Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


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Monday, December 13, 2004  


Who would have thought - the final decision on the skirt comes down to gathers!

I spent the whole day carefully cutting and sewing and pressing. I had seamed all the front under- and over-skirt pieces and was pressing the first set of back piece seams when Bride & Groom walked in yesterday. I had pinned the skirt fronts to the bodice to see how it looked and had draped it across a chair. Of course, the fabric is so stunning it’s always exciting to see and the bodice was much more three dimensional looking, though the skirt, of course was flat. There were murmurs and strokes of fingers, but I could tell that I’d missed the mark in Bride’s soul. I can often hear her heart speak even when her mouth is shut and her brain is working. Also, I’ve talked with her enough, and looked at enough magazines with her and shopped with her enough that I have, in my own heart, if not in my brain, all the information about what she’s hungering for.

And in fact, she was right. The dress, while pretty, was not right. It wasn’t stunning. It wasn’t knock your socks off WOW. And with this much silk it really should be. And for any bride it really should be. There is nothing so disappointing at a wedding, for bride or guests, than a ho-hum wedding dress. I’d rather have bad wedding cake than see an ugly dress - or even a dull one.

I explained to Bride that in order to go from a very wide hem to a very narrow waist one needs either gores with seams, darts, or gathers - and would she like to see what gathers looked like?

She nodded.

I eye-balled the hem width, gathered a length of silk organza and swiftly pinned it to the bodice.


That was what was wrong. All that magnificent organza needed an opportunity to show it’s stuff. Cut flat and fitted over a gored skirt it did shimmer in the light, but it seemed - what is the word? - subdued. Gathered into a full puff of cloudlike silken splendor - whooee! Did that dress ever zap your eyes out!

I had worried about the gathers because it’s being tucked into an asymmetrical line full of horizontal gathers. I’d worried about too much geometry. What I hadn’t figured on was the impact of puffs-0-cloud silk organza being tucked into snap-crackle-pop crisp ruching of silk taffeta. It’s a stunning effect. It wouldn’t work on just any body, certainly not on the curvy type, but on this slim woman with the flat belly - oh you betcha. It’s a perfect match.

Of course, I didn’t say this. I let Bride decide, but I already knew the moment I spread out the pinned together dress front that I’d hit the mark. I pinned the bodice together in the back and fluffed out the skirt with a roll of netting on the floor, so she could see how wide the skirt was, then brought down the mirror so she could see. But we both knew already, that this was IT. The perfect PrincessBrideDress.

She was so happy - and confessed that she’d hated to ask me to make a change in the design so far along. I laughed and told her it was providence - that she came in at exactly the right moment - when there was time and fabric enough to make the change. It’s even easier to do, since I’m just going to gather straight sections of cloth. The flat gores of the taffeta at the hip keep the gathers from looking too puffy. The heft of the organza is enough to follow the line down to the floor in a sweeping line that follows the exaggerated A line of the taffeta. If this were a softer fabric it would sink as it flowed down, making the skirt cling at the thigh area.

So - we are over the hump. I will need all of the 4 day weekend I’m planning on taking, to finish this dress - but it’s really just a matter of sewing now. No more thinking. And the French seams are stunning, btw. This obedient fiber just goes where I tell it to and stays there till I tell it to go somewhere else. Long Live Silk!

In celebration, all of us watched 16 Candles while we ate soup and sandwiches for dinner. I never heard Groom and Father-0-Groom laugh so hard.

And lawsee - here I am almost late for work.

I love all your comments. Hugs to each and every one of you. I promise, when I set up my Wedding Dress Sewing Business I will send you all cards.

posted by Bess | 7:53 AM