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Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Fragility of Vintage Lace

On Wednesday I had my first fitting with my corset maker. Going into the fitting I'd become more than a little worried about how the lace bodice of my dress was going to support 10 yards of material.

A quick rewind. I'm wearing my mom's silk dress with lace bodice. The dress is in amazing condition, but like any vintage dress, the material, especially the lace, is not as strong as it once was. We also modified how the 10 yard train attaches. It no longer glides gracefully behind me, the weight of the material partially supported by the ground. All 10 yards now hang freely. And this weight is supported by two three-inch wide pieces of lace.

At the fitting we confirmed that the lace is pulled taunt under the weight of the bustle and probably wouldn't be able to support the weight for a long duration. Enter another problem. The dress is tricky for me to get into without my hair done up or makeup on. So I'll need to be in my dress while I get my hair and makeup done (that's roughly 3 hours before we leave for the Swedish American Hall). Luckily we have 4 months and a week to figure this out.

So where does one go to figure out what to do with vintage lace? To Lacis of course.

This museum has been in Berkeley since my mom went to California Arts and Crafts and my aunt went to UC Berkeley. What am I hoping to find there? An expert who can direct me to a seamstress experienced with vintage lace.

Who would have thought that wanting to wear your mother's dress would be so complicated? Are you wearing your mom's dress? Or are you incorporating pieces from it into your wedding?

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