Orange You Glad

Knock, Knock!
Who’s there?
Banana.
Banana who?
Knock, Knock!
Who’s there?
Banana.
Banana who?
Knock, Knock!funny jokes - animated gif orange
Who’s there?
Orange.
Orange who?
Orange you glad I didn’t say banana?

You will all be so glad that the next two projects did not arrive on your doorstep just before Christmas!

This summer a client asked if I could fix her sleeve in the back where it had torn away from under the bias binding. The fabric is silk gauze…not your average every day fabric but I assessed the situation and figured I could open it up, slide a piece of silk organza into the seam, flip it flat, stitch the bias binding strip over the top and as they say in the UK- “Bob’s you uncle.” See what I did: orange-jacket Things went OK for a while and then like those bad bad pennies…it found it’s way back, but this time it is no easy fix. The organza held well but all the fabric above and below couldn’t stand the stress and just went ballistic. The bias strip is strictly decorative so it was no help holding anything together…sort of like a well worn old stretched out black lace bra…merely decorative and not too good for holding things up. Now we have this situation:

1-opening 2-back-of-jacket

There is no chance of pulling the fabric across, adding more organza since it is tight when she reaches forward and it will happen again. This is a real problem for women who ask me “do I need that much ease back there?” I should keep a gallery of these photos for such stupid questions and answer, “No, you can have it tight and plan on returning here at the end of the season.” So I cut off the decorative cuffs and plan to open them up, and make some sort of triangular repair with top stitching so it looks like the jacket came that way to start with…oh Hell, I really don’t know what I am going to do but telling the client it was a desperate situation which would call for surgically removing the cuffs impresses clients and give some gravity to the alteration. The cuffs and I are waiting for some inspiration:3-cuffs-removed

Now unto a real as Chelsea Handler calls it “A Hot Mess.” I have shown photos of this little honey a few posts back but I didn’t have to get real serious/want to raise my blood pressure but the Jan 5 wedding date is coming up pretty darn fast. It is wedding number 3 for this maiden and I hope it is “Third time is the charm” for her. She bought the dress over the internet, faithfully measured herself twice, sent the numbers to China and waited. Wedding dress roulette…then the phone call- Mrs Mole I can’t quite seem to get this dress down over my hips.

Let’s see what the problems is, shall we?

The lining was not made for this dress, it never was, so it will be removed so I can deal with just the satin underskirt and bodice lining. OK, the satin underskirt was not made for this dress either. The bodice and bodice satin lining was let out at the waist 4 inches and 1 inch at the top under the arms. The top of the zipper and lining was taken in 2 inches at the top. There are huge parts missing to the satin underskirt and I can just about stitch the chiffon layers together to meet at the side seams if she doesn’t want to do the Watusi at the reception.

Then there are the draped chiffon layers…two in fact, both long but not very wide. The inside of this dress is horrible and I wish I could ignore it/set a match to it but we can’t…it has to fit and have the gaps filled in. Luckily, I can cut a load off the length and put in wedges and strips to help. That is where we stand…patching and praying it will all turn out right. Click on the photos for some gut-wrenching views!

chiffon-seaminside-side-seamlining-gapcenter-back-gapP1150585back-zipperP1150587 The bride is coming next week for a try-on with all patches basted in and we have gone waaay past any normal charges for this quick fix. It is now into the realm of a sympathy sewing project…doing my penance, sewing for Jesus.

Orange you glad you dropped by? Last week after Bunny gave a link to my blog, 7000 readers showed up…yes, you, you know who you are and some of you can relate to this type of madness so I am happy to share…stay tuned for the peach dress re-make and the sound of wedding bells.

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31 Responses to Orange You Glad

  1. Tami says:

    Mrs. Mole, I am so glad I found you again! I had stumbled across your blog a year or so ago, and then lost it. Thanks to Bunny I am back. You have my utmost admiration, for how you handle your clients and the difficult fabrics and challenges they bring you . . . I am now going back and reading your blog from the beginning, it is seriously cutting into my sewing time! Thank you so much, I am really enjoying it.

