Four! Operation Christmas Child Countdown: Sew Many Excuses

Countdown 4

QUICK TIP: School supplies can change a child’s life.

So can a dress!

Pillowcase Dress

Inspired by Simply Shoeboxes’ blog post about predators and the power of a dress, I knew I had to hit the sewing machine.

Many of my previous sewing endeavors ended with a product *and* a prayer.  For forgiveness.  For my attitude about all the pesky details and derailments (bobbins, argh!) and for words, when using a sewing machine, that slip way too easily from my mouth.

In fact, I avoided sewing for some time because I was afraid of my own reactions.

But when I read the post about predators, how could I let my few many excuses stop me?

No Excuses

So, armed with love, encouragement and technical advice from ladies on Simply Shoebox’s Facebook page, I faced the sewing battle prepared for a foe, while I made a Pillowcase Dress (without a pillow case and without bias tape).

And a foe I got!  Fourteen foes, all disguised as excuses.

14 Foes of Dressmaking

Excuse 1

Oooh that’s right, my husband installed easily accessible electric outlets when he built the She Shed!


Excuse 2

Our church family donated fabric!

Excuse 3

Any scissors will do.

Excuse 3_1

(Now *that’s* an embarrassing excuse.)


Excuse 3_2

I found another pencil.

(and the pic didn’t take long to take)

Excuse 3_3

But I’d read simple instructions (that I actually remembered from heart) on how to make the armholes without a template.

Excuse 4

Eh, who needs an iron? I’ll just finger press it.

Excuse 5

This is where I start to lose my cool. But I remember: It’s a battle and I knew this was coming.  I press on …

Excuse 6

Where did I put the thread? I thought I put it in the She Shed.  Hrumph.  I go inside.  Just a little bit of thread is in the laundry room.

Where is that thread?????

(My battlefield mentality is paying off. Although the aggravation is mounting, so far I have not uttered a word that needed forgiving.)

Excuse 7

Ah ha! I knew it was in the She Shed! Now, to check for a color. Hey, this looks good!

Excuse 8

Depending on one’s sensibilities, I may or may not have had to ask forgiveness for the word that popped out when it took several, several, several tries – I mean, like 3-4 minutes! – to thread the ———- sewing machine.

Excuse 9

After all that fussing getting the silly needle threaded, I realized I put the thread where the bobbin goes for refilling.  I then found the correct spot (see pic above for correct spot) and started over with the threading process.

Can you feel the heat rising?

Excuse 10

Tangles. And temptations.

(Repeat Excuse #10 – repetitively.)

Excuse 11

On the verge of losing it again, but I’ve come this far. And my Facebook friends will be asking how it went …


Excuse 12

At this point, if thread is holding fabric together, I’m doing just fine!

Making Progress

This feels great!!!

Excuse 13

I don’t have a fancy threading-ribbon-through-casings doobob in my possession.  A bobby pin works great though!

Excuse 14

By the time I made the dress, hemmed a little handkerchief, and made a matching purse for a little yellow teddy bear I crocheted, I had just a little bit (and I mean, a *little bit*) left over.

Facing My Fears

I faced my fears.

With friends.

And won.

For the girls.

Somewhere on the planet.

Pillowcase Dress

REALITY CHECK: That’s about all the reality I should share in one post, I think.  🙂

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  1. You’re a better woman than me. LOL I would have thrown the machine out of the window before I’d have gotten a dress out of it. (I don’t actually HAVE a machine for just that reason. I can’t sew. LOL)

    • [giggling] I thought of tossing the puppy myself a couple of times, Sandie.. 😉 Knowing the ladies on Facebook would ask if I got a dress made inspired me to keep the window closed and the machine purring/growling/barking until I got it done. 🙂 We don’t all have to be seamstresses (whew!)

  2. LOL I have to laugh at your FOURTEEN excuses! You really struggled with this didn’t you?! We knew you would be in a battle, but I am so glad to see you held the fort and some little gal is going to be thrilled! I just love this cheery fabric! Congrats — and by the way, now that you have overcome so many of these that won’t be repeated, what about another one??? Just kidding — we each have our shoe box specialties and perhaps yours will not include sewing!

  3. See? I told ya, Cheryl! 😉

    I have a small stack of fabric waiting for me to go in again once shoebox packing season is over and I can see my She Shed floor. I’ll shoot for 7 excuses next round!

    Whittling away at the enemy of my soul, stitch by stitch, and making friends along the way. 🙂

Thoughts ... Insights ... Questions?