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Wedding: Dress Distress, Part Five.

It was safe to say that I had just lost all confidence in my dressmaker. I really did my best to be a good sport and try not to show just how disappointed I was while I was with her. Losing control of my emotions wouldn’t have made the situation better. During my drive home I filtered through my stages of grief and finally composed myself.


Well, just long enough to walk in the door and have Mr. Heatherland ask me how it went. Then I started crying again as I told him the tale: my long, weepy, mistaken-alteration tale.


After seeing just how upset I was, he gave me the best advice ever, “Buy another dress, something you love, and who cares how much it costs. Just find something else you want to wear.”


There goes my budget!


I poured myself a big glass of wine…. Drank it…. Then poured another one…. Grabbed my iPad and brainstormed some of my favorite dress designers that possibly made bridal dresses or something that looked bridal to me.


After a few strikes, I went to the Tadashi Shoji website, which was a designer that I knew fit my body off the rack, and scrolled though the Winter collection and found this:

At $388 I added it to my cart and checked out within 60 seconds.


Then I scrolled through the new Tadashi designs that will be available in Spring, and I found this:

But since it was an up and coming style it wasn’t available online. I called the Tadashi store in Las Vegas, spoke to a lovely woman named Sarah, who just received the dress I was inquiring about, but only in a size two. I figured it wouldn’t fit, but she assured me that with my measurements it should actually fit fine since they run big.


So I bought it also, this one was priced at $408.


The first one came, it was pretty but the color through the bottom was much darker than I had anticipated and the waist would have needed to be taken in. So I packed it up and shipped it back.
The second one came a few days later and I loved it!
When I saw myself in the mirror I instantly knew this was a dress I could get married in.


I still needed to go to my follow up fitting with the dressmaker. It had been a week since I saw her, now two weeks before the wedding, and I was really hoping she worked miracles (considering I already bought shoes and a veil for it). When I got there the dress looked so much better than before and she found the bow!


But I still a wasn’t loving the length. And she had started the lace top, but it just wasn’t right. The lace had no texture, no interest, it looked dated and made me feel old.
At this point I no longer wanted to make this dress work. I lost interest. The backup dress I bought really was exactly what I was trying to get her to do. So in a long, round-about way, I ended up with what I wanted.


I decided to wear my back up dress, and I wouldn’t be letting it out of my sight: no alterations, no pressing, nothing.

Wedding: Dress Distress, Part Four.

“deep breaths… stay calm… this is not a big deal… keep breathing…”

There I was.  Three weeks before the wedding.  Standing in my dress, a dress that up until this point I loved.  And now I look at myself in the mirror and I can’t wait to get it off my body- if we can actually get it off me.

Moments before, my dressmaker had to assist me into the dress. My arms would not go into the arm holes, so she helped jam it on over my head, shimmied it down, and squeezed my body into it, because it quite clearly no longer fit- Like not even close.  It was now at least two sizes too small, makes me look 10 pounds heavier than I am, and it feels like the most unflattering dress I’ve ever had on my body.

What the hell was going on?

It had been a while since I had been in the dress, but I had a five pound weight loss since I had been there last.  So as she buzzed around me and “hmmm’ed”, lovingly assuring me that if I had gained a little holiday weight she could easily take the dress out, “here, here, and here” it would fit.   She quickly started marking all the seams that needed to be taken out, and I stood there silently trying to understand all of this.

It was so tight in the top and bunched up, that I couldn’t even gauge what I was actually looking at, but the new “tea length” looked much more like “knee length”, it resembled a cheap nightgown more than a wedding dress, and my beloved bow was nowhere to be found. Something was really wrong.

Within minutes she was done marking and pinning (and cutting a little),  and we moved right along to the lace top that she was making for me.  She grabbed the muslin pattern of it, slipped it over my head, and quickly started pinning darts in. But at this point I couldn’t help myself, and started laughing hysterically.

Me:  “Excuse me, I’m confused.  What am I looking at here?” 

Her:  “This is the muslin.   It’s not the lace yet, I need to make a pattern first.”

Me:  “No, I understand what muslin is… Why does this look like I’m wearing a baby bib?”

Her: “This is what you asked for.”

Me: “I am positive this is not what I asked for.”

I was anticipating something with a deep V, down to the hips, with long sleeves. That is not what I was looking at on my body.
She left the room and came back in with my file, and thumbed through papers that were stapled together, things that I didn’t recognize. She found the picture she was looking for and showed it to me as proof of what I had asked for.


Holy shi*!

I was looking at an image that wasn’t even close to the ones I had emailed her, not even close to what we had discussed, and as became apparent that I was being confused with someone else, she simultaneously began understanding just how off-course we were. A lot had happened to this dress that was not part of the plan. It was a mix up.


The sleeve-holes were tight because she sewed them up, the back was tight because when she moved the zipper she switched the placement of the straps, and the moment that will be burned into my memory forever is when she had to cut the dress off my body (!) because we couldn’t get it off of me.


I quietly got dressed, feeling mortified and disappointed, but tried to keep a good attitude. She was sure she could get it back on track in a week. She sketched out the top she would make for me after I re-showed her the original pictures I had emailed her. And she wrote out (in great detail) all the new changes she would need to make to it. Her next appointment that evening had arrived, so I left.

I got in my car.

I drove around the corner.

I pulled over.

And I cried like a 4 year-old mourning the loss of my wedding dress. Because that’s what you do, right?

To be continued….

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