Saturday, June 02, 2007

A Stroll Down Memory Lane

In 1995 my father asked me if I would speak to the new Youth Pastor at his church. Pastor Pam was preparing to preach her trial sermon in a few weeks and couldn't find a robe that she like. So my dad asked me if I would help her out. Now my dad rarely asked me for much so I was more than willing to talk to Pastor Pam.

Around this time, I was running a home sewing business so that I could be home with my children. That venture didn't work out for a variety of reasons and truthfully I don't miss it! But at the time, I would take just about any sewing job that I could get.

I met with Pastor Pam and she told me what she was looking for in a robe. I found a hard working black polyester fabric, a pattern (that I have no idea what it was! I need to go through the pattern stash and see if I can remember!) and some kenta cloth that looked like it had crosses woven into it. Surprising even myself, the robe turned out pretty good. After a fitting and changing a few things primarily length related, my dad came by a few days before her trial sermon and picked the robe up to deliver it. She wore the robe for her trial sermon and was very happy.

Now fast forward 12 years...Friday night my mom and I went to a dinner to celebrate my sister's work with youth at the very same church. Sadly my dad wasn't with us since he passed away almost two years ago. Pastor Pam is now an Assistant Pastor but while she was the Youth Pastor she worked with my sister in several youth activities so she was at the celebration. As I stood chatting with Pastor Pam, she told me that she worn "the robe" last Sunday to minister.

That robe is now 12 years old and still going strong. However, she was experiencing some velcro failure from multiple trips to the dry cleaners. I, of course, suggested that she give it back to me so that I could repair it. I told her that the changes didn't sound like they would take much time and I could have it back to her on Sunday. After a quick trip home, Pastor Pam gave me the robe to be repaired.

I spent just an hour today replacing the velcro, tacking down a loose shoulder pad and sewing down one strip of kenta cloth that had come apart. The robe is hanging waiting for my mom to pick it up on her way to church tomorrow. But it was just amazing to work on something that I had constructed 12 years ago. The robe was still functioning and in good shape. I don't have clothing that I have made in my own wardrobe that is that old! Five, six years tops is the oldest piece!
I am so honored to have made this in the first place and even more honored to be able to repair a robe that has obviously meant so much to this Pastor.

And a parting shot...

(Summerset I hope you don't mind that I "borrowed" this from you!) Today I went and picked up some flowers to go in the flower pots that my mom gave me for my birthday. (They are the blue ones BTW!) I thought they made my balcony look so cute!

Tomorrow is my last day of sewing vaca and I will finish the dress that started my sewing vacation week - the blue cotton paisley one!


  1. Oh, I can imagine how you carefully handled that robe and how it must have felt to touch it again after so many years!

  2. That is a cool story and the robe still looks like new!

  3. It is a strange feeling to work on something twice. I've done that before. No matter, though, the robe is obviously well loved and used.

    NP on borrowing the "parting shot"! The pots are lovely, what a thoughtful gift from mom!

  4. That robe was really well made to have been used for so many years. What a tribute to you!

  5. That robe is so handsome; I can see why it's still loved and in use. And it's nice to be entrusted with it again, even if it's for the dreaded repairs (I hate hems, repairs, RTW alterations); in this case, it's more like you are conserving a rare, valuable textile.

  6. Carolyn,

    What a special memory and "gift of service" in so many ways. The fact that your dad was involved in the giving of the gift is also very touching. How neat to see how the legacy of your creative sewing talent is further enriched by the span of 12 years time.

  7. What a great job you did on ALL of your sewing this week. You are getting beautiful results and posting lots of helpful tips.
    Yay for You!
    Sorry tomorrow is Monday, but hey you get to wear pretty new clothes.

  8. Carolyn,

    Your dresses all unique in very special ways. What pattern is this famous TNT?


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