The Widow’s New Dress
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“The Widow’s New Dress,” Ensign, Feb. 1980, 57

The Widow’s New Dress

We were discussing our spring sewing when the dear little old lady spoke up. “I have some fabric I would like to have a dress from, but I can no longer see well enough to sew.” Most of us knew only rumors of this widow’s life of sacrifice. We had never heard her ask for anything until now.

Someone had to make her that dress. I didn’t have the time, and I wasn’t a good seamstress, but I knew I had to do it. When she gave me her fabric, I knew there would be just enough for the dress she wanted if I made the cuffs and collar from a contrasting material. As I sewed, I tried to raise the neckline to her liking, but after numerous attempts I still couldn’t get the contrast strip and facing to attach properly.

In desperation, I knelt by my sewing machine and told the Lord how important it was that this sweet lady get a new dress, how badly she wanted this particular fabric, and how it was being ruined as I picked out stitches over and over. To my astonishment, as I worked I could see how to attach the collar to the altered neckline—although I did not know how to do it before I started. A sweet spirit was with me as I sewed into the night, completing the dress perfectly.

She cried when she tried it on. It was just what she wanted. I cried because I knew the Lord wanted her to have that dress as much as I did. Told by a visiting teacher to Susan Zmolek, Aurora, Colorado

Illustrated by Scott Snow