Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Getting Dressed (and Staying That Way)

thrifted

When you spend most of your days glued to the computer, sewing machine or phone, with cookie crusted fingers slapping your lap, getting dressed for a wedding can be a dayslong process. Putting the actual dress on only minutes, but deciding all the components? Days. Weeks? Maybe weeks. Juliana helped curate this little ensemble both in person and via skype. When in Williamsburg in June, we had the shopping trip of a lifetime at Beacon's Closet. Best. Vintage. Ever. Not just vintage, but a random trove of every era of clothing from 2 weeks ago to 40 years ago. I found this Diab'less dress, $345.00 new tags still attached, but only paid 35 smacks for it. I know! I love it so much, hits about mid thigh, no closure, just a lovely a-line double crepe, with a plunging, rounded back. And oh, the anemone-like pleated panels under the arms, are so so pretty. Anyway. The line is a Parisian one, and I don't think any shops exist in the US anymore, and even though the dress is only maybe 7 or 8 years old, it felt so special. But I wanted to belt it. I was fully prepared to make a belt. I was headed to Textile to get materials to make a zigzag sequined belt (somehow I couldn't get the thought of zigzags outta my head for this) when I decided I should probably take a quick look at TJMaxx even though I seldom have luck there. What did I find but a random beaded zigzag belt from Express for flippin' $4.95! I knowknow!! So I snatched it, went home and tried it on for Skypiana and she gave it her gold star approval. What would I do without her? Now if I hadn't spent $120 on undergarments to make all this work, then I would really start bragging.

Anyway, what I really wanted to tell you about (the above was just a warm up) was what happened at the wedding that still has me giggling. I realize by the title that you might presume I was involved in a clothing mishap. No, in fact, I double-handedly saved a girl's dignity in the bathroom of a fancy country club. I serendipitously walked into the ladies room to remove the 120$ worth of underhutzpah so could use the bathroom at the exact moment that I heard a friend of mine say "its split from the top to the bottom?" In that same instant I knew that I would be sewing someone into a dress. How? I just knew. Maybe it was because I got out of sewing a belt, and the fact that this is the 3rd time I have either walked into a dressing room or just about walked down the aisle in front of a bride when someone needed my sewing fingers. I was oddly excited by it and happy to help. A certain lovely blonde Julie had a new dress whose zipper head was stuck up, would not budge down, but the zipper coils themselves were split completely open. And I don't know about you, but I can never get an invisible zipper to cooperate and get back on track when this happens- so we drummed up a (really crappy) needle and thread that someone found in a little-used bride's room. I whipstitched her into her pretty green frock and she was so calm. I was so impressed. I woulda been mad as heck. How much of our life and happiness depends on a zipper? Too much! And small world, Julie is from Florence, Al. and good friends with my friend Natalie. The chatting we did while I sewed her back together felt like the chatting I did last week at our sewing circle.

It follows me you see. Which is good. I just need to keep (really good) needles and thread in my purse.
It was nice meeting you Miss Julie.
xo, Anna

49 comments:

  1. What a fun read!!! I love your story telling and just had to chuckle at the dress mishap.
    Your dress was stunning~ oh how I love good deals! Finding those kinds of deals is a natural high for bargain hunter gals like me ;)
    All the best from Lexington~

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  2. You are a lifesave!
    The same thing happened to me at a friend's wedding, but I was a bridesmaid. I was sewn into my dress (in the bathroom no less) and enjoyed the rest of the festivities. Thank goodness for needle and thread. :-)

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  3. ACK! Same thing happened to my friend's mother at her wedding. But I couldn't sew her in because she was wearing pants that looked like a long skirt. We whipped up a quick little ribbon...thingee...to keep it closed. Fun!

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  4. Lovely dress; funny story!

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  5. Loved the story. I once walked into the bathroom at a wedding to find the bridesmaid with a scissors in her hand about to cut the train off the weddin gown. Turned out the train kept falling down and was driving the bride nuts. She just wanted the train gone. The bridesmaid was trmbling at the thoughts of cutting so I did the honours. It looked ok and the bride was happy.I was happy to help.!!

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  6. Anonymous5:08 PM

    so,so funny-love the laughs you give me...usually when I'm trying to sew with my left hand b/c I'm nursing my eighth child in 12 yrs. on my right. You go girl!

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  7. Ah! I had a shirt from that company - bought is somewhere frou frou on sale. I wore it our - possibly my fave shirt to date!! No idea where it is now :(

    Great dress!

