It began with the news: We’re starting Crafting for Shoeboxes Workshops! I literally had to sit down before I fell down. And yep, sappy ol’ me let a tear or two drop in thankfulness.
“We’ll start by sewing dresses for our shoeboxes!”
I had tackled a pillowcase dress and that took a behind-the-cyber-scenes army of women praying that I would finish the dress before the sewing machine finished me.
But a real dress? With a real pattern? Oh dear, this is going to take a team effort, to be sure.
And God had just the people in mind.
Let me start with the ladies, then next week, I’ll show you what they taught me to do.
This is my sewing teacher. Her name is Joan. She is amazing. Don’t let that smile and the love that oozes from her fool ya. She’s tough. Remind me to tell you about basking.
This is Ann. She’s sewn for years. She used striped fabric. She’s my hero.
This is Linda. She is sweet and quiet and amazing with a sewing machine. She grasped Joan’s instructions like a duck being taught to paddle.
She also has a very encouraging sister-in-law, whose picture I didn’t seem to take, but whom I hope to see again on her next vacation.
This is Kim. She was making flowers. Out of fabric. Yah, I know, right? She taught me I’ve been threading my machine and making bobbins the wrong way.
So that’s what the instruction booklet was talking about!
The Ironing Board
I should have taken a picture of the ironing board.
(Here’s a stand-in, for picture sake.)
It was over the ironing board, pressing down pleats, that I broke down in tears.
Not because I had done anything wrong to the dress, but because … I could do something right. On a sewing machine.
Tears streaming down my face, the words tumbled out of my heart before I could stop them: “I’m not hopeless.”
And then these ladies gathered around me with hugs, and love, and encouragement, and reminders of who I am.
And at the sewing machine.
I am not hopeless.
And I can sew. And even make pleats.
After I dried my tears, and finished the dress except for a few final touches at home, I got my picture taken with one of my teachers that day because each of the ladies taught me something.
Girls met girls to teach girls to bless girls …
That’s Joan and me and The Cathy Dress.
Lessons Learned from Ladies
And speaking of ladies teaching us life lessons,
I named this little dress, The Cathy Dress,
because less than 48 hours before our workshop,
my friend, Cathy,
from a rare, aggressive, cruel form of breast cancer.