Welcome to the first Special Edition of Simple Sewing Saturdays! Today's edition will be part story, part sewing tips, hence the Specialness. So if you're ready with your ice tea, hunker down for a pretty good story.
A few years ago, I had a dream. You must understand that my dreams can be pretty crazy. They are detailed, colorful, almost movie like. Sometimes I look forward to sleeping so that I can enjoy the nightly show! This dream was so clear, I can still see it today. I was outside on a beautiful summer day at Baby Girl's Hubby's family farm. I had a big round quilting hoop on my lap, working on a pretty amazing quilt.
Near by are Baby Girl, her Hubby and his mother. Him mom and I were seated while BG & HH were in a huge garden, working it carefully. BG's hair was long and blowing in the wind and HH had no shirt on and seemed very happy to be out working the land. I contentedly quilted and listened to the conversation between the three.
Baby Girl had on this beautiful long apron like dress . I was admiring it when she turned and to my delight, a great pregnant belly filled the pretty frock. The image was enough to startle me awake. At the time of the dream, BG and HH were 'on a break', and were not even dating. I waited awhile before I mentioned the dream to her, not wanting to stir up any emotion. But I did not forget it. Fast forward to this past year. BG and HH have been married for over a year and they both have developed an interest in all things freshly grown and organic. They put in a large size garden on a campus lot and the growing began. The apron dress had not left my thoughts. To capture it, I sketched a small drawing months ago to put on my project board for the right time. Then The Announcement in May. Plants are not the only thing growing in BG and HH's lives. My next grandchild, another little girl, is filling her mama's belly with great progress. I remember the apron dress but do not believe I have the proficiency to create a pattern from my little sketch. Then last Tuesday and the Strange Desire to go through several bins in my old sewing room; bins that I hadn't gone through for a long time. Some of the bins are pretty deep and full so I was only able to 'feel' my way to the bottom, depending on my highly tuned skill in selecting fabric. It is a skill I teach newbie thrift shoppers; when you're eye can't take it all in, run your hand over the tops of the hangers; your hand will lead you to the right fabric. My hand was deep in a bin, when I felt it. I believe I even spoke out loud to myself in my basement. 'Nice', and then whipped the piece out of it's hideaway. I vaguely remembered buying this piece. I unfolded it to reveal more than just a remnant. To my amazement, a small, apron like dress was before, nearly identical to my sketch. I held it and stared at it for some time, wondering how in the world......I text BG and asked her to send me her upper measurements, assured that they had 'altered' a bit since I last had recorded them for my file. She reported dutifully and I measured quickly. Argh. A bit too small for a growing mama. I thought a long while and kept touching the amazing fabric, oddly similar in content to The Maternity Top of long ago. I knew what I must do. But could I? I had never attempted anything remotely like this before, but I felt confident that I must pursue on. I carefully picked out stitch after stitch, admiring an unknown seamstresses meticulous work. The homemade label read , "Pat's Pastime'. Thought that was clever and noted that if this did indeed work, I would put the label right back in. Then another sewing growth ring happened: while all the pieces were apart, I grabbed some tissue paper and traced copies of each piece, labeling them for future use for BG and all the other progeny progeny's pregnancies that I am around. So as you can see, this is not so much an instructive SSS, but an encouraging one. With some knowledge of sewing, you too can reconstruct your favorite ready made into a new garment. With a bit of adjusting, embellishing and positive attitude, that item at the thrift store that is just not quite that right size, can soon meet your standards. When you're already using reduced cost, there is not a lot to lose, but a lot to gain, in wardrobe AND confidence for bigger projects. I cannot tell you how giddy I am completing this project! Knowing that I have a paper pattern for more of these Garden Pregnant Dream dress/tops, is pretty darn exciting. Dare to experiment. Learn your basics then test the waters. And above all, have fun.......