Prom Week(s)

We are in to our third week of proms in the valley and I thought I would share an unusual one.

First we have a perfectly nice lined lace dress with a center back zipper, heavy duty metal but still a normal zipper.The client wants a deep “V” in the back instead so she tells me that I can just fold under the edges and voila’ it will be sexy.

Life would be soooo much simpler if this were actually possible and having lumps of fabric would be considered cool and chic and oh so comfortable. I think not but allow her to ramble on about her design ideas, afterall she knows what she wants…most 18 year olds have such strong fashion sense, no?

Yes, indeed if you open up the back of a dress down to your butt crack it will attract attention so we compromise. We agree to end the opening at the waist ribbon and add a ribbon across the top back to hold the shoulders together so they don’t droop down and slide off thus allowing the dress to hit the floor.

When you click on the thumbnails below you can see the metallic ribbon (not my choice!) and the facing that allowed all the trimmed off raw edges to be turned under and top stitched.


By using a straight of grain facing I was able to compact (slightly gather) the now bias (diagonal) new cut edge so it hugged her back instead of flaring  away from it. The thick metal zipper had to be cut off and turned a 90 degree angle to allow it to hide in the new facing and lay flat. A white hook and eye was stitched at the top of the opening since there is now nothing to hold the zipper teeth together.

In addition to the endless stream of shiny prom dresses a woman brought in a dress she plans to wear to her wedding in September. She said her boyfriend proposed to her in Paris and then as they made their way to Viet Nam she had a dress made there in a little shop. It is chiffon and the ruffles are attached to a lining fabric.

What you don’t see until you look closely is the entire dress was drawn out before it was cut out with RED marker pen so all the seam lines are red, all the placement lines for the ruffles are red and all the darts and princess seams are red.

Click on the photos below and see what is a permanent fixture on this dress along with obvious gathering stitches showing in the third photo just below the waistline ribbon.


Her only request was for me to trim off her train and that was also marked at the 45 inch level with RED MARKER! See in the photo I have basted a line with black thread so it would be straight and show up when I used my serger to make a rolled hem.

   Some days I just don’t have the energy/desire to ask “what did you pay for this dream dress?” Imagine looking inside a dress from say David’s and seeing all the seam lines marked with felt marker enabling the wearer and guests to see them through to the outside!

My non-prom/normal clients comment on the fancy dresses when they visit for other projects and they tell me that this must be a dream job working with such clothes…I just smile and think about what my husband always says, “You couldn’t buy this type of entertainment and it just keeps coming.” He’s right, of course, it’s like the old game shows with a mystery door…you never know what is on the other side…that’s my front door…think carefully before you grab the handle and open it !!!!

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