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


Oh, I am so with you ~ we do our best to hide the flaws, and then proceed to tell everyone what we did wrong, and what we did to fix / hide it! Ah well. There you go. You can fess up here, and then hopefully you won't need to fess up on the Big Day. :-D

I'm sending positive karma thoughts to the Weather Goddesses, too! Hope it holds off til after the festivities!

Hugs, Jen

By Blogger Jennifer, at 9:09 AM  

Bess, love, you are SO hard on yourself! That tiny little flaw amounts to 99.99999 percent perfection, not 90! I hereby order you to focus on the incredible job you have done, not just making this work of art but designing it as well. You are a goddess, and I am in awe.

Love -
LWLY by the ton

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:15 AM  

Darling Bess - it doesn't matter how cold it is, it doesn't matter if it snows, it doesn't matter if it's 70 degrees and sunny - it will be a beautifull, blessed day that will be warm and loving in every way.

(Says she who got the same comments about her own winter wedding.)

By Blogger Amie, at 11:16 AM  

Bess - the dress sounds fabulous - the flower the perfect addition. Its been enthralling reading about your trip from idea to finish on this dress. Have a wonderful weekend!

By Blogger Melissa, at 6:03 PM  

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Monday, January 17, 2005  

5 days to go!

'Every cloud has a silver lining.' That's what they say. 'It's an ill wind that blows no one any good.' They say that too. They say it. But do they really mean it? Or do they just feel socially obliged to be optimistic? You can't summon positivity out of a sense of duty. It has to be heartfelt. If, though, you really are prepared to look for hope in a seemingly hopeless situation, you'll find it. Always. This week, you won't just find hope, you'll yet find something that really deserves to be celebrated.

They say that, at least, in my horoscope again. And it better be true because now weather dot com is saying for sure: Snow on Saturday and Sunday. 60% chance.

Of course, that means 40% holds no snow and that might just be a corridor between Powhatan County and Caret. That’s all I really care about. Heck. We can have all 60% of the snow after 8 p.m. and I’ll be okay with that.

Well, I intend to look up in the sky for my hope.

You might say “Why did you plan a winter wedding in the first place?” and I would say “I have my reasons.” That wouldn’t be true. Bride&Groom had their reasons, though, and they were pretty good ones. But they are deeply private. And no, Bride isn’t expecting, either. Anyway, it’s too late to do anything about it. TheWedding goes forth.

Yesterday I made the bronze green shrug for MOH and a silk taffeta calla lily to stitch to the back of TheWeddingDress where the zipper leaves the bodice and enters the skirt. It’s got a wired stem so that it can be bent and positioned just right. There’s a story behind this.

Back in December (the 18th, to be exact) when I put in the zipper (by hand, through all that taffeta and ribbon tape) there was a flaw in the insertion. The flaw was really created when I cut out the skirt. It’s too complicated to explain, but I can describe the flaw. It was the sewing equivalent of the jog in circular knitting. You know what I mean: when you get back to the beginning of the round, especially in colorwork, there is a little jog where the next round begins. In knitting, people usually accept it as what Elizabeth Zimmermann calls “a little thing of beauty that you can't change so you must admire”. She gives the German word for it, but I don’t have the video at home to remind me.

In sewing, though, it is proof that the garment was made by an amateur. It is one of the major “LovingHandsAtHome” mistakes. Anyone who sews will see it immediately, even if she didn’t actually look for it. Everyone who knows me will be looking hard at the dress, since the whole world knows I made it. It’s a quarter inch jog. The bodice is sewn to the skirt along a steep diagonal seam, dropping 6 inches from right side to left, across a slender size 4-6 girl's hips. That jog is smack in the center of the back. Since the bodice has a layer of ruched taffeta on top, the gathers and folds of the ruching very quickly hang down below the seamline enough to make the jog almost unnoticeable.

So. No man will see it. 85% of the women I know won’t see it. Bride had been putting the dress on for a month now and never said a word. The issue for me was - could I bear the humiliation of presenting BeautifulBride in Gown made by MOG - to that 15% of the people who would see it?

Answering that question was a spiritual journey for me. Mama will see it because I’ll probably point it out to her. She showed me my first sewing lessons when I was just a little girl and coached me through my teens, after I’d taken “real” lessons from the home-ec teacher at the high school. There were countless times when she sewed along side me, late into the night, when some fashion emergency loomed with it’s frightening deadline. I remember one navy blue crepe skirt, cut on the bias, that we struggled with, just before a concert! La - Mom - thank you yet again for that. C will notice it and her big loving heart will welcome the fact that I, too, while talented and skilled, am not perfect. It will be another bond between two good friends. P will notice it and perhaps a little pinch of satisfaction will sharpen her heart before her knowing eye will survey the rest and figure that 90% success is not bad. Congratulations will follow. E will see it and, I’m sad to say, will probably be glad - and smug.

When I first saw this flaw I had to search both my soul and my database of sewing skills before deciding what to do next. I truly believe that I could not fix the mistake. There wasn’t enough time, nor fabric. The alteration would require such thinly margined seams that the integrity of the dress would be compromised. I asked myself if I could accept the embarrassment and decided my discomfort was but a small offering to lay on alter of the Goddess of Sewing, in return for the success of the rest of this dress. And so, for the past month, that little jog has been my “little thing of beauty...”.

But on Saturday, timidly, nervously, hesitantly, Bride asked me if we couldn’t do something about it. How I laughed at myself and at fate and at the world then. She had a little fabric flower thingy with streamers and put it over the jog. Could I make something like that? Yes, of course I could. I’ve already come to terms with the embarrassment. But she had not. I realized that she’d been worrying about it for over a week.

And in the night, the idea came to me that instead of a rosette with streamers, what was called for was a clean, sleek, elegant, silk taffeta calla lily. And that’s just what I made. Her bouquet is a long sweep of calla lilies tied with vanilla ribbon. She will walk in holding them in front and the little silk one will be the last thing to follow her down the isle. It’s hard to believe 2.5 inches of fabric would require 3 hours of sewing, but it was hand sewn and had to be lined and turned and the stem is wired so it can be bent. But it is stunning. It is the perfect touch on this glorious dress. And nobody will know that there’s a flaw beneath it.

Nobody but y’all.

If I can keep my fat mouth shut.

I am so likely, now, to grab everybody and say “Look here! See where I screwed up? See how I fixed it?”

Well. Only here. Bride does not want people to know there’s a flaw in her dress. And in my new role as MotherInLaw, I will, by gum, learn to not talk about my beloved darlings as if they were my beloved dolls.

P was down yesterday with loads of WeddingReceptionStuff and we plotted out the coming week.

She won’t be back till Tuesday, when I will be at work. Still, we managed to cross some stuff of the TTDFTW list.


Make more and greater offerings to WeatherGoddess
Finish wedding dress 2-3 hours or just press dress 30 minutes
Call or have Bride call restaurant
Monitor budget & write checks, place in envelopes
Tidy house so Magnificent Sheryl can clean
Get refrigeration lined up - (empty Brides & my refrigerator)
Find out who has IVY - and beg some off of her
Gather greenery
Make copies of Maps
Get manicure
Trees (consult w/BD)
Get car cleaned Friday (in time for rain/snow?!?!)
Tidy front yard
Help w/decorating (remember gloves for girls)
Visit Chris and pick out serving pieces
Pick up Dress shirt at cleaners
Make gift baskets
Deliver gift baskets
Confirm about flower girls hair

(Same old same old)

And so - off I go.

posted by Bess | 8:36 AM