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Wedding photos and a possible Project Runway challenge

As promised, here are photos of me all gussied up for my brother’s wedding two weekends ago. I was waiting for the professional pictures to come back, but they haven’t turned up yet so I’ll just show you my shaky, handheld photography in questionable lighting. The one on the left was taken outside in front of a stretch SUV limousine and the one on the right was taken in my hotel room, which is why I look kind of blue like Smurf in one and kind of yellow like I have Hepatitis in the other. I wanted to show you the back of the dress because I love the way the fabric wraps around and drapes down. I was able to grab those strands at the reception and wave them around like butterfly wings.

My dress was green but did this cool shimmering thing in the light that gave it a red sheen, which doesn’t show up in the photos at all, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. You can’t tell from these pictures, but in the hotel photo my straps are beaded and in the limo photo they are not. Why is this?


I had successfully put on my dress and walked out to the car in my open-toed shoes that delightfully showed off my pink toenail polish. However, when I opened the passenger’s side door and leaned over to put my purse on the floor I heard a SNAP! Then my right strap went slack. Then I said some naughty words. In my fatter days I sometimes had concerns about splitting tight pairs of pants, but I’d thought my days of possible wardrobe malfunctions were over. Alas no, the wire holding the beaded strap to the front of the dress broke. It was just like that time Kelly Monoco’s top almost came off during Dancing with the Stars, only I didn’t have a live studio audience and I wasn’t doing the samba.

Miraculously the beads stayed on the wire and I was able to hold the strap as we drove to the church. Thankfully, we had expert help on site. My mother is a professional seamstress who carries a sewing kit in her purse. She carefully analyzed the situation in the lobby of the chapel. First we tried sewing the strap back onto the dress, but there wasn’t enough wire left to do so. We considered just tucking the straps under my dress at my armpits and going strapless, but I was concerned I might end up flashing the congregation during my reading from Solomon. Next we were thinking of attaching the strap with Scotch tape and safety pins and camouflaging the whole mess with my corsage, but as we looked at my corsage we realized the florist had provided us with a solution. There was a small white ribbon tied neatly around the stems.

Yes, my mother sewed new straps onto my dress in the lobby of the church half an hour before my brother’s wedding using only ribbon from a corsage and a sewing kit. She didn’t even charge me an alteration fee. If we had a video camera, I’m sure we could use footage of this incident to get her an audition on Project Runway.

After that, I made sure to sit up very straight and not bend over. I made it through the ceremony without flashing anyone, though I broke the left strap while bouncing around to “Shout” at the reception. Luckily, my left beaded strap was still in tact, so I just slipped on the spare from underneath my armpit and all was well for the rest of the night. And if my spare straps had broken, I’m sure we could have fashioned a whole new dress out of the tablecloths and napkins.

The most remarkable thing other than my impromptu alterations is that no one said a word about my underarm flab. In fact, I got lots of compliments about how good I looked. So girls, don’t fear the sleeveless dress! I’ve got baggier underarms than 99% of the population and it was no big deal. You don’t have to live in fear of the strapless dress, just the fear that your dress will become strapless.

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JanB • August 22, 2007 at 8:32 am

You look great!! Your mother should be proud of her emergency seamstress skills. My aunt put together a complete floral ensemble when the flowers for my sisters wedding were never delivered. I went to a grocery store, bought all the white roses that they had, greenery, an english ivy plant, spools of ribbon, floral tape, bouquet holders and she put it all together in the lobby of the church!! We were so lucky to have her and lucky to find a store with a complete, do it yourself floral shop!


dietgirl • August 22, 2007 at 8:33 am

oooh you’re so foxy and slinky! gorgeous! i love the colour of the dress too! and well done to your mother, she’s a handy lass to have around.


vivi • August 22, 2007 at 8:34 am

only 3 words: you look beautiful. I can imagine how pretty you felt in that dress (and of course, happy because of your brother, etc). Congratulations!


Debbi • August 22, 2007 at 8:35 am

You look amazing. And lovely. The dress is great; the model is beautiful. And I’m inspired to redouble my efforts to get rid of my extra baggage. Thanks.


Melissa • August 22, 2007 at 8:41 am

You look gorgeous! Someday, I want to wear a dress just like that. Someday.


Katharine • August 22, 2007 at 8:53 am

You look wonderful! Such an apparent veteran of the runway.


Chubby Chick • August 22, 2007 at 9:21 am

Wow! You look absolutely stunning in that dress! You have come so far and are such an inspiration! You should be SO proud of yourself!!!


Mia • August 22, 2007 at 9:29 am

Yes. I agree, you’re Foxxxxxy!

If I were your Mom, I’d probably start crying every time I saw you, just thinking about what you’ve accomplished. ‘Tis so, so wonderful. :)


Lynette • August 22, 2007 at 9:57 am

The dress is FAB and you look AWESOME in it!


