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

TITLE: Her labor of love to wear a million-dollar dress
By Sara Harricharan


The tag read $94.99. The dress felt like a million bucks. Staring at my reflection in the mirror only confirmed that this was a dress fit for a princess.

Sleeveless, with a modest V in front and back, a lovely empire waist and a beautiful swishing sound to accompany my every movement.

I’d found it. The perfect dress. My little black dress. I couldn’t wait to see the look on Mom’s face. We were dress shopping for an upcoming wedding in Canada. I was excited just to be buying stuff.

The door of the next dressing room squeaked open and I stepped out the same time that Mom did.

The look on her face was priceless as was the reasoning that followed to justify buying a “hundred-dollar dress” in case we were questioned about such an extravagant purchase.

A few hours later, I modeled the same masterpiece for Dad, waiting to see his reaction. “Wow.” Was the first word followed by: “It’s very nice, but-”
But what? I stopped spinning, holding my breath.

“It’s snowing up in Canada right now.”

Oh, Ouch! I’d forgotten about that little bit of information.

“It’s still a good dress.” I assured him. “I’m sure I have something to go over it.” Or Mom has something I can borrow. I waited, hopeful.

“If you like it, keep it.” He said finally.

I floated all the way back to my bedroom.


“Have you found something to wear with your black dress?” Mom’s question made me wince.

“No. Are you going to wear your black pullover?”

Mom shook her head. “I’m taking it as a backup, but I think it takes away from your dress. Yours is too nice for something like that.”

“I could wear the silver shrug,” I said aloud. “but I’m already wearing it with the purple one-that you have to fix.”

“I’ll work on it tonight.” Mom assured me. “You can still wear my brown dress if you want to.”

I sighed. “That’s okay. I like my black one better.”


Several hours later, I still didn’t have any ideas or hundred-dollar bills falling from the sky so I could buy something instead.

“Show me your dresses again and let’s see what we have now.” Mom suggested. I didn’t have any objection to that and gladly modeled my ‘wedding wardrobe’.

When the fashion show was over, I collapsed on the sofa, toying with some squares of fabric purchases several weeks earlier.

Mom and I were going to make some pillows out of the lovely red, blue and purple-pink fabric. Shimmering and kind of silky, I pulled a piece out of the bag, jokingly wrapping it halfway around my shoulders.

It was too short and too wide, but dressy enough. I reached for the next piece, a dark blue to light pink. That was nice too.

I showed it to mom and an hour later we sat in the kitchen, sewing machine on the table, comparing pieces of fabric to colors of thread. I stayed up to midnight before Mom insisted I get some sleep.


I hurried to the kitchen, stopping short in surprise. My purple dress hung over the back of one of the chairs, end taken up a few inches so I wouldn’t trip over my own feet. A bright purple thread highlighted the end, the scraps sewed into a long strip. A matching hair ribbon, sort of.

Moving the dress, I saw a familiar blue-pink flash.

Cut in half, so a bit of blue was stitched to one end of the red and the pink piece sewed to the dark red, black thread zigzagged in neat rows up the seams and edges of the most beautiful shawl I'd ever seen.

I hurried back to my room and quickly pulled on the black dress.

Wrapping the new shawl around my shoulders, I struck a nonchalant pose. Princess! The reflection screamed. I let the thought stay, fingering the results of Mom’s labor of love. She must have stayed up all night to finish them both.

I smiled into the mirror. Love you mom!

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This article has been read 1475 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Julie Arduini03/01/07
I loved the descriptions and time line here. It definitely played out as a labor of love, and I loved the title! The only very minor thing I see--your writing is strong, strong enough I don't think you needed the line near the end about how mom probably stayed up all night. I'd take out that line and bring it right to the ending that you had. Great work!!
Sharlyn Guthrie03/04/07
I'm always amazed at the abillity some seamstresses have to visualize a final result from pieces and scraps You illustrated that well in your story. This was fun to read.
Jacquelyn Horne03/05/07
What a wonderful mom! Sometimes we fail to appreciate them. But they usually come through in the end. Good story.
Jan Ackerson 03/06/07
This was a very visual piece--you did a great job with the descriptions.
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/06/07
A very nice story! I especially liked the relationship you showed between mother and daughter.
Allison Egley 03/06/07
Oh, this is good. Isn't it amazing what a mom will do for her kids?
Joanne Sher 03/07/07
VERY visual - I could definitely see the dress and accessories. Great description!
Pat Guy 03/07/07
How like a mom! Beautiful through out - from the descrtions of dresses, fabrics - swishes - to the mom. Just beautiful.
Laurie Glass 03/07/07
What a nice piece - realistic, heartwarming and well written. Good job.
Loren T. Lowery03/07/07
I like the Dad's POV : ) We are so practical.

Good writing and welcome to Advance!
Clyde Blakely03/15/07
My favorite part, besides the labor of love from Mom, was Dad's thoughtful comments to a scared daughter. It sometimes takes a lot of thinking on a Father's part not to open mouth and regret it (of course, I've never done that) and I'm sure Mom thanked Dad (if nothing more than staying up all night working on the dress showing him her approval - it could have been very different).
Thank you. God bless and keep writing.