Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Dress fittings and alterations

About a week ago, I tried my wedding dress on for the very first time. I've had the dress for about six months, but when I tried to put it on back then, I discovered my shoulders were just barely too broad to slip it on over my head. Since then, I've lost about 10 pounds, which apparently made the difference.

After trying on the dress, however, I discovered that I apparently have too much of a bust for a 1920s dress. (That's a new thing for me - having too much of a bust.) I decided that I don't want to flatten my chest to fit the 1920s theme, and so I'm having a seamstress make the necessary changes.

The way the dress is constructed, there is a side slit on the left side that snaps closed once you get the dress on. This slit only opens about eight inches along the narrowest part of the waist, instead of going all the way to the armpit, which is why the dress was so tight going over my shoulders. So one of the things the seamstress is doing is opening that slit to the armpit and adding more snaps.

The second thing that she is doing is adding just about an inch of fabric along with the snaps, to give me enough room to wear a bra. There is plenty of extra fabric where the bodice and skirt of the dress meet, so it shouldn't even be obvious that alterations have been made.

The third thing that the seamstress is doing is repairing some rips in the very fragile silk chiffon scallops. She's going to use fabric glue and a few blind stitches here and there, but the chiffon is so fragile that normal sewing would only create more holes, and rip it more. I told her I don't expect it to be perfect - I just want the bad rips, of which there are only a few, fixed so that they don't rip further and do even more damage.

Finally, the seamstress is making adjustments to the belt for me. I want it to sit low on my hips (but not so low that it'll be in danger of falling off). However, for some reason the belt is quite long, which makes me believe it was probably a sash that was tied in the back at one time. In any case, she is going to move the snaps so that it fits me correctly.

It was so exciting to try the dress on and get measured. It's very flattering to my figure - much more so than a poofy, modern wedding dress would have been.

However, it was also difficult to leave the dress behind when we left. I wish that part wasn't necessary. Even though I had absolute confidence in the seamstress at the time, my mind started up the "what if" scenarios a few hours later. I'll be on pins and needles for the next month or so until I get my dress back.

While we were there, two of my bridesmaids - my sister, who is my maid of honor, and my good friend Laura K. - also were measured for the alterations on their dresses. I am so glad that we went with the bridesmaid dresses we did - they look very flapper-esque, and will complement my gown nicely.

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