Sudden life changes

It’s funny how life can radically change from one day to the next. Seven days ago I signed the catering contract for the reception and I was bursting with new ideas for the dress, which I started working on feverishly.

And then three days ago I was on the phone with my fiance explaining how he was not ready to get married and that our relationship was over. Just like that, the future that I thought was so close and felt so tangible vanished. My life drops off into an empty void in three months.

I always thought that if I called off a wedding I would have to burn everything and make it all end in overly dramatic style. Now living it I realize that’s not the case. I hurt more than I ever have before, I have been betrayed, but I am not angry or vindictive. The dress will live on, though just not right now. If I ever do marry I can honestly see myself wearing it. I feel as though it is such a part of me that it hasn’t been touched by this like a normal dress, bought already made and impersonally altered, would be. This dress was always my passion and my dream anyway. Though he never saw it, I know for a fact my fiance wouldn’t like the dress. It’s why I had bought a separate reception dress.

So this dress will live on.

But I can’t work on it for a bit. I need to work on me instead. On healing and moving forward and seeing who I am when I’m not someone else’s. This blog will be dead for a while – maybe forever. But hopefully not. Hopefully some day I will once again pick up my needle and thread and finish individually hand tying these beads onto the sleeves.

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And then maybe I’ll also tell you about my plans for a scalloped waist and a lace front.

All in good time.

Thank you for making this journey with me.

Deconstructed bodice

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The next step is cutting out the center piece and adding in a new bodice panel.  I’ll have to wait till my trusty sewing buddy comes back to pin it to me.

Next up,  cutting up the skirt and looking into repairing the lining! Good thing my house has a lot of floor space; I’m gonna use every inch.

Bodice work

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The bodice is apparently two layers thick so I’m removing the piping at the bottom to get access to the inside seams. After this it’ll be time to work on the neckline revisions and princess seams!

I’m killing two birds wirh one stone by watching Pacific Rim at the same time.

Pictures and beginning alterations

Here are those promised pictures of the dress post cleaning. I was so eager to hack into the dress that I almost forgot snap them!

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It’s amazing what cleaning and pressing will do for a dress! It alreasy seems so new. I tried it on right after eating one of the biggest burgers I’ve ever seen though,  so it was an uncomfortable squeeze. Lesson one: no binge eating day before the wedding.

The more I look at the side profile the less I like it, so I’m going to work on putting in princess seams so the dress doesn’t squish my bust as much.

My maid of honor came down for the weekend ans helped me start the initial changes. We removed the fabric from the sleeves, took the skirt off the bodice, and marked roughly where I want the new neckline.

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The biggest thing we accomplished this weekend was finding fabric for the front panel. I’d ordered about ten samples from different online places and there were a few that I thought might work, but it’s so hard to judge fabric based on a small piece of fabric, so we went to Joanns and tried a few different things.

Initially we got an ivory satin which looked right in the store, but then when we got it back to the house it was too dingy.

A second Joanns run produced white lace to put over the ivory which made it the right color:

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And then also some white stretch satin that Mau be a bit brighter than the skirt – I have yet to check it in more natural light.

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See my crazy dress strewn around the fabric store? I had to borrow a table and drape the fabric all over the place.

I’ve found that people are really supportive and also think I’m insane when I tell them my maid of honor and I are remaking a vintage gown. The woman cutting fabric asked me if I was serious when I  said I wanted to buy the entire lining bolt, and when I told her I needed it for a wedding dress I thought her eyes were going to fall out of her head.

Another woman overheard my MOH and I trying to match fabric for the dress, she talked to us for about ten minutes about her wedding and her dress. She even gave me a coupon so I could get my fabric cheaper 🙂

So here we go! There’s no turning back now; the dress is in shreads in my closet and it’s all transformation from here!

Remake or bust, everybody.