  2. Disaway says:

    Dear Mrs Mole
    Thank you for your blog, it has made me laugh, learn and just generally sit in awe and wonder.
    Having been down some of the paths that you have tread so often, I nod and shake my head. I have re-read many of your posts and truly do think you have amazing skill and patience, both with the clients and the garments. Wishing you the best in those who cross into your domain and also for 2013.
    Disaway (NZ)

  3. I nominate you for a lovely blog award, mrs. Mole! :)

  4. Whew…what a project! Better you than me…! Good luck – I’m sure you’ll have a very happy bride before it’s all said and done :)

  5. Monique says:

    Oh my goodness, it seems to get worse and worse. Not doing more than amateur sewing, I would really not know where to begin tackling these sorts of altering challenges. At least you have the sympathy of thousands now, including mine. And being able to write so that we cringe and laugh out loud at the same time, is a gift indeed! Thanks for sharing :-)

  6. jenerators says:

    am I the ONLY person in the world to have had good luck with ordering my ball dress from China?

  7. theresa says:

    Ah wearing ease, those are magic words that carry the fates of millions of garments from the rack right into the trash. So-dang-important. I applaud you yet again. That is a fabric I won’t work with, period. and I can’t even imagine doing a stress related repair on it. Sewing sainthood, knock knock jokes and Uncle Bob’s all come at a steep price. ;)

  8. prttynpnk says:

    I feel like I used to in algebra class when I look at this- I have no idea what to do and I want to throw a pencil. Bless you and your patience!

  9. ellecsews says:

    7000 visits! Holy crap. You must feel like a rock star, which of course you are. And to think, I knew you when…..

    The fact that you are capable of making this “hot mess” work at all, surely takes you to the Artist level of sewist. Once again, I am in awe.

  10. Hi, I’m one of the Bunny people; I can really say, she did good in recommending you!!! You are an interesting and light read–and we can all relate in some way to your writings, and you say it so well!!!

  11. Bunny says:

    Wow, this is one hot mess, ouch. Sewing for Jesus…..amen and alleluiah! You are a better person than me and your patience astounding.

    Glad you had the bump in visitors.

  12. Cheryl B. says:

    I agree with Ellecsews. You are indeed an artist.

  13. Sheila Codd - am following on google reader says:

    Wonder woman. You are an inspiration and a fun blogger. Sheila C

    • mrsmole says:

      Thank you, thank you to everyone who visited and commented! Wonder woman? Well I do spend a lot of my time wondering, that is for sure!
      Rock Star…my goal is to raise the level of awareness for seamstresses and be more of a big sister by showing insane requests and possible solutions while having a laugh. I know when I see my sewing sisters in my own town we could talk for hours about the jobs we get in…never the mundane hems…oh no…it is like the 9 gold bridesmaid dresses that were done wrong by an out of town seamstress that have to be re-done by my sister. Hearing their stories makes my burden a little lighter and so maybe I can make your load less stressful.

  14. Maris Olsen says:

    Mrs. Mole,
    I bow to you. One thing I have NEVER been interested in is altering RTW garments. A few hems on wedding dresses, OK – but that is about it. I teach sewing in Bellevue WA, and definitely get asked to do alterations for people. I had a bride once who purchased a “lace up the back corset style” wedding dress without trying it on. I was afraid I was going to tear the corset ties trying to corral her “girls” into that dress. Thank Scarlett O’Hara style corset-pulling – on a size 22. SCARY! I politely declined her alteration request (which was originally supposed to be hemming!!!), and suggested she take it back to the shop where she bought it.

    I used to have a MIL who would buy clothes several sizes too small and ask me to alter them to fit her ever-expanding frame. Sure dear, we can let those darts out. You won’t mind the punch-holes showing your underwear, will you? And those serged seams? Plenty of room for letting out, and getting say, and extra 1/16 of inch circumference around the garment. That will make the difference in comfort and wearability, dontcha think? Honest to God, it makes me wonder about humanity sometimes! ;-)

    Think about teaching Mrs. Mole. Ever so much more satisfying. I fire the students who make me crazy, and keep the ones who really want to learn. And we have a fabulous time! Kids and adults. Private lessons. Think about it! ;-)

    Maris Olsen

    • mrsmole says:

      You must have seen a lifetime of weird yourself! Love your site and tutorials http://www.sewmaris.com/category/tutorials
      and I always recommend the notions you sell especially those red and white glass head pins from japan…fabulous for bridal using the red ones that show up and are never left in the gown…ouch! Chalkoner is so precise and works on all fabrics…my fav! All the readers should check out your tutorials and classroom! You made me laugh out loud when you said you fire students….wow…now that’s my kind of teacher!

