3 Dresses

The phone call went like this: “I found your name on the internet, I have a ball gown arriving in the mail tomorrow, I have done extensive research and you are who I want to hem my dress”.

She also stated that she needed it for 10 days later for a huge charity ball. I could just about fit that in so I agreed to see her the next day. But while I was out that morning, the phone rang and Mr. Mole answered it to hear that she was bringing 3 dresses and a sweater and could she come hours earlier. He knows better than to say yes, so he said I was booked.

Here is what arrived and you can see how stunning this $420 dress looks on the model.

Aidan Mattox

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As usual, the real fit on a real person is a different story. The zipper just needs another 2 inches to close. Can you see those little annoying loops of ribbon sticking up in the photos? Guess they are for hanging up but they would not lie down when being worn.

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Inside the dress, there was enough seam allowances to let out 2 back princess seams and the 2 side seams to get the 2 inches of ease. Then all that was left was to hem both the organza layer and the under layer called mikado…a thick matte satin. When clients think that hemming a dress just involves measuring the same amount all around a voluminous circumference is easy…they are wrong.

Once pinned and thread traced, you can see the difference can be quite shocking…from 3/8 inch to 2 inches just to be level with the floor.p1210849

Need pockets? This dress has one in each side seam.

How about those fancy off-to-the-side straps…here is what is inside holding all that up. Second photo shows where I tacked those pesky ribbons down.

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Second dress…here is the same dress in a black floral so you can see the shape  and built-in belt but our dress is white with a pink lining…a little bizarre. For $475 it should fit but as my client is very short-waisted, the alteration was to shorten the shoulder straps by one inch each side. You have seen me do this with a lining in other MOB dresses.

Ted baker London

There is a keyhole opening at the back neck held together with a copper magnet. The magnet is very heavy and when worn, it droops down and looks sad.p1210872 The exposed zipper (I am not a fan) is also copper and very wide and heavy… hey, great for sportswear but not on a slinky dress.p1210873

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Another weird thing is the underarm wedge panel. The front and back each  attach there with lined facings that flare away from the body like wings…who needs that? I told the client that flat-chested Gwyneth Paltrow would suit this dress but not a woman with a real bust. For now, I have basted the wings flat and the client says she will lose 10 pounds before Spring to get this to fit better. I think for $475 it should actually have room for boobs…no?p1210853  p1210854p1210855

It also needs a hem that has a lining attached.Inside,  the lining and dress are sewn in a straight line and then the corners veer off at an angle to make a point. I just followed the original lines (in red) and raised them all 2.5 inches and hand basted ready for her try-on. p1210875

What you are left with on the inside is this: p1210876 The lining dips down at the edge of the back slit and then hangs about 1.5 inches higher that the hem edge.

In the first photo, you can see a green sweater on a hanger that she wants all 8 buttons removed and replaced with mother of pearl ones. She says I should be the one to do this along with the 3 dresses as she does not have the right color of thread…sure.

The final dress needs hemming and as the under dress is a poly knit, I will use my coverstitch machine and just use scissors for the tulle top layer. This dress was to be worn first in 6 days and the other two to be finished 2 days later for other balls.

Adrianna Papell

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It was very straightforward…thank goodness!

One last thing I have been thinking about when rummaging through my drawer of presser feet…most of my machines all have interchangeable feet being Janome and Elna so when I flipped over a couple of zipper feet, I was surprised. Who knew the bottom surface could become so notched/grooved? It may not make much difference when sewing over cottons but it may make a difference sewing over chiffony fabrics?

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As snow is predicted for Tuesday as well as sleet and hail…I’m glad I can stay in and keep sewing! I see lots of you are knitting sweaters/jumpers and socks and thinking about winter coats and yummy thick fabrics.

Happy sewing everyone!

 

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Adding a Little Something

Another one of my three emergency November brides that was never booked ahead bought her dress at David’s for $99. I was given 2 weeks to make some magic happen.

