Sunday, November 15, 2009

Water Water Everywhere - RL

It's never a good sign when The Weather Channel sends a reporter to do stand up in your area. The remnants of Hurricane Ida crept through our area last week. Days of WIND and rain. What is "Heavy Rain Mist" anyway?

By Thursday the ground was already saturated, by Thursday evening sewers were full so rain water backed up onto streets, into driveways and parking lots. White caps in some streets. The underpasses were full (say 15' of standing water). Downtown was closed Thursday afternoon and Friday. Some felt Friday was just as bad. The rain started tapering off Friday and quit on Saturday. Sunday lovely blue skies.

During Hurricane Isabel (the only other really bad storm since I moved here) we lost power for 42 hours. We lost power Thursday as it was getting dark. Rob saw a BIG blue arc that filled the sky and we both heard the transformer POP several blocks away. It came back on Saturday 45 hours later. 155,0000 without electricity. We had one of the top five highest tides in recorded history for this region - 8' high tides (usual high storm tide is 3-1/2') with 52 mph winds and gust of 78 mph the waves were topping out at 15' !! Waves were breaking over the causeway deck leading up to the I-64 bridge between South Hampton Roads and North Hampton Roads. This is what I saw reported, it may have been worse. Trees, lines down, flooding of cars, businesses, homes.

Wind whipped the rain everywhere, our neighbors lost the siding under their eaves and there is a gaping hole a man could walk through to get into their attic from the outside! Our windows (all big) are two panes that slide side to side mounted in tracks similar to those for a shower door. Rain hit the windows on the east side, ran down into and under the tracks onto the sill and down the wall - all Thursday evening and well into the night. We went through every towel, hand towel and washcloth we have - rolling them into the tracks, catching the water moving onto the sill and mopping up the carpet when we weren't quick enough, ringing them out sometimes, putting in dry ones. It finally slacked off enough that Rob felt it could be left unattended and went to bed at 5am.

It was 50 something outdoors the temperature had dropped to 68 inside by the time the electricity came back on. That doesn't sound bad, but I get chilly easily, so I was wearing a kind-of-robe over my clothes with a big triangular angora shawl. My cat Boots, was cool, he spent every night beside my pillow, partly covered with a blanket!

We really did pretty well. We had candles, flashlights, lanterns. Rob went to the grocery early Thursday pm (no work for us - colleges and shop closed) and I made chili immediately, and put it in a crock pot to keep warm. We reheated it Friday in a chafing dish.

By Friday night my best view of the rain was lighted from the back by the street lights (they were on again). Blowing almost horizontal, it looked like clouds of heavy mist blowing over the roofs.

We read, wrote (sitting at computer desk next to a bowl with tea lights), and played monopoly - roomie folded first, I had the railroads, Rob had hotels on the expensive corner and won. Rob worked Friday. By Friday I was b o r e d. I'm not good at sitting around doing not much. It was a dull gray day, poor visibility even with the blinds and curtains open so I couldn't do any handwork (embroidery). I worked Saturday.

Now it's clean up time: everything in the fridge went into the trash. Besides the meat, so many good condiments and cheeses...sigh. And veggies, some had rotted. The freezer was cold but everything was defrosted....ouch. Now laundry and more laundry including an extra large load of towels, run the dishwasher, clean the carpet (tracked in mud), consulting on what everyone feels is important for the fridge, a long trip to the grocery later today.

My first pleasure was a lovely long shower, head to toe clean and body lotion..mmmm....heavenly warmth.

Update: One well thought out shopping list and $245 later, the fridge looks really really bare. But do we really need seven bottles of salad dressing?
nooo?? and three different mustards?...yes.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My First Modeling/Posing? Gig !!

I am in a couple of general Role Play groups that were created by a friend for the purpose of letting the role play community at large know what is going on. Last night a request went out for a fae to pose with a new fae house.

I do like helping people out when I can. I responded and found myself standing on the platform...mmmm...deck of a little one room house

in a really HUGE tree!

Here I am asleep in the leaf bed. The tan is the roof below me. He requested something faeish - like TinkerBell but not her. I have Nicky Ree's fairy costume in green, with my Seven Selection's wings, he pronounced it perfect.

