Currently I have no granddaughters in high school. I thought that eliminated the possibility of fielding last minute requests for help with costumes, The girls came up with crazy stuff like wanting me to create something on very short notice for Dress-as-a-Comic-Strip-Character day or for I'm-a-Nerd day at school. I am learning grandsons can come with strange requests, too. One of the boys came to me asking to borrow a Christmas-themed sweater. He needed something to wear on Ugliest-Christmas-Sweater day. It gave me pause. He thinks I have some ugly sweaters!
The granddaughters seemed to think I could magically provide whatever they needed with a one or two day notice just by exploring my sewing scraps and challenging me with their ideas. Years earlier I offered to make clothing for St. Rose of Lima and for Mary Magdalene for All Saints' Day prayer services and that may have been what made them think I could handle more complicated assignments.
For example: a number of years ago I was having a very busy day. I had to make sixteen phone calls with regard to an upcoming meeting. I was joining friends for lunch and had errands to take care of at the bank, pharmacy, library and parish rectory. Once all of that was done I returned home, ready to sit back and read the day's paper. That is when teenaged granddaughters, Amanda and Emily, showed up at the door. "Grandma, can you make me a hat for our spring musical?" Amanda asked. Creating a hat was certainly not on my agenda for the day, but we sat down to discuss it.
She whipped out photographs of a fat doughnut shaped pillow, strapped with gold bands and trailing a shear veil. It was for her role as the wicked stepmother in "Cinderella". My first reaction was "Gulp." She was sure we would find something in my sewing room that would work. She described her character as a rich, brash and gaudy-dressing woman of medieval times. The hat could be purchased over the internet but it cost several hundred dollars. That statement caught my attention. The hat was ugly. I could certainly attempt to create ugly and it would cost next to nothing.
An hour later we had a shiny black material sewed around a tube of quilt batting. We found several gold chains to drape around and over it. Then the girls dug through their great-grandma's old jewelry box for something gaudy to finish it off.
I thought we were finished but then Emily broke the rest of their news. Smart girls. They didn't give me the entire load right away. She would be an extra in the musical and she needed a headpiece to wear when she attended the Prince's Ball. "Oh, and my friend will need something, too." She settled on a much simpler design and we had all 3 ready for the first rehearsal - two days later.
I breathed a sigh of relief when they went off with the hats. I had done my part for the high school musical for that year. I was wrong. Another of the girls in the play needed her gown for the Prince's Ball "aged". The girls' word, not mine. She wanted to wear one of her prom dresses but it didn't have the medieval look. Nothing in my sewing room looked like it would work but we made a trip to a fabric store and bought a yard of material to make a short cover-up with cape sleeves. That changed the look of the dress. Even I was surprised at how easy it was to make that change. I did have a window of five days to complete that project.
The lad who borrowed the Christmas sweater returned it, maybe stretched a little, but in good enough shape. I did not, however, return it to my closet shelf. It went into the bag destined to be delivered to the Goodwill store. His second choice also went along with it. He had found TWO Christmas sweaters that in his opinion qualified as ugly!