Have I ever shown you mum's wedding gown?
I er.... borrowed it for my wedding.
Mum made it out of ribbon lace and bridal satin. It's a classic column gown with bell sleeves and a scoop neckline. Not gathered, not pouffy. And she made her little pillbox hat, which I thought was the cutest thing.
These outdoor photos were taken in Singapore. We were married in Minnesota, and we took a quick trip to Singapore to do the whole thing again there for our friends and the rest of our family. Our Singapore photographer was into architecture quite a bit, which explains the gorgeous backgrounds. My bouquet in these shots was some random bunch of dusty artificial flowers mum grabbed out of one of the vases in her house and wrapped in a doily - I'd completely forgotten I needed flowers. Also, I can't get over how proper and well-behaved I look in the photos. Couldn't be further from the truth.
When I inherited the gown, it had to be let out A LOT. Mum worked on it in Singapore while I was living here in Minnesota - we did all the alterations by phone (so ridiculous). Her hand-beaded train was very chic, but very discolored over the years, so we had to make a new one.
Now about this train - I still feel the strains of insanity when I think about it. It's one big rectangular piece of voile, right? Plain. Mum cut out all those lace flowers and stitched them by hand all over the middle of it. Then she took a plane with dad to come visit me, handed the train over, saying, "you've got better eyesight - you finish it". So I did. I stitched the border, in between writing assignments and my counseling internship in grad school. It probably was child's play to mum, after making stuff like that tablecloth. But it was a stretch for me, much as it was a nice distraction from school, since I prefer sewing-machining everything if I can. I don't think I've made anything since that has anywhere near that amount of hand-stitching.
This is the back of the gown where the train begins. I must say that I haven't met anyone yet who can do fabric roses like mum.
So that's my/mum's handmade gown. I'm hoping one (or all of) my girls wear it someday. I'll think of some tediously beautiful part of it to have them work on, so we can pass down the family tradition of sewing oneself into a stupor days before one's wedding.
And I found a picture of me wearing a Chinese thing!! It is the most recent one I could find, even though it is eight years old. We were having dinner on a train, some months after our wedding.
Eight years later - here are our kids are wearing Chinese clothes:
None of these are handmade - they were all bought in Singapore. But I want to make some soon, because I love mandarin collars, especially on actual Chinese suits. And then, yes, I'll do that frog button tutorial.
I hope you enjoyed the photos! Some of you asked to see what else was in my Ethnic Clothes Closet - well, it's mostly stuff like this, and also one lurid neoprene wetsuit (I filed that under Miscellaneous). I miiiiiiiiiight have a photo of me in a saree and cornrows (long story) but that's even further back than 8 years ago. Like I said, I was..... different..... then. If I find it, I'll scan it and share it here.