It was my first pose/modeling gig for someone I didn't know. He offered a copy of the house or lindens for payment. I received 100 L.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fae Fest - Samhain

The fae and druids joined together to bring the Druidic Celebration for Samhain to the Kingdom of Erebos.

The announcement read thusly:
Come to the high meadow for two hours of dancing to rejoice in a bountiful harvest. Fae Fst will be followed by a Samhain Ritual to ensure that we will survive the harsh winter to come. The choreography and music throughout will be provided by Lady Emy and DJ Taliesin Silverstar. If fertility and wickerman pagan customs offend you, please plan to leave by 1pm SLT. Otherwise, plese join us at the bonfire.

Dancing during the Fae Fest portion of the event

Foxie beguiling Hawk with her long silky hair

Talie, Nicole, Emy, Alk, Casandra dance near the bonfire

Roberta and Casandra near the cornstalks from this year's harvest

Faun and Justine in the symbolic dance

The stag is placed atop the burning bier. Linwe handled the symbolic druidic ritual for Samhain very smoothly.

More pictures can be seen on the Chronicles of Erebos blog.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Essie invited me to post on the Chonicles of Erebos blog. So when I post there, I will note it here for anyone who is interested. I will still post role play here also. Sometimes the same event with a different slant.

The was a horse tourney on a calm evening in the medieval/fantasy kingdom of Erebos.

Linwe and Foxy are clashing in the foreground upon the high meadow. I was an airborne observer (it seemed safest)

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Little Retro - RL

This is a cute little owl fabric that I had to have for no good reason except it is unique and it appeals to me.

Normally I buy full groups that are new, replenish certain groups by buying the bolts that have sold out, or pick and chose from large groups. I buy single bolts that don't go with a themed group, only if they are novelty prints (cars, horses, ducks etc) that meet a need. Novelty fabrics are one of our specialties.

I just threw this one in willy nilly. My boss would have looked at me in alarm if she had been there and asked if I really needed/wanted that? She hasn't joined me for a buying session for ten months. I regret that; we work really well together. I have the next fabric rep scheduled for next Monday during a time she sometimes comes if she wishes, she could be there. Debi is fun and I think they would be excellent friends if she lived locally.

Because it is not part of a group, when the bolt arrived at the shop I knew it would sit on the shelf virtually untouched unless I came up with a display. It is in the retro section so I found a pattern from that era. I am surprised the style appealed to me. It's very feminine. I am feminine, but I don't think I'm this feminine.

It is Butterick 4945 (bottom right) If the link doesn't work immediately, give it a few seconds. I believe it is from the 1950s. I modified it by placing a pipping between the two fabrics and shortening the bottom piece (twice) to 2-1/2" with hem to give it better balance between the two fabrics.

Me, being me, I didn't read the instructions. I almost never do. But then I usually draft my own patterns, so I am not used to having instructions to rely on. And this is super easy.

Extra long apron strings to tie your special male friend up with - hehe!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Happy Thursday - Musical Friends

Dance is my first love in SL. Dance and Friends are why I was still hanging around by the time I slipped into Role Play. I am often somewhere wearing the leather thin on the bottom of my dance shoes.

Emy is a good friend in RL and my best friend in SL. She is the only person I have introduced to SL. We are there for each other. A very talented choreographer for singles and couples dance events with an RL dance background. In my role as Queen of the Fae for the Kingdom of House Erebos, she holds the position of Court Choreographer. She really is my Lady-in-Waiting. She makes my life easier in many ways and has my best interests at heart. My SL would be much lonelier without her.

Tulsa I happened to meet at a Funky Feats dance. He has become a friend, Emy's little brother and a talented DJ. Above are before and after make-over pics. He had been in SL for two years when I gave him good pair of black shoes from Shiny Things for a Christmas gift earlier this year. The world should watch out! What this man can accomplish when he gets motivated is amazing! Extremely sauve and still my heart! *smiles* Click on picture for a better view of his new look on the opening night of his weekly Party Funk gig at Linri's Palace.

Emy drug me to a Funky Feats dance well over two years ago and I am sooo glad she did! This choreographed dance group became my first home base in SL. A welcoming group that loves music, and loves to dance. They are an important part of my SL. LuLu, Hevy and myself amid a good turnout of Funkies surrounding us.

