Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Colour Purple

July was drawing to a close and I still didn’t have a dress. A feverish desperation had taken over. Every time I passed a store window and saw even a glimmer of purple, I would throw myself against the glass willing it to be something that I could wear. I even tried to make an appointment at a bridal store, but the price tags on the dresses made me abandon that idea in a hurry. Then, just when I thought I was going to walk down that aisle in a purple dyed burlap sac, one of my cousins told me about this amazing (and relatively inexpensive) dressmaker who lived right by my house. Helpful Cousin was nice enough to call said dressmaker (a.k.a The Saviour) to make me an appointment and then was even nicer and agreed to go with me.

Helpful Cousin suggested that I go scout for fabrics before I meet the Dressmaker so that I would have sample swatches to show her. A quick call to friend, Shutterbug confirms that the best place for fabrics is Queen West. Shutterbug even offers to accompany me.

At this point I realize that not one person I know is confident in my ability to pick out a dress, a pattern or even a roll of cloth that will eventually be the dress. They are right of course, but it does sting to know that one is not trusted with fashion decisions. On the other hand, it does feel wonderful to know that my friends all have my back and just don’t want me to embarrass myself with having to wear a purple dyed burlap sac.

Confident that I will be able to just LOOK at fabric myself, I wave away her offer and the following day check out the fabric stores at Queen West. When I get there, I am a little alarmed by how MANY stores there are, all with seemingly never ending rolls of fabric in every hue and colour in the rainbow. Not quite sure of how one actually goes about buying fabric for a bridesmaid dress I stumble into the first store I see (tripping on the golden lab asleep on the steps) and trust the pattern into the hands of the shop assistant. “Help!” I squeak. “Make Dress. Need Fabric.” She wanders around the store for a bit and returns with a purple satinish fabric. I ask her for a sample and march out 10 minutes later marveling at my superior fabric choosing capabilities!

It’s not until I get home and compare the sample to the online pictures of the kilts do I realize that I have chosen an entirely WRONG shade of purple!

After banging my head repeatedly against a handy wall, I call Shutterbug and in a very small (and VERY humble) voice ask her to please accompany me to the fabric stores as I am obviously not capable of this task. So, accordingly, Shutterbug and I headed over to Queen West the following Saturday. She has come prepared with a colour palate for comparison that has the correct shade of purple, and then a scale of shades darker and lighter. When we get to the first store, Shutterbug sits me down at the counter and proceeds to explain to girl-behind-the-counter what we’re looking for using phrases like “overlay of chiffon” and “muted tones for best effect”. I am suitably impressed. Shutterbug is just as picky over the fabric as Shopaholic is with the finished product. The shop girl pulls out yards and yards of all kinds of fabrics in all hues of purple. Shutterbug expertly sifts through them all and finally selects some and asks for samples. We then go to 3 more shops and do the same thing all over again. In each shop, it is implied that I sit quietly in the corner and not touch anything. Finally, Shutterbug determines that we have enough sample and we leave.

Two days later, accompanied by Helpful Cousin I go to meet with the Dressmaker - who turns out to be the Dressmaker of my dreams! She patiently listens to my garbled descriptions of what I want and somehow pieces together a pattern that will be good for me. I leave with a renewed lease on life. In two short weeks, I will be dressless no more!

1 comment:

Jules said...

I am loving your dress finding/making stories, and I cannot wait to actually see you in a photo wearing the dress.

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