Saturday, October 25, 2008

Tis' The Season To Be Scary...

"Hello, Dear.  Now come right over here and stand nice and straight for me.  Good girl!  And did we bring all three pieces for steaming today?"

I was perplexed.  And it showed.  I was also maybe a little bit scared.  This was silly because the nice lady asking the question was naught but a humble seamstress.  She was the embodiment of kindness and obviously gentle of heart.  And yet, all I could think in that moment was:  It seems to me that I am spending more time in the bridal shop than is good for the average middle aged, commitment-phobic Sheepie these days..."

But, it had to be done.  With my brother's wedding but a week away, the only other option for dealing with my too-long bridesmaid skirt was to staple the thing up to a manageable walking length and I didn't see Future SIL Sheep going along with that plan.  It was venture into Bridal Territory or risk tripping down the aisle.  And not in a good way.  I needed to overcome my fear of all things wedding-related and face my demons head on.  

It was something of an education.  For example, I did not know that when a bride walks into the alteration room, appointments mean nothing.  It does not matter that she only wanted to set up a time to come in and have her dress altered.  The bride takes precedence and civilians who happen to be sitting there in satin skirts, borrowed shoes and colorful, striped socks need to get out of the way.  

When my turn finally arrived, I explained that I only needed a simple hem.  You can imagine my surprise when it turned out that this meant I needed to be measured at all angles.  This, I am told, is procedure.  Had I been aware that waist measurements were needed, I would have been a bit more careful with the doughnuts yesterday.  

I had no real answer for why I didn't bring along the entire bridesmaid outfit except to say that the wedding is a week away and that we have entered into the "what can go wrong will go wrong" phase of the process.  I had felt it best to hang onto the top of the dress and the coordinating shrug.  You never know when one of the brides might go over the edge with the stress of it all and start setting fire to the place.  At least this way, I'd still have my top.  Although what good this would do me come wedding day, I don't know.  But it seemed to make sense to me at the time.

Besides, I noted, I have a perfectly good steamer at home.  I can steam the dress myself should it need it.  This caused the seamstress to gasp so heartily and with such horror that I feared she was going to suck all the oxygen out of the small space.  I thought it best to change the subject and quickly directed her attention back to my hemline.

Then she said, in tones so serious that you'd have thought we were discussing her performing surgery on me rather than my dress, that we needed to consider the "sweep."  I didn't even know I had a sweep, much less that I needed to consider it for any length of time.  I began quickly scanning my person for something that might be vaguely sweep-like.  I guessed it might be somewhere around my backside...

With obviously straining patience, she explained that the dress has a bit of a train.  She wondered if I wanted to keep that.  Again, I honestly didn't know that I had a choice in the matter.  Frankly, it seemed best to show up at the wedding in the style of dress that the bride selected for the event.  I don't know as she would have noticed given that she is going to have a few other things going on that day, but why take the chance?  I don't want to be the one they point to in the family album and refer to as That Rebel Bridesmaid Who Ruined Everything With Her Lack Of Sweep.  

By now, I think we'd finally started to understand one another a little bit better.  The Seamstress realized that I am The Hopelessly Undereducated In The Ways Of Bridal Wear Bridesmaid.  I caught onto the fact that she is The Seamstress Who Really Loves Her Job And Wants Every Wedding To Be Perfect.  With this bit of business behind us, we were able to chat pleasantly for the remainder of the turning and pinning.  

Finally, I turned over my skirt and arranged for a pick up date.  I was then led to the counter where I learned that it costs almost fifty dollars to hem a skirt.  No.  Let me clarify that.  Fifty dollars is what they charge for hemming a skirt.  It does not cost fifty dollars to hem a skirt.  It only costs that much if you wait until the last possible minute to get your alterations done and have no other options save trying to do it yourself.  

Given my basic sewing skills, I don't know as I'd be able to maintain my sweep.  I handed over my debit card without comment.  Then I went out and bought chocolate chip cookies for lunch.  Then I bought an industrial strength "shaping" garment to go under the dress because there is no way I'm going to lose the cookie weight by next week.  Then I took a nap.

