The third wedding dress I made was for my sister Leann. She got married in June of 1995. Leann’s dress was the most complicated one I ever made. It was a long sleeve Victorian design. The entire bodice was beaded, it had a detachable train with lace and pearls around the entire hem of both the dress and the cathedral length train. As always we had to keep within budget. We found a beautiful white polyester that resembled silk that we found for about $5 a yard. We spent $70 a yard for the lace. I was able to get the entire bodice, sleeve cuffs and enough separated motifs out of 2 yards. It buttoned all the way down the back. My fingers bled from sewing on buttons before I got the hang of a leather thimble. I never could get the feel of a metal thimble.
I was a little smarter when I did this dress. I found a dress form and set it up for Leann’s measurements. It was a little difficult trying to get the bust points in the right position and the back length exactly right. We ended up good. I only had minor adjustments to make when we did the final fitting. I was very happy with that success since I lived in Arizona and Leann lived in Massachusetts when we did this. Leann is about my height and has a similar form to me from the waist down. Her proportions are very different from the waist up. Jody was different. We had similar proportions from the waist up, but she is 5 inches shorter than I am, so length was more difficult to perfect.
Finishing Leann’s dress was a crunch to the last minute. Me and two of her bridesmaids stayed up until 2 in the morning the night before the wedding sewing the last set of pearls. I often go to the last minute in my projects, but I have never been that close before or since.