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  8. That dress was such a great find! And what a delightful story about coming to the rescue with the trusty needle and thread!

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  9. What a great story and a great find! Karma baby! ;)

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  10. I'm thinking I need to get myself $120 of undergarments. It sounds a lot more realistic than trading out my sewing time for more exercise. Wink.

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  11. You're too funny. I would be scared I might poke the sew-ee with my needle...

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  12. Anonymous8:36 PM

    Great outfit! You looked fab and you rescued someone?! Where do you hide your cape?

    margie

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  13. Your dress and belt are fantastic! I would have felt amazing wearing that. But your story and bathroom experience got me choked up. What an amazing moment. Talk about being in the right place at the right time. How lucky for Julie to have YOU walk into the bathroom when she needed help. I am definitely going to start carrying a needle and thread in my purse from now on.

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  14. What a tremendous story! Could you imagine if this had happened to two men in the bathroom? They would have gone to find a women to sew him up! Too funny!

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  15. I was in a wedding about a year ago. The maid of honor had her dress altered weeks before the wedding and NEVER TRIED IT ON. They took way too much out of the bust, the zipper broke and I had to sew her back into it too!! Those sewing skills keep coming in handy!

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  16. lovely dress and SUCH loveliness behind the dress on the wall!?!
    i use the video chat on gmail to get my sister in williamsburg to approve some of my clothes too ;-) when i visit her next week i'll have to check out beacon's closet!
    i can't wait to see how your booth looks at market!

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  17. I haven't had to sew anyone in their dress, but for some reason, I always get roped into helping newbie sewers when I go to the fabric stores. I had to talk a lady out of making a skirt ,that she was going to wear to a wedding, out of the cheapest lining fabric I had ever seen! It always happens, and I always feel happy to have been able to help.

    Very pretty dress btw!

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  18. That belt is perfect with that gorgeous dress!! Good grief that dress is awesome!

    Julia had no idea what luck she fell into having you in the loo at that moment! :-D

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  19. Thanks as always for not only making me smile while reading your posts, but also for renewing my faith in the goodness of people! Great story! :)

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  20. I did that once too - our wonderful friend was getting married and I had to drive down to where the grils were getting ready because one of the bridesmaids dresses was malfunctioning - her zipper was broken in the same manner as the one you described...stitched her into her dress...felt very Project Runway-ish...and very exciting :-)

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  21. I just love reading your blog!
    Don't thinkI would mind much having a wardrobe malfunction while you're there with your good thread and needle to sew me back together!

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  22. I love it!! What a great deal on the dress, and belt.
    What a great story to remind me, it never hurts to have a little sewing kit on hand. I have made your I'll have one of everything bag, and now I will stow away a little sewing kit I was given when I went away to college.
    I love your blog, fabrics, and patterns.

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  23. Great story! But ...we need pictures, please! Where is the one of you in that gorgeous creation??? I want to see those "anemone" sleeves on a real person! (and what $120 worth of undies can do!)
    Cheers,
    Jennifer in KS

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  24. Jennifer, ha! no one takes pictures of me, I am just lucky to get out the door before those cookiecrusted fingers mache my dress!! xoxo, Anna

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  25. You never cease to amaze and inspire me! Thanks for taking time to share your busy life:D

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  26. Jobeth11:42 AM

    Skypiana!? Now that is funny!

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  27. Are you planning on attending the Quilt Festival in Houston?

    -lauraallmon@gmail.com

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  28. water works7:14 PM

    underhutzpah??? The story is awesome and so well told. I feel like we just had tea...only shooting out of our noses.

    Thanks!

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  29. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts.Any way Ill be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

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  30. Lovely dress...... fun post!

    We were in a wedding this past weekend too.... after reading about the cute incident you encountered, I am happy to report we had no off track zipper events that day!

    Lucky you found a needle and thread.

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  31. LOVE the dress and especially the belt! Did you get it at the Green Hills Express? I am in need of a belt to go with a dress for the holidays..... :-)

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  32. Fabulous dress find!! I can't seem to find the blue fabric with flowers and butterfly in the background. I went through the Freespirit site. Is it available??? And where?
    Thanks!

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  33. I did that once too - our wonderful friend was getting married and I had to drive down to where the grils were getting ready because one of the bridesmaids dresses was malfunctioning - her zipper was broken in the same manner as the one you described...stitched her into her dress...felt very Project Runway-ish...and very exciting :-)

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