You'd think that an hour spent standing in front of multiple mirrors whilst confessing to my utter ignorance regarding fashion might be a bad thing.  But, I must tell you that it was not.  Not at all.  I learned a lot and will never again be at a loss for words when someone wants to steam me or discuss my sweep.  More importantly, though, I did something I've never done before:  I wore a sweater out in public that had been knit by my own hands.  Yup.  The Blog Buster Sweater made its debut today.  And, as I had no other top to wear during this fitting, it stood with me in front of those multiple mirrors.  And you know what?  The flaws that I see in it were not really as visible as they seemed to be at home.  In fact, it looked pretty good to me.  Not perfect.  Not by a long shot.  But pretty darned good.  And it's brown just like my skirt so I was all matchy-matchy.  Not that I'd wear it to the wedding or anything.  But I could if the need ever arose.  

That's not going to be the issue, though.  I have the dress top here at home and will guard it with my life.  The skirt is on its own until Friday.  We are crossing our fingers that none of the brides go into flamethrower mode during the next week. 

Meanwhile back at the manse, the Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty was using his unsupervised time to work on his Halloween costume.  He thinks he's come up with a good one.  If you wouldn't mind, could you pretend that he is very scary?  I think it would mean a lot to him..

(Lots of spaces.  Big Picture.  Can't make smaller.  Must get past Flickr thingie to see it...)

funny pictures
moar funny pictures



April said...

Maybe that's why I've always been such a terrible bridesmaid, I never had any sweep!

I am soooo stealing that cat.

trek said...

Why did you do it, Sheepie? You didn't just wear the sweater in public; you didn't even merely mention it in passing in a solitary email; you blogged about it.

The day after you cast on a new "dishcloth".

What the h3ll were you thinking??!!

Maybe we can blame it on bridal shop fumes or something. You'd better: otherwise you are seriously in danger of smiting.

mzmouze said...

Zombie Kitteh scares me half to death!!

Mia said...

oh my gosh, that zombie kitty pic is great!

Wow.. a week away. Awesome. It's gonna be great :)

Melissa said...

I'd lave a comment but I'm busy running around locking all my doors and windows so the zombie kitteh can't get in...

(tell AGK I think his c \ostume is VERY scawy and one of the BEST kitteh costumes I've ever seen!

Jeanne said...

O Noes, I iz verreh skeerded by da Zombie Kitteh!

So, no pix of the BlogBuster taken from all angles? :-)

The thing about All Things Bridal is that it is taken far too seriously. Anyone who has seen Bridezillas knows of what I speak. I know it's a special day, and all, but yikes. Some take a celebration and turn it into a military campaign and take all the fun out of it. The bridesmaids seem to get the worst of it. Please, if I ever get to be a bride, let me remember and stay sane! LOL!

May you be well-swept next weekend.

Kath said...

OMG! Zombi kitteh vewy skewy! Run away! Run away!

Anonymous said...

No pretending necessary! That is one scary kitty!

Donna Lee said...

I have hemmed bridesmaid dresses and made my own wedding dress. I'm not sure I had any sweep. I guess I'll have to go back and look at the photos. I'd hate to think that people had been pointing and whispering about an obvious lack of sweep on my part.

Knitting Linguist said...

Oy. I don't miss the bridesmaid days at ALL. You are being a very good future-SIL.

crzjane said...

That is one scary kitty!
Are you taking Friday off so that you can be at the Bridal Shop as soon as it opens to get your skirt? Wow, only a week away. Nail biting time.

Yarnhog said...

Mercifully, each of the brides for whom I have performed that duty elected to let the bridesmaids choose their own dresses, only specifying a color and length. But when I was a bride myself, the seamstress was quite put out by my lack of, um, feminine assets and insisted on sewing enormous pads in the bodice of the bustier she insisted I needed. There's nothing quite like having a complete stranger tut-tut over the size of one's breasts. (I'm guessing no groom ever had to suffer a tailor expressing dismay at the size of his...feet.) I can only be grateful that the dress didn't require alteration in the hips, or I might have been scarred for life.

Karen said...

I AM SCARED!!!! Look at the teeth on that giant kitty. Quick grab the tuna!
The wedding will be wonderful. You're going to have a great time. Noone will worry about your sweep or anything. Did they tell you if there will be a photographer? Maybe you could share a photo of the Sheep in her finery?

mehitabel said...

Okay, zombie kitteh is too adorable for words. Meantime I have Felted Kitteh on my hands--Simon is having his Annual Matfest.

I know more about Bridal Hell than I care to. At least Youngest Daughter let me get my MOB dress at Nordy's. No alterations needed! #3 however made me get a MOB in champagne satin, and it was that ugly.