I have to preface my “how-to” with a story:
In high school I always had trouble finding prom dresses. I mean, I was super tall and the style was to have big floral mid-calf dresses. Oh, and the big hair and bangs. The hair thing wasn’t a problem for me. The floral thing was pretty easy to come by too. But the calf length? Now that was trouble for someone who was almost six feet tall. There wasn’t a dress in the stores long enough for me.
So, one summer my best friend and I discovered the secret answer to my dress-finding angst: Just give up on buying dresses and make our own. We started by making skirts, and gradually geared up for actual dress-making.
I had my mom take me to Calico Corners…the absolute best place for big florals. Now, you may ask, didn’t I realize that the fabric they sell there is really for curtains and upholstery? And to that I answer, Yes. I totally knew it. But I’m telling you, those floral patterns were dreamy.
So I worked for hours hunched over my sewing machine and headed to each dance dressed as a moving wingback chair or duvet cover. (We had a lot of dances at East High…yes, the high school of High School Musical fame. This one was a particularly huge group, but the dress probably illustrates my point best out of all of them. Gotta love that shiny, upholstery sheen it’s got.) Then there was graduation:These “beautiful” dresses didn’t stop there. No way. I made things I wore on my mission. (Those Romanians didn’t know what hit them as I roamed the streets in my own floral bouquets.) I even made a floral pants-suit that I wore on my study abroad to Jerusalem. Boy howdy did I ever think I was stylin’.
This story brings me to my point: how to delight a 10-year-0ld.
1) Give in to her begging and agree to help her make a her Halloween outfit.
2) Dust off the old sewing machine that she has no idea you know how to use.3) Act like you totally know what you’re doing as you combine two different patterns and cut fabric out of old curtains you bought at Good Will.4) Sew in an actual zipper (this does wonders for her eye-sparkling amazement).
All those floral wonders sure came in handy after all (despite being pretty embarrassing to look back on). I can sew, which, as luck would have it, SERIOUSLY delights my daughter. Elle, thanks for being my girl…a girl after my own heart.(Grace and I made her Amelia Bedilia apron too and Lucy’ll be making her big debut today with her own home-made belly dancer pants…pictures coming.)