A Tale of Three Dresses, Chapter 2-A Tragic Turn of Events

When I purchased the three new dress patterns in January, this pattern that I chose to make second stuck out to me as a good dress to have as a new Easter dress.

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Up-coming holidays always motivate my desire to sew something new for myself. Unfortunately, holiday times are always my most hectic times and the urge to sew for myself at this time is a dumb choice to make. “Plan ahead,” “It’s October, make your Christmas outfit now,” are all things that the organized side of my brain say to the creative side of my brain, but inevitably, the battle between the sides wages through the less hectic time window and the new sewing project has to be completed in the wee hours of the morning just prior to the holiday events.

This year was no exception to that rule. In the midst of several other projects I pushed myself to get this dress made despite several concerns that raced around inside my head.

The first concern, of course, was the amount of time I had to devote to the project. Having not made this pattern before, I know better that to cut corners and just put the dress together without a few fitting trials. I did check the most important  measurements-bust, waist, and hip. And, because those measurements seemed very close to what I wanted in the finished dress, I went forward cutting out my fabric without any tissue fitting or muslin sample.

The second concern came from my fabric choice. When starting my search for fabric to go with this pattern, I found a piece on-line that was a beautiful blush color and from that moment the blush-pink color permeated my project, making the fabric search more difficult. The piece I liked was described as  being “medium weight” and the sleeve design of this dress caused me to struggle with the proper fabric weight choice. I searched several stores in my area hoping to put my hands on a piece of fabric that felt “right” in my hand and was also the lovely blush-pink color that had taken root in my mind. Unfortunately, with time ticking away, I made a decision to order a piece from an on-line source with a fabric that seemed close to the color and was described as “light weight.”

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My second choice fabric choice

To me, light-weight seemed like an understatement. This fabric ended up being more like sheer weight and a little pinker than I was wanting. But, because I had made the purchase and was desperate to have a new Easter dress, I pushed all these concerns to the side and marched forward. (This is the place in the story when you, the reader, begin to shake your head at the poor decisions being made by the likable main character.)

To combat the sheerness of my new fabric, I decided to use a technique called underlining. There are many great on-line resources for this technique;

Threads Magazine

Craftsy

I chose a simple pink broadcloth to serve as my underlining and hopefully rescue my sinking dress project.

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pink broadcloth

My Dad had a saying he recited often as I was growing up, and I, unfortunately, have repeated it often, “An education costs you money, no matter how you get it.” With the purchase of this second piece of fabric I was quickly raising the cost of this education.

With a loud drumming of concern pounding in my head, I proceeded to cut out and put together my dress. (Que dramatic climax music here…)

This pattern goes together rather quickly. I was making view B which meant no button holes or collar. The directions are clear and, after so much time spent deciding about the fabric choice, it felt good to assemble the project with such ease. I quickly arrived at the moment when the dress needed to be tried on before doing the final finishing steps. I held my breath in hopes that I would escape the tough lessons that come when we act with haste and don’t listen to the voice of common sense speaking to us from within.

I was correct about the main measurements. The dress fit well through the hips, waist and bust, although the bust dart needs a little tweaking. But the fitting problems came from another crucial area-the armhole. The finished back width from the shoulder through the armhole is too wide causing the armhole and sleeve to be dropped down on my arm instead of at the shoulder. Because of this, I can’t move my arm without a pulling through the back. This improper fitting is also causing an excess of fabric at the arm pit. (Play early morning sad music here…)

This correction was going to require a little work and at this point in my schedule there was no time (or mental energy) left to get this dress together for Easter. So, I assigned this project a hanger, packed up the pattern and other materials and put it aside for another day. It’s too disappointing to even take a picture. I hope to document a before and after picture when this project is no longer an ugly duckling.

For my Easter outfit, I dug out one of my favorite bright blue spring jackets, pinned on my large, silver, antique flower pin that I inherited from a good friend when she purged some of her jewelry and went off to church and family Easter gatherings.

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It was a picture perfect Easter day, warm temperatures, blue skies, green grass, time with our families, and most importantly the celebration of a risen Lord and Savior reminding us of how much we are loved.

So no matter what your Easter outfit looks like, know that God loves You! Go forward sharing that good news in new outfits or old, that’s the most important message of all!

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10 years of unconditional love

Ten years ago this month, when Honorable Sons #1 & #2 looked like this;

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Honorable Son #1, Honorable Son #2, Spring 2006

I was on my way to the barn on a cool Sunday afternoon. On the hill in the distance I heard a high pitched barking sound. What I saw was a small dog doing his best to convince our much larger farm peacocks that he was to be feared and they should flee his presence.

Reluctantly I called out to the dog. I say reluctantly because it had been 9 years since our first-loved family dog had died and after all these years my heart still belonged to him. But this small dog, after hearing my voice, quickly escaped his show down with a gang of peacocks and ran to my feet. This is who looked up at me;

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Will, Spring 2006

In the many years since moving onto our farm we have seldom had stray dogs wander up to our door. Our house sits at the end of a nearly 1/2 mile drive and can’t be seen by any roads or homes in our country block, so although there have been a few abandoned pets in our neighborhood most have not found their way to our door step. This small yellow dog seemed to be pleasant and eager to be loved.

Honorable Sons #1 & #2 had not yet experienced the joy the love of a dog brings to the family and were thrilled to see this furry surprise I carried in the door that day.

After a very short conversation about keeping or not keeping this abandoned little puppy, we carried our newest family member off to the laundry tub for a much needed bath. He appeared to be only 3 months old and during his bath we found and removed 40+ ticks.

Of course the discussion of what to name this new addition began immediately. All these years later I don’t remember what names were in the running, but I had a strong feeling that this dog came to us through God’s will-it was God that sent this precious gift to our family over our hill~God’s Will. And with that, Will began his journey with our family.

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Summer 2006

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Summer 2006

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Honorable Son #2, Will, Honorable Son #1 Fall 2006

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Honorable Son #2, Will, Honorable Son #1 Christmas 2006

Having a pet in your home requires some sacrifices, some of which I hadn’t missed in those 9 years since the loss of my last beloved four-legged companion-muddy foot prints on a newly washed floor, late night skunk baths from a trip out after dark, or never ever leaving home without dog hair coming along on your clothing somewhere.

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These small annoyances, along with a few others, pale in comparison to the rewards that you receive from loving a family dog.

I can hardly believe that 10 years has passed. In many ways it seems like we have known and loved Will our whole lives and in others it seems as though we have just gotten started loving him. Each day I am blessed to still see this face:

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Will-2010

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Will-July 2015

I am grateful everyday to have the opportunity to receive Will’s love. I imagine that this love is the closest earthly example of the kind of love promised to us by our Heavenly Father. If only we could all love in the way a dog loves~unconditionally and with our whole selves.

“All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed.
For after all, he was only human. He wasn’t a dog.”
Charles M. Schulz

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