Friday, September 28, 2012

Flashback Friday: Saving an Unsalvagable Dress

Today's Flashback Friday comes from another article Marilyn wrote for the Prince George's County Women's Journal:

I worked with a bride who very much wanted to wear her mother's 1950 wedding gown on her wedding day.  Since her mother had passed away, it was a way to bring her mother's presence into the wedding.  The gown had been stored for years and so it was sent to a local dry cleaners who damaged the gown in the process of cleaning and pressing.  The bride's sister worked through a list of local dressmakers but none were interested in working on the gown when the damage was explained.  Finally, she got my name on her list and I agreed to assess the damage and suggest what could be done.

The damaged dress

Note the stains; they were everywhere!

After a burn test to determine fiber content and a close examination of the damage I felt that the gown could be returned to its glory.  We developed a multi-step plan that included cutting out the original lining and horsehair, replacing the original lining and horsehair, replacing the original trim along the neckline, some minor alterations and sending it to my preferred dry cleaner [Editor's Note: It's TRS Dry Cleaners, and we recommend these life-savers to anyone who comes through our doors!] for stain removal and pressing.  I was also asked to remake the headpiece and veil with as much of the original parts as possible, replace missing covered buttons, and, using some of the new neckline trim, add accents to the wristlets, purse and shoes the bride was adding to the ensemble.

When it was all done, the gown looked fabulous, the bride was happy, looked beautiful, and I was able to take quiet pride in contributing to her dream of wearing her mother's wedding gown.

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