Monday, June 29, 2009

Anniversary Dress

Here's the second dress made for Yvonne! This was made for her (new) husband's parents 40th Wedding Anniversary Celebration. I had every intention of taking pictures at the final fitting... but we ended up doing it at my (day) job while I was on my 30-minute lunch break, and snapping photos was the last thing on my mind... So I adjusted a strap, added another little ruched detail at the hem, and sent her on her way. Whew!

She's promised me pics, but until then, here are a few process shots:

This is the underdress. Isn't it pretty? I almost hated to cover it up with the burgundy embroidered rayon. The front piece of the skirt was draped on the bias. I wanted it to skim over the baby belly without adding extra bulk, so I cut the underskirt differently from the overskirt. I don't know if this was a stroke of brilliance or just plain insanity.

And then the overdress. The front was draped in one piece. Again, I didn't want to add unnecessary bulk by putting a seam there. And, again, this may have been a stroke of brilliance or sheer madness.

And here's the detail of the side ruching. (Please ignore the TOTAL DISASTER that is my sewing room. I can't figure out if I am seriously overestimating my abilities or seriously underestimating the amount of time it takes to do things.)

What I will say is that I'm kind of impressed with myself. Between Jessica's Wedding Dress (I just searched my blog and realized that I NEVER posted pictures of this. I wonder if it's because I'm STILL WAITING for the reception photos. [HINT HINT]) So here's a process pic of her wedding dress:

That was ... hmmm... early 2008. MAJOR undertaking. One-of-a-kind, original design, all of the bodice draping was done in one piece, etc etc... Then there was Yvonne's wedding dress, which was a simpler design, but still one-of-a-kind and, again, created entirely by ME. And then the dress above. Each of these dresses has been different, some more difficult than others, but each presented different design challenges and different fabric challenges.

So I guess -- I'm proud of myself? I didn't take draping in college, I muddled along and got some pointers here and there, but most of the time I find myself on a collision course with a deadline and, truth be told, NO FUCKING CLUE what I'm doing. (Scary, no? Notice I don't mention this until AFTER deadlines are met) But I guess I've picked a few things up along the way, because -- SUCCESS! Right? I mean, these dresses look pretty good, don't they?

And I don't want to admit this in a public forum, because I'm presenting myself as a professional, (and I am, dammit!!) But I'm committed to PROCESS and, especially, learning from process. So I want to get on here and admit the mistakes I made. Admit that in one point during the draping of the anniversary dress, I thought that I could drape the underdress in one piece, and that the pleats forming the bust could drape into pleats for the baby belly. Here's a pic:

It's a mess, isn't it? Because it doesn't work that way. And I didn't know that (which is why we drape in muslin!) But I know it now - and not only that, but I UNDERSTAND it now. And I believe that there's a lot of value in that!

So I'll continue being honest. That's ok, right?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Isn't she lovely?

The lovely Yvonne, in her non-traditional wedding dress. She selected the fabric, I draped, patterned, and sewed it.

Whew! Someday I'll tell you how, the day before the wedding, I was pressing seams and melted all the clear elastic that was in the back part of the dress (I used clear elastic because I wanted to play with the sheerness, and didn't want to see white elastic through the sheer overlay) and had to re-thread it all the night before the wedding, which meant rushing the dress down the hallway to the Bride's hotel room minutes before she left for the wedding! I didn't tell her this, of course.

And thanks to Jules for deciding we should stay in the hotel across the street from the venue, even though we only live 20 miles away. This also helped post-wedding, after we'd consumed as much alcohol as possible in a 4-hour period. (At the request of the Bride & Groom, I might add. Half of their guests don't drink, and they wanted to get their moneys worth! And no, you WON'T be seeing those pictures!)