Wednesday, January 18, 2012
"The Dress"- The Incredible Shrinking Bride (part 4)
Well, I took Maggie's advice and was able to finish the bodice and had to admit it looked pretty good. So, I turned my attention to finishing the panels of the skirt. Each panel was very time-consuming. I have never worked with bridal satin before, so getting each panel to lay just like I wanted, was a real challenge.
As I turned the panels right side out, I noticed that since I was unable to press the seams open as I usually do, they would not drape like Sarah wanted. I went to bed that night trying to find the words to tell Sarah that it just wasn't going to happen. I could not do it.
At 2:33 am I woke up and thought of an idea. I got up and went back to the sewing room. I proceeded to turn the panel right side out and then very carefully, while pinching the seam, baste it together to allow me to press it. Much to my surprise (shock), this worked. When I hung the first finished panel on the dress form and turned the folds out, I could have sat down right there and cried happy tears. Or, possibly could have been tears of exhaustion. I realized I had been up all night.
The skirt has 7 panels so you can imagine how much precious time this took. I would wake up at 5 am each morning, quickly get ready for work, and then work on the dress until it was time to leave for work. After work, I would get home and make a salad for supper and then right back at it, working until I just could not see anymore.
As I was nearing completion on the skirt, I asked Sarah what she wanted the underskirt (we never knew what to call this) to be made of? Since the skirt of the dress had the panels that fold open, it needed an underskirt. The Princess' dress that inspired Sarah had antique lace but Sarah wasn't sold on the idea of lace. She was thinking of a brocade but we tried a few and they just did not look right. We didn't have antique lace so I found a couple of laces that I thought would work. Sarah chose a beautiful vintage-looking Chantilly lace. A very delicate, all-over pattern. The underskirt was made of taffeta because the dress was getting very heavy. The taffeta was light weight and the lace was sewn to it. This worked pretty well. For the most part, the lace would not be seen very much...except when she was dancing! And then under the very heavy, draped skirt you would see a feminine lace skirt.
At this point, I started feeling like maybe Sarah will have “the dress” she SO wanted. But, we faced another challenge...the incredible shrinking bride. Sarah, as most brides, was watching her diet, working out and she began losing weight. Between me and you she was under a lot of stress, too. She was finishing up her Bachelor's degree. Her graduation was the same day as the wedding. Needless to say, she chose to go to the wedding. Working as a bank teller. Planning a wedding and every time she came home, there was yet ANOTHER problem with “the dress.”
Now the dress was too big! It was the last weekend in November. I was almost out of time. “Maggie...help.”
To be continued tomorrow...