Pret-a-porter

Soon to be a wedding dress

Soon to be a wedding dress...stay tuned

Finally, I managed to find a sliver of time to work on my dress. Yes, I’m making my wedding dress.

While I look at all the bridal magazines and think,”Oh wouldn’t it be fun to look like a princess for the big day?” I also know that in my gut I could never, ever justify it to myself. Buying a dress that cost more than my entire wardrobe for one day, even if it is the day, is silly for me, fine for others. I’m a bit of a cheap frugal person and it gives me great joy to tell people that I paid a dollar for this or 50 cents for that. I never buy things for full price (unless there’s a dire need for something) and I try to think of how to alter things so that it looks like I buy my clothes from Anthropologie. Still working on that last bit… if only I could make their shoes… I also tend to bite off more than I can chew and end up having nothing to show.

But this time is different! I have a simple dress pattern (I think), no linings, no boning, nothing fancy. Just a nice summer dress and a little jacket to keep the chill away when it gets cooler. (I assume that since you’re reading my wedding blog that you know that we’re having our wedding in our backyard. You should look at the location page to get the full idea of what that means.)

When I started and had my measurements in hand I was ready to cut out the pattern to match. Of course, like most other women, I didn’t fit one particular size. Grrr! Now what. I’ve been out of the clothing making mindset for over a decade now from my days at WWU and I wasn’t positive of what would be the next step. Lucky for me I have a secret weapon!

The neighbor who lives across the drive from us just happens to have made a career out of sewing, tailoring and pattern making. I believe she has told me that she made men’s suits from scratch for a living including all of her ex-husband’s, she worked for an opera house in Seattle doing costuming and also taught pattern making classes… those classes may have been at UW… I can’t quite remember. So, yay for me! She said that she would be happy to help if I ran into any snags. I had hit one.

She’s quite talented and I was wondering if her style of explaining things would be over my head. She came to our house and we went into my workspace upstairs – which she loved, yay! – and set to work.

Workshop attic

Workshop attic

It took just a quick minute or two before I understood what she had been telling me on a scrap piece of paper over at her house. It was like smelling something you haven’t encountered in years and having it take you back to a specific time in your history (i.e. pine trees and Christmas, cookies and grandma’s house, perfume and going to the theatre). When I saw her method for altering a pattern I instantly remembered being in the costume shop at Western and watching Gregory, the costume master, work his magic. I hadn’t even cut out the pattern and already I was ready to learn and create more and more! Hopefully, she was serious when she left and said that she loves doing this kind of stuff.

If there hadn’t been a Father’s Day pie to make I might have been further along at this point. But I have today off and only a few tasks to accomplish: phone calls, gym, shower, etc. Look out dress! Here I come!

By the way, it’s green linen. I thought I heard you ask.

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