, “Noooo, for MY dress!” That’s when I knew it was going to be a long day.
Next thing I knew, she was picking out matching fabric and a pattern for her own dress and that’s when the “Is it done yet? Is it done yet? Is it done yet?” began. My machined whirred away under her watchful eye. As soon as the bodice was assembled, she whisked it away from me and wriggled it over her little shoulders. She pranced around the sewing room singing, “It’s sooo beautiful, it’s soo beautiful!” I looked at her and said, “Yes, honey, but it’s sooo not done. It needs a skirt yet!” It took some convincing, but finally she handed the bodice back over so I could attach the skirt. It didn’t take her long to realize this wasn’t a simple process.
“NOOOO! I don’t want pockets! Just put the skirt on so I can wear it!”
“Honey, you love pockets! Where will you put your treasures? These are treasure pockets!”
I moved as quickly as I could, and finally it came time to put the skirt on. And she was convinced that I had no idea what I was doing.
“You’re putting it on upside down! Why are you doing it like that? It’s upside down, it’s not going to look right! You’re going to ruin it!! Why are you putting it on upside down???”
And somehow, I just knew that my mother had prayed that morning, “And dear Lord, please help my children to appreciate me and all that I have done for them over the years.” I get it, Mama. I love you for so patiently working with me when I was three. And ten. And sixteen. And thirty-one!
As I watched my little girl wait so impatiently for the beautiful dress that would match her baby doll’s dress, it was like I was looking into a mirror, seeing myself when I was three, hanging on my Mama’s arm while she whipped up a pretty dress for me and my dollies. I felt such a sense of pride that I was passing on the legacy – a heritage of creating with fabric and thread to my own little one. Where else can a girl get matching outfits for her and her baby that she designed herself? Not to mention, it only cost Mama no more than $5.
At long last, the hem was in place and she wriggled that bright yellow dress over her head and danced around the room. The first thing she did? She put a flashlight in that pocket (a flashlight that also doubles as a microphone for singing very long songs about walking down the street).
featured patterns: Simplicity 5419 (dolls dress) and Simplicity 3510 (inspired by Project Runway)
featured fabrics: Tutti Frutti, on sale at JoAnn this week for $1.99 a yard in a great variety of coordinating patterns.