Make it tighter!

After altering 4 weeks of prom dresses for 3 local high schools I hope this is the final dress to share with you.After 4 weeks of biting my tongue with hearing “can’t you make it tighter?” it will be nice to relax.

The phone rang a day ago at 8:30 pm with a desperate mother asking if I had time to look at her daughter’s prom dress that just arrived in the mail.

OK, three guesses where it was made and where it was shipped from…where else but China and in fact the written invoice was in Chinese! So guess what it fit like when the girl ordered a size 4.

I have long suspected that when these factories with very little quality control are set up that they do not bother with cutting actual sizes of dresses like 4, 6, 8 etc and they make “blanks” as it were and when the orders come in the seams are stitched closer or farther away from the cut edge to “make” it the size ordered. After opening up many many David’s gowns and seeing 2 inch seam allowances there just has to be some reason for this waste of fabric and it’s not there because the folks at David’s want to be generous to we seamstresses.

So today after opening up this latest gown that had to be made tighter and tighter until the client could barely sit without ripping open seams, I discovered another “gift” from the manufacturer. The seams were stitched for a size 4 (maybe) and everything else was left inside hidden by the lining. In the photo below you can see the new seam I stitched on the left and the white basting thread line and the old seams on the right.


Once the old stitches (hot pink thread, not red) are removed and flattened out you can see there is a whopping wide seam allowance that would certainly be not so flattering/nasty from the right side so I used my pinking shears to remove half of it and then catchstitch the edges down before closing up the lining. Click on the thumbnails for a better look:


Once flipped to the right side and pressed, you can see the magnitude/bling of the dress. The mother told me that girls simply cannot be seen in dresses that could be bought in the valley so they scour the internet looking for one-of-a-kind dresses which are really made by the gazillion halfway around the world by young women and children.

The dress being strapless and heavy with all those fake rhinestones and sequins kept sliding down so metallic rattail cords were attached for straps and the waist on the non-bling side was taken in. All of the front pleats had to be hand tacked down as the girl said they made her look fat. The back being a corset type was adjustable and the modesty panel was about 12 inches wide thus accommodating ANY size girl other than a 4.

One problem with the many back loops was one had been sewn into the seam and could not be opened enough to have the laces slide through. Obviously the quality control person was out on a tea break and missed that one. The huge fishtail godet train is attached only by hand tacking every 3/4 inch or so so if your date or you friend’s date steps on your “tail” it is goodbye back of the dress.

The hem of the dress drags in the front and back but the girls says she is wearing flats since her date is short…yes what we females do to make our males partners “feel” tall. How many brides tell me they wanted to/dreamed of wearing heels for their wedding day but opted for flats to make their man feel big…crazy.

May you have a good day and wear whatever type of shoes you want…life is too short to wear ugly shoes especially with a formal!

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1 Response to Make it tighter!

  1. Alethia says:

    I think your girl and mine ordered from the same chinese manufacturers, lol!
    As for David’s and their generous seam allownaces ( uhn, uhn) especially on n0n-bridal formals. Most times there are NO seam allowances, especially prom, bridesmaids, etc. Now, it’s another story with bridal gowns. At least these manufacturers are thoughtful to leave something to work with. 🙂

    Check this out:

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