Friday, May 13, 2011
A Recent Project
Hi! I have been asked to do some unusual things with my sewing talents. This is the story of one of them.
A few years ago, my friend Deb's mother-in-law was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and moved to an assisted living home. Deb and her beautiful daughter, Lorenna, were going through the house and discovered a pile of tulle and taffeta at the bottom of a closet. The find was Pat's wedding dress. Much of the tulle was damaged and the gown was stained. Lorenna put it on, and it fit her beautifully. She loved its full twirly skirt. She wanted to reuse it for a prom dress. I suggested it be dry-cleaned before we did any major work, because the staining would affect the amount of repairs needed. They looked at colors of tulle, and picked a pale lavender/grey, and eggplant purple. I was a little surprised they didn't want to stick to the ivory, or go with something light, but when we tested the eggplant color against Lorenna's complexion, it really made her glow. My task was to remove any damaged tulle and replace it with the eggplant. The gown was soaked again, since the bead work became dark with the dry cleaning process, and I set to work taking apart an almost 60 year-old dress.
Getting the dress apart took quite a few hours. The tulle side panels were double stitched to the front panels. The bodice was triple stitched, and then some areas had lace appliqued on top. That alone was a challenge. I used the ripped and torn tulle as a basic pattern for replacing the parts, including the pleated bodice, and sleeves.
Here are some pictures.