Hems Up, Hems Down

Not all brides want an elegant look…some want raunchy. This week a woman married 7 years ago wanted her never cleaned wedding dress that she wore for her wedding shortened so she could wear it to celebrate her anniversary.

She originally got married on an island and the anniversary included a trip to re-visit the same spot. The dress was simple enough but a little weird with 2 layers of thick poly knit lining and then the 2 layers of poly chiffon. She tried on the dress and when I asked where she wanted the new hem I was shocked. There I was sitting on floor with a yardstick and expecting her, like most women, to reach down and find the top of their knee and say, “about there”.

Not this chick…she drew a line across the va-jay-jay and said, “Right here and in the back, just have it cover my crack”. She looked down at me and said, “I suppose you don’t approve?” My only comment was “We are getting into hoochie-mamma territory”. Then she said that she wanted to be the hottest babe on the beach and wanted to ignite the passion if I knew what she meant. I thought with this dress, you might want to just stay in the hotel room and see what happens!

shorten   shorten-2

Do you remember the man’s coat I finished for a friend? Well, the sleeves were marked too short and it was brought back this week for an additional 1.75 inches to be added somehow. The solution was to make a cuff that was the same width at the pocket flap so it did not resemble a pirate’s coat with huge flipped back cuffs.

I first had to make a pattern that could double as a facing and patch. Here I used my favorite True-Grid fabric.cuff-pattern and when opened up it becomes the facing pattern:facing-pattern Then the pieces were cut from leftover wool and also a 2 inch strip of lining had to be attached so everything joined up. The only good thing was the cuff facing could be sewn down by machine and covered by the new flipped back cuff.facing-stitched The top edge of the cuff was understitched to keep it stiff and crisp and then hand tacked to the 4 sleeve seams before the buttons were re-attached.lining-stripnew-cuff  Ahhhhh now this costume can be worn and loved.

Meanwhile in the sewing room there are 4 wedding gowns and 6 bridesmaids dresses to finish…whew…never had such early brides before so I am hoping this is not really a glimpse of another huge volume season but I have a new little helper. Not the human kind but a slightly used machine from a sewing friend…an Elna 720 elna 720The only thing this baby needed was a newer adjustable knee lift so that has been ordered. It is a heavy metal machine that just makes the most gorgeous buttonholes and sounds so smooth without a recurring twerking bobbin.

Wishing you all much success with spring sewing and Jungle January sewing!

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39 Responses to Hems Up, Hems Down

  1. jrp53 says:

    I’ve sewn on Elnas my whole sewing life. You will love the professionalism of this machine and the ability to sew through just about anything you can throw at it. Good choice! I am constantly amazed at the things you have to repair or make up out of thin air.

  2. mrsmole says:

    Thanks, Jennifer. I was impressed with the stability and sound or lack of sound. It is so much like my janome 11000 but without the embroidery unit. I can’t wait for the new knee lift to get started! Making things up out of thin air sure can rack up the labor hours…thinking and tweaking and basting…OMG but the result is always worth it!

  3. Colleen says:

    Speaking of “racking up labor hours”….I am fairly new to the alteration business but not sewing. I am getting faster, but especially with these types of projects that create thinking, tweaking and basting do you charge for all the hours or by the job? Let me know if you have addressed this somewhere in your blog site. Thanks

  4. prttynpnk says:

    If after 7 years he doesn’t know what it looks like, gees! Really subtle in that ‘Showgirls the anniversary edition’ kind of way. I don’t know if I could even say ‘crack’ while wearing a wedding dress- isn’t that sacrilege?

  5. mrsmole says:

    She has a 6 year old to prove he knows what it looks like…ha ha Now she wants a return engagement to produce a sister or brother for the child. I thought you could do that at home and not involve airports and travel. Call me crazy!

    • Bunny says:

      You’re supposed to go on a second honeymoon to make another child? I think I missed that memo. I know, this kid will be special because of the place it was conceived, right? Yeah!

  6. Elle C says:

    Great save on the jacket, really well done.

    And the dress, well, what is there to say? I guess if your customer is satisfied, that is the important thing, right?

  7. June says:

    Have fun with your new machine!

  8. accordion3 says:

    What happens to the leftover fabric????

    I haven’t cleaned my dress either and our wedding was almost 20 years ago. I am unlikely to ever wear it again. So few occasions requiring a full length ball gown these days!

    I could hand wash it. I used cream superfine merino suit weight wool for the dress, then had it dyed the colour I wanted.

