MARSHFIELD, WI (Marshfield News Herald) -- A parent's love often is limitless. And like many parents, there isn't much David Herron of Marshfield won't do for his children. When his youngest daughter, Mariah, 17, became frustrated trying to find an affordable prom dress made out of camouflage fabric, she asked him if he would make her dress.
And two months later, Mariah was outfitted in her winter white camo colored prom dress ready to attend the Marshfield High School Junior Prom with her date and friends.
"I jokingly asked my dad if he could make me a prom dress. When he said yes, I was surprised," Herron said. The greater surprise was that the dress he made was really nice, she said.
In the military, David Herron learned to sew his stripes and hem his uniforms.
"I'm pretty good with straight seams and about two years ago, my wife gave me a sewing machine. I've made some quilts and pillows, but this dress was something else," he said.
More comfortable hunting wild game and wielding power tools for construction projects than wearing a dress, Mariah wanted a prom gown that reflected her individuality, she said.
"My dad is pretty good at making things, but making a dress - that's different," she said.
With each step in the dress-making process her admiration of her father's tenacity and drive grew.
The family dining room was transformed into sewing central as the table was coated with fabric and another table was set up for the sewing machine. David spent hours meticulously studying the pattern instructions to cut, gather and sew yards of fabric.
"It's white camouflage fabric, and he bought me boots to wear with it," Mariah said.
The strapless, black satin waisted gown was constructed from fabric named Snow White Camouflage with a white under layer and overlaid with black tulle. A thin black ruffle trimmed the top of the dress while a black satin bow adorned with the tops of shotgun shells were fixed at the waist of the gown.
With instructions, patience and perseverance, there's not much a parent can't do, David said. When his daughter asked him about making the dress, he thought it was possible, he said.
"Mariah and I went to Hancock Fabrics and started looking at fabric and patterns. If it hadn't been for the ladies that work there, we would have walked out and that would have been the end of this," David said.
The guidance and advice from the Hancock Fabrics staff, 1919 N. Central Ave., convinced him he could make the dress even though he had limited sewing experience, David said.
"They showed us the fabric and we talked about patterns. Then we got started," he said. About two months later, Mariah's dress was ready for prom.
"I think she likes it. She asked me if I'd make her wedding dress," he said and smiled.
Liz Welter writes for News-Herald Media.