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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Million Bucks

Edit: No content change, just a formatting issue.
Dear Sister,

I know I went MIA, but it was for a good reason...crazy, but good.

You know I was preparing for the big formal dance that was Saturday.  I didn't finish my skirt, but here's my story.

Thursday I was preparing to attend the temple when I had the thought that I should call one of my Young Women.  I had heard that something had happened with her formal dress and so I thought I'd call and find out the situation, because I knew how excited she was about this dress.  She had shown me pictures at Mutual previously and was absolutely gushing with excitement.  She had ordered the dress on the internet and had been able to find a great deal on it.  It was supposed to arrive at the store the day before the dance.  This made her a little nervous, but she was sure it'd come in.  She was planning on wearing a cardigan with it as it was a halter style and already had that picked out.  Another reason that she was so excited about the dress was because last year she had felt under-dressed.  She had recently moved in, and had just worn something she had and then felt bad when she arrived at the dance surrounded by fancy prom dresses.  In her mind she thought that this year was going to be perfect!  However, at Mutual this week, I heard something about it not working out which is why I was calling her on Thursday.

I could hear the disappoint in her voice as she told me that she found the dress in another store at the mall and so she tried it on.  She hadn't bought it there because it was over double the price!  When she went to try it on she discovered that the dress was backless and was so bare that even wearing a cardigan with the dress wasn't going to cover it all.  As we spoke on the phone, (just 2 days before the big dance!) she told me that she probably was going to just buy a skirt and look for a blouse.  This was the only dress that had fit her price point, so looking for a different dress was out of the question.  She told me it was okay, but I could tell it was fake optimism.  Her dreams had been shattered, and we both knew it.

I hung up the phone and finished my preparations for the temple which didn't take very long.  I turned to Husband and I said, "I'm going to stop off at her house on the way.  I'm going to offer to sew her a skirt like the one I'm making for me.  All we have to do is make it longer to the floor.  I better go otherwise I'll be late to the temple."  I asked him if I was crazy.  He said no.  With a kiss I was on my way.

I knocked on this girl's house and explained why I was there.  Again she told me it was fine (I could tell she was trying to convince herself.)  As I talked to her I showed her what I had been working on (a circle skirt) that we could make it an empire waist or at the waist, and then just add sleeves, etc.  It came just tumbling out and before I knew it I was offering to pick her up to go to the fabric store at 9am the next day?!?!??!

As I walked out to my car I thought to myself,

"WHAT are you doing?  You are not a great sewer.  You do not know how to sew all of that."

But then the thought came immediately back,

"You know how to sew enough to make her feel like a million bucks."


This became my goal.  I drove to the temple and miraculously still made the session.  I came home and looked at sewing tips on the internet for hours into the night.  At 9am Friday morning I picked up her and the adventure started...

We worked for 5 hours on Friday and then she had to go to work.  At one point I just wanted to cry.  My sewing machine had started making a funny noise and the thread was doing something weird and it was making me lose all confidence and I was afraid it would make her as well.  The goal was a million bucks and this looked worse than a junior high home ec project.  When she left, she tried it on and then didn't even let me see it!  I had no idea how the fit was or anything.

I sewed all Friday afternoon/ evening.  Husband was such a big help and encouraged me.  He told me that he thought the Spirit was guiding my mind (offering to do this in the first place) and so He would guide my hands (the actual making).  Husband also is an expert at ironing!  He ironed all my bodice pieces for me on Friday and the skirt on Saturday.  He also helped me gather fabric for flowers and of course watch the kids!  I couldn't have done it without him.

I went to bed on Friday with the bodice 99% done and the skirt just needing to be hemmed.  I dreamt all night that it wasn't going to fit her, because adding the lining changed the seam allowances.  Saturday morning we finished it and went to her house for a fitting.  It fit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We added the flowers and at 2pm I called Mom to say I was finished.

29 hours of insanity, but I had a goal.  This young women is one of the sweetest people.  She is friendly to everyone and always looking out for them.  I figured it was about time someone looked after her.  I couldn't really tell if she loved it or not, because she is pretty reserved, but at the dance she got many, many compliments (that I heard) on how lovely she looked.

Success!!!!!!!!  A million bucks?  I think so.

The whole time that I was sewing I had this video stuck in my head.  I already thought it was a great example of a Value Project for Personal Progress, but the whole modest formal dress problem really brought it into focus.



I can't believe that it all came together.  Looking at my crude pattern from poster board and my notes that I made at the fabric store, it really worked!  We didn't have any real big mistakes.  I am humbled to have been an instrument in the Lord's hand.




Ta Da!  Not going to lie, I feel very proud.

We still need to talk and catch up!  I love you.

Love,
Lindsay

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