Every once in a while clients want you to do the impossible/
insane using their concept of alterations from scrap booking experience. It must be as easy as snip, flip and voila’…a re-designed masterpiece. Maybe it is just me being my cynical self but this is what we started with more or less: Yes folks, we are back to my personal favorite brand of baggy saggy shapeless clothing and constant source of alterations…Eileen Fisher. OK some of you like this “organic” look using linen and cotton etc in bland ways that never manage to have darts or any other shaping features…some call it comfortable, I call it “bread and butter”. This sweater is nice enough and something a client wants to wear to her daughter’s wedding in 3 days…yes she gave me 3 days to re-design this puppy into something she thinks will be more flattering. So when she called to say she wanted to cut off the sleeves and change them, I never thought she wanted something so time consuming and maddening. Her vision was a floaty sleeve made from what we cut off and turned sideways with only 3.5 inches length at the inseam and 9 inches length at the elbow…how chic….hmmmm.
First things first, the sleeves were sewn at the cutting point with 2 rows of an overlock stitch on the regular machine with a space down the middle of the Stay Tape which was placed under to stabilize the loose weave. Then I cut them apart very carefully and zigzagged over the cut edges again to seal them.
Now to make this oh so original idea pattern and place it on the sleeves: Draw chalk lines around and then place bias strips of flesh colored chiffon to the edges to be sewn with a straight stitch and serged later. OK, how many of you are thinking, Hey, Mrs. Mole…just throw that puppy in the serger/overlocker and be done with it….well nice thought Grasshopper but while one edge is being sealed the rest of this linen/cotton loose weave thing will ravel away before you can lift it up off the table…I can’t risk that! So I carry on and attach bias strips and THEN use the serger to trim off what I don’t want and the chiffon acts as a “stay” to keep everything together and yet still soft.
What do you think these will look like? Well the curved edge is the bottom and the straight edge is the top…didn’t see that coming? Here is the pinned section: Is THIS any better than what we started with? Two hours of labor plus many hours of thinking time and a trip to JoAnn’s for the chiffon…maybe the client will think it is marvelous…she redesigned this $248 sweater and will wear it to her daughter’s wedding…what more could she want?
Need more ugly? Okey Dokey…there seems to be no end to this crap so here is a groom who ordered his suit from an Asian source…the jacket fit OK but the pants were 2 inches too tight from the waist to the hem and the knee lining was so much wider than the pant legs it was folded under…check this out: What I had to do was left out EVERY seam there was…and I mean every! and reduce the knee lining by one full inch but some surprises were waiting for me…get ready… Just when you think it is safe to open a side seam…oh no…what the hell is that? Elmer’s craft glue? Who knows, but thankfully most of it was being cut off…crazy construction! The finished knee area now looks like this: Once those wrinkles are made with a too hot iron there is very little to do to make them right. A couple more shots of the huge pockets lurking inside…thank goodness women’s clothes don’t have this much surplus fabric inside!
Enjoy this Memorial Day weekend/bank holiday wherever you live!