Selecting a wedding dress is beyond difficult. Every bride wants to be the most stunning ever seen in the chicest, best fitting gown. The styles are so numerous, however, and the price points so divergent, that it takes great foresight to make the best decision.
Once a budget is set and a theme has been conceived for the wedding, the dress will naturally follow. The time of year will dictate strapless or sleeves. One’s body type will determine fitted or full. Height and weight will impact length. Suddenly it is an endless process of selection and rejection, until that final winning style bursts forth in all its white frothy glory.
So what if you have a vintage number or Mom’s size 2 dress? Better yet, what if you decide to make one? I know a young woman whose decision to do so had a very happy ending. She had to pay for her own wedding as her parents were deceased and she was reticent to skimp too much. Something had to give and it was the dress. She wasn’t skilled at sewing—by hand or machine and a custom design was out of the question.
After much soul searching and reading sewing blogs like SheLikestoSew.com, she made a trip downtown to the garment district. A bunch of odd shops with odder merchandise. The gowns were cheap and poorly made. It was sad, really. You had to go to the big department stores and specialty boutiques to find the good stuff. She paused for a moment and heard the shuffling of rushing feet behind her. A door opened and suddenly she could hear the whirring sounds of sewing machines and peals of human laughter. She looked inside and saw for the first time in her life a true sweat shop.
She ventured in. Most of the sewers were Vietnamese and did not speak English. However, an older woman came forth and asked her what she would like. “A wedding dress,” she replied. “I can’t do it here in this factory,” the sewer said. “But I can do it at home.” The bride-to-be was a little surprised but took her address and agreed to meet the next day. The abode was modest as expected, but was loaded with bolts of gorgeous fabrics and lace trim. “It’s all hand-embroidered,” the sewer said. “Imported and of the best quality.” The bride relaxed and fell under her spell. “What do you suggest?”
A week later, she returned to the sewer’s apartment for a fitting. She expected a homemade gown, nice but not more. She knew the fabric was lovely, but the style was simple and unassuming. She rang the bell, entered, and tried the garment on. It was sensational, and more. It fit like a glove and caressed her body in all the right places. It was a wonder. She smiled broadly and accepted the bill. $400. What! So little? The sewer said this was a month’s rent and was plenty. The fabric was a remnant she was told to take home from the sweatshop.
The wedding photos were a huge success. The moral of the story is clear. Homemade is not a negative word. It is full of love, hope, wisdom, and experience. It can be a blessing in disguise.