The dress needed to be “temple ready” meaning long sleeves and the back completely covered. As you have seen in the past, I have done this sort of conversion with laces but working with smooth satin, it will be a challenge.

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First, a sleeve pattern is used and marked on the muslin. I added height to the sleeve cap as you can see the straps do not actually end at her shoulder. The muslin will have small puckers and be hand basted to the strap.

Once it was basted, I could see that the grainlines did not fall parallel with the floor, so I slashed the sleeve to allow the fabric to drop to the right level and then added a patch of fusible interfacing. Time was of the essence!

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The exact gap that was needed and the fusible interfacing used as the patch.

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Now, I had the basic shape and just needed to cut a second one.

Then a second sleeve was cut from an old muslin, not perfect but it will do as a sample.

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The muslin sleeves were used as the pattern to cut the satin fabric….oh, I forgot to mention the extra fabric. The bride ordered “white” satin from David’s and when it arrived, it was ivory. They could not get anything whiter so a trip to JoAnn’s produced the LAST 1.5 yards of white satin in the store!

The new satin was 95% poly and 5 % spandex and although the bride was thrilled with the stretch the sleeves and back panel would have, it does add some puckers in some areas. Lesson learned…don’t expect to find white satin in November at JoAnn’s!

The back panel was placed in the vacant back and measured up 9 inches to the drawn finished neckline. There will be a separating zipper used for this separate piece. I know some of you will think I should have been able to rip open the existing top edge of the bodice and make all this in one piece…yes, maybe if I had a load of time and an unlimited budget but this will have to work. Notice the neck darts to help contour the neckline into the body.

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The trial panel is a bit off center so let’s re-center it later.

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Hand baste everything muslin and do the try-on…the bride likes everything but says she would not mind some small gathers at the sleeve cap…okey dokey!

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Still have to move the zipper over to the right a bit:

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Let’s guess at how much to enlarge the sleeve cap for gathers…1/2 inch to 1 inch? Machine gather the satin cap and pin in place:

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Move the zipper over 1/2 inch to center and use as a pattern to cut 2 double layer satin panels. I chose double layers so I could have a nice clean folded edge for each zipper side insertion. Double layers were also needed to conceal the garment beneath. Choose one of two zippers, both separating but with different thickness of teeth and tips.

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Right side panel with zipper pinned and then top stitched. Inside view shows the zipper tape.

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Lapped Left side is pinned first and tested. Then it is sewn from the wrong side for perfect placement. The folded edge will just remain on the wrong side.

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To attach the sleeves without any stitching showing on the right side, I stitch the gathered cap right along the very edge of the armhole on the wrong side…holding my breath.

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The finished panel is in place and pinned. The panel will be stitched exactly like the sleeves and then trimmed and all the excess removed.

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All the sleeve edges are pinked and the back panel is serged to within one inch for the curved neckline seam and then hand stitched to the lining.

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From the front, things are looking like she wants and her undergarment is covered.

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The back with all the hand basting is done and the 3-point bustle just pinned:

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I did not get any final, final photos taken with the rush of the date approaching so please imagine way less puckers and more smiles.

Some days I feel like the fairy godmother in Cinderella…singing BibbidiBobbidiBoo and hoping for the best!

I see men in the neighborhood hanging their Christmas lights already…how did this year go so fast? Going through my files, I see I have passed the 80+ mark for gowns finished but still have more to go before New Year’s Eve…the final bride. As snow flurries return to the US, I wish you toasty times sewing indoors and finishing up those Christmas gifts for family!

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Life Happens

When one seamstress friend is ill in town, we ask another to help out. A friend that has her own shop called to say I would be hearing from a bride as she could not work due to an upcoming surgery. I said I would help but I needed time to fit her in.

The first week of October the bride called to tell me she was losing weight but needed a corset back for her size 8 dress. She also needed a hem and bustle but wanted the first seamstress, my friend, to do that work. It really did not matter to me if she wanted to split up the work, so I agreed. The wedding was to be in November, so we were planning just in the nick of time. Then, I never heard from her again…no appointment arranged, nothing.

