Outlook: Ohio University News & Information

Monday, June 1, 2015
Stitch by loving stitch
Co-workers give gift of handmade wedding gown  

Jul 10, 2008  
By Gina Beach  

Wedding bells are ringing, and the blushing bride will look her best in a handmade dress sewn on the Ohio University campus.

No, it's not from a new bridal shop; it's a generous gift from two friends.

Two Housing staff members -- Records Manager Associate Libby Dudding and Administrative Coordinator Nancy Love -- literally worked morning, noon and night to complete co-worker Alvena Harris' wedding dress.

The two came in as early as 6 a.m., worked through lunch and sometimes stayed until 7 p.m. Dudding, who is a quilt maker, brought in two sewing machines so that she and Love could work at the same time in their makeshift sewing room in Chubb Hall.

Harris, a records management assistant, had asked around the office if anyone had a bridesmaid or wedding dress she could borrow for her wedding day. The plan to sew the dress was hatched while Harris, the newest person in the office, was out sick for a few days. Love asked to speak with her when she returned to work. "I figured everyone was mad at me," Harris said.

Instead, Love and Dudding, who have made clothes for themselves and their children, asked Harris if she'd found a dress yet. She had not.

"Nancy showed me this picture, just like the (dress) I wanted. It was sinking in that they were going to make my dress. I could feel the tears coming," Harris said. Speechless, she managed to squeak out, "You guys are awesome."

To heighten the suspense, Dudding and Love didn't permit Harris to see the dress until the final fitting. "She was surprised. She didn't know what the fabric was going to look like," Dudding said. "We had her blindfolded the first time she tried it on."

Harris cried when she finally saw the long, ivory dress, which is simply cut and has a chiffon overlay. The whole process from start to finish took about a week. "We bought the fabric. The next day we were laying out pieces, then cutting them the next morning," said Love, who has made other wedding dresses.

Outside of work, Dudding and Love exercise together and take in the occasional movie. At first, Harris wasn't used to the tight-knit nature of the office. When hired about a year ago, she asked Dudding, "So you see each other outside the office?" Harris soon fell in step with the family-like atmosphere.

"She trusted us," Dudding said. "She put her whole wedding in our hands." Other co-workers loaned Harris jewelry to match the dress.

Dudding and Love will help Harris get ready this Saturday as she prepares to wed fiancé Mike Collins near her home in Pomeroy. The handmade card that accompanies their gift reads, in part, "Love from the heart were the stitches that bind this together."



Related Links
Housing Office: http://www.ohiou.edu/housing/ 

Published: Jul 10, 2008 10:43 AM  

Libby Dudding, Alvena Harris and Nancy Love
Housing Office employees Libby Dudding (left) and Nancy Love perform a final fitting on co-worker Alvena Harris' wedding dress. Dudding and Love made the dress as a special gift for Harris' wedding this Saturday.

Nancy Love, Alvena Harris and Libby Dudding
Love and Dudding literally worked morning, noon and night to complete the dress.

Photographer: Joshua Armstrong  

Share this story

Bookmark and Share

Email To:

A valid EMAIL TO address is required. You have entered an invalid email format.
Email From:

A valid EMAIL FROM address is required. You have entered an invalid email format.


 Top stories

Feb 4, 2003
Residence halls conserve and recycle
Feb 5, 2003
E Street to Late Night: An evening with Max Weinberg
Feb 17, 2003
Kenner Bush receives prestigious Founders Citation
Wilfred Konneker receives prestigious Founders Citation
Mar 5, 2003
The Local Girls to perform at Ohio University Lancaster Campus
Sep 2, 2003
Local artist Ora Anderson featured on WOUB's 'Afternoon Edition'

Sign up for emergency text messages.
Outlook welcomes your feedback, news items and story ideas
Share comments about the site
Submit an announcement
Share a faculty, staff or departmental achievement

Subscribe to the Outlook listserv

Tel: 740-593-1890    Fax: 740-593-1887   E-mail:
All Rights Reserved