It all started when Vivian marched in and stated in a commanding voice, “Brigadier General Hanson, you have a mission.”
“A mission,” I asked?
“You say, yes Sir!”
“Yes, sir! What is the mission Major General Sir?”
“I need a combat dress!”
“A combat dress?”
“You say, yes Sir!”
“I’ll make a sketch for you.”
“Oh boy,” I thought, “what is this all about?” I followed my typical strategy…I played it off and hoped it was a passing fancy. Ninty-nine percent of her schemes are forgotten as soon as they are mentioned. But she kept perseverating on the design, drawing pictures and writing me notes about it. Turns out she and some friends at school had been playing army.
What’s a mom supposed to do…I relented. We started by searching the internet for a pattern that would meet her specifications. She chose this Kwik Sew pattern. Next we took a trip to Joanne’s to pick our the fabric. She chose this camo couture, foiled satin camouflage, an olive green cotton, and some delicate cream lace. I wanted to give the lace a little more structure so I added a matching cotton fabric to go underneath it. She may want to look like a princess, but she plays like a marine.
A Tailored Plan
The pattern she chose has fitted sleeves. I knew it would need altered, like her momma, she’s got some impressive guns. I knew she would need to have sleeves a couple of sizes bigger than the bodice. I recently took a sewing class from Modern Domestic where I learned to use Swedish Tracing Paper to redraw the pattern pieces to blend from one size to another. I was able to blend a medium bodice with a XL sleeve; worked like a charm.
A glass table top and a flash light are very handy when transferring pattern markings for pockets, collars, etc.
Technology, I Love You!
Up until recently I was using a manual, bottom of line Brother sewing machine that my mom got me for my high school graduation. Every time I wanted to sew a button hole I had to pull out the manual. It took me about 20 minutes to follow all the steps for a single button hole; it was PAINFUL! That machine finally gave up the ghost and my husband got me a new Brother SE400 sewing and embroidery machine. At first I was totally intimidated by its electronic features. But when I finally pulled out the manual and figured out how to use the LCD screen it was so simple! Sewing a button hole is as simple as pushing a button, and look at this overcast stich; a thing of beauty. I love this machine! YouTube has made sewing so much simpler too. When I read an instruction for a pattern I don’t understand, I simply watch a YouTube video, or two, and it all becomes clear. Sewing is so much easier than when I first learned.
This year we have become foster parents to two cats while their parents are in Europe. They love it when I bring out a sewing project. They play in the fabric and sit on the table and watch me sew. I have to be really careful of their little paws. It is pretty cute to observe their curiosity, even if they are a bit of a nuisance sometimes.
While working on the dress Vivian started asking if I could make a matching headband too. I had some extra fabric so decided to make some shabby chic roses. If you want to learn how to make these yourself check out this YouTube video. We had so much fun making these that we ended up making enough for a broche for me too. I used one of the hundreds of freebie buttons that Bryant has managed to collect. Shhhhh, this is top secret; I would be in some major trouble if this were to get out!
The Mission Was a Success!
It was a lovely, spring-like February day, so we biked to church in our matchy, matchy. Afterwards we visited a business courtyard in our downtown neighborhood, which doubles as our backyard. The kids rode their scooters. Their dad and I chased them around on the bike. We got some cute pictures. I think she makes a pretty adorable Major General. What do you think?