Monday, November 26, 2012

The Wedding Dress That Wasn't

I have been debating literally for months of how to write this post, what to say, or even if I should bother posting it at all, but given the fact that we were at a wedding this weekend, I figured it would be good timing - it is, after all, something that I made.
Way back in July, I made a little yellow dress as a practice run for a wedding dress. The bride decided that she wanted a few changes - the biggest of which was the neckline. She decided that she didn't like the elastic-gathered neckline for the wedding dress and instead wanted it to fall flat, but without changing the rest of the dress much. I figured this would work with a few pleats, but was really unsure given that I hadn't had (and still don't have) much experience making grown-up clothing. I figured we could give it a shot - and I did.
The bride picked two fabrics - a lace to go over a satin. Before even getting the dress layers together, it was clear that the neckline would have to be taken in heaps. 
This was even more obvious once I got the layers put together.
The bride came for a fitting and we pinched the middle front together. It seemed it would work, so I went ahead and sewed on the satin bias neckline. It looked so pretty.
At the same fitting, we realized that since the sleeves were done in the lace fabric only (no lining), it would look better if there was a stitch holding the lining to the bodice of the dress.
We also decided on the placement for the pockets, which were lined in satin and the topped with the satin bias, just like the neckline.
The bride came again for another fitting and was still not super pleased with the neckline, so I took out the satin bias, added two more pleats and then put the bias back on. To hold them down a bit closer to her body, I sewed the pleats down in the inside of the dress.
I sent the dress off to the bride and looked forward to getting some photos of the wedding emailed to me way back when we were in the States in August. Instead I got an email explaining that while she really liked the dress and loved the details, as well as the work we did on the dress, she still didn't love the neckline and had someone else make her dress.
At first I felt so rejected! To be fair, she was extremely nice throughout the entire process and even in the email, but still, my dress was not the winner. I had put in so many hours not only cutting and sewing (which I was compensated for), but also in planning and thinking about the dress. After a while, I decided to look at it as really good practice for my sewing. I learned quite a bit and also gained a lot of confidence in doing the dress, so it wasn't a complete waste. Also, it was a good reminder that we don't always win!
On to happier news - my brother-in-law's wedding was absolutely lovely. As I mentioned, I wore a kimono. After getting my hair done, I went to the dressing studio where a little old lady dressed me in my husband's grandmother's old kimono. The lady was extremely efficient, but man oh man, did she pull that thing tight. It was early in the morning and while I was getting my chest squeezed like I'd never felt before, I kept yawning. Part of me wondered whether I was yawning because I was tired or because I was totally lacking oxygen. I still don't know. By the end of the day, it all loosened up enough that I could actually take a breath. It was such fun to wear, but it was also really nice to take it off. 
The wedding was in a Christian chapel (although neither of them are Christian, this is just kind of what you do) and the bride wore a beautiful wedding dress. 
While we were enjoying the reception, the bride and groom left to go change into new outfits - this is also very normal for a Japanese wedding. She came out wearing a hot pink dress that I thought really suited her.

During the reception, the newlyweds took off again for a final change of clothes - this time into traditional hakama and kimono. They looked amazing!


The bride wore a jacket-type of thing over her kimono that was so super beautiful.
K did an awesome job of being the ring bearer. He ended up walking down the aisle holding his uncle's hand with one hand and the rings and a train in the other. Then gave the rings to the pastor and came running to me. He looked really nervous the entire time, but he did it. At the reception, they asked K and the flower girl to roll out the wedding cake to the bride and groom. We told K that everyone would be looking at him, so he had to smile the whole time. He totally cheesed his way down the recption hall pushing a cake on a trolley. It was hilarious!

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