Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Just Another Tuesday Night....

While anxiously awaiting the season premiere of American Idol tonight, everyone at the Recca house, it seems, is diligently working on something. Tobie and Gizmo are both chewing intently on their rawhide bones, Sal and Blaise are out (even though it's only 31 degrees) working on the boat, Sabrina is hard at work on her art project, and I am wondering what the heck I've gotten myself in to.
Sabrina is singing in the NRCA talent show again this year -- which of course means -- once the song has been selected ("Concrete Angel" by Martina McBride) and practiced to perfection (she won the first place trophy last year for her rendition of "I Hope You Dance" by LeAnn Rimes), begins the search for the perfect dress. It can't be too fancy, it can't be too babyish, it can't be too sophisticated AND it has to fit "just right." Last year for some reason we had no problem. A quick trip to Macy's unveiled the perfect black satin (pretty, yet conservative) dress -- complete with a 50% off price tag. This year, however -- seems to be "the year of the HOOCHIE MOMMA" -- and a pretty, yet tasteful dress is nowhere to be found. And believe me -- we looked EVERYWHERE. Exhausted and disgusted we decided to head for home -- but only after one last stop -- the fabric store, as I needed to pick up a piece of canvas for my quilting frame leaders.

To make a long story short -- a very excited and hopeful Sabrina screamed across the store that she had the perfect idea -- "Momma, you can MAKE me a dress!!!" And she ran toward me with a big smile and a pattern in her left hand that she found all by herself while I was looking for something else. I've never made a dress in my life -- I've made quilts, I've made pajama bottoms, I even made her a robe for Valentine's day -- but I've never worked with fine fabric, zippers and notions. This moment flashed in my mind and reminded me of when I was a little girl -- my mother made me some of the most beautiful clothes. I remember her laying the patterns out on the floor and cutting the fabric, measuring and pinning and fitting everything so it would be perfect. I was the envy of all my friends at Lee Burneson Junior High School as I had the most beautiful outfits.

What could I say to this -- here was my daughter, hopeful and excited and "oh so certain" that her momma could just "whip up" the perfect dress for her to wear in the talent show. So after a few minutes of self doubt I said, "o.k. - let's give this a try." So off we went to pick out the perfect fabric, a wine colored crepe backed satin with matching lincing, coordinating thread, matching zipper (I've never put a zipper in anything in my life!!) and some of the prettiest hand dyed silk ribbon I've ever seen. The dress (or at least the picture of the dress on the pattern package) really is lovely and she will look beautiful in it -- IF all goes well.

So tonight, while everyone is working on their projects -- I sit here, fussing and worrying about how in the world I am going to make her "the perfect dress" for her solo and missing my mom.


ANDREA said...

Hi you busy, artful people!
Sabrina's art project sounds great, what is she preparing? She looks very concentrated and absorbed by creation.
How wonderful that she sings and has the "guts" to sing in front of other people, I guess you have to love to sing and to be very generous to go out in front of a public! I wish her luck.
The dress: oh it really looks beautiful, this red satin dress. Simple and romantic and pure at the same time, I'm sure she'll look absolutely gorgeous in it! The colour your chose is very feminine and looks precious.
Now, the zipper is something, I did only once at it turned out fine cause the fabric was "easy" (linnen). With silk, I'd try on some cussion or something before, just to "get the rythm"... But congratulations that you are attacking this, you'll make it happen, and the result will be amazing, I know it!
Have a good day,
It is still grey here and windy, lots of rain.

Jeanne Turner McBrayer said...

That dress will be beautiful on Sabrina. Be sure to hand-baste the zipper before sewing so it will be nice and straight. You will do just fine!

Michelle said...

Hey girl - I can help you if you've need it! I used to sew garments, and made all my bridesmaids' dresses. So don't fret - I'm here for ya!

joline-103 idées said...

hi! I am french and I have made a red dress to ! your project is beautiful !!

Susan said...

Speaking (well...typing!) as one non-functional stitcher to another, BEST OF LUCK! I've actually put a zipper in and learned basic sewing (which I hated) for a Girl Scout badge. That was over 30 years ago! As often as I've looked at pretty, girls' patterns (and Sabrina certainly picked one) and secretly wishing I had a girl...you've just reminded that I'm lucky to have two boys!

Last year my younger son, then age 16, decided to make a pair of pants. We bought a super easy pattern. I taught him how to cut and pin and use the sewing machine. He made two pairs and loves them. He was, however, shocked that it wasn't quite as easy as he thought. Buttonholes were needed for a drawstring...boy, was that an adventure.

So, in addition to hand basting the zipper (an excellent suggestion!), be sure to let Sabrina witness the construction and sewing. I'm sure the dress will turn out beautifully and Sabrina will be as proud of her mom as you were of yours!

MargaretR said...

You are sure to make a success of the dress. There is nothing quite as satisfying as making a garment yourself and I'm sure it won't be your last. I hope you let us see it finished?

MargaretR said...

All the best to your daughter at the competition and congratulations for the win last year.

clevelandgirlie said...

Andrea, Michelle and Jeanne - thanks for the tips. I still haven't even cut into that fabric yet - I'm petrified. BUT today is Friday and after work and chores I plan on focusing soley on that and just working on it until it's done. Michelle -- stay by the phone as I may NEED you!!!

Teresa said...

Since it is Sunday a.m. I am sure you have dug in and are doing wonderfully. I used to do a lot of garment sewing but hardly any now. Too many things I would rather do but when a child looks at you that way and asks you to do something special what else can you say? You will do great and she will look so lovely up on stage.

Nikki said...

You go girl! I've made one dress for my 6 year old. It was not easy fabric -- satin lining and a shear with sequins. It actually turned out pretty all things considered. I do have to admit it wasn't fitted in the least and I never got the button closure at the top done. She is still twirling around in it a year later though.

I'm sure you will do a beautiful job on the dress and Sabrina will be magnificent in the talent show.

Lynn said...

I can't wait to see this dress completed. I am sure if you follow all the directions carefully you can do this. All your other work is so beautifully done. What a lucky daughter. And she is an artist too. Loved all the colored pencils and her kiwi and pear are super. Please tell her I am impressed. Thanks.

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