I know I’m excited here, but just last week I wrote a Facebook post about how I’d lost 20 pounds. I’d been working on my dress and had my next-door neighbor help me with the fitting process. Anne sews or has sewn. She knows things. She asked me if I had a sewing gauge. I do, but I’ll be danged if I’ve ever used such a thing. Anyway, she said I should only make adjustments on the side seams because they didn’t affect other areas, so she measured how much I should take in. I memorized it and immediately went to work decreasing the size on the rest of the dress. Well, almost. I finished that last Sunday evening. I felt so good about it that I went to bed and actually slept on a Sunday night. I never sleep well on Sunday nights.
I put everything aside until yesterday and then picked it up and began working on it again. I had a difficult time with the lining. For one, there are three pieces with interfacing on them that are called “facing pieces,” which I get. But the directions were sketchy on how to attach them to the dress properly. I’m pretty sure I didn’t attach them properly, but after I attached them, there was no way I was going to un-attach them because from my perspective, they were set in place. I tried to attach the lining to the armhole, but it was weird, and never really made sense. I re-read the instructions about a dozen times and couldn’t find a reference to how to attach the lining. I finally gave up last night and went to bed. I could only do so much.
I woke up this morning with renewed energy about how to attach the lining. I decided to rip out the armhole seams and attach the lining to the outside of the facing pieces. I know this is complicated, but I had a plan. I then hand sewed the lining and facing pieces to the zipper (I sewed the zipper in yesterday) and worked again on the armholes. After sewing all the material onto the armhole, I discovered that lo and behold, I never decreased the size of the facing pieces. What a pain. I did that and the armhole pieces went together way better.
My mom and dad got married on August 6, 1961. It was hot — Mom says 114 degrees and she also mentioned that Grandpa (her dad) kept track of that temperature for years. I think it was a record. If not, it should have been. My mom made her wedding dress (it runs in the family). It was white satin. It weighed a ton! I found it week before last in her cedar chest and pulled it out and held it up (it would fit me 35 years ago and won’t fit me now). Anyway, the point is, I’ve wondered for years why she would make a dress out of satin. Well, my dress is satin. It is a different type of satin, but satin nonetheless. It is also lined. It weighs a ton! I hope we don’t have record temperatures on August 1. If so, I will be roasting!
I tried it on after all was said and done and it fits. It should. Even though I took it in, based on Anne’s recommendations, it still seemed roomy. I showed a photo to my daughter and she said it looked too big. After hemming the lining this evening, I decided I also needed to take it in. So I tried it on again so I could get a feel for the hem on the dress itself and realized Meagan is right. I took it in about an inch on each side and then tried it on again and it fits much better. The dress is finished except for the hem. Here is a picture of it before I took it in.
Yesterday while I was working on it, I was trying to iron a part of the dress. It kept slipping off the ironing board. I was looking around for something to hold it in place while I tried to iron on the interfacing around the zipper. There was the box of my dad’s ashes. We brought them back with us from my mom’s and will take them to Walla Walla, where he will be buried with countless relatives including his parents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles and Mom’s parents too. I looked at the box and set it on the dress, holding it in place. I can now say my dad helped me with my dress.
For now I am finished. I’m also very tired. I look over at the chair next to me and there is my cat, Cheddar Bob, and he looks how I feel! Sound asleep. He also tried out my dress — when it was hanging off the edge of the ironing board, he decided it looked like I good place to curl up into a ball! Everyone wants a piece of the dress!
Stay safe everyone. By the way, most of the invitations went out and we are getting RSVP’s. Yay!
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