In Sight

Story and photo by Daryn Slover

Father sews best

Kylee Jackson-Reeve wore every woman’s wish to the dance – a one-of-a-kind dress.

But, not only did she have a unique dress, Jackson-Reeve danced with a one-of-a-kind dad.

Jackson-Reeve’s date made the periwinkle and green, polka dot dress that the 9-year-old wore to the Franklin County Children’s Task Force Father-Daughter dance in Jay on Saturday evening.

Nathan Reeve of Farmington was home-schooled for one year when he learned to sew. “I wanted my kids to be well-rounded. I made sure they could function with everyday stuff,” said Reeve’s mother, Emmarie Reeve of North Jay.

“Nathan is also quite a cook,” said his mother. “He makes the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever had, and I have had a lot,” Emmarie said.

“Cooking, ironing, I do it all,” Nathan said. “Then in my spare time, I go fishing.”

Reeve, 31, and his daughter have been to the father-daughter dance three times since Jackson-Reeve was 6 years old. The last dress cost $56 and took two months to find. This year’s dress took one trip to Wal-Mart and $25 to buy a pattern, material, two spools of thread and a zipper.

“I had a hard time with the zipper,” Reeve said. “I kind of winged it.” Overall, Reeve is pleased with his first dress. “I am a perfectionist, so I see flaws in it, but after 15 years of not sewing, I am pretty happy with it.”

As for Jackson-Reeve: “She loves it,” her father said.

The dress began as a sewing lesson. Jackson-Reeve wanted to learn how to make clothes for her 23 Webkinz. Reeve and his daughter went looking for a pattern to make an apron, something much easier to sew than a dress. Jackson-Reeve then spotted the design she wanted to wear to the father-daughter dance.

New orders are already coming in. Reeve’s 5-year-old stepdaughter, Iliana, would like a dress also. “When she found out I was getting a dress, she wanted one, too,” said Jackson-Reeve, a fourth-grader at Jay Elementary School.

Reeve’s 6-year-old stepson Jose wants a T-shirt.

“A plain green one, unless we can find a dinosaur pattern,” Reeve said.

Reeve only had one person crack jokes about his dress-making skills. “My buddy Robert hassled me,” Reeve said. “I said back to him, somebody’s mommy still has to sew his buttons on his pants when they fall off.”

“He stopped teasing me.”

As for Nathan’s dance attire – a three-piece suit he picked up from a thrift shop and a clean shave. Reeve had a three-week-old beard going and Jackson-Reeve made him cut it off just before the dance. “I had just gotten past the itchy stage and she made me shave it off,” Reeve said.

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