Recently I noticed a Freshly Pressed blog post by Seamless with the heading “Would You Ever Sew a Wedding Dress for Someone?” This brought to mind a flood of not so distant memories. Late last year I agreed to my daughter’s request to make her wedding dress.
Let me set up the scenario a little: She is an athlete and believes in minimalist living… i. e. sharing a house with half a dozen people, turning every penny twice (maybe this is partially due to her student loan resulting in a master’s degree from a foreign country?) and is a staunch supporter of recycling. Why did I mention this?
Here is the surprise – After a brief mention that she would be getting married during the summer of 2012 and my offering to consider making the wedding dress she sent images for inspiration of what she thought would be a nice start for a dress. The first link that arrived in my inbox within days turned out to be an image of a dreamy and stunningly beautiful Vera Wang dress with large rosettes covering the skirt, the edges skillfully stiffened with horse hair… The description on a designer’s blog included the insight that the new trend in wedding dresses has a focus on “looking as good exiting the church, or place of entering into the commitment, as when you enter the space…”
After some careful deliberation and without too much haste I told our daughter that my artistic sewing skills did not include such complicated processes. Fast forward to two days before Christmas 2011 – We spent three hours in a Calgary fabric store selecting a pattern – the choice was a mermaid style dress.
And just for fun I want to give your imagination a workout: The vows will be exchanged at sunrise. She will arrive by canoe. How does one say “no” to an only daughter’s request and yet find it impossible to put the picture of a capsizing canoe with a wet bride clad in silk and sheer fabrics emerging from a lake in eastern Ontario? The mother of the bride smiles… assures the bride that “it can be done” and proceeds.
Since we live several hours by plane apart I knew that regular fittings would be difficult. Several hours creating a “duct tape dress form” provided much laughter and entertainment for the whole family including future in-laws. At home the form was fastened to a metal stand in the studio.
All appeared organized and I was awaiting the orders to start on the muslin in time for a first fitting while traveling through Toronto in May. The OK was not forthcoming. A sports injury prevented the bride from continuing her regular rigorous workouts. Her mood somewhat bleak, and her repeated statements that she had put on “a lot” of weight had me waiting patiently for the go ahead email… which never arrived.
Slightly panicked myself due to a full teaching schedule and various deadlines for exhibitions I put my position on the line in mid-May. I basically conveyed my concerns about leaving such an important sewing project to the last minute… I don’t do “last minute” well – just ask my husband!
It was agreed that my visit to Toronto would include time to look and possibly shop for a wedding dress. That proved to be very trying and stressful – for both of us! But, never give up hope: Approximately five minutes before I was to depart for the airport we found a dress that captured her undivided attention.
The wedding dress plan changed within a matter of moments. She settled on a dress we found in a “previously loved” designer wear store (how fitting is that for someone who wants to preserve preserve our resources?). It is lovely! It is short (to the knee), cream colored, crocheted and best of all it suits her perfectly. Along with the groom in his handwoven poet’s shirt they will be comfortable climbing into and out of canoes.
The wedding is taking place tomorrow at sunrise (6:19 a. m.) – and I am that much calmer as I didn’t have to sew the dress! Thanks for indulging me while I share an important event from my personal life.
There will be no further posts of the wedding – partially to respect the happy couple. Today’s images will have to suffice of Nicole holding her dress, trying on the hair adornment and hand-knitted silk shawl while Greg is wearing the handwoven silk and linen shirt for the first time.
Since the wedding photographer has a website and posted selected images of the event I feel it is OK to share the link with you here.