Sew Proud

On Wednesday, Jess decided that she wanted a new dress.  To be clear, she wanted to make said dress…not buy it.  When I pushed back (ever so slightly)(because I knew I couldn’t help her)(I have no domestic skills)(but I do make a hell of a chicken soup)(that counts for something, right?) she called Grace to ask her the name of the fabric store where nothing costs more than $2.99 a yard which, even to my uneducated-in-the-language-of-sewing mind, seemed cheap, er, inexpensive enough to take the ride to parts unknown.  Remember, Jess has been out of camp since July 28th and is not starting school until September 9th, so it is safe to say I would have driven just about anywhere and laid out cash for just about anything that would keep her busy for a few hours.*

We went to the store and chose the pattern,  fabric, thread and notions necessary and headed home to start the project which I was going to be able to help her with exactly, well, not at all.  In anticipation of a frustrating afternoon ahead, I asked my nav where the closest Dairy Queen was and, in hopes of capturing a pre-emptive soothing, drove the twenty-seven minutes and enjoyed a small, chocolate dipped cone.  (Jess opted for a peanut butter cup Blizzard.)


As it turns out, I need not have taken in the calories after all.

With a little help from Jane (my next door neighbor who can do all those domestic things that I cannot) in the pinning department, this is the final result.


*When I read this to her and she heard that sentence, she looked at me, smiling and wide-eyed and said, “Really?!?”

p.s. If you happen to see her at temple next week in said dress…let her know what you think!

p.p.s. I know the zipper is a little crooked, but that just adds charm.

p.p.s. Yes, she owns a real mannequin.  Doesn’t every not quite twelve year-old?

25 thoughts on “Sew Proud

  1. Hi Julie, when I was in junior high, I had to take a sewing class, or two, and again in high school. My many tries at sewing never turned out anywhere close to the beauty of Jessie’s first frock. I think a bracelet from Boogs Bracelets will complete the outfit. I will bring a bracelet for Jess, before next Friday. Look out Project Runway, and NY Fashion Week 🙂

    • I tried to make a skirt in Home Ec, 7th grade. The teacher became so disgusted with my inabilites that she took it home and did it herself and gave me a passing grade in the class…mostly so she would never have to see me again. True. And Jess would love a Boogs Bracelet…who wouldn’t?

  2. Wow! What an accomplishment! My first attempt at sewing i(n high school) was a straight-seamed gingham apron which was NEVER worn! Kudos to you, Jessie! (p.s. if you ever decide to start quilting, let me know and I can steer you towards many free, great patterns on-line)

  3. Jess, you did a great job, especially considering this is the first time you’ve sewed! I think you’re on your way to a very rewarding hobby. Sewing can be lots of fun and a great way to be creative!

  4. Jess’s talent is, in a word…. RI-DI-CU-LOUS! It took me the whole year in Home Ec to make the world’s ugliest, ill-fitting simple a-line skirt in history and, like you, my teacher couldn’t be done with me fast enough. Her advice? “Perhaps domesticity is not in your future, darling…. I think you’d better work on a career of some sort”! Oy, let’s never romanticize those days!! But to do this on the fly?! OMG, she’s be on Project Runway in no time! Can’t wait!

  5. Way to go Jess!!! With her artistic ability, she is sure to have a career in fashion, art or something along those lines. I am always impressed by the pictures you post.

  6. Beautiful job, Jessie! I grew up, learning to sew, but it was YEARS before I ever tried to put in a zipper. Your dress looks really cute on you — love your hair! — and fits very nicely. Well done!

  7. Fantastic job! And you look so adorable in it.Wow! You are gifted with beautiful hair! All the best in the coming school year!

  8. great job! I never started to sew anything without getting frustrated and running the whole thing under the machine over and over to “kill it”.

  9. Wow, the dress is so cute! Suits her very well, gorgeous.
    Being able to make kick-ass chicken soup is a fantastic skill (one I do not possess so I’m full of admiration for you), other people seem to be born with craftiness imbued into their fibre! (Excuse the pun, couldn’t resist it).
    I hope Jess will enjoy making many more things. Sewing is so satisfying: you get to work with your hands, you get to try and achieve a vision you had before your inner eye, and then you get an actual result that you can put on.
    The crooked zip is definitely charming! Well done Jess!

  10. I can’t even fix pants that rip, or sew velcro onto a diaper.
    What the heck is with all these skills that everyone seems to get but me? The dress looks awesome!!!

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