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"Tulle" of the trade

I come from a long line of seamstresses. My Great Grandmother was a seamstress, my Grandmother was a seamstress, my Mom was a seamstress, and so naturally I became one as well. Granted, neither my Mother or I actually made clothes professionally, like the two generations before us, but only because we never asked for money. :)

I remember my Mother sewing everything for us kids. When I was about 11 or 12 all I could talk about was the new fashion - San Francisco riding gear jeans. Remember those? Back then they were $40 and up! Insanely expensive for the time! But, I was a kid who wanted something, so I was relentless. My Mother, not to be outdone by the antics of a brat, did the most ingenious thing. She borrowed my brother's San Francisco riding gear jeans (he had a part time job so bought his own!) and proceeded to make a perfect copy. She even took one of the tags from the inside of my brother's jeans and sewed it on the back of mine. They were amazing! No one could tell that they weren't the real thing (that is until a certain someone told everyone at school they were "fake"). But regardless, I felt like I owned the world because of those.

My Mother's sewing skills are awe inspiring. She made a three piece VELVET suit for my brother. She made my sister's concert dresses - with beading. She made my father dress suits. She even made me a mechanics jumpsuit exactly like the employees at ARCO - complete with the patch. But the one thing that she made more of than anything else, and that I never really thought much of, was all of the ballet costumes we wore.

All three of us girls were in ballet, and our roles covered everything! Snowflakes, flowers, frogs, butterflies, mice, birds - you name it, we played it. But the one thing they all had in common was a very specific kind of material. It's the kind of material that you make ballerina tutu's out of, and it's called tulle. Tulle looks like netting, with little holes in the material, that is perfect when you need a stiff fabric. However, it usually takes more than just one layer of tulle to create the effect, and you typically have to gather it as well....a LOT of it.....yards and yards of it.... My Mom was a tutu monster. I swear she could make 12 a day! But I just never thought much about it.

Fast forward to today. After spending way too much time and effort in the local wedding dress shops, and getting more and more disgusted with the lack of beautiful traditional designs, I decided I would design my own wedding dress. I know, I know - I can hear all of you now. "Why in the *$^%@ would you want to do that!!!" But seriously, have you seen the dress designs out there? They are either the price of a small CAR, or they are horribly immodest (one was see thru with "strategically" placed lace pieces!!? I mean seriously, would you want your GRANDMA to see that much of you walking down the aisle?), or they would win at the Halloween contest as THE MUMMY, or they make even a size 2 girl look like a sausage. (I could go on and on) No thank you! So yes, I decided to make my own dress.

Enter the TULLE.

I bought 20 yards of it..... Suffice it to say that I now have a new and deeper appreciation for my Mother and her sewing abilities. And to think, I only have to do ONE dress.....

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