She then called back the second week of Nov. to make an appointment. She said she would be bringing her girlfriend who has a wild toddler and she would also be bringing her own wild toddler to be in the room. That’s when I said, “AH NO, no children are allowed”. She said her boy could climb over anything, like this would make me allow her to bring him? I said I lived in a cul-de-sac and the friend could run the kids around there but not come in.

Then 30 minutes before showing up for the appointment, she called to say that one of her kids was sick and she was not able to come. We rescheduled for the end of the week. She was 45 minutes late blaming someone else for that. At this point Mr. Mole, the voice of reason, said I should have told her NO. But it was too late.

Now, the bride falls into the emergency category, the second this month with one more to come to squeeze in with the booked brides.

David’s Bridal sold her this dress:images

 

It is one of the heaviest dresses I have ever worked on with the train weighing at least 10 pounds all by itself…nothing like that for a simple bustle.

Here is the dress on my client:

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Can you see a corset coming? I know lots of you HATE them but how does one bridge the 7 inch wide and 16 inch long gap? Suggestions?

Here is the back story…the size 8 dress was bought many years ago when she fit into it…that was 45 pounds ago. In the meantime, she has had two children and cervical cancer. Getting past that, she really wants a white wedding and thinks that planning it 3 weeks in advance should be plenty of time. She says she does best work with a looming deadline. I said “I do not”.

OK, so I get the job of making the corset and as my seamstress friend is still not up to speed having had wrist surgery, I have to do the bustle too and we skip the hem to save money. Luckily, the bustle will work with one giant button on her butt and one giant double loop to hike all those ruffles up. After the ceremony, an old denim shirt will worn over it.

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Just as a refresher…how I make the loops…pinning, stitching, zigzagging, fold under, stitch again.

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Making the modesty panel I line the satin with cotton drill fabric used for work-wear pockets from Wawak. This absorbs sweat and beefs up the satin without interfacing.

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Mark on the drill where the boning goes on the top edge and middle. Stitch and flip to the right side, insert boning and press and stitch all around leaving the bottom open, pink across.

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Pin and hand baste loops in place, machine stitch and hand sew the lining to the grosgrain ribbon.

Pin the left side to the dress and it is ready to be sewn. Right side will have a big snap.

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After steaming all the ruffles you get an idea of what has to be bustled up just to be able to walk.

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One point bustle is in place:

 

The bride wanted a huge fancy button for her bustle so she picked this jeweled one. I used a double loop of this pre-made crochet thread from Wawak.

 

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Keeping my fingers crossed that everything holds for her special day and the kids don’t cause too much trouble and the rain/snow stays away as she is having this outdoors at a picnic site and dragging that very long dress through tall grass, dead leaves and weeds and twigs.

Yes, the blue grosgrain ribbon will be replaced with white.

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Wishing all my US readers a good week before Thanksgiving. May your bird be tender and your dressing moist!

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60 Years in the Back of the Closet

The phone call went like this:  “Another seamstress in town told me you were the only one to call to deal with this.” Intriguing? Possible blog post? You bet!

It seems this girl is getting married and her grandfather says he has a surprise for her at the back of the closet. After much rooting around, he produces this gem…her grandmother’s wedding dress from 60 years ago. She tells me that it has been stored “badly” since 1956. Badly meaning never cleaned since the ceremony and it looks like a cat got into the closet and did a little damage to the top layer as the lining is showing through at the waist.

The question I ask first is, “are you attached to this dress?” She says she never even knew it existed but now that she has it, she has to wear it even though her grandfather is unable to attend the wedding in a faraway venue.

So, let’s try it on see what has to be done shall we? Obviously women were way smaller back then and busts were higher too. The side zipper gives us no options to enlarge it.

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You can see how there is a huge chunk of top layer missing at the waist and the seams are ripped open. This will not be an easy fix nor cheapy cheapy.

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For some reason even the shoulder seams did not survive the past 6 decades.

