"Mum, I had a terrible nightmare last night. I dreamed it was The Bestie's wedding and I didn't have a dress to wear..........."
"What's your point?"
At the tender age of forty something, my Bestie has finally found the man of her dreams and on November 1st they will tie a rather unconventional knot in an outdoor ceremony in Adelaide's East Parklands. You see, at forty something and with one wedding behind you, you can afford to do things your way. There are no more maiden aunts and grandmothers to please; there is no sense of having to do it 'right' in case you regret it later and no fear of 'missing out' on something if you abandon the odd convention. No, at our age, one can indulge one's pecadillos.
Now I am not one to give away too many secrets in advance of the big day (much) but I can tell you that the Bestie has appointed The Diva and I her 'Old Tarts of Honour', Mumford is dry cleaning his 'Matrix' coat and planning a spectacular entrance and my Baby Angel has been given the job of escorting Q, beloved Jack Russell x Fox Terrier and ring bearer, down the 'aisle'. I told you it was unconventional.
The Bestie is opting for a dress to die for; big, bold and very 'Her'. A dress like this
(do not look if you don't want a spoiler). Due to the disparate shape and size of the other Old Tart and I, our dresses are linked by colour only and, since her best and most gorgeous dress is black, that's what I'm wearing too. So we have the boys in black, the OTs in black, the Bride in an 'unspecified colour but not white' and then we have The BA and dog.
So what will she wear?
The problem we face is that my Baby Angel already looks much older than her 14 years and I feel a black dress is too sophisticated and will make her look even older. Whilst this is a thrill for her, I am in no hurry to rush the aging process. I was in the same position at her age and inevitably people expected more of you than you were either capable of or comfortable with! She is a delightfully 14 year old fourteen year old, if that makes sense, and I want her to wear something that will be pretty, flattering, fun and yet dressy. Oh and the colour has to complement the Bestie's 'unspecified colour'. I want her to land somewhere between 'fairy princess' and 'funky teen'. Surely not that much of an 'ask'?
On the very first shopping day it became evident that our choices were more limited than we thought. Most of the dressy, formal dresses were very strappy or indeed strapless and she is not very comfortable with that yet and the price tags were, at times, insurmountable! I suggested making her a dress but she seemed less than thrilled at the prospect. We went out again last Thursday to try and find something in the right vein with a manageable price tag and brought a couple of dresses home on 'approval'.
Here is the first. Retail price tag: $ 90.00 AuI favoured the young, girly style of this one but felt the cotton material left it looking insufficiently 'fancy' for a wedding. She really liked it.
Here is the second. Retail price tag: $ 80.00 Au
This was a good combination of dressy and fun with the obvious problem of length (what length?) and a dubious top half which, as Himself said, left the dress looking like it didn't know what it was meant to be! From the back view you can see that there is a longer 'tube' style skirt poking out underneath the frou frou layer. I wondered about attaching another tulle layer underneath to add length but in the end the top half was not sufficiently inspiring for me to bother.She really liked it.
Naturally she wanted to keep both but as I pointed out, the first one I could make at half the cost, the second...well, where would she wear it? So the mean, Flaming Sword mother took both dresses back.
She hated me for about 20 minutes then she got over it.
So where does that leave us? Well, I want to do something like the first one but in a dressy fabric so I have been to a lovely fabric shop and picked up 3 m of a gorgeous crepe georgette style fabric (reduced from $30.00/m to $10.00/m) and half a metre of black lace for $10.00. I plan to make a full, swing skirt in the cream fabric and overlay the bodice (similar to the first dress) with the black lace. With the addition of a pattern for the bodice ($15.00) I should be able to put the whole thing together for around $55.00. In theory.
I think I'll do the whole thing in calico first just to make sure I cut the pattern correctly but hopefully we'll end up with something that is just right for the occasion and didn't cost an arm and a leg. I'll start when I've finished the top of the quilt :-D
* Stanley Holloway sings 'Get Me To The Church On Time (Lerner and Loewe)