Wednesday, April 7, 2010

White Satin

One time I tried to count them and came up with somewhere around a dozen. Athena and Eris, three nieces, two cousins and a number of friends all wore gowns with my "Made by Numi" tag sewn inside. Styles change dramatically and brides are unique in their shapes and desires. Some brides are easy to work with, others deserve the moniker Bridezilla.

Each dress was a challenge. The lair had to be sanitized and guests were banished. Food is forbidden within 20 feet of white satin. With each gown new techniques were learned. Handbeading, boning, hooping slips, bustles, poofing, all were different.

Last night I finished one of the scariest yet. My nephew's fiance is a darling, petite girl who needed her purchased gown shortened by 80 mm. The gown is exquisite with pleating, beading, pearls and a long flowing train. As many times as I have cut into yards and yards of white bridal satin or alencon lace this one terrified me. Perhaps it was because there was no starting over if I messed up. (Yes, that happened once.) It wasn't a simple hem job, no, this one required disassembling the lower half of the gown (all four layers), removing portions of lace, configuring angles and trying to not get Cadbury Egg fingerprints on it. I thought about the process for three weeks, studied the construction, which by itself was something of an engineering marvel, and then finally took a deep breath and started.

Taking the seams apart and peeking inside was easy. But making that first cut into the hem was terrifying. There was no going back. Kind of like induced labor. Reconstruction is now complete. The gown is hanging in it's protective bag waiting for the big day in two months. Diet Coke is now allowed in the lair again. And I can breathe.

Sorry, no photo of the entire gown. That will come later. My nephew hasn't seen it, although he has carried the bag out to my car.



The Duchess said...

Yeah! I am sure it is perfect!!

Eris said...

You had better keep in practice - Little Ms. and Littlest Ms. are both planning on you making their dresses. And Casi will make the cakes.

KFinley said...

I can't wait to see her wear it! You do make the prettiest dresses...but I would have to say the best dress you've ever worked on was completed about four years ago!

The Numismatist said...

Kara, yours wasn't the hardest but it was definitely the most interesting and fun one to do! (PS. Yours was the one I had to start over, but not completely, just the bodice.)

Eris, we'll see if I can still thread a needle by then. And Eris, yours took the most thought and time. Handbeading the entire bodice... and weaving? What ridiculous ideas!?!