Sunday, October 31, 2010

Back From the Bunny Hole

Remember my adventures in the bunny hole from a few posts ago? I believe I can safely say I am back from the bunny hole. The gown I was working on at the time is finished and delivered.
To refresh your mind - I had been working on a gown for a bride who had received a completely free wedding. The gown she had picked out was a lovely ivory draped and pleated Pronovious gown. It had a halter neck, very fitted to the hips, where it flared out with gathered godets at the sides, flowing into a huge - HUGE train. The first thing she wanted was to change the neckline to a sweetheart strapless. It needed taking in about 1.5 inches at the back; added padded cups, hem and figure out a bustle for this huge train. Oh - and she wanted a lightly beaded belt that was on a different gown. She also got free bridesmaid dresses, flower girl dresses, 2 mother of the bride dresses, shoes, veil, jewelry, cake, flowers, catering, event center, and yes, honeymoon. It was never mentioned to her that alterations were not included in the package. But it became quite obvious that she assumed they were. Perhaps I should have mentioned it sooner, but in all honesty, I didn't realize she was getting everything free of charge until after our first fitting was done and she was gone. At our second fitting, she was feeling quite sick (almost fainted on me) and it didn't get mentioned again. She was to let me know with in 2 weeks after our 2nd fitting how she was coming on her weight (hopefully she would not have gained or lost anymore and I could then go ahead and do the alterations, again). After 3 weeks, I finally contacted her to find out what she wanted me to do as far as taking the dress in again or not. She insisted she didn't have time to come for another fitting so she told me to just do what ever I thought I should do, but to make it unique and special in a way that would be different than any other gown. Hmmm . . . we had only discussed alterations, not design changes.  She asked me to just drop it off at the bridal shop and she would pick it up this week. The wedding is this coming Friday. And could I take it in just a tiny bit more than what I had pinned?
I did the alterations as we had discussed., but no design changes.  I have no idea whether it will fit or not, because, as I mentioned, she didn't come for further fittings. It was at this point that I became quite, well, irritated. She was expecting me to make her dress into some dream version of a dress that even she wasn't sure of. She expected it to fit perfectly, but wasn't willing, or able, to do her part. And she was expecting me to do all this for free. Hours - and I do mean hours. 22 to be exact. That I could have spent working on other gowns for much more appreciative brides.  Frustration set in as it never has before. And while I sat in my chair by my window with her dress in my lap, I decided to just pray about it. And I immediately found peace. I knew what I had to do. Whether or not I could do it cheerfully was another matter entirely. I finished the alterations and delivered it to the store.  I then sent her a message that I hoped she was feeling better, and I hoped the dress was done the way she wanted, and my blessings for a beautiful wedding and happy marriage. I didn't mention any payment. God helped me to see that as He had gifted me with my business, so I could gift her with my services. It was the least I could do to show Him my gratitude. It may not have been done with the most cheerful of hearts, but it was done in obedience. The cheerfulness will follow, I believe. In the meantime, here is the dress -
Here is the front view, finished; changed neckline, cups added, belt added, hemmed, taken in twice, left unbustled in this photo.
                                         A close-up of the bodice with the confiscated belt.
                                                                 The train full length.
The train is bustled here. There are 6 traditional bustle loops across the back of the skirt going to a single button at the right side, and 4 traditional bustle loops from the center back to the left that go to a single button at the center back.
The heavy satin underskirt is held up with 3 french bustles underneath.
It really is a lovely gown, and she will make a lovely bride. I do hope she is feeling well on her special day, and I pray daily for my own  attitude. It is a work in progress.

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