I will add a 2 inch section here to drop the bodice.

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Out comes the famous blue grosgrain ribbon to bridge the gap at the zipper to determine the amount needed to add somewhere. Wonderful…only 4 extra inches!

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This dress was not bought in a store, it was made by a loving seamstress. There are no tags. Inside, under the lining, there is a petticoat made from waxed open weave fabric that is attached to the waist with a bias strip of lining. It has snaps to keep it closed.

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The top layer is badly stained everywhere and shredded beyond repair.

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The lace bust cups are intact and see-through…quite racy Grandma!

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At the top of the side zipper, each side is shredded and you can see that the bias binding was just hand tacked here and there. The zipper is thick metal as was the style back then. The added bonus of sweat stains never removed makes me wish this dress could be cleaned without shredding away.

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The petticoat suffered some damage being pulled away from the bias strip so that is easily repaired.

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Now what? The bride and I discussed removing the top shredded layer and using the lining as the dress. Amazingly the seams on the lining were sewn like the dress with the raw edges on the inside so it works well. I cut away all  of the top fabric to reveal the almost pristine lining and remove the thick zipper which will now allow me to close the side seam and find another way to enlarge this mess. Fusible interfacing to the rescue, which will be applied before any seaming.

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Once the top layer is removed, I decide to soak it to see if any stains will come out. Bizarrely, the water turns dark green and after rinsing and hanging we end up with this:

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After pressing it looks so nice, even with the shredded sections. The bride tells me that it had been in the basement so the green may have been mold…nice.

I will use this fabric to make loops…why? Can you feel a corset back coming on? We need 12 inches of loops down the back. Of course, there is no center back seam. The dress is opened up where a center back seam would be and I get to work making the loops. Normally, I use rayon or nylon rattail but that would add bulk so I opt for flat fabric loops cut on grain. But the technique is the same using grosgrain ribbon and folding it in half.

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Using my Fasturn tool makes the job easy. The 2 looped strips are basted on for the next try-on.

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Second visit shows the 2 inch piece added to the shoulder allows the bodice to drop to fit her bust and the lacing up the back works. This opening will be extended another 3 inches to make it easier to get in and out of. That means making 6 more loops.

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The bride will purchase a 3 inch wide strip of grosgrain ribbon to attach at the waist. The coolest part of this outfit is the jacket. Other than needing some fabric inserted into the side seams to she can use the buttons, it looks cute.p1210751-2

Just open the side seams about 8 inches.

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Cut a double layer of fabric and serge the edges. Hand baste it to the side seams. Flip up a small hem edge. It will blend in with the bias cut border hem of the jacket.

Machine stitched in and new seams pinned to be tacked down. The finished wedge is looking nice in place and gives an extra 3 inches on each side.

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Maybe you would like to see the inside of the dress so far? Both looped strips are lengthened and pinned in place.

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Inside the front you can see the fusible patches. Also, you can see that the bias strip that attaches the petticoat to the dress is very uneven with the center being sewn higher. This causes the stiff petticoat to stick out in the front of the skirt. I will re-sew that to be even.

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Loops are stitched flat and flipped to the inside and hand basted before the machine stitching.

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The finished outfit minus the ribbon lacing and for those of you who like a good story…here is one. I was hand sewing on a 2 inch wide ivory grosgrain ribbon to the waist while the bride waited to carry the dress out and I asked if her own mother had also worn the Grandma’s dress and she said no.

It turns out that her grandmother was just a few weeks pregnant with her mother but no one knew. So the mother decided she had already been “in” the dress once and bought her own. But isn’t a lovely thing that the 3rd generation can wear it with pride?

With the new side wedges, the jacket closes and buttons…hooray!

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Before I leave you, here are some garden harvest photos:nov-2016

Just to get an idea of the length and weighing the smallest butternut squash it weighed 2.4 pounds.

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The largest weighed 5.2 pounds, the same weight as my firstborn child 41 years ago.

