Wedding Belt
the one project I did finish...

The traditional white wedding is a relict of an earlier, more formal age, when the leisured classes (seemingly) spent a lot of time swapping out their various outfits so as to be suitably attired for parties. —At least, reading between the lines of Miss Manners and Georgette Heyer, that's how it seems to me (oddly enough the importance of clothing is not nearly so evident in Jane Austen.) Now, the ordinary American has little excuse to wear semi-formal garb (all out being the white tie with tails now seen only on orchestra conductors), let alone ball gowns, which is what those long wedding dresses were (and sometimes sort still are) modelled upon.

Even back when I got married weddings were ridiculously expensive (as particularly symbolized by outrageous dress prices) and I hadn't worn dresses for years, they being to me a symbol of women's lower class status. But I still wanted the fun party and an excuse to dress up, so I decided to wear a churidar, which is a sort a tunic and pants (and thus somewhat similar to the SCA costume which at that point in my life was the only time I dressed up much) and which I thought could be accessorized (does anyone still use[1] "accessorize" any more?) with a beaded belt. —I also planned to embroider the churidar with white silk embroidery, beads, and sequins, but I didn't have time for that part.

Overall length 5’, tip of d-ring to end of fringe. width, 19mm/3/4”. length of fringe, 6-1/4”. Largest bead, 7x8mm twisted lantern. Materials: silk backing, nylon? thread, gold-filled beads, iridescent bugle and seed beads. Roughly 1986–87.

—I did at least manage to make a pen and ink drawing of two rejiquari for the invitations, matching thank you notes (pre-printed—horrors! But I didn't know about Miss Manners back then), calligraph the invitations, and truly luck out with the florist, who seemed to have an intuitive understanding of what I wanted. My friend Page made me a gorgeous earwrap to co-ordinate with the wonderful 22k gold and pearl jewelry that my boss kindly loaned me. —That is, I kept all the customs that allowed me scope for artsy embellishment, and dropped all the ones that failed to match my ideas of propriety (such as getting married in a church) or expense.

The backing fabric in my first belt puckered and the tacking stitches showed. This time I used silk from the churidar (which was sewn for me for the princely sum of $15 from a sari my boss had kindly purchased for me in India [and by a Pakistani woman whom the same boss found for me;]—I had a 9 month engagement, which made planning somewhat easier). I also wanted to use better thread than plastic fishing line. The result was considerably more supple, as you can see in the picture. I also indulged my love of fancy fringe, using the ornate twisted lantern beads.

After the wedding, I wore this outfit once more, to a Star Trek convention (to sell my jewelry). I got green stamp pad ink on it, and that was the end of the outfit per se. So the belt has lain in my dresser for a score of years in a ziploc bag; though it at least has the advantage of being easier to store than a whole dress, and the sentimental connection of being something I made.

stub created 30sep08; post 2oct08; intro 12jan09; removed loom indexing, added year and colour tags, 18may2018.

[1]Argh, I had to delete that d, couldn't stand the typo any more...updated 07oct12