After many hours of trimming, beading (1,216 to be precise) and hand stitching embroidery I finally finished 'the' gown, culminating in the most exquisite piece I have yet produced.
For one very happy client, Texas Flower is in love with her gown to which I am extremely pleased.
The McDowell Drafting Machine and its book of instructions were indeed true. It states that, if correct measure is taken then a gown should be produced and ready to ship to your client without inconveniencing the wearer with numerous fittings.
Despite my misgivings, I now believe every written word in that book! Having made the gown in Australia and finishing it here, Flower had not once tried the gown on until we met in Moriarty last Tuesday. It fit perfectly!
I had a minor conniption when I realised I had not bought any boning with me to add stays to the bodice but am happy to say it did not require it.
This makes it even more like the original really where it was noted (in an article by Peaches O'Day and Miss Tabitha, SASS Chronicle 2012) unusually, did not have any.
Finally, on Friday evening all hand stitching was done and I could hand the gown over to one very excited and happy lady.
The 'Diary of Desire' was worn to the banquet Saturday night and to all our delight Texas Flower was EOT 2016, 1st Place, Best Dressed Lady.
Under the evening lights of the Belle Union Saloon those little Czech glass beadlettes shone bright like stars and the smile on Texas Flower's face!
True satisfaction from a yesteryear seamstress.