Beth Smith

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

 The wedding is coming.  We are leaving in a week. There was Maggie’s dress and it was great.  And she looks so pretty in it.

And I wanted to make myself a dress.  I shopped for dresses and there were several problems in the stores.  First, so many dresses are sleeveless now.  Because of my religion I don’t wear sleeveless anything and a shear covering is not enough and since the wedding is in July I didn’t want to add a sweater.  And second, I am far from a thin girl.  As many of you know I have struggled with losing weight for a long time and it just wasn’t going to happen before the wedding day.  Beautiful, non-matronly dresses for anyone over size 14 are very hard to find.

So I decided to make a dress for myself.  no big deal as I have made dresses professionally in the past.  I found a pattern from Vintage Vogue that I thought would be great.  Fitted at the top with a lot of fabric in the skirt.  First problem: the fabric store didn’t have the pattern in my size.  So I bought the pattern one size smaller.  I am not a pattern maker. I am a dress maker who uses ready to use patterns.  I can do some alterations but not increases in size of 3 sizes.  So Faina to the rescue.

Faina does know how to make patterns.  She came with her tools and we made the pattern to fit my body.

Faina wanted me to make a muslin but I thought why not just make a cotton dress and then alter that.  Then I’ll have 2 flattering dresses in the end.

I cut the body of the cotton dress and fitted it and it was great except the arm holes were too tight and I knew that when I would sew the sleeves they would only get tighter.  I got nervous.  Fitted sleeves and arm holes are a complicated thing. I got very nervous.  Off I went to the fabric store to see if they had my size in the pattern.  They did.  By now I feel like I am running out of time.  I cut out the pattern pieces and laid them over the pattern Faina and I made.  It looked good.  I did no measurements. I started to cut.

 So far so good, right?  I was very sure of myself.  I sewed it all together.  It was too small in every spot.  By at least 2 inches.  There were some tears.  I altered, I adjusted, I put the zipper in.  I spent a week trying to make this dress fit.

Finally, Lousmith said just go buy something.  I was skeptical.  Maggie and Chelsea and I went off to Nordstrom.  We went to the over size 16 section and looked at the 6 terrible, sleeveless, matronly dresses they had available.  Nope.  We did a sweep of the whole floor and I was getting discouraged.  But Chelsea to the rescue!  She found me a great sequined top just as I was looking at a lovely chiffon skirt.  Still skeptical, I tried the outfit on and it fits. Yay!  Way more than I wanted to spent but I look pretty good.

Had to get new shoes too.  The ones for the other dress were too dark.

So on Saturday, my parents made a surprise visit.  They’re heading out west, driving to the wedding.  They were packed and ready to go early so they left.  Yay!

Sunday, I put my mom to work.  She put the zipper in Maggie’s dress and hemmed it too.  I learned my sewing skills from my mom and her mom.

 Then she said, put on that dress.
We tried some things. We all decided in the end it might be better as a skirt.  Watch for that later this summer:-)

Sunday was also Father’s Day.  We got my dad a GPS.  He was thrilled.  My mom doesn’t think it’s necessary but it was Father’s Day after all.  He had it hooked up and Lousmith was teaching him how to use it in minutes.

Then he did his favorite thing while we worked on the dresses.

Moral of the story, measure, measure, measure.  Also, my parents are great.

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