What Happened to Homecoming?

Does anyone remember the excitement of Homecoming back in high school?

For my non-US readers, it is a time of a big football game and dance to celebrate the start of the Fall season. A queen is chosen/voted on by students along with princesses and a king to reign at the formal dance. This is what it used to look like way back when:

There are still a few girls who go “whole hog” and dress up and have a floor length gown shortened in front for a more trendy style (see red line for new hem edge)

brought to me in a grocery bag.

 Then there are those who forget all types of tradition/want to do their own thing and purchase something like this: Yes, those are her boobs hanging out and the back looks like this: The top of the skirt hangs dangerously low near the top of her butt crack. The company, For the Love of Lemons, creates the sleazy line of clothes meant to be quite seductive and worn in the privacy of one’s own home. Here is the link to more photos of the dress up close. The price tag says $216 and the fabric is rayon knit made in China. The mother of this girl wanted the front to be made more modest…so I tacked the fronts together as far up as they would go before revealing  lots of side-boob.

And I also made darts in the top of the back of the skirt to bring it up higher on her hips for coverage.

Last week I finished up the alterations on the chiffon wedding gown from Ivy and Aster that I started a few weeks ago. Here are some things that were done to this custom ordered dress. We remember that custom ordered really means nothing in the way of length or width or anything. To start with the chiffon was very uneven and the underskirt was way wider than the lining or chiffon so the bride looked like she had huge hips. There were little thin spaghetti straps that were wrapped all along the front and back and waist to give a Grecian look but the loops were placed under her armpits where they made weird gaps so they were moved further back. This resulted in the front top edge gaping so an additional vertical dart was added on both sides. Inside there was an attached corset which always adds to the problem. All that meant that I could not possibly get the area under the presser foot so it was all stitched by hand inside and out. Thankfully the top ruffle covered the new dart and I was able to slightly gather it to fit back unto the top edge without making it look like grandma altered it.

Taking in the underskirt 12 inches alone at the side seams caused a drop-off in the hem edge of 4 inches so that had to be evened up before hemming. The chiffon edge will be hemmed as well. can you see this custom gown was made about 6 inches too long by the location of the green thread tracing? How can they sell this as custom?

Here we are with the bustle down and before hemming. Here we are with a possible 3 point bustle using the very center back seam to attach all points. Tomorrow is her wedding day and she promises to send me final photos to share.

Next time some real crappy custom clothes made with real crappy customer selected fabric and outrageous alterations on some NYDJ jeans.

Thanks for dropping by!

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8 Responses to What Happened to Homecoming?

  1. Claire says:

    Can’t wait to see the NYDJ alterations! You definitely improved the “lemon” tunic, aka homecoming dress.

  2. Jane Urbach says:

    The bride must have lived close enough she would come for regular fittings. I finally said I would never custom sew something unless they were willing to come for at least 6 fittings. I live in a wide cosmopolitan area and there are few people willing to make costumes from scratch. Meaning measure, make a muslin pattern, sew, fit, take apart muslin, cut, sew, fit, maybe alter some things, fit again and mark hem. It did not usually take 6 fittings, but enough to make it right, but since maybe they had to drive an hour and a half to get to my house, they did not want to come for a 15 to 30 minute fitting. They didn’t want to come back for marking the hem, even if I had to re-sew the bodice or alter something, or they just didn’t like the way it fit. ( One person needed a whole new dress bodice as the pattern did not fit right. I had not made a muslin) I saw one of my Victorian creations, which hung really badly as the customer really should have come back for another fitting to mark where the loops should have been placed to attach the skirt hooks to the blouse. She was sort-of 10 month pregnacy shaped, and no skirt waist band would stay where it should be and be as loose fitting as she wanted, due to a Hiatal(SP?) hernia which could take no elastic pressure to keep skirt in place. I finally said, “No more, ” except for little kids who don’t fuss and parents who don’t really care how it fits as long as the kid is comfortable and will wear the costume. You ar very good to fix allthese crazy things. Jane in Palo Alto, CA

    • mrsmole says:

      Hi Jane, I gave up making costumes 2 years ago when they became too detailed, too complicated and the client did not want to pay more than $5 an hour…insane! My brides are local but they buy their dresses at least 250 miles away or at David’s in town. Once they leave the faraway bridal salon they are on their own.I use a mannequin for a lot of the hem work and I baste everything in different colors so when they try it one we can still re-pin things up and out and I know where my first marks were. They are not removed until the final stitching. But working with silk or poly chiffon is like pinning Jell-o to a tree…it will not stay put and the poly type snaps back…grrrr. Victorian creations…you are brave tackling a body that does not wear a corset or has a hiatal hernia…holey moley! Hope you are not too over worked before Halloween!

      • Jane Urbach says:

        Only have some one year old tunics to let out, I cut them a bit small in the arm and need to add gussets as he grew so fast. I basically gave up making costumes except for T-tunics or the basic angel dress shape. The Victorian outfit I wrote about killed the sewing goose, so to speak. Now I just mostly sew for charity donations, have to use up some of the boatload of fabric left over from my costume store. Maybe make something for myself out of some shear spider web fabric.

  3. ElleC says:

    “working with silk or poly chiffon is like pinning Jell-o to a tree…”. OMG, you slay me. It has been a long hard day, thanks for the giggle 8-).

  4. prttynpnk says:

    Surely mother was not consulted prior to the purchase of the citrus sleazery! There is no way to make that mess modest or attractive, get thee to the nunnery!

  5. theresa says:

    Her Mother let her buy that???? And is that other one black? Oh well, the wedding gown looks great but I have to admit, I don’t find anything appealing about it except the effort that was invested in fixing it. When is the Pope going to approve that sainthood for you?

  6. mrsmole says:

    Yes, it was mother-approved as it was better than last year’s offering which was even shorter when she was just a Freshman (14)…amazing. The bride’s dress was very subdued and elegant as it was her second marriage so no need for a ballgown to make a statement. The black dress is being shortened in front to wear to a fund raiser after being a prom dress 7 years ago…some things never go out of style…or do they? Thanks for dropping by, Theresa.

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