Somebody recently asked me what my favorite gift that I gave or received was. They meant the kind that can be wrapped:) My answer was immediate. When I was nine years old, my parents gave me my White sewing machine for Christmas. It helped to direct the course for the rest of my life. I wish I could say I was a natural and sewed everything I could imagine from that point forward, but that would be untrue. I took lessons at a local fabric store chain and had my Granny to supplement in between. Sewing was something I enjoyed but didn't really focus on until I was much older.
The gift that I received was much more than a home appliance or (as I saw it at the time) a toy. My parents gave me the gift of encouraging my creativity. The world that we live in many times values scores on tests, things that can be measured, things that can be accumulated. What my parents were saying when they invested in my sewing machine is that other things--creative endeavors--are worth our time and effort as well. They make life beautiful. I have a beautiful life. And my sewing machine is one of the reasons why, for me it really is the gift that continues to give.
What was the best gift you ever gave or were given? What makes your life beautiful? I hope that your Christmas is filled with much joy and many blessings!
Mary got married in 1979 and looked gorgeous!
Here is Mary's gown in 2013 when I received it, overall it is in pretty great shape, just a few stains on the train and the lace that is on the bodice and skirt front has started to become unglued.
It is a classic wedding dress style for the 70's-- Natural/slightly elevated waist, high neck, long sheer sleeves, gathering at the center back waist. This one is less structured than many of the Edwardian style gowns seen then, perhaps because it is at the end of the decade and moving toward the super fluffy Princess Di era of wedding gowns.
Here is what this dress went though... (deep breath!)
Removed the sleeves, removed the back zipper, removed (and saved) much of the lace, cut down the front and back neckline, removed the fullness from the back at waist maintaining it at the knee, shaped the skirt, established a style line for the bottom of the skirt, separated the skirt at the knee, reshaped the back bodice, added a corset to the back, gathered the bottom of the skirt, added tulle to the bottom of the skirt, reattached the bottom of the skirt, bustled the back skirt, re-positioned the lace, reattached the lace, added crystals to the lace areas. Whew!
It was a BIG project, but Mary is thrilled that it can be worn again!
So here is the recap:
If you are getting married or have an heirloom dress in your possession that you do not know what to do with, consider a restyle! Wedding gowns have so much fabric they can be made into all sorts of gorgeous pieces in addition to just new wedding gowns- Christening gowns, party/cocktail dresses (perhaps for an anniversary?), picture albums! I will post more of these in the coming weeks!
Thanks again to the 80 (!) or so folks who came out to support Marsha and me on Wednesday evening! I hope you enjoyed yourselves as much as we enjoyed meeting all of you! Anyway, I am still waiting to get pictures of the festivities e-mailed to me from various sources. While I wait, here is a re-cap of the Studio Tour that was up on the walls! A special thanks to Little Brook Photography and Design who took all the great pictures for the tour!
I hope to see you in the studio soon!
I'm Denise Meyer, apparel designer in State College, PA, saving the world one clothing problem at a time!