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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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!