So yesterday was a bad day for sewing and whatnot. I am getting a cold (or allergies? who knows) and I should have known better than to try and sew with a head stuffed full of snot but I'm kind of on a deadline with some of my projects so I did it anyway.
Half my church is pregnant or post-natal, so I've been in baby-gift mode ever since my mom left. With one shower I missed plus three more in the next three or four weeks, I'm kind of scrambling to get things done. But the really crazy thing I'm doing right now is a wedding dress.
Yup. That's right. Pure crazy right there.
It's something I've always wanted to do, so when my friend told me that she had a shell of a vintage dress that she wanted to make into something awesome I was all over that. The other day she brought it over and started explaining what she wanted. Her mom had already taken some seams out, reduced a giant full skirt down to a fitted, straight skirt, and put some ribbon loops in the back for a corset-like lace up closure. She wanted to add a transparent, voluminous overskirt with an embellished sash over the top, and to make the back look better. My brain was immediately on fire with ideas and I got to work.
First on my agenda was some repair work on the bodice.
A section of the lace had a big hole in it that someone had half-heartedly attempted to fix with some darning. I cut out a matching section of lace from a jacket that came with the dress and hand-sewed it over the hole. That worked pretty good.
Can you spot the patch? I'm just curious.
There were some darts put into the skirt to make it more fitted around the hips, but the placement of them made funny little points jutting out so I removed them and made smoother ones. I also removed the standard zipper so that I could attach the overskirt to the underskirt, and put an invisible one in later.
Yesterday I woke up, having gotten next to no sleep and feeling stuffed up and raw-throated, and thought about sewing. I shouldn't have, but the wedding is only four weeks away. So I went to Joanns and got fabric, then came home and started working. Well, three failed attempts at sewing the overskirt with a tiny, mostly hidden seam later, I finally figured out how to do it right.
Feeling good, I went to iron it. Somehow the setting had gotten bumped up to high and I burned a hole right through the fabric. Seriously!!?? Fortunately I'd gotten extra fabric, so no harm done, but I figured that this was a pretty good sign that it was time for me to step away from the sewing room.
But I had to do one last thing. I wanted to press all the wrinkles out of the fitted satin skirt so I could hang it up to get it ready for the overskirt. I laid it on the ironing board and started ironing, and the smell that came off of it was truly horrific. It went beyond "vintage musty" and into a realm of yuck. Then I got down to the hem, which was oddly stiff, and the iron hit it and WHAM. It was like someone had punched me in the face with reek.
Because I'm really, really stupid, I decided to lift the hem to my face and see what was up, and what was up was a double whammie of hot cat pee right up my nose.
Hot. Cat. Pee.
In the post-traumatic fog that ensued, my delirious brain yelled at me in incoherent snippets of CAT PEOPLE ARE CRAZY and HELP IT'S UP MY NOSE with a little dash of WHY, GOD? WHY!? thrown in for good measure. When I awoke later in the fetal position on my sewing room floor, my resolve had crystallized. I knew that vintage or not, that skirt was going in the washing machine. If it disintegrated, so be it. No bride is walking down the aisle smelling like cat urine. I'll make a new skirt if I have to. The end. Period.
Fortunately the skirt survived not one but two cycles through my washer and is currently hanging up in my sewing room ready for the next step. Today is a new day and hopefully will not end in tears and feeling the need to be decontaminated. Wish me luck!