Making a dress, a comedy in three languages

I have 17 days until the ball, and, as yet, no fairy godmother has surfaced to wave a wand and create a gown made just for me (although, that might be one of those things that you have to wait until the actual last minute, not almost the last minute, and your bird-made gown might first have to be destroyed by your evil step-sisters, of which I have none, so I may never know).  I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands (not literally) and have a dress made.

One of the dress shops I visited last week has a seamstress/designer who works with them to custom make nearly all of their gowns (they only have a few, like 4, samples in the entire shop).  I had a minimal amount of luck looking at dress stores around Vienna, and I had trouble finding something that I really liked, that suited me, and that I was going to be able to dance in — and even those dresses were quite expensive.  For a little more, I could have one made that (hopefully) would fit really well, look great and be easy to dance in, so I’ve decided to go that route.  (To my wonderful friends from home who have offered to help, please do — I still have no idea if this will actually work out, so I definitely need to keep other options working.)

I went today to meet with the designer . . . to find that she speaks only German.  Which is ok, though, because we had a shop assistant helping us . . . who is from Paris.  Her first language is French, but she’s been speaking German for a few years, and her English was pretty good.  We were all very kind and patient with each other — we communicated through the shop assistant, and with gestures, pointing and pictures (lots and lots of pictures).  I know for sure what fabrics we decided on (I was there when they cut them) but other than that, I only have a general notion of what this dress is going to look like (it’ll be blue).  It was an adventure, to be sure — a game of telephone mixed with charades and Pictionary, played in Gerfrenglish.  Oh my.

I’m excited about the prospect of having a dress made, but very nervous about having commissioned a dress when I only kind of know what I’ve agreed to.  I’m getting better about turning myself over to the experience of this adventure, though — I’m finding this whole thing rather fun, and I’m more excited than worried to see how this turns out . . . I think.