Thursday, May 10, 2012

Beauty And The Bustle

Your WEDDING GOWN. It's the most expensive purchase you'll make in your lifetime for a garment. A lot of dreaming, thought and sometime stress goes into buying your dream gown. Seriously...have you ever watched "Say Yes To The Dress"? You know that buying your gown is not something to be taken lightly.

There are many elements to consider about your gown. What shape should it be? Will you choose lace, silk, satin, taffeta? Will it be long or short? Should the neckline be a sweetheart, halter, scoop neck? Visiting a salon and trying on gowns is a thrilling experience. You are being draped in thousands of dollars of fabric and embellishments. What a true DIVA experience.'ve purchased your dream gown, and the fittings will begin. Here is where I step in and say to salons and seamstresses...WHY DON'T YOU PAY ATTENTION TO THE BUSTLE?! Whew, that felt good. Let me explain why. On the wedding day, there is a short window of time that your gown must be bustled. Your stunning cathedral or sweep train is out in all of it's glory as you walk down the aisle. During the cocktail hour your train continues to be the star of the show as you take photos. It's all so dreamy.

The time has come for your grand entrance and first dance. You can't walk into the dining room and dance with your new husband without being bustled. Tripping over your gown is not an option. Carrying the train around all  night is a chore. You have a good 10 to 15 minutes to get that bustle up and out of the way. Sounds like plenty of time, right? Who's going to bustle you? Trust me, I've had brides tell me, "you don't need to attend my final fitting, because my sister, maid of honor, bridesmaids will take care of the bustle". Listen to me when I tell you, they never know how to do it. They think they do. They have great intentions, but they didn't pay attention to the fine details.
Cindy wore a stunning ballgown, with an impressive Cathedral Train. The bustle had 28 points and required a diagram. It took two of us to bustle her, one on each side. Ten minutes later, she was ready to dance.
No sign of a train now!
I've been part of hundreds of weddings, and I've seen it countless times. The seamstress doesn't sew a good bustle, or the bride doesn't ask any questions about it. In order for you to dance the night away and not worry about a broken bustle, like the stress-free Cindy above, that bustle has to hold.

Here are some of the pitfalls I've seen:

  • The train is heavy and the seamstress uses only one loop on the outside that will attach to a TINY hook or a button. This never holds. It's guaranteed to tear. It's why I have a sewing kit with me at every wedding.
  • The seamstress made loops for the hooks with thread...the same color as the dress. Imagine there are 12 - 16 of them. Now imagine, nobody can see them. Welcome to my nightmare. What should take 5 minutes, now takes 15! And the food is getting cold.
  • The bustle is French with strings underneath the dress. The seamstress did not indicate which strings go with which. Another waste of valuable time.
  • The seamstress attaches a loop for you to carry your bustle on your wrist. Don't laugh..I've seen it. You can't party the night away carrying a train around all night.
How can you avoid these pitfalls and feel comfortable and secure in your gown when the party starts?
  • Obviously you should HIRE ME. I come to your final fitting, and ensure the seamstress is on her toes. This is part of every package I offer. Often, brides take their changes and opt out of this service. Those are the ones that require me to bring my sewing kit.

  • ASK QUESTIONS. Find out if the seamstress will use hooks, strings, stitching, etc. I cannot stress enough stitching should be outlawed. You can't see them, you can't find them, and they always break.
  • If the seamstress is using strings, make sure they are color coded or numbered for easy matching.
  • If your bustle is complicated, ask them to draw a diagram. You'll be glad you did.
  • Can't afford a wedding planner to assist you? Make sure you put your Maid of Honor in charge. She MUST attend the fitting, and bustle you twice, in the salon before you leave with it. When it's bustled, walk around, sit down, dance a little, pull  on it...make sure it's solid.
  • Pay a little extra for a good bustle. It's a great investment.
There you have it. BUSTLE 101. I'd love to hear your opinion and if this little article helped you. If you decide you need a seasoned expert to help you with your bustle, and all the other little details, I'd love to hear from you. I can't wait to meet YOU and YOUR GOWN

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