Hevy is the mainstay and heart of the Funky Feats. He was one of the original Funkies and kept the group going after the others lost interest. He is a gentle and considerate man, who is delighted to see each group member TP in to join a dance. I always thought a chorus line would have camaraderie and be fun and I was right! SL blissfully takes the long hours of rehearsal away.

However long hours are spent prior to choreographed events by the dance leaders in searching for new dances that fit different music styles, organizing them, and warming them up prior to the event.

Xavia is a bright spot in my day! She is enthusiastic and bubbly. I met her through Starting Point newcomers housing run and sponsored by my friend Tym and her husband Jerremy, two wonderful people. I invited her to a Funky Feats dance one evening when she was bored. She was immediately hooked on music and dancing in SL. She is a host for Bailers and is now DJ'ing for them on Friday nights. She is occasionally fae, hence this choice of pictures.

LuLu (gray globe over head) was the driving force that kept the Funkies going while Hevy was away from second life. It takes a lot of keyboard dancing to choreograph a two hour event and she lead dance after dance, undoubtedly wearing her dancing toes and fingers into numbness.

The way my blog operates, I can only upload five pictures. There are music friends that are not shown here that I also enjoy.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Changing Seasons - RL

I love living where the seasons change...the air is crisp or soft and warm, trees burst into new leaf or drop brightly colored crunchy leaves underfoot to shuffle through and kick into piles, even the sky is different with each new season.

The thing I dread about the change of seasons is changing out my closet....major bummer. There are clothes that cause me to automatically smile when I see them for the first time in several months. That's the up side.

Like most people, my closet is not large enough. This time of year I pull out everything I know I won't be wearing til spring - the camis, shorts, thin silk blouses, swim suits and cover ups.

Then I open the two big totes that hold seasonal clothing and place everything in the closet I know I will want to wear. Next comes paring down the transitional items (I always leave some in the closet) so that the bulkier winter sweaters fit. A must is the incredibly warm wool cable sweater in natural
Lancastershire wool mom gave me. I probably won't wear it, but last year when the shop lost heat for several days it was a blessing.

I donate everything I haven't worn that I have no really good reason to keep. Nostalgia did I end up with a dress I wore in high school? My mom never tosses anything. It's an unusual eyelet in a pretty shade of blue. I think I'll offer it to a local theatre company. There's the green boxy tunic length top with bright yellow-gold embroidery (eeah) from India a friend gave me three years ago. mmm... And a soft yellow wool pencil skirt that fits like a dream, but yellow?
I don't remember it at all..away it goes. And a longer bittersweet one. Pencil skirts that long and my job just don't cohabit comfortably; I've never worn straight skirts that weren't above the knee. Another mom one.

I love my mother, but we dont' really have the same taste and she's only happy if my tops are loose and my pants are almost falling off.

And an authentic U.S. Air Force flight suit! I don't why Rob (husband) thought I needed one. I only get to go up in private aircraft once or twice on a good year and I haven't been up in any military aircraft that has been used since WWII. I'm keeping it. I even look kind of sexy in it!!

All done. :D

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Cas isn't here - RL

The only time my Friday off at work changes (we are closed on Sundays), is when two other people need/want that day off.

The end of the twelve foot shelf used for displaying quilt kits and a few fat quarter bundles

I was asked a couple of days ago if I would switch my day off for next week. I agreed and then we haggled as to which day I will take.

Now I feel like I need to post a notice on the front door - big and bold and hope everyone who cares will actually read it. What is it about people that the ones that could benefit rarely read signs?

Cas will be off on Wednesday, October 14
She will be available on Friday, October 16

This public service announcement would upset my co-workers who feel "my customers" place too much importance upon my assistance. They seem to forget they all have customers that prefer them. I just have more, or else more projects are done by
"Cas's groupies" - one of the men started calling them that and it stuck :(

For a little reference check out this post paragraphs 4-7

A corner of my 7'x10' cutting table used for displays and quilt kits. Yes there is clutter behind the display rack....well I'm a bit cluttered. Artistic types aren't usually all that tidy are they? ?

