Each wedding brings its own set of puzzles to be solved. That is what is so much fun about what I’ve done. OK, I’ve solved this puzzle and that one, give me another – love a new puzzle. Kathleen was a whole lot of fun and she really let me go with her and trusted that I knew what she wanted. She had purchased a dress, but unfortunately, the folks who altered the dress took it in about 2 sizes too small. The bride and her mother brought it to me to fix. And the truth is that I can almost always take in a dress, but as far as weaving new fabric….ummmm….that’s really hard. I had one weekend to do Kathleen as she was changing jobs and moving with her wedding in between that move plus the location was outside my state! When we realized the dress she had wouldn’t work for her, her mother brought over her dress from the storage closet, and the fit was amazingly gorgeous. I went nuts. I KNOW what can happen to a dress like this and I knew what I could do was going to be amazing. First, I needed to discover what Kathleen liked and what she wanted. Once I knew that – we were off and running.
Yes it was the 80’s and yes this was very much in style then and we couldn’t wait to make those sleeves bigger. Actually, this is rather calmed down for the times. But we try the dress on, and when the gang returns the next day, I have the sleeves off and the pleats at least modified enough so that we can actually see the basic lines of the dress, and although Kathleen was still a little anxious and was texting me photos furiously, she let me go with it which I thought was rather brave!
This is probably the biggest issue I have with clients, and that is communicating what I can do and how dramatic a change I can make in the dress. Kathleen wanted a dress that was very floating and light. She was getting married at a family member’s residence in Colorado and maybe it was not clear visions of Maria von Trapp, but I think there were some thoughts when thinking of the dress floating through the Colorado mountain landscape. So with some changes and imagination, we turned mothers dress into……
And yes, I think she was channeling a little “The hills are alive……”
Can you even believe this is the same dress? We completely redesigned the bodice, and to add to the floatiness of the gown, we added one layer of point d’esprit and very, very lightweight drapey netting on top – this made the dress additionally draping and gave her that light feeling that she was really wanting.
I cut away the bodice and added skin-toned netting and added lace to the bodice which we placed over the netting and on the back, but so that the back appeared bare. There can be a problem with this sort of design, because without the skin-toned netting (I dare you to see it), there is a real problem with a wardrobe malfunction and I do NOT do wardrobe malfunctions!
What was most fun was the dramatic change from mom’s dress to bride’s dress. I adore doing this as wearing a family member’s wedding gown has special significance. It’s already been through one hallowed ceremony and is going through another. It’s as if the dress was pre-inaugurated to make the wedding all that more meaningful!
And yes – it is the same dress!
Here’s a cute little video preview from the photographer and what I love about this is that at fittings we go through “Wedding Calisthenics” so that I know how the dress is going to react to dancing, hugging, waving to the peons and such so that I can see how not only the dress moves but how the bride feels in the gown. This video shows the full fun the bride had in the dress. This is what it’s all about!
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