    • mrsmole says:

      I bag up the leftover fabric and hand it over when they come to collect their garment. She has enough to make something, anything, once she cleans the 7 year old beach sand out of the hem. Can you take the dress apart and use it for something more current once it is hand washed? What color was it dyed?

      • accordion3 says:

        I have light blue eyes, so had it dyed to match. Think of a blue slightly deeper than a pastel blue. My husband did the seed pearl beading on the wraparound stole/collar thingy. I’m not describing it well! It is a strapless princess style dress with a low collar that wrapped around my upper arms. So eight straight seams, one with a zip in it. One of the easiest things I’ve ever made! I’ll see if I can dig out a photo, scan & send it to you.

        I don’t really want to remodel it, I never really intended to. I didn’t stress or obsess over it too much as I knew I’d only wear it for 6 hours. I also didn’t have a train, or a veil. I’m a klutz and didn’t want to tempt fate. Plus it was a morning wedding so more relaxed.

        Every few years I get it out to see if it still fits… Sorry for the length of my reply, I got all sentimental for a moment.

    • mrsmole says:

      I’d love to see your pale blue wedding dress and the beaded stole! Please send the photos to surroundedbywhite@gmail.com!!!!

  9. Sewbussted says:

    Sometimes I wonder how you are able to keep a straight face. At least you have us as an outlet 😉

  10. mrsmole says:

    Remember Rhonda, I am on the floor pinning so it is easy to focus on their feet or crotch depending on the designated hemline…You guys are always on my mind…and as soon as she left I told Mr. Mole…”great blog material just left!”

  11. Carolyn says:

    Congratulations on the new machine! I’m sure you will put it to good use!!! And I agree with Rhonda, how do you keep a straight face when confronted with those situations!?!

  12. All I could do was laugh reading this….lol! Oh, how I miss my DBA days… NOT!!!
    Congrats on your new baby! !

  13. mrsmole says:

    Didn’t David’s Bridal have strange requests like this? You just wait, Alethia, one day some babe will ask you to do the same or maybe higher!!!! Hope your business is humming away very nicely and you are keeping your machines busy too!!!

  14. sewruth says:

    Let’s hope she has the legs for it! Fact is better than fiction in your sewing room……

  15. mrsmole says:

    It’s not her legs she is trying to promote…ha ha.

  16. Oh dear! Still it has probably raised a laugh all over blogland. I hope it has the desired effect for her but I agree – you could cut out the airport.
    Have fun with the new machine 🙂

  17. mrsmole says:

    Thank you, Kim…everyone should go see the darling willow chickens and your in progress for your waterproof jacket: http://themateriallady.wordpress.com/
    I never knew about waterproofing seams inside…well I have seen them but never knew how it was done.

  18. symondezyn says:

    Wow… just wow… I can never comprehend why any woman ever thinks it’s a good idea to expose the undercarriage in public – I just don’t see how that’s attractive (unless it’s your business to sell it of course, then I guess it’s equivalent to a shop front, basically LOL)

    Congrats on the new Elna!! I just bought a previously loved mechanical model myself (older and less fancy than yours, by the looks though) and gosh darn is it smooth – it runs like butter! My old machine sounds like an industrial meat grinder next to it LOL.

  19. mrsmole says:

    You are so funny, Amanda! Shop front indeed! As soon as the knee lift arrives it is full speed ahead! Your latest sweater is just so darling and fits so well…can I order one? symondezn.wordpress.com

  20. mrsmole says:

    Maybe I should ask this gal when she turns up for her shortened gown if she is willing to part with it after the anniversary trip. If she is expecting she won’t be wearing it again for a while…ha ha. Feeling like doing a bit of “window dressing?” I’d even clean it before sending it off to you!

  21. Bunny says:

    Just cover my crack? I’m speechless.

  22. mrsmole says:

    Some days I think I am living in the Twilight Zone! The client just called to say she had to cancel her trip to the island because her rabbit has an eye infection and she cannot even pick up her dress today but will come next week. She says she feels bad for making it a rush job and then cancelling the pick-up but her rabbit comes first and this is an emergency. You can’t make this stuff up!

    • Monique says:

      Well, at least there are Brownie points to be given for taking care of an animal, but it does feel wrong cheapening a dress like that. I suppose one’s own mirror can be very distorting. Not classy. Your new machine is, though, so enjoy!

  23. Elizabeth C says:

    Hi Mrs Mole: I needed a good laugh today. I’m glad I stopped by!

  24. mrsmole says:

    You’re welcome…I just call them as I see/sew them…some days are funnier than others.

  25. Pingback: Pride comes before a…. | corecouture

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