I struggle with character flaws. Daily. No, hourly. Forget it … I struggle constantly. So when I hear the phrase “There’s an App for that”, I often wish I could download an app that would correct my flaws. In a snap! (Tweet That!)
Turns out, there is an app for fixing things. It’s downloadable. And flawless.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 1:13
Trouble is, I tend to ignore warnings like “ANTI-VIRUS PROTECTION! DOWNLOAD IMMEDIATELY!” or “RENEW TODAY OR LOSE MEMBERSHIP!”
And so this past week when my granddaughter Ella sat with me for her first sewing lesson–the old-fashioned kind where the “app” is on paper–I was reminded of my old flaws and new-fangled technologies and tried-and-true wisdom.
The result of Ella’s effort was a new garment, a lesson in following a pattern, and more.
First: Find a store. For us, that meant Hobby Lobby. Because it’s nearby. And carries reasonably priced fabrics and notions.
Second: Locate a pattern. She had to find the one little spot in that big store where three big pattern books lay open. Then the children’s section in each book. She flipped pages and considered the styles most becoming to her body type.
But where were the patterns themselves? In pattern cabinets, of course. She found the correct cabinet, drawer, number, and –voila!–the pattern for her.
Third: Choose the fabric. With pattern in hand, she scanned the bolts of fabrics, imagining which design, color, and composition best fit the pattern–and herself.
Fourth: Measure. Ella had to determine how much fabric she needed, which meant double-checking her own measurements. On the pattern package were the measurements and amount of fabric needed for each size.
Fifth: Cut. Ella asked the clerk to cut the appropriate amount of fabric. That involved knowing the fabric width and locating the selvages and the fold–pretty important sign posts.
Sixth: Choose extras. On the back of the pattern package Ella found suggested notions: thread and bias seam tape. She found the store’s notions section, matched thread and tape to fabric, and made her way to the check-out counter.
Seventh: Identify, separate, and follow directions. Back home, Ella learned each pattern package contains pattern pieces for more than one style (as seen on the package front). So she had to find the pieces that were needed for the style she had chosen. She did of a rough cut of those pattern pieces to separate them from all the others.
A nice surprise was finding that each pattern piece provides cutting lines for several sizes. How convenient.
Ella discovered instruction sheets for her chosen style. And she learned she must follow the directions to a T.
She learned that fabric has a “straight” and a “bias.” And that her pattern pieces must be lined up on the straight of the fabric, as the illustration showed. Once again, measurement was required to assure she cut the pattern on the straight of the fabric. Otherwise, her garment would have “sagged.”
Ella also learned the construction of a garment is best accomplished by sewing the pieces together in the correct order. For this, she had to refer to her instruction sheet. Veering off resulted in a redo–without fail.
Eighth: Exercise patience. At times Ella became impatient with the time requirements. She doesn’t live at my house, so her lessons were days apart. Lifting the machine’s pressure foot and snipping the last thread each evening required that Ella reach down deep for an oft-evasive trait: patience.
Ninth: Persevere. Sometimes seams veered too far left or too far right and had to be redone. Re-dos–snipping stitches and pulling out used thread–rank 10th on a girl’s list of 10 favorite things to do. And preparing seam edges so they don’t ravel stirs up not a single drop of creative juices. B-o-r-ing.
But Ella persevered. And the result was fantastic.
Ella learned a lesson in more than sewing. She learned to set a goal and stick with it; to evaluate styles and quality; to make astute purchases; to exercise patience; follow directions; and to persist when tempted by discouragement.
The “app” Ella and I chose was a paper pattern for a darling tunic top that hiked in the front and dipped in the back. Perfect!
Best of all, she trusted the instructions and her Mama D to direct her steps.
Which reminds me … Whatever the lesson or the flaw, “there’s an app for that” in Scripture. (Tweet That!) Now if Mama D would only trust The Father to direct hers!
P.S. I suspect another blog or two of applications from Ella’s sewing lesson are waiting in the wings.
Father God, you designed us but gave us choice. Trouble is, we choose to do wrong. And the result is a mess. Would You stand beside us, keep You hand on ours, direct our choices, and fix our messes for Jesus’ sake? Amen