Thursday, May 21, 2009

More on the dress

I'm in a black hole of not sewing right now, for various reasons - I did do some prom dress alterations for a friend's daughter, but that doesn't really count as sewing; that only counts as swearing a lot as I break needles trying to sew through the beaded trim at the empire waist because I couldn't bear the idea of cutting into it and having to re-sew all those beads.

Other than that, it's just been a really busy couple of days that have prevented me from getting where I want to be, which is sitting at the machine, making something. At this point, making anything.

Sunday was the wedding. It was a simple, beautiful ceremony - they just said their vows to each other with a few of us there to witness it, and then we popped some champagne and had cake and eventually had a cookout on the back porch. I did promise more photos of the dress, though, and the bride was very cooperative because I wanted to take some shots documenting the construction of the dress. Since I got there early to help her dress, that was easy.

As you can see, I made sure to get a few shots of the jacket. I love the brilliance of putting the train on the jacket, rather than on the dress. How logical is that? There's a wrist loop on the underside of the train, so she was able to keep it up and out of her way while coming down the very twisty back stairs from her bedroom after getting ready.

I mentioned earlier that it was hard watching the dress leave the house, but it was surprisingly easy to watch her get married in it. And actually, when we got together last night so I could give her the wedding photos, I told her that she could keep it. A bride should keep her wedding dress, right? It was my heirloom; now it's hers. Having worn it, it's more valuable to her now, and I feel strangely light now that it's gone. There's no longer this 70 year old garment-of-expectations in a box in my closet, waiting for me to either (a) shrink drastically, or (b) muster up an occasion to wear it when things are just fine the way they are, thank you very much. The pressure is gone.

Before the wedding, I did get quite a bit of sewing done - I made a new version of one of my favorite summer dresses, McCall 4444, the Laura Ashley halter sundress. I wanted to wear it for the wedding, but of course the weather didn't cooperate and it was only about 60 degrees. They were actually thinking about lighting the fireplace in the house for the wedding, and sitting in front of the fire in a backless sundress just seemed silly.

So I dug out BWOF 3/08 #115, the flutter-sleeve Liberty cotton dress from last year. I figured with serious shapewear underneath, it would fit (it was a little snug when I made it, and I've always held it against the poor dress that it never fit properly), but surprisingly, I was able to wear it without. Yay! I haven't dropped a pound going to the gym, but apparently things have either tightened and/or relocated, because the dress was comfortable.

Long weekend ahead, so I'm bound to get some sewing time in. Right now I'm also working on constructing an Ikea wardrobe for my closet room, a plan that's been in progress for over 2 years but has been somewhat accelerated by the arrival in my house of Mario's entire wardrobe, which is right now hanging on the back of every door in the place. And it's not like the doors in my 100 year old house open and close properly anyway, so this isn't helping. Once the wardrobe is completed, I can spend a few hours of happy organization and neaten this rats' nest up a little.

Photos will follow of the McCall 4444 dress - right now there's so much rubble dumped in the workroom because of the closet-building project that I can't get my dress form out the door to take pictures.

So this was pretty much a non-sewing post, but I did want to put up the rest of the wedding dress photos, because I think it's a gorgeous creation, and it really really suits the bride like it was made for her.

In addition to dealing with my messy house, and my serious need for some time alone to do some sewing, I'm also having a little bit of a fabric jones. All the online fabric stores are having sales this weekend, and I've been fending off sale emails left and right.

But I don't think I can hold out much longer. I haven't bought any fabric - any - since March. I think that may be too long. If I buy just a little now, when I'm just starting to twitch, maybe I can stave off a full-blown, run-amok-can't-carry-it-all-home shopping expedition.


mitch1066 said...

I have to say i'm giving you a huge hug.Letting go of something like that can be hard but as you put it so well its part of her memories now.Well done!!

Uta said...

Wow, that picture on the window seat is simply beautiful. I think you did a wonderful thing letting go of the dress and giving it a new life!

Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

Karen that is a beautiful dress and you are sooooooo generous in not only letting her wear the dress but to keep it too! Glad you enjoyed the wedding!

Mary Beth said...

Wow, what a gorgeous garment! I am going to remember it for a long time as I'm sure you will. It is too lovely of you to pass it on to your friend.

Rose said...

What a gorgeous dress!!! The bride does look lovely in it. You've accomplished a win-win: the bride gets a heirloom dress thanks to your generosity and you eliminated pressure for yourself. Happy sewing!

Cennetta said...

The gown is adsolutely lovely. Your friend is lucky to have you. The splender of the dress suits her. Congratulations to everyone.

BTW-I've nominated you for the Attitude of Gratitude award.

Ann Made Studio said...

It is truly a beautiful dress and she looked amazing in it!
Giving her the dress was very generous and something she will appreciate forever.

Tany said...

Again, you did the right thing! You made someone very happy!!! The pictures of the bride are lovely, thanks for sharing them!

Cindy said...

That is simply beautiful! How very kind of you to pass it on to her.

Kat said...

Thanks for sharing those lovely pics, Karen! You are such a great friend.

SkitzoLeezra said...

What a nice gift you gave your friend - not just the dress but your talent and vision. My organizational mantra that I tell all my cluttered friends: it's selfish to keep things that you aren't using. This story is the perfect example of sharing.