      • Maris Olsen says:

        Hahaha! Thanks for hte kind words, Mrs. Mole.

        I have only had to fire 2 students. One who took lessons – wait – SCHEDULED lessons – and then cancelled most of them for a year. She did not learn ONE thing over the course of the year. Literally not one thing. I would explain how to sew one sleeve (for example), and she would not remember my instructions long enough to do the second sleeve without guidance (say, about 2 minutes later?). Pre-Alzheimer’s maybe? She had an 830 Bernina (old style) sewing machine inherited from her mother that she brought to the first lesson. I told her it needed a tuneup, and she replied “My mother never had it tuned up! “Well dear, that may be true, but it needs one before you can sew a seam that will hold together.”. After a year of horsing around with her, and using my machines here for lessons, I told her she was on “sewing lesson restriction” until she got her sewing machine tuned up. Haven’t seen her since! I politely told the second student I fired that I had learned over the course of two years I really only enjoy teaching students who are truly motivated to learn sewing, and I would not schedule any more sessions with her. (Really people, WHY are you wasting your time and mine?!?! Get a hobby you are actually interested in!).

        One thing about having a sewing biz…you always have good stories at cocktail parties. Like the body builder who wanted to start a biz making competition swim suits and had never sat down at a sewing machine…..that was a good one!

        Sew Maris

  15. Pella says:

    Orange? I’d be seeing red and turning puce.

  16. Tia Dia says:

    I think your alteration-free 2013 is going to be a wonderful year!

  17. Kbenco says:

    I am so grateful to Bunny for linking to your blog, it is sooo funny. You are amazingly patient
    I work next door to a lady who does alterations and she has some great stories, but yours are beating hers hands down. I will send her a link ;)

  18. Alethia says:

    Girl, they are both REAL HOT MESSES!! I’m speechless about both!
    And, they say we are not miracle workers, LOL!

  19. Ruth says:

    Lena got in before me – but you’re still getting the Lovely Blog/ Inspiring Blog award because you made me laugh when I didn’t feel like laughing. Head on over to my site to collect – you’ve earned it!

  20. mrsmole says:

    Thank you, Ruth, Tia Dia sent an award to me this week but I did not know about the things you had to do before you passed it along. When I get a moment I will nominate others that I follow for inspiration and laughs and make a list of things about myself…right now I have 2 brides before Xmas to finish and 2 brides before Jan 5 to get out the front door and then I can stop to catch my breath!

  21. symondezyn says:

    That dress is frightening! I sincerely hope your clients know how blessed they are to have you! :)

  22. Oh, Mrs. Mole,
    Sewing for Jesus – I pray you have a Christmas miracle happen with that lovely dress! A reward has to be somewhere after all that hard work!

  23. mimijackson says:

    That is what I call an “emergency surgery” project, often complicated by the fact that a bride didn’t get what she ordered, and always has to settle to some degree, for the way it looks like after surgery! As long as the outside agrees with her dimensions, you’re in good shape! Hope she responds well!

    • mrsmole says:

      Yes, Mimi, Symon and Judi…she will appreciate the final product…she is very sweet, working full time, raising kids and battling with Parkinson’s disease so it is a pleasure…not a chore…you get clients that tug at your heart…she is my Christmas project and she thinks I am her angel…it works for me…ha ha.

  24. Brenda says:

    Oh dear Mrs. Mole! You are a better woman than I!
    Nominated for a blog award – I say SAINTHOOD!
    Your blog makes me feel like I never have a bad day! Oh, I love my hot messes compared to yours!

    (Another one who hopped over from Bunny’s)

  25. Pingback: Shifting Chiffon | fit for a queen

  26. Pingback: Orange Silk Cheesecloth Gauze | fit for a queen

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