A while ago, I found this question posted on one sewing forum or another: “what is your ultimate sewing goal?” I haven’t spent a lot of time here posting about why I sew or what exactly I get out of it, but this question has been in the back of my mind all along, working itself out. I think it’s now time to tackle these big questions. I could give you the popular answers - satisfaction of handwork, antidote to a mass produced world, feminism, positive body image, etc. Those are all good reasons and true for me too. But if I have to really to boil it down, I think I sew for the same reasons I bake, more or less: I bake because I love chocolate cake. I sew because I love dresses. True, I try other things – a strawberry tart here, a really cute pair of tiny shorts there, but the very best thing to bake is chocolate cake. The very best thing to sew is a DRESS. I’m starting to think that I when I deprived myself of a real wedding, I left a great big gaping hole in that place where the dress of a lifetime should happen.
Lately, as I learn to adjust to an aging body that has borne and nursed three children, I have regretted our wedding. Specifically, I am a little sad that our quickie elopement, though romantic, didn’t include one of those pictures of me wearing THE dress, looking forever young and impossibly skinny. How many occasions are there in life to have hair and makeup professionally done and a dress custom made? How many times will you have the motivation to get that skinny? My skinny body is long gone and I really wish there was some a record of it. A beautifully photographed, white, silk enrobed record.
I worked carefully on this, spent a lot of time puzzling out how to make a full bust adjustment on a wrap front, made several good muslins and didn’t take any shortcuts. I hand stitched a lot of this, including the zipper. It was good motivation to shed pounds! I was even able to take the dress in at the last minute. The night of the event last April, I felt pretty confident about it. Only one or two friends at the event knew that I made this, but I received a few compliments, including one from a very stylish Paris- shopping woman. It felt wonderful! I'm not sure this one is my dress of a lifetime, but I feel one step closer to it. And I know this is really where my heart is and has always been: beautiful dresses.
For these great pictures, I’m grateful to my favorite team at George Aubrey Photography.