Mission Accomplished

The purple jacket flew out the door yesterday with a very happy client inside.

       It fit well and draped surprisingly well considering it was stiff denim. With the slippery poly lining it felt smooth and the cuffs rolled up to show the lining just like the client envisioned. Next time we will be using a wool so it could be very different but elegant.

In the afternoon I got a call from a woman who is going to be a bridesmaid in a week and finally found her $50 “dream dress” on line and ordered it. Well you know the drill….it bears no resemblance to her body or shape. To accommodate her 40H bust she ordered a 3X dress using the sizing chart on the website….how accurate can they be? Not very!

I have pinned out as much as I can down the center back and also at the waistline to pull all the fabric back into her. She is wearing a corset underneath so the whole idea is to make it skin tight, do you see a pattern here? No matter what the size women want dresses to leave little breathing room never mind dancing and eating room. So here are a couple photos of the before scene and the basting thread where the new seams will be. Click on them for a larger image:


The entire zipper will have to be taken out and replaced with an invisible one along with hemming the dress and lining so it is going to take a while. The client says that another misguided girl who also bought this dress online for the same wedding needs extra fabric so they are hoping that whatever I have left over will be used in her dress…does that put pressure on me to finish ahead of time??? You bet! and what about the other seamstress??? OH MY!

I don’t know how many of you have had the opportunity/bad fortune of having to re-do some other seamstresses work but this week a regualr client of mine asked me to sew up the center back seam of a pair of very expensive pants that had ripped open. While doing that I noticed that one pantleg hem was falling down too so as I like to think of my sewing room as a “clothes clinic ” I wrote to the client and told her I was re-hemming the pants too. Then the fun part began.

The previous seamstress had used a 4 thread serger to finish the cut edge thus giving it a very wide thick edge with no stretch. Did I mention that these pants were 3% spandex and priced over $300? The hem itself was put in using some thick cotton thread (not polyester which will give) which had not stood up to the stretch of the fabric and when the old thread was removed I could tell she had not bothered to use a ballpoint needle for stitching on a stretch fabric. If you are stitching on anything (even jeans) with spandex or Lycra you must make the effort and swap your universal or sharp tipped needle for a ballpoint which allows it to move between the fibers and not CUT them. This poor pair of pants had a line of cut fibers all around the hem…lovely. Can you spell “FRAYED”? The one thing that saved this lazy girl is the fact that the pants were very dark navy and are dry cleaned so the damage will not show up for a while.

So my lesson for today is for my clients is : make sure your alterations person uses a ballpoint needle, polyester thread and if they HAVE to serge the edge, use a 3 thread which has stretch of its own. Since I am a big believer and user of Hug Snug rayon hem facing and using pinking sheers for a smoother transition between the hem edge and inside of the pant leg I think there is less of a line when pressing later too.

Recently I found a company that will match my fabric swatch to their product since they carry every color made….how cool is that? I hate to be limited to 12-15 colors so this works for me. Another thing I do before I use this product is pour some hot water over the cut amount, say 40 inches or so, and preshrink it in a small bowl. After towel drying it is pressed on the ironing board with a towel under it in case of dye transfer. This is an extra step for me but if you have ever seen pants hems with shrunken tape inside and nasty wrinkled hems on the outside you might consider this too since your name is on any alteration you do.

Well time’s a wastin’ and the clothes are calling my name so enjoy the rest of your day!

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