Because I know there will be people who come in on Wednesday and say, "Where is Cas? I know she's off on Fridays" and the next time I see them it will be "Where were you last week? I came in and you weren't here." The next sentence will be:
(a) I had to get something and so someone
else helped me (they may describe them, but rarely know their name)
(b) I left again
(c) I was afraid you had quit

Yes, there really are people who will drive I don't know how many miles in metropolitan traffic expecting my help to pull their project together and if I am not there, will turn around and walk out the door!!

The ethnic table is behind the rack on the left, 400+ batiks on the wall, 2-1/2 tables of Civil War prints starting with the table on the right. A tiny portion of the floor space I have for 6,000 bolts of fabric (my department takes up one third of the floor space dedicated to fabric in a shop that used to be a grocery store!)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Erebos - Grand Re-Opening Celebration 2

A part of House Erebos' grand re-opening celebration was an archery competition.

The winner was Essie Radford

And lastly Saia during the fishing competition being circled by a flying dolphin!!
The fishing competiton winner was Fauntimes Inkpen. Congratulations to the winners of the many and varied contests throughout the weekend!

Erebos - Grand Re-Opening Celebration 1

The role play kingdom of House Erebos had their grand re-opening celebration last weekend. I managed to get a few pictures.

Linwe and Slader taking a rare opportunity to dance together

Foxbriar in the middle and Mandelynn ? (I always think I will remember - ha!)

Saia and 2ks, our illustrious leaders in the foreground wrapped up in each other

Casandra; Nicole visiting

Meehaul, visiting (as an elf!) and Swith dancing together

Friday, October 2, 2009

Happy Thursday - Role Play Friends

This week's Happy Thursday post (late as usual) is about role play friends. I was a human for over a year before I donned wings and became a fae in my first Role Play medieval/fantasy kingdom. It was a happy accident told here.

These pictures are all from the kingdom of House Erebos. A huge thank you to Essie for discovering it and major kudos to Saia and 2ks for welcoming refugees from Aglarond with open arms! Here are the chronicles for Erebos.

All of my role play friends are important to me, they care about each other, their varied personalities round out the experience. I am really a theatre techie type - one of my majors in college was Theatrical Costuming. I have been told I'm good at role play, but I am not really comfortable with it.

However, I have friends who are awesome at role play!

Galina was accused of poisoning Mandelynn. Her trial revealed that she was threatened...

With the drow Hawk quelled for the moment, we enjoy a relaxing evening in the village.

Emy, Linwe as a friendly wolf, and myself on one of Emy's favorite sitting spots.

I still am human much of the time. Each is a nice break for the other.
Some of us use role play as a get away from being human and others switch from one role play persona to another, sometimes shedding skin for scales or fur to relax.

It's funny but even if I don't have a great deal of interaction with someone, if we talk personally every once in a while, I develop a fondness and care about them. I miss Joyful... she is a warm and wonderful person.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Happy Thursday - Ch'Know Friends

Friends...probably the main reason I am still in SL after 2-1/2 years. I am planing several Happy Thursdays posts on this topic. *smiles* I'm going to start with the friends group I'm in.

Slumber Party

The Ch'Know group is a talkative bunch mostly ladies, but there are also some gentlemen that stir up things and entertain us. Our group chat is lively; humming along with the craziest topics at times. Joyous, someone may burst out with "I just did such and such!!" Followed by Yays! Congratulations!


Summer - The Unintentionally-Invisible Man (SL does it again) "ringed"

It can also be "Where can I find ____?" or "Has everyone/anyone got?" which sometimes results in a mad dash by some/many of us to check out/pick up the topic of conversation. Word of mouth in this group definitely increases sales for quite a few designers; they should love us.

Trailer Park

Most Wednesdays there is a themed group party that Ali usually hosts and always DJ's. We get together, dance, talk and have a great time acting silly.


Most of the time, it's just plain fun. At other times, it can be seen that this group is there for it's members. Someone may share a problem. Especially if is a RL problem, expressions of concern, caring, and love for that member come out through group chat, personal IM's, and notecards.

Many members are also highly talented. Designers of clothing, home decor, builders - plus photographers, shop managers and bloggers.

My Second Life would be a much quieter place without my Ch'Know friends.
I'm so glad I'm in it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Skins & Static SL Style

The hunt is on...The Goal? A good skin for my boyfriend.

