“Behold, I am making all things new.”
“Mommy! Mommy! Look what I made!
All. By. Myself!”
I parade before my mother, showing off the amazing new skirt I’ve just sewed.
“I can’t wait to wear it to school tomorrow!”
Earlier in the day, I’d walked down to TG&Y.
Excitedly carried the bolt of fabric — bright blue with yellow cowboys riding red bucking broncos — to the cutting table.
A kind worker helped me interpret the chart on the back of the Butterick envelope and cut two yards for my three-tiered skirt. I added bright blue thread and 3/4″ elastic to my purchase and fairly flew home to start my project.
- As I pinned the pattern to the the fabric, I thought: This will sure surprise Mommy!
- As I matched notches and sewed, I thought: This will sure surprise Mommy!
- As I stuffed elastic into the casing, I thought: This will sure surprise Mommy!
I was finishing the hem when I heard the garage door open. I dashed into my bedroom, put on my amazing new skirt, and met my mother at the door.
“Mommy! Mommy! Look what I made! All. By. Myself! I can’t wait to wear it to school tomorrow!”
I have no memory of my mother’s immediate response. What I do recall is her gently asking, later that evening, “May I borrow your new skirt?”
The next morning, my amazing new skirt hung in my closet, waiting for me to wear to school.
I guess she just wanted to iron out the wrinkles.
I wore that skirt until I outgrew it. And then I kept it because it was the first thing I’d ever sewn.
All. By. Myself.
Recently, I found that decades old skirt. And as I inspected the workmanship of which I’d been so proud, I was in for my own surprise.
The gathers were delicate, the result of two rows of short basting stitches pulled with care.
I only sewed one row of long basting stitches, which I pulled in a hurry.
All seams were 3/8″ inch, zigzagged, and steamed open.
The seams I sewed were uneven, unfinished, and unpressed.
The hem was hand-sewn, with bias tape and invisible stitches.
I did a hasty top-stitched hem. And I didn’t even buy bias tape!
My mother did far more than simply iron out the wrinkles. She took apart my amateur mess and sewed it back together with expert skill.
- So it could be worn the very next day. And for many more days to come.
- So it would look as beautiful on the inside as the outside.
- So it would hold together through repeated washings.
Mother didn’t reprimand me for being so impulsive or scold me for doing a rush job.
She didn’t suggest that we toss my poorly-made project and start over (perhaps with less eye-offending colors and print!) She worked with what I gave her.
I didn’t make my amazing new skirt.
A Larger Truth
Recognizing my mother’s role in my amazing new skirt helps me see a larger truth:
I am a child, parading before God.
Showing off the amazing life I’ve made.
“All. By. Myself.”
Which my Father gently asks to borrow.
So He can do far more than simply iron out the wrinkles.
* * * * *
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