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Wishing you all a peaceful weekend in the aftermath of the US elections. With only half of the population voting, the outcome was decided by only 25% of the people…sad.

 

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Butchered Bridal Gown

Just when things were going along smoothly for the Fall season, I got a phone call from a frantic mother.

Her daughter’s dress is being held hostage at another sewing center and the seamstress there is not co-operating with them and they realize this is heading in the wrong direction. They are also running out of time and patience as the wedding is in 9 days. I tell the mom to just go down and demand they release the dress and to be strong as it is HER money and HER dress. I got a little suspicious when it was the mother who was doing all the arranging for her 40+ year old daughter’s second wedding.

The dress and bride arrives and we inspect what has been done already and it is not pretty and barely salvageable. There are still dozens of big old plastic head yellow quilting pins everywhere!

There is excess fabric in the satin side seam (from pin to pin) but I can feel that the lining layer (with boning) is way too tight and the last seamstress stopped at the lower pin and did not continue the seams to the hip and left a lump there…nice. Some seamstresses cannot be bothered to remove beads to continue a seam…sad.

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The other issue is the hem. There is an organza embroidered border strip that can be removed and re-positioned up higher on the satin which has been done in the front but the bride wants most of the train removed as well. I pin up the excess.

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The previous gal also cut off the horsehair braid that must have held the lining and satin together but did not leave enough to even do a narrow hem. While I am pinning up the tiny hem, the bride tells me that unlike most dresses that have the satin hem 1/2 to 1 inch shorter than lace to show off the scallops…SHE wants the satin to show exactly 1/8 inch lower than the scallops all the way around. Can you see this may be impossible?

One reason why this dress was altered so poorly could have been that while the owner pinned the dress, her assistant/apprentice may have done the sewing. What clients do not realize is that as we pin, we notice other features that need work and can correct them along the way.

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Inside we can see what was done. For some reason the side seams were taken in, but not equally. The front edges were taken in 1 inch and the back were taken in 1/4 inch. Also, you can see when the seamstress ran into some beading at the hip, she just stopped and left a lump. My job will be to smooth all that out.

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When side seams are opened out flat, you can see nothing was trimmed away. We have the original seams plus 1.25 excess inches on each side, so 2.5 inches of excess satin fabric under each arm…for what? Absorbing sweat?

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The lining is equally untrimmed..nothing like double bulk under the arms. All this will be trimmed. There is a line of damage from opening the seam too.

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Other cool features are at the hip , no need to remove the original stitching, just leave it in there to cause puckering. No need to remove beading and make the hip line smoother either, I guess.

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The other side seam looks the same:

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Letting out by straightening the lining layer side seams and replacing the boning will make the bride more comfortable.

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Here is another WTF adjustment. For some reason, the front top edge of the bodice was being pulled to the wrong side and I thought that I could release the top edge of the lining and let it drop back inside but when the bride took off the dress I could see the problem…who does this?

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Inside the top of the side seam there are huge long hand stitches holding the seams together and the top beaded edging. There is no understitching- just a mess.

Let’s flip this to the right side…can you see the edging is badly overlapped and most of the beads are hanging? Who sews like this?

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Hold on, it gets better…how about the straps? Attachments held with 2 hand stitches…sure that will do nicely for dancing and tossing the bouquet!

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But when I remove the straps for a new position…guess what I found? How can you loose beads on a strap? Were they chewed off?

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Another nice feature occurs when you don’t care about side seams in the lining…puckers and pleats…we love them!

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Let’s check out what is left of the satin hem and lining hem. In some spots, I have less than 1/8 inch to fold under for either one. Originally the two had been stitched together along with a 1 inch wide strip of horsehair braid…where’s the braid… rolled up in a ball and pinned to the outside of the dress.

I tell the bride and mother (who claims she sews) that the only way to salvage the hem is to put the horsehair braid back unto the satin layer and use a 1/8 inch seam allowance. the bride balks and says, “I want it drapey”…well, honey you can have it drapey and frayed. They agree that I might know what I am talking about.

