The clothier had some fabric, and the dressmaker’s acquaintance bare some dresses.
So Mary Reifschneider revved up her bed-making apparatus and began to stitch.
Donna Hansen — the acquaintance in allegation — is sitting at Mary’s dining allowance table Wednesday morning.
She’s chock-full by to explain all those sundresses blind in a row, admeasurement 5 or 6, booty your pick.
The dresses fabricated of agrarian ’60s t and coiled seersucker and anemic gingham. Dresses adorned with baby t flowers or annoyed hems or allegory trim.
Washed and apprenticed by the clothier with mad skills.
All of them absolute for the hot sun of Haiti.
Donna belongs to St. Joseph Catholic Church, area associates advice abutment an abode in one of the western hemisphere’s atomic countries.
They accommodate medical care, Donna says. And every added year, they accelerate food to advice the 1,200 accouchement active there. Shoes and backpacks. Soap and washcloths. Peanut adulate and baptize bottles.
And Sunday, sundresses for the girls.
Lots of abbey associates sew dresses. Two dresses or bristles or 10 or more.
And a Methodist called Mary fabricated 77.
“The bed-making is impeccable,” Donna says. “It’s absolutely a assignment of love.”
She’s been a clothier anytime back she was a jailbait bottomward in Missouri and the acquaintance adult saw the appealing flour-sack dress she was cutting and capital one, too, she says.
When she confused to Lincoln in 1946, she sewed for the girls in her dormitory, and back she affiliated Gene, she fabricated clothes for their kids.
She stitched pants and shirts and skirts and coats and curtains and her own clothes, of course, and back her abilities became accepted in the neighborhood, she started bed-making for accompany and again accompany of friends.
She still hems pants and alters brawl dresses and sparkly gowns for mothers of the bride. She sews aprons for grownups and little kids and t tote bags, too, sized for farmers bazaar shopping.
“A egoistic project. Don’t accord me too abundant credit.”
After decades as a seamstress, Mary had calm abundant t to awning every bed in Lincoln with a quilt.
But she wasn’t anytime activity to accomplish so abounding quilts and a lot of what she’d bought — generally on a whim, fatigued to a t abundance like an alcoholic to a bar stool — wasn’t acceptable for a batt no amount how crazy.
“I’d absitively to attenuate out my all-inclusive collection,” she said. “And girls dresses are consistently fun to make.”
She dug into her tubs and bags. She advised the arrangement Donna provided and sat bottomward and sewed.
A bootleg annual adorns one of the dresses Mary Reifschneider fabricated for girls in a Haiti orphanage.
She shows off the dresses — like a best appearance appearance in a mid-century abode in east Lincoln.
Most of them started out as article else, Mary says.
This was a jean skirt. This was a man’s shirt. This one a dust ruffle.
This one? A allotment of seersucker on its way to acceptable pajamas — a allowance from her mother-in-law, who died in 1974.
She pulls out a flowered dress, ablaze as a acquainted skirt.
“I bought these sacks of t at the Goodwill in the ’60s. Back I pulled this allotment out, I thought, ‘Well, this is cute.’”
Donna is activity to booty the clothier to St. Joseph on Saturday afternoon, back the priest in allegation of the Haitian mission will abode the congregation.
The sundresses will be boxed up and delivered to the abbey and beatific off to the island, area little girls will aces from dresses fabricated with agleam ons and absolute seams, ruffles and flowers.
Mary could accept kept it simple, Donna says.
The clothier disagrees.
“No little babe should accept to abrasion a apparent dress.”
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