Jean slicing away at the tulle.
We worked slowly, starting at the at the bottom--avoiding the inevitable question. What would I do with the top? After the last fitting, Jean had sewn the underlayers of satin and crinoline of the skirt. This time, we got the length of the outer layer, the tulle, right.
I didn't get any pictures of the bustle, but basically it involves bringing the end of the train up to my waist, tucking and buttoning it under the waist band and that's it. One fold and the skirt becomes completely even all the way around. The way the tulle falls, it doesn't look folded, it looks like the skirt has always been one length.
This whole time, I was holding onto the cap sleeves in my hand, playing with them in various ways on the dress. Just before arriving, one of my MOHs (who had to work and couldn't join in) texted me an idea: What about using some of the the cap sleeves around the waist to add a little sparkle and detail?
I held the beading up and loved it. Jean looked up from where she was cutting. "That's beautiful," she said in her French accent. The saleswoman walked by and said the same thing.
This was my only rushed decision. Yes, I love this idea. Let's do it! At first we tried it thick--almost the whole width of the waistband.
My mom, MOH J, and I all thought it was too thick. How about something thinner?
This was alright, but almost too thin. We all agreed the piece of sparkly goodness should take up about a third of the band. The above was just under. Here's what we ended up going with:
We did everything above with no mention of the straps. I think I'd made it pretty obvious by tucking the straps in from the first moment I arrived but it needed to be said. "I really want it strapless," I told Jean, "I don't care if there's a tiny dip under my arm--let's do it strapless." Jean didn't say much. She simply said it wouldn't be done by Sunday (when I head back to New Mexico) but that she'd finish it and send it to Denver for me to pick up before the wedding. I'll be getting it a couple of days before the wedding so if all else fails, I'll have a few days to do some emergency alterations if necessary.
Here's what the back looks like pinned down. It will be cleaner once it's sewn.
Walking out of there, I was relieved. I hadn't even tried all of the different strap ideas I'd brought with me (print outs of pictures and everything). I stuck with what I wanted from the beginning and went with it.
All of your advice was so helpful. It made me realize how beautiful the cap sleeves were and made me want to incorporate them. I also stuck to my guns when it came to the neckline. Strapless, it is.
Did you have indecision with how your dress should be altered? How did you deal with it?