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The finished horsehair braid lies flat on the backside of the satin layer.

The lining will be hemmed separately. How about the previous gal’s attachment of the organza border…surely she used a sewing machine to stitch the swirls down…no? Who sews like this, long hand stitches spanning the curls and leaving gaps? Of course, I will remove this mess and make it right, as from now on, this dress has MY name on it not the first gal’s.p1210655

So, now after all the ripping out and re-sewing…what do we have?

On the mannequin, we can see the hips are smooth and less drag lines at the waist.

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On the bride, it feels better and it is the first time I see her smile. With each visit the bride has been murmuring under her breath that she never wanted her second-time wedding dress to be beaded or fancy or shiny…just something simple but her mother had other ideas. Her mother is repeating over and over, “But we got a bargain” and that seems to make everything alright. Once the bride remembers to wear her wedding shoes, stands u straight, the hem will not touch the ground except for a very slight train.

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I never asked what they had to pay for the first alteration but for the second one, they got their money’s worth in corrections in less than a week.

I must apologize for not visiting other bloggers posts for a week or so. For a couple weeks there have been more emergency brides coming to the sewing room…I’m sorry for not leaving comments on your blogs…hopefully this month will allow me more time to sniff around the web and see all your new creations!

I’ll leave you with the Word for the Day from Gratefulness.org

Expect nothing. Live frugally on surprise.

Alice Walker

 

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Indecision

Mothers of the Bride/Groom have it rough in our little valley when looking for dresses to fit and flatter.

One mother had a headstrong/controlling daughter/bride who planned a 3 day event/wedding. She told her mother to buy this dress to wear to one of the events. I wish I had taken a photo of the actual dress but I made a sketch to remind myself of the odd angles and scraps of fabric that made up the skirt.

The dress was made out of some black gauze fabric and was cut very low at the non-existent side seams, center front and center back. The mother asked me if I could just stuff some lace triangles into the vacant areas so it would be wearable. I stood back and took a deep breath before I told her, “This is not your dress”. If you wear this dress is says, “I don’t know who I am”. Everyone will think it is an apron. Well, this came as a shock, but she did ask for my honest opinion and she got it.

She explained it was very expensive and her daughter wanted her to wear it. OK, maybe a flat chested 20 year old would get away with this much exposure, but not a mature woman who wanted to impress the new in-laws and celebrity guests. I suggested she send the dress back and visit a local salon to see what they had to offer that would be more fitting and flattering for a grown-up woman.

We have a small Macy’s, a David’s Bridal and a couple small salons so the internet comes in handy. The first 2 dresses came from a local salon and were sample dresses that had been discontinued. Original price was $250 but the owner let them go for $50 each! Both are thick satin and have pockets.

Here is one dress:

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and here is the other one, only the skirt is black satin.

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Yes, both will be worn for the 3 day event/wedding in a Southern state. 

THEN 12 other dresses were ordered from Bloomingdale’s in New York by the daughter/bride to decide which dress her mother needed to wear to mingle among celebrity types. Out of the 12, the black knit with gold lace was chosen below. Here is a third one:

25f508c866987a9019d13ccbe5e77e17513f2c193727243f47462f0471e5729aThe black knit dress only needed hemming while the first 2 needed hemming and raising the skirts at the waist seam for the short-waisted mom. The cream/black topped halter one needed the top of the back zipper moved over 1/2 inch each side to pull the front up higher.

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The blue floral skirted one needed a halter made from whatever was left from trimming off the hem. Lucky for me, the hem was curved slightly.p1210583

Folded in half to cut a lining, you can see the curve betterp1210584

Once sewn down one side, the seam was clipped and understitched. The raw side was folded under and hand basted as I do not know how wide the strap needs to be until the MOB tries it on.

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The halter is just pinned to the side of the boning under the princess seams.p1210588 p1210669-2

Halter is finished and sewn to the bodice.

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The black knit with gold lace has a funny hem. You need to open the 4 side seams and remove the lace from the tulle after thread marking the new hem line.

