From Cambodia with Love?

Last Thursday I got a call from a mother who wanted to “chat” with me about her daughter’s dress and her own skirt. It seems that they were in need of a little adjusting before the formal destination wedding in Mexico. I asked, as I normally do, “when is the wedding” and she told me “time was not a factor” so thinking that maybe we had a couple weeks I made an appointment for her to come over.

The mother arrived first with her black silk skirt explaining that she went all the way to Portland to a Cambodian shop that makes custom silk clothing. She tried on a sample A-line skirt and the man took her measurements. Then the measurements are sent to some shop in Cambodia…do you sense a looming problem already? What came back was a very short ankle length skirt with a very steam pressed wrinkled hem. I assured the woman that I could undo the hem, press it flat (with Best Press) and do a tiny faced hem and get another 1.5 inches for her. At the time I did mention to her that I could/should taper her side seams and center back seams to remove the “wings” they had given her but she said they were fine. OK so I imagine this is what she ordered and I alter the hem.

Original hem

Opened hem…still wrinkled

Finished hem with my favorite rayon hem tape…smooth and small invisible hand stitches…lovely….but wait…what could be wrong?

The client returns 2 days later stating that I was right all along and NOW she wants the side seams tapered but keep the fish tail back. She says this is not the style of shirt that she ordered. I hear this all the time and I always ask “Did you try this on in the store BEFORE you made the final payment?” And you know the answer is always “No, I thought it would be perfect”.

Here is a photo with both side seams pinned out 8 inches (red dotted line on one side).

and the side view with the fish tail:

Her next question was “does this involve the hem that you just altered?” Seeing as I am taking in 8 inches on each side it sure as heck does! And as you seamstresses know, the edges will probably not match up at the hem as it is curved and it will involve taking off the hem tape and making them equal to start with. After pinning I can see the hem edges are about 1/2 inch off…not something you can just ignore and ooch up or down.

So the little project now becomes a bigger project/pain in the butt just to make things right.

But readers this is only the tip of the iceberg…her daughter’s formal bridesmaid dress comes next but that is the next blog…stayed tuned! And did I ever find out the date for the wedding after all these repairs? Oh Yes, the woman casually tells me …in 6 days when they blissfully fly off to Mexico for the formal wedding.

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