This week while on hiatus from sewing for brides and my sewing room closed I got this email on my regular/
working website from a local gal needing help for her June wedding. Without using her exact words, it went like this:
I have fallen in love with this designer of wedding dresses, Claire Pettibone. But I don’t want to pay her prices in the thousands of dollars and they all look very simple so can you help me to buy fabric while I decide about all the extra things that have to be added on possibly by myself. (REALLY?)I am willing to drive out of state to buy fabric but am not too sure where to start selecting the appropriate fabrics. I would like to hire someone to consult with me before I shop and also to make the dress. Is this something you feel you could tackle?
Here are some styles she might be thinking of:
Now the question is: How much would a seamstress charge to copy/
recreate and then some one of these dresses? We don’t charge $5 an hour anymore and the latest wedding dress I saw completed on a blog recently had over 300 hours in it…and it was to use her words “very simple”. Then let’s throw in the fabric…silk? Poly? and the lining, interfacings, boning, zipper, bust pads and laces and some beading and hours and hours of fitting. Fortunately, I declined her offer and suggested maybe buying a previously owned one would suffice with expert alterations to suit her budget. I’m thinking she would actually get a bargain by just biting the bullet and ordering that dress all done and in her size…call me crazy!
Before I resume my relaxed state of mind and body and replace the ice pack on my knee, I will share another cute story. A bride this winter brought this dress to me…remember it had to have big bust pads inserted and EVERY lace layer attached to the horsehair braid layer and be taken in over and over…well after all that fussing, the overly-stressed fabric and screaming invisible zipper in the whole hip area slid/
crawled up over her waist as fabric like water seeks the path of least resistance and she (we) ended up with a big flap of fabric at her waist 2 inches deep all the way around her. Nothing to do but fix it/ do as I was told…she wanted a hand sewn/ horribly home made horizontal tuck so she could cover it up with a belt…nasty…but I did it:
Once the belt was tied on I took her out into my entryway with a full-length mirror for her mother (who had never seen the dress before) to get a real good gaze.
The mother’s eyes popped out of her head as she stared at the bust area and exclaimed,”Jennifer, where did you get those boobs?” All this time knowing that the reception would be a very religious one with no bustle, no music, no dancing, and no booze affair for 400 of their closest friends it seemed a little strange that the bride would be sharing her cleavage with the entire congregation. Here she was, minus her jewelry, ready for the grand entrance.
And just when I think I have seen the last of this dress…another bride came by for a consultation with this exact dress but this time with a whole different set of needs/
wants … stay tuned!