Ok, I got a bit winded in this. It was really fun recalling the whole experience.
Feel free to use any, all, none of it... just thought I'd share.
I, too, am a sewer. In fact, I was Apparel, Textiles and Design major in college, though I focused more on the retail side of the program. Nevertheless, I did have to complete coursework in design, flat pattern and construction. I enjoyed all of these courses, but they were never my forte.
I’ve always had a love of vintage/antique clothing, especially the Victorian Era. Historical fiction movies are my favorite. I watch more for the clothing sometimes than the actual story. I never cease to be amazed at the level of detail in each costume. The pleating, gathering, draping…wow!! And then I realize that back in that actual era, they were done mostly by hand. No fancy sewing machines, just good old-fashioned hand craftsmanship.
The internet opened up a whole new world for my interest in vintage clothing. So many sites dedicated to this very thing. How freaking cool! And that is how I found Rebecca. A general search on vintage and reproduction clothing led me to her website, which was quickly added to my bookmarks. I was so impressed with her talent. Her passion for authentic reproduction clothing was evident.
Like many girls, I have dreamt of my wedding dress for many years, long before the right boy was even in the picture. Thanks to my education, I was able to sketch out my dream dress. I still have those sketches. They are framed and hanging in my sewing/craft room. I worked in the bridal retail industry for a few years and knew that I would never find anything close to *that* dress in ready-made. I could get it out of my noggin and onto paper, but I knew I couldn't make it. I knew my dress would have to be custom made by some person far-more talented person than I.
My design was a Victorian Era-inspired, two piece ball gown. After looking at Rebecca’s sight and her vast array of options, I realized my dress was an amalgamation of several of her designs. A hybrid, if you will. When the right boy did come along and it was time to find someone to make the dress, I knew who first to ask. I sent her an email explaining what I had in mind and asked if she would look at my design to determine if it was something she could do (and wanted to do). She was quick to reply yes, so I quickly sent her copies of my sketches. I received an email back saying she would love to make the dress and listed the various options I had (fabric, undergarments, etc). We worked out those details and I was off on a hunt for fabric and lace. We decided that I would add the lace and bead work upon completion of the gown as it was apparent I had a very specific idea of what I wanted and was willing to do that work myself.
Rebecca sent me the instructions for getting my detailed measurements done. My fiancé ended up helping me with this task. That was certainly interesting! I sent them off with the fabric and deposit and then began the task of hand-beading the lace work.
The day the dress arrived, I couldn’t wait to open the box. I was instantly in tears which sent my fiancé into a panic. He thought there was something wrong. Quite the contrary. The dress was perfect. Beyond perfect. It was exactly everything I had ever hoped it would be. It was EXACTLY like the sketch I sent. The next test was going to be trying it on. I needed to do so right away because if there was a problem, I would need to get it Rebecca asap.
As anyone who has ever worn vintage clothing and/or a wedding dress knows, getting one of these things on by yourself is not really possible. Unfortunately, the only person around to help me was my fiancé (all of our family was at least 4+ hours away). So, he helped me try it on. Thankfully, we don’t buy too much into superstition. Plus, I decided since it didn’t have all the lace detailing yet, it wasn’t “the” gown yet. ;-) Even more tears ensued. Not only did it look perfect, but it fit perfect. I’m talking it was like Rebecca had numerous in-person fittings with me to get it this away. Rebecca got all of the information she needed for the dress via email. She did call me just one time to ask a quick question, but otherwise that was the only time we spoke. Now, what does that say about her talent???
Rebecca’s talent is beyond gifted and amazing. How blessed she is to be able to have a business based on something for which she has such passion. We should all be so lucky. If it weren't completely impractical, I’d order a bunch of her gowns. And if we ever live close enough to each other... I'm going to become her intern. ;-)
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