Two sons. Two summers. Two weddings. Two entirely different celebrations. But the same flower girl and ring bearer for both. And the same seamstress – me.
Each wedding clearly reflected the individual tastes of the respective brides (let’s be honest here, they do set the tone!). As the plans unfolded this year, it became clear that Katie and Erik’s wedding would be a formal and elegant affair. Glitter and sparkles also reigned. It seemed only fitting to dress the little attendants accordingly. I was up for the challenge, and Katie loved the idea.
I started with the flower girl dress. Eager to impress Mya with her finery, I showed her the pattern. Big mistake. She was excited all right. “I want the purple dress!” she exclaimed. What you have to understand is that 4-year-old Mya is very strong willed. And doesn’t forget. That phrase would haunt me up until the day of the wedding.
The simple looking dress on the pattern disguised its complexity. In addition to a silk skirt with an organza overlay, it also entailed a double-layer petticoat and lining underneath. But it was well designed, and those additional features clearly distinguished it as a special dress. The extra effort was well worth it.
The defining detail came about fortuitously. Needing extra fabric to alter one of the bridesmaid dresses, there was enough left over for a sash to trim Mya’s dress. That not only tied it perfectly into the wedding party, but gave the dress the zip it needed. Struggling to get it to tie into a nice bow in the back, I turned to glitz and Hobby Lobby. Using a diamond studded buckle and pin back, I fashioned a fitting anchor for the sash in the back of the dress.
If one dress is good, two is even better. Although not part of the wedding party, I saw no reason that baby sister Isabel should not match her big sister.
Next I turned my attention to 6-year-old Ben. His attire was to be a suit that I carefully matched to the fabric and style of the rented tuxes for the groomsmen. To be honest, I did briefly inquire as to the viability of renting a suit for Ben. But the $200 cost quickly sent me back to my sewing machine with renewed determination.
I had made one tailored suit coat before, and relied on knowing that I had once mastered the required techniques. I soon learned that sewing for little people presents its own challenges, creating the same level of detail on a much reduced scale. Slacks with a fly front and side pockets was new to me, and went together quite nicely. However, the trick came in scrunching the waist down to Ben’s skinny measurements. With multiple try-on sessions and Ben’s patience, I finally got it right.
Glittery hair bows, tie, and pocket hankie completed the ensembles. I finished all my machine sewing with only a few hand details left just over a week before the wedding. And that night the big storm tore through Duluth and took out the power – for four days! That was a close call.
Wedding morning, Mya dons her dress under protest at first. But finally overcomes her objections when Katie whispers that she wants her to “look just like her” in a white dress. Ben asks Daddy to get him dressed in the room with the groomsmen, and emerges looking just like the rest of the guys. Isabel, wisely, is outfitted in her dress at the last minute. And I’m swelling with pride at seeing them in their wedding finery for the second time. Then I turn my attention to being Mother of the Groom. It is, after all, Erik’s wedding day.