Eve • August 22, 2007 at 10:25 am

The song of Solomon is pretty dirty anyway, perhaps it would have been fitting?

You look great and I really like the corsage.


psychsarah • August 22, 2007 at 10:40 am

Wow! Hot mama! I am impressed. You’re making me brave… I’m a maid of honour in a friend’s wedding next year, and she was contemplating strapless dresses and I was adamant that I wouldn’t go there, but you are truly inspiring, ( as always).


jodi • August 22, 2007 at 10:40 am

i think you look great! bridesmaid dresses can be hit or miss, in my opinion, so i’m glad they are making styles that can fit everyone (like me who no boobs and big thighs)… funny your mom had to perform ‘surgery’ before the ceremony… :o)


Sunny • August 22, 2007 at 10:44 am

I agree with Melissa! I want to wear a dress like that. Someday. You’re gorgeous! I wouldn’t want to take the dress off!


Bre • August 22, 2007 at 10:59 am

You look stunning Darling!!!! You skinny thing you!


BrightAngel • August 22, 2007 at 11:20 am

Thanks for sharing the pictures and story.

I enjoyed them immensely.

I would love to also see one of the “professional” pictures when you get a copy.

Re, “underarm flab”, your recommendation needs to be more “age related”. You are young and the skin on your arms has tightened. I am not, and it has not. (age 62..now 109 lbs with a former high weight of 271 lbs).

First….I’m of the opinion that NO ONE over 60 should go sleeveless…EVEN Jane Fonda’s arms are now looking a bit “stringy”, and this rule should especially apply to anyone 60 or over who is overweight or formerly fat.


Laura • August 22, 2007 at 11:45 am

Just beautiful! I bet your Mom and all your family is so proud of you, how great you look. What a fun story about your straps–not fun at the time, I’m sure, but quite a story.


Laura • August 22, 2007 at 11:50 am

Wow, you have really transformed into a beautiful swan! Without glasses we can see that gorgeous face of yours. Very inspiring indeed.


Jenny • August 22, 2007 at 12:04 pm

I’m not normally a fan of strapless dresses, but this is a beauty! I love the fabric on the back.

Kudos to your Mom for her stunning “MacGyver” skills!


Marianne • August 22, 2007 at 1:13 pm

You look hawt, lady!

And way to go MamaPQ for the quick-fix!


JEM • August 22, 2007 at 1:25 pm

I was disappointed that this was not one of the Fancy Dress Editions in the Progress pics…but you look great. The dress fit you perfectly!


Karen • August 22, 2007 at 1:52 pm

You look great. I am glad you are writing a book. This is the kind of story that is hard to believe. You are like the fairy princess. What an inspiration to me. Thanks.


jae • August 22, 2007 at 2:34 pm

You look beautiful. ~j


Mymsie • August 22, 2007 at 2:45 pm

MacGyver Momma saves the day!


K • August 22, 2007 at 2:57 pm

You do look lovely, and the dress is gorgeous – the drapey bit at the back is unusual, very pretty!

I have assisted at emergency dress-surgery at weddings before now – for the bride. Someone stomped on her skirt while she was dancing and it tore out at the waist… but she was very cool about it.


Chris H • August 22, 2007 at 3:18 pm

You look gorgeous!!!! Love the dress, shame about the straps. Clever mother you have there. I would never go strapless, yikky arms mate, worse than yours any day!


Nienuh • August 22, 2007 at 3:39 pm

You look beautiful. And skinny.. and beautiful, have i said beautiful already?


Emily • August 22, 2007 at 4:57 pm

I second you on the stop fearing strapless. Most women have some underarm flab. The dress is lovely and you shouldn’t have to hide your arms just because they aren’t perfect. I’m getting married and swore I would never wear a strapless dress…..my dress is strapless.


Caroline • August 22, 2007 at 5:08 pm

I visit your site and I had to comment and tell you how great you look!! WOW!! You are my inspiration!!



Marshmallow • August 22, 2007 at 5:43 pm

Phwooaaaaaaaaar who’s a-looking gorgeous! And MamaPQ saves the day armed with nothing but a florists ribbon and portable sewing kit. (I assume she couldn’t just unfold a sewing machine right there outside the church – I am waiting for the day that someone invents one of those.) I love the detail with the drapey back, very pretty! You would’ve felt like an angely with wispy wings that float out behind you – all you need is a halo :-D


starbird • August 22, 2007 at 6:24 pm

“First….I’m of the opinion that NO ONE over 60 should go sleeveless…EVEN Jane Fonda’s arms are now looking a bit “stringy”, and this rule should especially apply to anyone 60 or over who is overweight or formerly fat.”

Posted by: BrightAngel

As one of those to whom all of those criteria apply, I completely agree!!!


Megan • August 22, 2007 at 6:52 pm

Great story!

