Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Dress - A novella

When my daughter told us she was getting married in a couple of months I started looking for a dress right away.
I'm not really a typical Mother of the Bride material. I dress in an eccentric way and I also knew it would be hot.
I finally found something on etsy to be made in China, sounds risky doesn't?
I had a very long dialogue with the designer and told them to go ahead. No buttons, self trim.

I was on pins and needles somewhat with rumours of a mail strike.
But went ahead and ordered hat and millinery confections from Oregon with my fingers crossed. (they arrived 5 weeks before the wedding on the same day)

Meanwhile I had other things to get ready.
I've had agoraphobia for 37 years.
I'm very lucky as I can reduce the impact of it with behaviour modification. This largely takes the form of long walks in the open every day and challenging myself each day to do somewhat difficult tasks for me... like waiting in lines, going where there are tons of people in the open.

I had been remiss in my self care and over the space of a few months this had reduced my parameters greatly.
One of the things I have the greatest difficulty with is open air things, or events where I'm confined to certain behaviours. Like a funeral, public transport or unfortunately, weddings.

I asked my daughter to make no concessions for me but to have her wedding the way she wanted. I would train up to it.
Outdoors/ 45 minutes long, this wedding was gonna be tough....I had my work cut out for me!

So every morning I walked 7 km. I pushed other frontiers.
Consequently by the time the wedding week came my dress was swimming on me.
So two days before the wedding Man and I set out to find something.
We headed east.
I tried on about 2000 outfits. My husband was a saint, Saint Man.
Finally I found a dress.
It was navy, linen, it fit.
But it was a little short. I look too stumpy with a knee length skirt.
The shop girl also wouldn't let me get it, she said it didn't fit at the small of the back.
There was way too much fabric there, it was like a giant bump.
It was cut on the bias and the designer did not take into account the way the two bias parts, top and bottom would not meet well on a straight line.

I told her I'll take care of that lump and bump problem.

I hunted the store high and low for an "lagen look" underskirt.
But there were two dresses exactly the same.
Trying to show the shop girl what I meant I folded the other dress and tucked it below the first one I had on.
There I said.... see what I mean, how much better it looks?
AHhhhh she said.

I guess there is nothing for it but that I buy both dresses.
I still wanted something to cover up if I needed it and she found me a long, light weight, knit linen sweater with double rows of adjustable ruching all the way up the back. It was a rich orange red.

I bought a slip, chopped it, down - used the waist to mid thigh, chopped the skirt off the dress, sewed them together , sewed a waist band on the slip with elastic.

BUT I still had to fix my back bump. I tried many things on my own.
NO Success
I finally call in the Big Guns, my sister in law Beth. Sometimes you just need a little help. Fitting yourself is hard, working at your back, impossible.
We tried a few things.... finally I asked her to tuck up the excess, I basted it right next to the seam and tada it worked! I sewed it for good and that was all she wrote.

Pretty scary shit to be going through at the last minute I'd say. Thank goodness I have years of being braver than mongoose attacking a cobra.

So that's the story of my dress.
Here I am with Margaret and with hat head and bad posture but you can see my hat and my double dress.


  1. Wanda my dear!
    You are stunning in that dress and I LOVE the colors you chose! The dress story should be immortalized into a journal or rug so it can be handed down to the next generation!
    Congratulations on winning over the phobia as well! You are brave and strong!
    All the best to you and your newly weds!
    Cathy G

  2. Cathy,
    Thank you! The battle is a daily one but I'm very happy to have won that one. It is less of a fight and more of a going with the flow and not noticing things as you would on high alert.
    Noticing the infinitesimal really helps with my hooking though so there are some good things that come out of it too.