Most people think that June and July are the 2 biggest months for weddings and assume that I am now just kicking back with a margarita and reading romance novels in my spare time…NOT A CHANCE!
Here is what wandered into my sewing studio this week:
Each dress comes with a story and a good price tag. The first one on the left is Alvina Valenta 9155 silk dupionni and a real designer gown custom from New York. It has those little covered buttons down the back all the way to the hem.
The second dress is Casablanca 1975 again custom made without the straps and covered in beads, the third is a peach colored St. Patrick bought from a consignment shop. While each one has it’s issues I have learned something working on each dress.
The smell that comes off the silk one when pressing is so distinctive, like newly cut lawn and the beaded gown showed me that removing beads and lace motifs can really add to the labor costs when someone wants small darts added to the bust area. Working around lots of extra boning in the bodice and lining can be maddening.
The third dress has lace straps/yoke unit that didn’t show up in the group photo but they were too long and had to be totally disassembled at the shoulder seam and that was the only place that had a seam. Again the lace motifs had to be patiently removed, lifted and repositioned and tacked down again onto the crinoline type base of the straps/yoke. It also had a sweeping chunk of fabric that was all pleated into some sort of hip lump on one side only which didn’t make much sense when it came to making a pretty bustle.
So you think…big deal 3 more dresses for the month of August and then another comes in with extensive alterations for a wedding date 2 weeks later.
The dress was bought a size too big as the salon told the client that they would not let her buy the size 14 as it was a bit too tight…you know what is coming…the bride lost some weight and now it is two sizes too big. Yesterday, I pinned out with great difficulty 3 inches in the bodice at the zipper to snug it up enough and then she said too snug it up another inch when I was sewing it. Great and do all this and what happens at the end of the zipper??? You can end up with a huge bulge even if it is tapered slowly.
The most remarkable thing about this dress is that the bodice has boning every inch vertically so the only place to take in the dress was center back at the zipper which is my favorite place anyway…lucky me! She wanted the side seams really yanked in but there is boning on both sides of the seams and it would mean taking the entire bodice apart, removing all the boning, 4 sets and taking in the seams and somehow replacing the boning right next to the remaining ones….in 2 weeks along with all the other things she wants. If you click on the link you can see the back which leave no scope for an interesting bustle. Pretty much all you can do is grab fabric and shove it up underneath and hope it just joins the rest of the deep folds of satin all somehow attached to an underskirt. It will involve 5 points to get the train up off the floor.
After the client left I flattened out the back of the dress and took a good look at the inside. There were supposed to be 5 points already attached satin to underskirt but there were only 4…no wonder it hung funny. So once that was remedied I could get to work trying different lengths and pining and pinning. In the second photo you can see I pinned the 4 outer lengths to the out side of the dress just to see how much was needed to clear the floor but all that will be hiding under eventually. The bride wants me to tack down all the pleats front and back and sides and she removed the huge flower that was pinned to the front folds. She also wanted to model different veils, try on 3 pairs of shoes and discuss jewelry in addition to me pinning out and pinning down all the things she didn’t like about the dress…at one point I wanted to ask, “what exactly do you like about this dress?”
I warned her that zippers cannot really stand too much stress and taking in a dress almost 4 inches was going to be stressful/
downright dangerous and I told her the story of a couple friends who were making a wedding dress. After getting the invisible zipper in perfectly with a struggle matching waist markings etc, the bride bent down to put on her shoes and the zipper burst apart leaving her backside open to the world. I had an extra heavy duty bridal invisible zipper from Wawak and gave it to them.
After hearing my little cautionary tale, my bride just disregarded it and snapped back, “I’ll put on my shoes first” …OK Honey and make sure you don’t have to sit down or use the bathroom all day…or your guests may be dazzled by more than a gorgeous bustle!
My vegetable garden is still producing squash and tomatoes and turnips and I have planted more turnips and lettuce for a second crop in the late fall. There are Swiss chard and spinach plants waiting in little pots to be planted out but the brides take over my time. There are 3 brides booked for October and one for November so there will be no margarita sipping days for me just yet.
Wishing you some peaceful times to enjoy the last days of summer.