The dress looks great and hats off to your mom for being so Project Runway!


anji • August 22, 2007 at 8:09 pm

Hello! Love the dress, love the hair, love your mom (aren’t they awesome!??), love weddings and love the fact you look so happy!!


natasha • August 22, 2007 at 8:50 pm

Wow.. you do look lovely… and one of the 1st things I looked at was your arms. They really do look great. I’ve lost over 100 lbs and I can’t wear anything strapless…. I envy your arms girlfriend! Keep up the good work!


Kriss • August 22, 2007 at 9:07 pm

I’m part of flabby underarm club, too. Your dress was really floaty and pretty.

The pic of you & your mom is so touching.


Rah • August 22, 2007 at 10:26 pm

Why just today I received a catalog that featured a dye-to-match satin pump with a heel that twists off to reveal a little elf-size sewing machine–the perfect gift for PQ-Mom. [Maybe I’ll suggest that the heel of the other shoe contains a jigger of vodka, for the unstrapee’s nerves. :-) Okay I made this up. But your story is amazing, you are beautiful, and your Mom is awesome.


adrienne • August 22, 2007 at 11:07 pm

Your mom is a sewing ninja!


Christine • August 22, 2007 at 11:25 pm

You look so great!! What a beautiful dress! I have to ask, if I may…what size is it?? Congratulations!!!

I got it on ebay. The listing said “It’s marked a size 10, but has some stretch. It should also accommodate a size 12.” So, either a 10 or 12. – PQ


shannon • August 23, 2007 at 9:41 am

Beautiful! This picture definitely needs to get added into the “fancy dress edition” so we can compare fancy dresses!


Erin • August 23, 2007 at 11:48 am

You look hot!!


Jules • August 23, 2007 at 11:51 am

Thanks for the arm flab courage! It almost goes without saying that you look fabulous, but I’ll add to the din…


Patty • August 23, 2007 at 1:45 pm

You look so great and lovely dress! Funny story about your straps. Glad everything stayed in place.


Jeri • August 23, 2007 at 2:27 pm

You look radiant (and slim). You look simply gorgeous in that dress. Your arms look just fine to me. Thanks for sharing that witty story with us. I bet you were sooooo glad your mom was there to save the day.


Israel • August 23, 2007 at 2:29 pm

one word: stunning!


Dyan • August 23, 2007 at 2:32 pm

You know why your strap broke? Because it rubbed against your very defined, knife-like collarbone!

You looked great!


The Pound Slayer • August 23, 2007 at 2:48 pm

You look amazing! I so wish I could have seen you do that butterfly trick… anybody have a video of it?


Constance Kent • August 23, 2007 at 7:00 pm

I am late to your blog, having stumbled upon it last night. I’ve been reading dozens and yours is, without question, the best written, most erudite, articulate, funniest… Your essay on whether or not being fat is a choice is the most intelligent medidation on this question I have ever read (including my own!). I am humbled, humbled and inspired…


yo • August 23, 2007 at 8:02 pm

Beautiful!!! Very 1920s great gatsby.

Losing the glasses makes your hair look cuter and twenties-like.


sandy • August 23, 2007 at 9:39 pm

wow, pq! that limo pic really shows off the bod! you’re a teeny little thing i might be secretly bitter toward if i passed you on the street;)


MM • August 23, 2007 at 10:35 pm

I got you beat in the baggy arms.

I’m in the 1%. But, WOW, seeing your arms in that dress gives me hope. Rock on with your dress.


McGee • August 24, 2007 at 12:27 am

You look stunning! Absolutely stunning!

I’ve been reading your blog for about a year and a half and seeing the transformation is awe inspiring. You’ve accomplished so much. I look forward to seeing you achieve great and wonderful things, Pasta Queen!


Jenny K • August 24, 2007 at 2:21 pm

Pasta Queen,

Please, will you post a 360 of yourself in the dress in the Fancy Dress Edition?? I’d love to see it all the way around. Pretty please?

Jenny K – The dress is at my mom’s right now because she was going to fix the straps properly. The next time I’m over there I’ll grab it to do the 360 pics. – PQ


Princess Dieter • August 25, 2007 at 4:54 pm

Wow. Even in candid,non-pro shots, you look GREAT. I like that dress style on you a lot. Too bad the shimmery thing didn’t come through.

Wow. Can I say Wow one more time?


P.D. aka Mir


M.R. • August 25, 2007 at 6:39 pm

Thanks for sharing the photos and not waiting for the professional pics. You know we had all been dying to see you in your “wedding” dress. And you look great!


Country Chicken • August 25, 2007 at 7:51 pm

Wow, what a great body and awesome arms, too!


kentuckienne • August 26, 2007 at 5:44 pm

You look mahvelous, dahling. I bet your mom could shorten the dress to just above the knee and reinforce the straps — and then you’d have a cocktail dress!


Alicia • August 26, 2007 at 6:26 pm

Your picture by the limo reminds me of Andie MacDowell. You really look great. So inspirational!


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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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