A Formal Frenzy

Dear Readers,

It's over!!!  What a frenzy.  What a week.  And now it's all over!!!

Saturday was THE formal dance.  Every year there is a combined stake dance for the youth (age 14-18).  Formal dress is encouraged and the kids enjoy dressing up.  Many do not have a chance to attend a Prom or Homecoming dance and so this is an opportunity to attend a special event (and know that the standards of the Church are kept).

To say everyone was excited would be an understatement.  I even got into the fun thinking "What am I going to wear?"  I had heard all of the young women talking excitedly for the past several weeks, but was not that concerned.  After all I'm not a teenager anymore.  As the time grew closer, I didn't want to be a lame chaperone and not be formally dressed.  I am attending a formal function in April that I planned on making a dress for, so I thought "Why not see if you could make it by Saturday?"

I started on the skirt and it didn't take very much time.  I got it this far and just needed to hem it before sewing the bodice.  I was just having a hard time deciding which style I wanted.  I had even emailed my family for ideas on Thursday morning because I knew I could I finish in time, I just needed to hurry and pick the style.  I was especially being picky because it's not like any old style will work, it needs to be modest.  It must cover my shoulders, midriff and back, with a neckline that is neither too low in the front or the back.  "When you are well groomed and modestly dressed, you invite the companionship of the Spirit and you can be a good influence on others.  Your dress and grooming influence the way you and others act." (source)

Well, Thursday mid-morning is when things started to get crazy.

Thursday, 10:47am - my phone rings

Me: "Hello"
Young Woman: "Hi, Sister Lindsay?  It's [me]."
Me: "Aren't you supposed to be in school?"
Young Woman: "I am helping my mom with something today.  Anyways, I was wondering if you could help make my dress more modest for the dance.  Someone told my mom that you have a sewing machine.  It has a cross thing in the back and we need to cover it up.  The dress is long so we were thinking we could take the fabric from the bottom and put it in the back.  Would you have time to help with that?"
Me:  "Sure.  I'm just sitting around home today.  You'll have to bring it by so I can take a look at it."

Well the young woman arrives that afternoon with the dress in hand.  It has the equivalent of a satin shoelace that ties it up in the back.  Seriously, it was spaghetti straps that laced through a couple of holes.  She also only wants the dress hemmed 4 inches.  I explain there isn't enough fabric to do what she wants without going to buy more.  She says it's ok and we hem the dress.  We planned for heels that she wasn't wearing in the picture.  With her cardigan and tank top under the dress, she is ready to go.  I actually took a picture of the back of the dress, but it somehow was deleted from my camera.

She's at my house for over 3 hours and while is over we talk about Personal Progress and personalprogress.lds.org, the awesome website that tracks your progress online!  My husband makes dinner to keep me on track to make it to the temple, as I already missed my favorite early session!  Awww, so sweet.  He really is Mr. Wonderful.

Thursday, 6:35pm - I call Girl #2

Me: "Hi.  It's Sister Lindsay.  I was just helping Girl #1 with her dress and I thought I'd call you to check on your dress for the dance."

Insert the story of Girl #2 here.

Thursday, 7:26pm - arrival at temple, can't say enough about how much I love the temple!
Thursday, 9:52pm - arrival at home, phone call waiting for me about a Young Women assignment.  I agree to deliver completed assignment at 1pm on Friday.

Thursday, 10:32pm - phone call to my mom. "Help!  I said I would sew a formal in 2 days!"

Friday, 9:12am - we head to the fabric store and pick out gray satin with a rhinestone overlay, black elastic for the waist and white satin for the top.  Everything is 50% off to the Grand Opening of the store!!!  I wish I could look around at everything, but I'm on a mission.

Friday, 10:20am - we get back to my house.  Not having all of the sewing doo-dads that I wish I had, we measure, cut, and sew cave-man style.  Nothing is straight, or exact.

Friday, 12:30pm - Sewing machine is threaded incorrectly making a gigantic mess.  Of course I was sewing on the elastic making it near impossible to pick out.  I want to cry.  I'm babysitting and juggling 2 girls, a formal dress that is way over my head, and Girl #2 who I am trying to build up (to feel like "a million bucks"), but results were slow to see and I was feeling low.  I was overwhelmed by the feeling that "I knew enough to help her feel like a million bucks."  and had faith that somehow it would all really work out.