I TP'd to a shop and landed outside the entrance in the middle of STATIC! The inside of the shop was fine, quite normal, but the outside was .... see for yourself!

That is not a marble floor, it is static filled space! The off placed halo effect didn't show up when I was there, only in the pictures. The next shot is taken from inside the entrance looking out through the door into vast nothingness.

Can anyone recommend a good male skin?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

UFO piloted by Sheep!

Thirteen of my group slots are directly or indirectly associated with role play!! I have touched quite a few (read that as too many) subscribe/unsubscribe signs in shops. It would be discouraging to designers, but I look at all of the design names, then maybe glance at a third of the notices that greet me as I log on.

Occasionally I'll decide I need something to complete an outfit, or I need a particular sort of outfit and start mentally running down shops I am familiar with to decide where to go shopping.

I also read blogs when I get a chance. I'll read friends blogs first, then a few, very few, fashion blogs. Almost all of the time I shop via notices and blogs. If something strikes me, I will go check out the shop.

Yesterday I TP'd into a shop to pick up an item I had seen on a blog that is constantly updated. The lady who blogged it has her own blog and contributes to another. She is dedicated to bringing us a loads of wonderful shopping opportunities. Before I left, she happened to TP in. I said "Hi" and thanked her for her efforts.

Let's face it neither designers (unless they have a dedicated fan base and an active chat group) nor bloggers are thanked often enough compared to the hours of work they put in.

We chatted for a few minutes and said goodbye. Then much to my surprise I received an IM and an inventory offer from her! It was so little when it started rezzing, that I was afraid I had buried it in the sand.

Then what to my wondering eyes should appear but this cute little toy sheep in a space ship! What a delightful surprise!! It scoots around on it's own. I laughed and laughed. Totally unexpected and was sooo sweet of her!

This is gacya-ufo-sheep by dazai Voomf of D-LAB
a talented toy maker. I don't see this one available for sale in his shop, but there are other cute toys and plants.

Friday, September 11, 2009

RL Wedding Gown - Finally Pics !!

Not short at all :(

Back in January, a mother and her best friend came into the fabric shop I work at to look at satin, chiffon, organza, lace in all of it's forms: appliques, fabric and trims for a bridal gown. I worked with them. After the third trip, this time with the bride-to-be who lives out of state, they purchased yards and yards of heavy duchesse satin, chiffon and a light-weight lining from someone else who works there. Mother intended to make the gown, which is a knock off of an Anne Barge gown. Go to this URL and flip the page four times. It's the wide V neck gown on the left page. I think she said $3,500.

In February mom broke her foot. It didn't heal and it didn't heal and she had an operation on it and it took it's sweet time healing. She was on crutches, going up and down stairs both at home and at work on her tush, scooting around the garden planting flowers for the church decorations the same way. But she couldn't handle moving around a table, pulling yards of fabric with her, laying out a pattern etc. She is still in pain daily.

So in June her best friend (I knew her first) comes in and whispers to me "would you even consider making the gown????" I listened to her, took a look at her woebegone face, and said "yes". When she realized she heard me correctly, I thought she was going to cry.

My mother's reaction...."You said WHAT???!? Did you tell them you have never made a wedding gown???" My mother is not one to raise her voice in that manner.

The bride has an unusual figure. Long torso, tiny ribcage and waist, not much bust, wide shoulders and 39" hips! She looks good in wrap dresses and A-line skirts. period. They had purchased a Vogue pattern to base the gown on. It would need to be modified - neck, cut of armholes, shape of train, perhaps width of skirt and add a full lining. Plus the decoration under the bust, but that was something mom could do for her daughter.

The photo session for the portraits was in a few weeks. It was postponed.

Fitting #1: Fitted muslin mock-up based upon the Vogue pattern on bride. eeeah. She's even smaller in the bust. Ripped out empire waist seam across the front, Reshaped bodice, pinned and marked.

Cut out gown, sewed it together - the duchesse satin is a lovely heavy, stable fabric. Did I mention heavy? The seams that should fold over and lay down, don't - they roll. So the neckline and armholes are stay stitched by hand catching the lining and satin and avoiding the full chiffon overlay. eeeah yet again. The lining is too light weight for the satin. It's one I only recommend if they want a light weight slinky gown with a lot of drape. Trouble in River City. All three fabrics begin shredding as soon as a pair of scissors slices into them. Fray check is my friend, but makes them stiff and harder to work with...what to do, what to do....

