Hands Up, who remembers the totally silk beaded dresses of the late 1980’s?
Maybe some of you even have some hanging in the back of the closet in a garment bag…I know I do in 3 colors, pink, black and blue. But this week I got in a real beauty covered in pearls! It weighs about 7 pounds and will be worn to a gala ball in Paris at the end of the summer. My client needed it hemmed 1/2 inch all around as she was not going to wear her stilettos from that era.
Yes, those are huge shoulder pads…remember those too? See the cuffs and the hem below:
Once all the alterations and bead repairs were done I wrapped the entire dress in tissue paper for the journey on the plane. Each sleeve was stuffed with tissue paper and the neck edge filled and then everything was folded and then wrapped again and taped shut. My client says she is going to keep the dress in her lap during the flight so it will be placed into a cotton pillowcase.
At the other end of my sewing room I have a man’s project…a tall man about 6’2 with huge shoulders and a particular issue he needs to conceal. A beer belly? Oh no nothing that obvious…he is licensed to carry a gun so I was asked to make a vest that allows a holster to be worn and not to be seen from the outside. I started with NewLook 6839 as he wanted a collar but it only went to the shoulder seam. He wanted huge pockets as well but not in the side seams. I made up a muslin after taking his measurements, adding ease for a waist holster and decided that what this basic pattern needed was to be cut up into sections to add what I wanted. I also noticed that he had a slight curve at the top of his upper spine so he needed a curved section there too. Here is the muslin with all the markings for cutting apart and adding seam allowances and pocket. Please ignore my crappy drawing of a side gun…I realize now it looks more phallic than firearm. To get what was needed here are the pattern pieces cut up, seam allowances added: By making the top, a yoke piece, it could be split in the center and curved on it’s own and then sewn to the rest of the back which is cut on the fold. The back darts are sewn all the way to the hem without narrowing. Let’s see the front pieces: By extending a “cut on” pocket and making a separate pocket facing it will be less bulky and I eliminated the darts. Sometimes I have actually used a French dart to add a sneaky pocket in women’s clothes. So we have a new upper front yoke and new vertical seams which will all be topstitched for added interest. There will be a center front separating zipper. One problem left…the front collar piece needed extending to reach around to the center back neck.
It was a strange little thing so I kept the straight of grain and let the new back piece just go bias so it would be all one piece. Here is the paper pattern altered: Fingers crossed everything will come out OK. Next time the finished vest!
Checking my book of brides for the season I have 13 already…throw in prom dresses, mother of the bride dresses, some of my favorite clients custom clothes and I have enough to keep me out of trouble. One of my regular clients has lost over 20 pounds so I have some things to make smaller for her…hooray Nancy!
Wishing you a great week filled with easy projects and co-operative fabrics!