Not Always Brides

Let’s take a break from all the white fabrics and netting and do some normal things…normal?

Do you have clients who buy 2 muu-muus and want one cut off to add to the other? One client has a mother who wants her dresses to the floor, obviously a retired princess, so she buys two at a time and has me elongate one and then give the remaining shorter version to a friend in the same rest home. Then, they are “twinnies”. Here is the result of swapping borders and stripes:

Along with this she brought in a chiffon number with 3 layers of flounces, very princess-like, that had been torn away when her majesty stepped on the long flowing fabric. I repaired and re-enforced all 3 layers and hope that next time she doesn’t fall and break something like her hip or glasses.

Along with these gowns some Letterman jackets were dropped off needing huge patches to be sewn on.

And seeing as this is summer, a swimming instructor client showed up with this brand new suit. She said she bought it knowing it had a problem with her cleavage showing and that I would be able to “fix it” and solve her problem. She even suggested that I would have to get my husband in on the deal and have him use some he-man tools to cut the metal holding the cups together. Oh Sure, I’m going to go down the hall to his office and ask him to put on his DIY hat and rummage around in the garage for some precise tool for this…NOT!

The simple answer is….remove the vertical stitching with gathers and remove the offending metal thing and stitch the 2 sides together.

But first I sew the edges of the cups to the gathers to stabilize everything. You never know when one of your friends will need this alteration so here we go:

Pin the 2 sides together…are we ready to sew them…oh heck no…let’s add some more stuff to that seam…make it look professional…which brings me to a good point for other seamstresses.

If you do something unusual like adding stabilizer or something the non-sewing client will have never heard of or thought of…POINT IT OUT to her as a sign of your expertise. She will automatically think that you are on the ball (a good thing) and that you thought about her problem enough to go the extra mile. Don’t hesitate-just do it– your client’s face will light up thinking that she is “special”…it may get you a rare thing in this business…a well earned tip. But back to the bathing suit…that’s what you came for, no?

  Anyone have some of this stuff lying around in the notions box? Yes, it is Stay Tape and it is lonely…let’s add some on both sides of this seam. It is nylon, lightweight and won’t add bulk but will hold those gathers tight without stretching when the boobs are inserted.

Are we done yet? Nah, let’s do 2 rows of stitching to show our client…Lordie, she will be impressed! And now for the unveiling!!!!


Perfect, as my friend Anne says, “for keeping the bunnies in the hutch.”

That’s all for now as I have custom clothes to finish and more bridesmaids showing up later this week…hideous chiffon concoctions that will never be worn again…oh well, it’s a living!

P.S. Just had to add this to my post, after reading this on another blog, it will make you angry, just a warning:

Please feel free to include it in your blog or emails…this has to stop!

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6 Responses to Not Always Brides

  1. Clare S. Lavorgna says:

    from Lafayette, LA – Have just begun reading your blog, and you are hilarious! You’re also a whiz at sewing. I so admire people who do this for a living. I am a hobby sewer, for myself, my home, an occasional gift for friends. It gives me great satisfaction to indulge my creativity. God bless you for not losing your temper with your very demanding clients:)

    • mrsmole says:

      Thank you for checking in, Clare! Being a hobby sewer you must get asked to do “favors” for friends so you can come across some real pains.
      The good Lord didn’t give me a singing voice or dancing feet but He did gave me heaps of patience…He knew I would need it for dealing with family and clients.

  2. Karen RF says:

    You must be the saint of “princesses”! Have you ever received clothes in for alterations that are dirty? Someone gave me a dress that needed a new zipper. Before I could work on the dress, it had to go to the cleaners. I charged her for the cleaning and the replacing the zipper. That was the last alteration I did for a friend and it was over 30 years ago!

  3. mrsmole says:

    Yes, Karen, I do get in dirty clothes but now I have a sign on my mirror that states what i will do with them. I even wrote a post about that: This is common for people to drop off filthy clothes and then tell us that they were “going to take them to the cleaners AFTER you worked on them”. Sure…..

  4. theresa says:

    Bunnies in the hutch eh? I am just recovering from the laugh that one gave me. Assuming I ever buy a bathing suit again, and it has a similar problem, I am relieved to know I have the know how to fix it. Actually, stabilizer tape is a great tip for those gathers. I imagine it can work on other pesky gathers just as well. THANK YOU!
    Twinnies..things that make you go “Hmmmmm”

  5. prttynpnk says:

    I swear, when I picture your clients I see 4 sets of playing card knaves surrounding the Red Queen- you seem to get a lot of requests to paint the white roses red!

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