Fitting #2: The shoulders aren't quite narrow enough, the armholes are typical and don't have quite the right line at the top (nit picky little detail here, but it matters). I later rip out the stitching for the top part of the armholes and re-cut them a bit straighter, which gives the shoulders the correct shape and still covers the bra straps (thank goodness). The bride, who really is a lovely person, wants the neckline an inch lower and the whole bodice tighter. eeeeaah! I tell her that A-line cuts are supposed to skim the body and the fabric will pull around the ribcage if I make it that tight. "But...can you do it?" I roll my eyes and say of course and mark the bodice. More ripping - well no, I cut off the cloth covered bridal buttons and a little bit of fabric on each side of the back opening shaping the cut so that it flows into the original seam at the hip.

I decided to cut off every other button loop on the new piece of loop trim for the center back leaving a little space between each button (O O O O) so they don't look like an 18" line of white m&m's (OOOO). The design is simple enough that I feel that would look like overkill and both mom and daughter like the look. A touch of glue at each cut, two lines of tight stitching to ensure the loops won't pull out and into the bodice it goes.

Bridal buttons have to be the hardest ever to sew on. There are no holes; you sew through a tiny mound of cloth on the back of the button - I use tiny little needles and it's still tough to push them through. I chain stitch them on - in that I attach one and tie a knot and run the double strand of thread under the satin to the next spot and repeat. To make it very unlikely one will be able to pop off.

I have seen the light at the end of the tunnel for a while, but it's a very long tunnel and I have stumbled a couple of times.

Fitting #3: Checked the fit of the bodice, cut of the neckline, width of the shoulders, cut of the armhole - perfect! whew! Then she said "Do you think the neckline is low enough? Another 1/2?" I didn't hear her. Okay, I looked at her and didn't' respond. Marked the hem for the final length.

I cut the train. When asked the bride decided on a 6" train. Mom said okay; I nodded. The gown really called for more. I shaped it to 24-28" and finished the seams on all three layers except for the few inches close to the hems. Sewed the hem tape on the satin layer, pinned all three hems.

Fitting #4: The next evening - just to check and tweak the hem before I finalize it.

Hemmed all three skirts using three different methods, the satin by hand and finished the seams near the hems.

Discovered a tiny hole in the chiffon on the bodice a little above the bust. Major EEeeAH :(( I debated, I deliberated, I went over pros and cons of different ways of handling it. Honest to god I cut off the front bodice, laid a piece of chiffon over the bodice of the gown, cut it for the side seams and stitched them on the sewing machine so they are done in the usual method, finished those seams. Then I shaped and appliqued the chiffon piece over the rest of the bodice by hand - armholes, shoulder seams, neckline!!! Yes really! I do a
LOT of handwork and it looks totally normal. I don't believe anyone would realize unless they turned it to the back and studied it.

It bugged the bride that the darts in the chiffon were so pointy. They looked like a pin up doll from a old war time movie! I explained that 3-1/2" of chiffon along the bottom of the bodice, folded into a dart only 4" long equals pointy. And that the only way I could rectify it was to elongate (and curve the end) of the dart so that it went over the tip of her bust
. She understood. While I was doing the overlay of chiffon, I modified the front darts as requested. It doesn't look funky or unprofessional as I feared it would.

I gratefully turned over the gown two weeks before the photo session so that mom could do the layered decoration under the bust. I was soooo very vastly relieved to be done with my portion.

I never wanted to see it again.

That wedding gown came back to haunt me.

The Monday before the photo session, I get a call. "Hi, it's...." My heart sinks. Mom is almost in tears and I can hear her best friend in the background. They can't get the stabilizer shaped correctly to use as the foundation for the decoration. I say fine, how about tomorrow? I then realize she needs all the time she can get and agree to go over after I get off at 7:00pm that day. I spend an hour cutting it to shape for her and we have dinner. I tell her if she can't do it call me by Thursday afternoon, not Friday morning.

I get the call I am expecting. I start on it Thursday night and cancel my Friday get together with my best friend.

