Sew Amature

When I created the Dirty Thirty List Jana and Jamie volunteered themselves for a few of the items on the list. One of those was #17: Make Something. In case you don’t know, J&J are both FACS teachers. And super cool.
A few weeks ago I came across something amazing: Gameday dresses. You can tell me I was inspired by the SEC girls at the Cottonbowl all you want but check out some of these options and tell me you don’t want one! I was disgusted at the price some people were charging for these adorable dresses. I thought to myself, those are simple designs, I could MAKE my own! – NEVER a good thought.
To be fair I have sewn a dress before. Ten years ago. I actually was really good at sewing, took tons of sewing classes, and made several quilts. Ten years ago. When I said to Jana (who teaches sewing) that I was sure it was just like riding a bike and would come back to me I should have taken her skeptical response more seriously. Perhaps when she and Jamie tried to convince me to make an apron instead of a dress I should have taken them more seriously.
Instead. I made a dress. A gameday dress. Kind of.
Since the FACS teachers are on summer break I took a day off work for our sewing extravaganza. We met up at Hobby Lobby to get started. I wandered the store and found these amazing mirrors on my way to the fabric. Cute Boy would never let me buy something like this:

Then Jamie and Jana arrived. And this fun guy:


While we looked at fabric and patterns I relinquished my camera. And found about 10 photos of this:


Cade really wanted you to see some of the options.

And then he wanted an American Flag. 2 days before the 4th of July. I knew I liked that kid. He kept asking if Jamie and I were coming with him and mom. It was adorable! Every time we are around Jana’s kids Jamie and I start to think we could have one of those. And then we get snapped back to reality really quickly. Her kids are just amazing. And she’s an amazing mother.


Luckily for Jamie and I, Jana is also amazing at sewing. She says she knows just enough to be dangerous. I think she knew just enough to keep me from ruining my dress. Jamie and I quickly realized that there is a reason why people don’t sew. Actually there are several reasons. And your favorite Trophy Wife is happy to run them down for you.

Reason #1 why no one sews: Patterns


Patterns are stupid. First of all they are expensive. And confusing. I mean whose idea was it to have photos and no instructions for the first several steps? And once you get to the actual instructions those are less than helpful. Jamie and I decided we should become pattern writers because we’d make them usable for the masses. Sure.

Don’t let the smile fool you, cutting out patterns is tedious. And harder than you expect.


Reason #2 why no one sews: So. Many. Steps.

Here are a few of the steps in making a dress: choose pattern, choose fabric, cut pattern, cut fabric, pin fabric to pattern, sew, iron, sew, iron, gather, baste, bastePERIODstitch. What? Don’t ask. My point is there are a lot of steps. And each one takes twice as long as anticipated.

I mean I don’t even iron the clothes I buy, why would I want to iron fabric before it even is clothes?



Pause for a baby break.

Reese is like the smiliest baby I’ve ever seen. It’s like she knows you are saying, “You are so pretty!” and in response she smiles.


Here’s what Reese thinks about the multiple steps to dress making:


PS – she looks more like Cade every day.

Did I mention how terribly patterns are written? It’s so confusing. Luckily Jana was there to save the day. She read the instructions. And told me what to do. I googled words we didn’t know.


Don’t let the smiles fool you, we have no idea what we are doing.


Reason #3 why no one sews: Cutting


It’s a lot harder to cut fabric (or patterns) straight than you think it is.

Reason #4 why no one sews: Sewing machines.


Have you used one? There’s a lot going on there. For the most part the machine was like riding a bike and came back to me. But threading bobbins and adjusting settings and remembering how to keep the needle from moving when you didn’t want it to and sewing darts and backstitching? It’s all very complicated.



Who needs to make a gameday dress when Jamie already has such a cute one?!

Four hours after our day began I’d completed this:



Reason #5 why no one sews: Forgive me if I’ve mentioned this but there are just So. Many. Steps!

Around 2pm we finally took a lunch break. I crammed myself into the back of the car between two car seats. Fine by me! I got to sit with Reese and see her pretty smile.




Lunchtime refreshments

Luckily for me Jamie knew what basting was. So I basted. And gathered. And sewed a casing for elastic. And ripped seams. And reread directions. And pined fabric.We were hoping that a lunch break would renew our desire to complete our projects. The only problem is that my dress took a turn towards UNBELIEVABLY complicated. And did I mention that those patterns don’t even make sense? Jamie’s apron pattern was equally poorly written and while Jana made an early (she’d only been there for 6 solid hours totally carrying the team) exit Jamie and I both found ourselves staring at the instructions. And ripping out seams.

Reason #6 why no one sews: No one knows what those words mean. Maybe just Jamie and I didn’t know what those words meant.

I was so close that I could feel the finish line. 5pm was quickly approaching and what began as poor craftsmanship took a turn towards Did a chimp sew this? I JUST WANTED TO FINISH!

After staring at the same line in the instructions for at least 10 minutes: “Baste. Stitch.” “Baste. PERIOD. Stitch. PERIOD.” I went for it. When it was completed* I had a gameday dress:


For a pregnant woman.

Yeah. Did I forget to mention that they didn’t have any purple in the one kind of fabric my pattern called for? Did I also forget to try the dress on to make sure it fit well before sewing the top to the skirt? Whatevs. Pregnant is in. And you can bet your ass I’m gonna Powercat and bejewel this thing out before Football Season starts. *And maybe, possibly, finish the hem.


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