The word should be “knit” instead of knot:

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Once the knit portion is hemmed, the side seams are re-sewn. The seam is flipped to the knit side.

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To keep the side seams under the knit, I top stitch over the lace.p1210606

The wrong side shows the new stitching.

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Flip the lace and tulle back down and ready for trimming off with scissors:

But wait….as I press the tulle and lace I see a piece of metal on the wrong side…what is that?

It is just a pin left in from the factory from when they were attaching the lace with clear monofilament thread. One thing I noticed when removing the stitches on the knit was that the mono thread left holes as it cut into the knit…something to be aware of next time.

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In the end, the mother and bride are happy and I am thrilled to have the check in hand and out of the drama!

With Halloween less than a week away the phone has been constantly ringing with requests…masks needing stronger elastic and one man in an Egyptian mummy costume who wanted to know if I could install a zipper in the crotch so he could relieve himself. Thankfully I can refer them to another friend who may have time. Hoping none of your projects are scary ones!

 

 

 

 

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High Flyers

This time of the year we have a wall of orange berries on our Pyracantha bushes. This time of the year, and no other, we have hoards of marauding birds called cedar waxwings who devour these berries. So you may wonder…what is the big deal?

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Well, the more berries the birds consume, the drunker they get and they fly into buildings and can kill themselves from a concussion. See the yellow tips of his tail feathers…this may be where they got the name. Not all birds who crash into fences and windows die, if you leave them for the day to “sleep it off”, they will be gone and off scavenging with their friends the next time you check.dead-bird

Besides walking over stoned sparrows, Mr. Mole has planted some winter veggies…lettuce and Swiss Chard and beets and things. The cage he made keeps the hungry birds away.

But back in the sewing room…

Lots of folks find me on Yelp and Google and while I limit my business to wedding gowns and refer everything else to other seamstresses I know, sometimes you just have to get stuck in and do something unexpected.

Here in the Pacific Northwest we have huge forests and huge summer forest fires that require many firefighters on the ground and those in the air to drop water and survey the spread and damage. This client needed some extra room in his flight suit while carrying out his helicopter duties in the field.

He bought extra fabric at our JoAnn’s and tried on his 2 sets of clothes so we could determine how much was needed.  This jacket needed 3 extra inches down each side seam and the Velcro moved over for the belt.p1210487

The pants had the same story to add 3 inches with a wedge.

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Before opening up the side seams, I noticed that a previous seamstress had added a football shaped patch and serged it with white thread on the inside.

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You can see from the outside, it was inadequate and was starting to tear away and fray.

The opened side seams were placed on the new fabric, yes, it is not a proper match nor Kevlar, but it works OK. Then a chalk line was drawn and seam allowances added.

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A pair were cut and serged.

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The side seam edges were cleaned up and serged and the patch added and Velcro re-positioned.

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The patch edges were double stitched after being flipped to the jacket sections.

The pants got a wedge as well and the back belt loop was re-attached. The seam allowances were double stitched after being flipped all one direction.

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He can wear these comfortably and do his job now.

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The other jacket needed wider wedges as it had been worn in Afghanistan and he had expanded a bit more since his service there. Once again, the side seams were opened, serged edges and patch attached and Velcro re-positioned.

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It looks good hanging up on both sides. Even though this took time away from my bridal sewing, it is always a pleasure to work for hard-working, dedicated men and women who have served in the military and continue to serve now that they are back home.

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Now, I know that I am just adding Kona cotton to his clothes and not Kevlar but this is what was brought to me and I’m working with it.

The pilot just picked up his garments after being in San Diego, California  fighting fires down there. The valuable work they do in the sky assists the workers on the ground with water drops and search and rescue.

For those of you who still need a bridal “fix”, you can check out Anne’s post with some daring bridal fashion!    https://prttynpnk.com/2016/10/12/wearable-wednesday-meets-the-brides/

Have a great week everyone…run through the falling leaves!

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