Adventures, and failures, in dress making

Earlier this evening, I had my first (of two) fittings for the dress I’m having made for the ball.  It’s a pretty color.  The skirt is quite full, so I shouldn’t have any trouble dancing comfortably.  My arms will be covered.  I’m sure it will fit me quite well.  I am confident that it is of a style appropriate to attending a ball.

Those are the only nice things I have to say about it.

It seems that nearly everything, from the silhouette of the dress to the length of the arms to the cut of the back — even the time of the appointment — was miscommunicated in the great game of multi-language telephone played between myself, the shop clerk and the seamstress.  The shop assistant kept saying things like, “I thought she was going to . . . ” and I kept saying, “Me too”.  I think that I understood the shop assistant just fine — it seems that most of the breakdown of communication was between her and the seamstress, who did not, it seems, understand what I was going for.  In many ways, the dress is the complete opposite of what I asked for, and I think several of my “not”s must have been lost in translation (as in, “I would NOT like it to have an empire waist, and I would NOT like there to be a horizontal seam across the middle of the dress”).

Sigh.  I’m frustrated, disappointed, and I feel pretty dumb.  I’ve just invested a great deal of money in a dress that will be much less flattering than several of the less expensive options I tried on at the dress shops.  It’s hard, because I don’t feel good about my current weight, or how I look these days, so putting on a dress that I was hoping would be lovely, and is instead frumpy and unflattering, is no fun.  It dims my enthusiasm about going to the ball, which, although understandable, is really kind of silly.  Yes, it would be great to have a gorgeous dress and feel beautiful, but I’m going to a *ball* at the *palace*, and what I’m wearing need not be the focus of the evening.  I’m trying to keep myself focused on the wonderful time we’re going to have, and on being grateful for the fact that I even have this problem to worry about in the first place.

Both the seamstress and the shop assistant seemed confident that they’ll be able to rectify my issues at the next fitting.  I am not holding my breath.  But maybe they will pull off a miracle.  Maybe.  If not, my options are to reject the dress (I have no idea how that would go over in Vienna, but I may try it anyway, although I do accept partial responsibility for the failure of communication — I’m the one in a German speaking country without the ability to speak the language) but then I’d have to scurry around to try and find something else that will work (and which would probably need to be altered), or I can accept it in whatever state it’s in at the next fitting next week and make the most of it.

At this point, perhaps I’ve now mentally set the bar so low that when I see it again next week, I’ll be pleasantly surprised.  I doubt it, but I’ll hope.

5 thoughts on “Adventures, and failures, in dress making

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  5. I didn’t mention it at the time, because I was still hoping it would all work out for the best, but the shop that made my dress for me was called “India”. It’s located in the first district of Vienna, behind Stephansdom. I did NOT have a good experience there. The dress turned out badly, and I was horribly overcharged for it. I have since learned from other locals that they, too, avoid the shop due to high prices and poor customer service. I would not recommend it to anyone.

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