Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Lesson of the Red Suit

I didn't post much last week because I was busy with one of my volunteer gigs, helping out on an event for 4-H. If you are a longtime reader, you know I grew up in 4-H and it is a program near and dear to my heart.

I had to speak at the event on Friday, and I shared this story of one of the life lessons I learned from 4-H.

The Lesson of the Red Suit

It was my last year in 4-H, and I was sewing a dress for the Fashion Revue. I use the term sewing loosely, because for me, garment construction was literally an exercise in blood, sweat and tears – mine and my mother’s! Two days before the Fashion Revue, I cut a hole in the dress and ruined it.

My mother and I headed to the store where we bought more fabric and God only knows why, a NEW pattern. For a double breasted suit no less.

I worked nearly around the clock to make that suit in two days. I even hemmed the skirt by hand in the car on the way to the Fashion Revue.

I don’t recall exactly how I did at the event, but I clearly recall the conversation I had with my mom when it was all over. I asked her why we didn’t make something simpler or just skip Fashion Revue instead of whipping up a double-breasted suit in two days. And she responded, “Because that’s not what 4-H teaches you.”

And she was right. There was a lesson in that suit. It wasn't a lesson about sewing. It was a lesson about keeping your commitments and challenging yourself to do what needs to be done, no matter how difficult. It’s a lesson that was so powerful, I still have that suit, some 20 years later.


That's right, I still have the suit, 80s shoulder pads and all. I worked so hard on it that I've never been able to part with it. I dug it out of the back of my closet so I could show it as I told my story.

I'm still amazed that I made that suit in two days. I'm even more amazed that the skirt has a 23-inch waist!

© Trippin' Mama 2011

1 comment:

Leontien said...

Haha amazing that you still have the suit! I think it's great if we save some of those treasures and memories!

Thanks for sharing!

p.s. i love your background! :-)