Maryellen’s Sewing Worries

Excerpted from Maryellen’s second book ‘Taking Off’ by Valerie Tripp (no spoilers).  Slight changes have been made for clarity. Kit plays Maryellen’s friend Karen, and Dakota plays Maryellen’s Italian friend Angela.  Maryellen wants to have a movie star-themed birthday and wear her bridesmaid dress to make her look like Debbie Reynolds.

“I can’t wait to see your bridesmaid dress,” said Karen. “I bet it’s gorgeous.  What does it look like?”

“Well,” said Maryellen. “It will be gorgeous, when it’s finished.  Mom’s making it.”

“Oh,” said the girls.  They hesitated for a teeny, tiny second.  “Good.”

Maryellen knew what her friends were thinking, because she was thinking the same thing, too.  They’d all had unfortunate experiences with their mothers making dresses as part of do-it-yourself crazes.  Maryellen knew that her friends were too polite to say so, but dresses made by mothers did not always turn out very well.

Angela was the first one to think of something optimistic to say.  “Since your mom is making it, your dress will fit you perfectly,” she said.

Maryellen grinned gratefully.  “I certainly hope so,” she said.  “Or else the movie star I’ll look like at my birthday party will be the scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz!”


Have you had any sewing mishaps?  In high school my mom and I tried to sew a skirt for me out of a lightweight navy polka dot fabric.  The skirt turned out so small we turned it into a scarf!  I’m blaming the pattern because my mom is terrific at sewing and crafts.

You’ll have to read Maryellen’s books to find out more about her dress . . .

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6 thoughts on “Maryellen’s Sewing Worries

  1. LEE

    I remember that mishap very well. It ranks right up there with a dress I was making for a high school dance that was going well til I cut into part of it by mistake. It was so traumatic that I do not remember what happened to the dress after that.

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    1. Jen Post author

      The mishap memories are better than the skirt could have been. At least we made good on the Josefina dress for Brianna when she was in 1st grade 😃

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  2. Flo

    Mine wasn’t so much traumatic as funny. I’d already been sewing for a couple of years when I found myself in an 8th grade home economics class. The teacher realized I was bored out of my mind, so she allowed me to make something different than the rest of the class. I ended up making a pair of pants that turned out horrible because I was left to my own devices. It became obvious to me very quickly on that I probably knew more about sewing than the teacher did! When I turned them in for my grade, she gave me an A. I remember taking them home and telling my mom that “she gave me an A, I would have given me an F!” My mom (who was a fantastic seamstress) had to agree with me, we laughed about that for quite a while afterwards.

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    1. Jen Post author

      Great story! In my 8th grade HomeEc I made a camel hand puppet. Sewing through shaggy fur is not a good choice for a beginner! All the popular kids made jackets that pull over the head #middleschooltrauma
      So sad that HomeEc is gone from curriculum.

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  3. Brenda Savage

    Ah, Home Ec, the room of tiny kitchens. I think I made a tote bag to carry gym clothes in – ha! I think the gym coach was in league with the Home Ec teacher hoping wed take the hint and bring home gym clothes to be washed!

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    1. Jen Post author

      Yes, the unwashed gym clothes! Sometimes some clothing item comes home that I haven’t seen in a long time and I find out some other girl has been borrowing this sweaty shirt!
      Happy home ec memories of making tuna casserole!

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