Blue Waves to the Last Bride

You may remember that mother of the bride jacket I made this year with the metallic fabric from JoAnn’s. Well here is a little update: She called to tell me that her fabric was flawed and she would definitely NOT ever wear the jacket and was going to complain to the store and wanted me to know it was my responsibility to warn her. Since I scanned/scrutinized and bitched about  the fabric before cutting and found nothing wrong with the design I thought perhaps she was just being absurd/cranky.

But I never dreamed I would see that fabric again but wait…a call comes in for an emergency bathing suit cover-up for another winter  (cheapy cheapy) cruise and what does the woman bring to me? Yes, yes, that really nasty polyester metallic itchy slippery blue fabric from JoAnn’s…yippee skippy. Her requirements were to look very classy/rich and elegant/thin while trying to cover her lower parts. Piece of cake right? The fabric needed to be doubled as it was too sheer to camouflage her thighs etc and it was patterned crosswise so had to be cut cross grain to be vertical and lengthening. Some of you know how cutting cross grain just makes me nuts but it is almost the end of the year and like the honey badger– “I didn’t give a sh*t”. Elastic in the  folded over waistband and some pleats on the wrapped edge completed the project without a paper pattern. Hemmed all around and snaps instead of Velcro should make this lady happy.

and now unto what you have all been waiting for (and me too!) – the final bride of the year with her huge spreading dress and mostly missing beads.

Here is what the Sottero and Midgley dress was supposed to look like:

It started it’s life with a very wide and very long train, extensively beaded halter and back “tail” along with a center back bead-encrusted area on both sides of the zipper.

What I got was a size 10 cut down for a size 4, side seams taken in at the bridal salon, mostly missing beads front, back and sides and ALL the pleats tacked down to become a sort of mermaid/fit and flair dress that was 8 inches too long. The halter of organza material had been tried on enough times to have stretched it out and it was sagging and flared.

What was needed was hemming 2 layers of satin and the overskirt, shortening the lining and netting by 8 inches by making a huge horizontal tuck inside, figuring out how to gather up all that fabric into a neat french bustle using just 3 points with loops and buttons and sew on all the loose beads and shorten the beaded tail that runs down her back. Thankfully, the tail was about 8 inches too long as well so I could harvest crystals and sequins and bugle beads from that. The center back area had been used as a place to put those grabber clamps when it was a sample dress and had destroyed most of that area.Here are some photos:

Hanging on a hanger and close-up of the end of the tail with huge snaps

Huge snaps inside the dress and close-up of the tail attached

Here is the bride in her dress with the bustle and everything in place (tattoo and face covered): be sure to click on the photos to enlarge!

Unlike the original 6 foot tall model my client was a little petite thing so getting that bustle up high enough and secure enough to clear the floor so she could dance was a challenge. Filling in all the bare spots with extra beads took hours along with trying to “snug up” the saggy organza halter and adding snaps and new white hooks and eyes everywhere was time consuming/tedious too.

But in the end she will walk down the aisle with her perfect dream dress. Everyone in the audience will think she just picked this dress of the rack and it fit her…except you will know the sweat that went into re-making and re-beading.

Thank you for following me through this crazy year of the good, the bad, and the ugly in my sewing studio. May we all get better organized for 2012 and be more like honey badgers…getting the job done quickly despite poisonous snakes and other critters who get in our way.

Happy 2012 everyone!

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3 Responses to Blue Waves to the Last Bride

  1. Alethia says:

    Wow, what a fantastic job you did! I couldn’t help but laugh as you described all the ills to this dress when you received it, lol! You know we see all that stuff come back to our department after it’s been tried on numerous of times, ugh!
    But, you restored this gown to it’s original beauty and some, it’s gorgeous!!

    • mrsmole says:

      Thank you, Alethia! A compliment coming from you is high praise indeed! Restoring gowns with missing beads and parts is just part of that service we perform in the back room….ha ha.

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