Friday, 1:25pm - we have to stop for the day, because Girl #2 has to go to work.  I offer to drive her so as not to burden her parents.  At this point we have the skirt done, without the hem and the bodice cut and sewn, but without lining, because we forgot to buy some.

Friday, 2:00pm - No one has eaten anything for lunch so we hit a drive-thru on our way home from taking her to work.

Friday, 3:04pm - I remember about the Young Women assignment.  I slink down on my couch, completely exhausted and know that I can't do anything until my hero of a husband hustles home to me.  As soon as he gets home he hustles to the store to buy the needed supplies.  All we had to do was print some things out (not everyone in the Spanish Branch owns a computer), but my mind was on the dance!

Friday, 3:48pm - phone call about the Young Women assignment that was due at 1pm.  OOPS!  I completely forgot that I said I'd meet her at 1pm!!!  The night before Husband and I had made a different plan and then changed it Friday morning without taking this into account.  I say I'll have it done by 5:30 and then of course show up at 5:50 :)

Friday, 3:56pm - phone call to my Mom.  I needed some lovin' to get me through all of this!  She says, "I was wondering when you were going to call me."  I asked her some more questions, we discussed a few things, and I feel better.

Friday, 5:20pm - at the library.  I have a family.  Sometimes when I get going on a project (Young Women inclusive) I get really focused and don't spend as much time with them.  Daughter had to be to the library by 6pm.  They were running a little promotion that if we checked out 2 DVDs then they give you a bag of candy and popcorn for "Family Movie Night".  She had talked about it all day, so we had to make it happen, even though I had all these crazy things hanging over my head with deadlines!

Friday, 5:50pm - deliver Young Women Assignment.  I also answered all of the accompanying questions that came with it and gave appropriate training as needed.

Friday, 6:35pm - Leaving their house, still need dinner.  Um, no one has eaten......again.  We go out to eat on our way to the fabric store to buy the forgotten lining fabric.

Friday, 8:40pm - arrive home.  That fabric store is packed from the grand opening!!!  Once again, I walk straight to what I need, get it cut, and walk straight out, sad that I can't get some things for myself.....I'm sewing my own formal, remember?  and everything is at least 50% off, some up to 70% off!  Oh well.  "A million bucks" is my mantra.  It's WAY past bedtime, but we allow "Family Movie Night" to happen......um, it bought me some private sewing time without interruption.  Hallelujah!

Friday, 9:08pm - phone call about the dance.  Coordination call.  Everything is working out to transport these youth to a neighboring city for the dance!  Yay, we need something to work out!

Saturday, 12:30am - bedtime!!!  Husband stoic-ly continues to help me without complaint.  He irons all of my bodice pieces while I unpick and re-sew them together.  We have the bodice complete except for the elastic (forgot to get those measurements).  It looks like it really will come together!

All night long, I have these dreams that it doesn't fit her, especially due to trying it on without the lining in the bodice and then changing the seam allowances.....fitful sleep, especially due to my other dreams!

Saturday, 8:40am - picture of my house....complete disaster and the dress is not quite finished!  Have I mentioned that at 4pm the Young Women are coming to my house for a Hair and Make-Up Party?  Eeks.

We spend the morning making the flower adornments, hemming the skirt, etc.  We go over for a fitting, and miraculously it all fits (maybe I do know how to sew?).  I get the elastic measurements which I am able to complete the top at home.  I leave the skirt with her.  She wasn't really gushy about it, so I can't tell if she likes it or not, but I don't have time to worry.  I get a barrage of phone calls all afternoon with questions from parents/ youth, but at least the dress is done!  I pick up MY skirt and work on it for a few minutes when I realize that there is no hope.   I got in the shower exhausted and I knew my night was just beginning!  I felt like Cinderella having helped everyone get ready for the ball.  I secretly hoped that someone would yell surprise and there would be something for me to wear when I got out, but alas there was not.

Saturday, 3:40pm - house is still a disaster, I don't know where the couch cushions are either?  There are 20 minutes until go-time.  I bet you're thinking right now, that you are glad you are not me.  Well......keep reading, there's more, if you can believe it!

It's sooooo juicy/ unbelievable that it's real (read: long) that I'll post it tomorrow!  See you then!



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