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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Sewing (02/22/07)

TITLE: Sewn by Mom
By Bonnie Way


I tapped my finger on the table, watching Mom flip through the pattern book. She had it turned towards me, letting me look too, but I wasn’t. I had to tell her I didn’t want her to sew my dress for the school dance. Not because she wasn’t a good seamstress. She was, and she had always sewn all my clothes. The problem was that she had no sense of high school style. I was tired of standing out like a sore thumb because my clothes looked different. Home-made. Old-fashioned. Tara and Brandi were going to the mall on Wednesday, and I was going with them. I wanted something cool to wear to the dance – something brand-name and store-bought. I just had to tell Mom.

“How about this one?” she asked, pointing to the page. I glanced at it. Long sleeves, long skirt, high neckline – it might as well be a bourka.

“I want to buy my dress,” I blurted out. “Tara and Brandi invited me to go shopping with them.”

Mom looked at me for a long minute. Disappointment flooded her face before she nodded and closed the pattern book. “Okay. That’s fine,” she said. Relief overrode my sense of guilt as she turned away from the patterns. “I’ll just get some thread and we can go.”

At the mall, Tara and Brandi found dresses right away. We were still in the mall half an hour before closing, and they were tired of watching me try on dresses. I finally chose a simple black one. They said it looked awesome. It was a bit tight across the hips and bust, too baggy in the waist, but it was the best fit I’d found. I rued my curves and thought of the clothes Mom had sewn that fit me perfectly. But this dress was stylish and cute, so I took it to the till. There, I almost changed my mind, because the dress would take all of the allowance money I’d saved up. Mom could have sewn it for a fraction of the price. But I couldn’t tell Tara and Brandi I didn’t have enough money for it, so I bought it.

Mom asked to see it once, and I showed it to her on the hanger. She said it was pretty, and I put it back again. The night of the dance, I did my hair and makeup and then opened the closet and looked at the dress, knowing that it wouldn’t fit any better than it had before. Then I grabbed the hanger and turned around, swinging the closet shut. For a moment the dress caught, and then with a ripping sound it came away in my hand. I held it up, staring at the tear straight down the front of the dress. Not even on a seam, where Mom could sew it together.

“Are you ready, honey?” Mom’s voice came with a tap on the door.

“No. My dress ripped.” I swallowed hard, trying not to cry. A dress that didn’t fit was better than no dress at all. She came into the room and I held it up, thinking of all the money I’d just wasted.

“Come with me,” she said, taking it. I followed her to the basement, knowing that she couldn’t fix it and wondering why she was even trying. Then, as we stepped into the sewing room, I caught sight of a dress hanging in the corner. It was midnight blue, my favourite colour, with a hint of silver shimmering through it. The dress was sleeveless, with only one shoulder, and gathers swept across the waist to a silver rose on the right hip. The skirt was slightly flared, just long enough to reach below the knees.

“I can take off the rose if you don’t like it.” Her voice was hesitant, worried.

“No, it’s fine,” I said, shaking my head. “Let me try it on.” She stepped out of the room. I slipped out of my shirt and jeans and slid the dress off the dress form. It fit me perfectly, showing all my curves. I stared into the mirror. It was gorgeous. Fashionable. Just what I had wanted. I bit my lip, turning away, and beside Mom’s sewing machine I saw a small tag. “Sewn with love by Mom,” it read. That was better than any brand name. I went to find Mom to sew it on.

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This article has been read 863 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sharlyn Guthrie03/01/07
Your story brought back memories. You crafted it perfectly, too.
Virginia Gorg03/02/07
Excellent. So well written - a mom that understood the "needs" of a teenage daughter. Descriptive and flows well. Kept me reading.
Jacquelyn Horne03/05/07
Good story. I sense a little bit of "growing up" here too.
terri tiffany03/07/07
This was so sweet! Very realistic and what a great mom!! It flowed and kept me interested with every line - a really good way to present a learning situation. Nice writing!