Submitted by Jessie Pei
Miss Cui and Mr. Luo got married in the fall of 2013. The wedding was in Chong Qing, a prosperous city in south-west China with the population of twenty-nine million. About five hundred people witnessed the happy couple exchanging rings. Of course, the center of attention of the ceremony was the bride beautified by her gorgeous crème satin wedding gown made by the Ponoka seamstress Mrs. Annette Fenske.
The dress order was placed in the spring. “A wedding dress made from scratch by a Canadian seamstress for a Chinese girl with fine skin and small in size’’, this was the email instructions and order, along with a few pictures of what she would like. There was no further instruction provided, except for a set of measurements in metric system. Annette started collecting designs and jotting down ideas as she shopped around for fabrics. Everything was in place three months later; it was time to cut.
“Wait for a second,” said Annette to herself. After converting into inches, the girl’s measurements just didn’t look right. “Who’d have a waist of 21 inches?” After checking with the bride back and forth, the seamstress finally realized that she was making a wedding dress for a living Barbie doll! The design had to be changed according to the size of the dress. Annette removed some of the fancy decoration, handmade satin roses on the bodice, because there was not much space in the front. The skirt needed to be minimized too. “Am I doing it right?” Annette asked herself during the entire dress-making process.
The second challenge was everything had to be flexible and adjustable; a corset back would be the best way to go. The bride was never present. There were no fittings. How to make the elegant dress fit perfectly for her? The seamstress was not sure if the bride was able to find somebody to alter her dress when she received it in China if it needed any. The decision was to make everything adjustable: width, length, ornaments, etc.
The dress was finished in early October. Mrs. Fenske was happy with her work. But she had to wait to hear what the bride thought about it. “This is beautiful!” When the bride finally received her dress, she exclaimed with joy. She adored the dress and burst into tears. Everything was perfect, the materials, the design, the cutting, the decorations, everything. There was a rumor going among the guests at the wedding that the bridal dress was made by one of the world’s top ten designers! The truth in that rumor is we do have the top notch seamstress here in Ponoka. She is the seamstress for New Beginnings Bridal Shop in town.