I can't get a really good look at the details for the decoration. The top layer might be one piece of fabric twisted and ruched; it might be two. I can't quite tell and I don't have the time to experiment.

I covered the foundation with the strange lace they chose. It has a sheen to it and looks like fibers laid over each other randomly and pressed into place. Reminds me of a "modern" Formica kitchen counter from the 50s/60s?. Cut a wide piece of chiffon, tucked the top of it under the top of the foundation piece and stitched it so that it doesn't show on the outside. Hung the gown on my display stand (I used to compete in clothing for the re-enactment group I am in, and still exhibit)Then I stuffed the bodice with fiber fill to give it a bit of shape to work against as I poked and prodded (not what I did, but what it felt like).

I threaded 7 needles at the same time to work on the overlay decoration. Ran basting stitches vertically down the chiffon for 3 1/4" at each spot the little medallions were to be fastened. Then drew up the thread to gather it under the decorative bits. Knotted those off and proceeded to gather/stitch more loosely for an inch below each of those. Sewed on the top seven sets of tiny medallions (8). Then moved to the bottom of the band half way between each of the top gathers and draped the fabric, which I had cut wider than needed to achieve the lower part of the oval on the chiffon. I cut off the excess, anchored the bottom edge and began taking small stitches to ruche the remaining fabric, tugging it up or down toward the edge of the medallion to achieve the desired effect. The stabilizer for the foundation can't handle the ruched chiffon, it starts drawing up, so I fight that. geeeessh! Thankfully I am persuasive. Sewed on the bottom six sets of medallions. It's not perfect, but it's close (horseshoes et al comes to mind). At this point I am absolutely exhausted.

Pic is a bit fuzzy, but it is the only one I have of the back. And it's obvious the fabric pulls in the bodice just the way I told her it would. They don't care. I take a good look at the full page ad they have for the gown. What do you know, it doesn't lay down prettily on the model either.

I worked until 3:30am Saturday morning to finish it, at which time I email her mom to let her know, set my alarm for 7:00am and go to bed...ahhh...blessed sleep...3 hours of it. The lady who is making the veil is due at 8:00am to shape it based upon the train. I wake up before the alarm, shower, bag it up, take it out in a downpour and drive through the main street we both live off of through two flooded sections. The bride is buttoned into the gown and has glowingly given it her stamp of approval by the time the lady shows up.

She had been walking back and forth and bending and twisting so we could see how it moved and I'd call "stop" to take a picture. I didn' smooth it down or tug on it so that it laid prettily for them; I was far too wiped out to care. My little perfectionist's soul is not happy with it.

Mom says "I'm so glad we talked her into a train" I laughed and said "You talked her into a 6" train; I simply cut what I felt it needed" So it helps when they consider you a friend, and it doesn't hurt if you have a good eye for proportions. It is gorgeous, just the right length and an elegant shape; absolutely perfect, everyone loves it. I am assuming that the designer gown has a train; I have no idea what it looks like.

Mom described me as her guardian angel!

I hurry home to have breakfast and go to work for my usual eight hour Saturday stint, thankful it's a short day. I'm a zombie all day.

Its' fairly typical to gain a few pounds while you are engaged. I don't think she will, but she doesn't have any leeway. If she gains two pounds I don't want to hear from her.

My mother's reaction...."I'm so glad we went to Country Club Plaza in Kansas City to purchase your gown. Do you remember asking the clerk if she had it in tall? (I'm 5'8") And when she did, you said "This is IT!!"?" I disappointed her by saying no. My mom and her cousin picked out my gown. It is wonderful, looks like an 1800's frontier school marm getting married! Ivory (which upset dad who felt it wasn't white enough) with a lace yoke, modified leg of mutton sleeves with a lace overlay, 12" wide lace on the hem of the gown, 10" wide lace on the edges of the long veil. Quite unusual and not as fussy as it sounds. We went on to talk about how the plaza flooded before we picked up the gown, but it came through just fine. The fountains on the plaza are lovely. It is a really old shopping area set on the river. Mom shopped there as a teen and young bride with her mother.

I know, I know, way more detail than you ever wanted to read and I've lost almost everyone already. There are friends who have asked how it went, friends I groused to as I struggled, friends I would love to show what I do. Plus I wanted to document this to remind myself never ever to agree to a wedding gown again.