A bride came in with a dress she ordered from NY from David’s Bridal without trying it on. Vera Wang produced this little honey complete with her signature over-sized organza roses. Like so many brides, the first time they see themselves in the big mirror in the sewing room, they sort of growl and moan under their breath and start pulling at the edges of the dress. This poor bride was over 6 ft tall and stunning but the bodice of the dress was too small.
The shoulder straps needed to be let out to the very edge of the seams to gain an inch of length and the side seams had to be let out 2 inches each side so she could breathe and the zipper would eventually close. The side seams at the hips needed to be taken in for some better shaping. All this could be done but she revealed that she had visited another sewing center in town and they told her, “The dress fits fine, all you need to do is go to the gym.” Imagine! Not only does that send a bad message to the bride but it also says, “we really don’t want to be bothered”.
The one thing that surprised me about this dress was the fact that the bride did not want to see the gigantic roses or the hip ruffles. Now from the stock photos..that’s pretty much what this dress has going for it but again the alteration can be done…it’s just labor after all.
Let’s see what had to be done: Each of the 2 roses sections had to be un-tacked and gathered up tighter and narrower and re-attached (hand-tacked) with the vertical ruffles flipped over them concealing their fluffiness.
A 3 point tulle bustle was made to get all that supporting layer(s) off the ground before deciding on the ruffled organza layers.
Here we are with a possible 3 point bustle…where are the buttons going to go in all this meringue? How can any bridesmaid find the loops?
With all the side seams and shoulder seams completed and linings re-sewn the bride brings in a head band with elastic bands and some ribbon to make a belt.
She thinks this will draw the eye away from her hip ruffles and roses. I hand sew all the beaded edges to the satin ribbon and then tack the belt to the dress at about 8 different places (seams). The belt being straight and the body being curved we had to dip the back of the satin lower but it followed the ruching and worked out OK.
After everything was done we ended up with larger pearl buttons for the bustle (to carry the extreme weight of the fabrics) and narrow satin ribbons tied to each loop in case the bridesmaids are a little tipsy.
Roses are minimized and the bride can breathe…my job here is done!
Ten days till Christmas and there are still brides to finish…where are those elves?