Having a sewing blog enables you to connect with the nicest people who don’t have time to blog because they sew full-time for others. For the past year, I have been sharing stories with an East Coast Sewing Sister named Sharon who told me this story and I could only imagine what it was like in person:
It had been another day filled with marathon sewing, people coming in 5 minutes before I was finished with their order, receiving annoying phone calls, answering stupid questions, tending to numerous drop-ins for fitting, and dealing with people pleading to get their special shit done in record time. An hour before closing, a rather stout woman comes in (I’m estimating about 200 lbs.) approximately our age, 60’s, with a plastic grocery bag and announces she has a gown to wear to her daughter’s wedding (in a week of course), and she was supposed to lose 15 lbs. but first she broke her foot and gained weight and then she broke her rib and gained more weight.
Let’s stop here for a moment………
She must live one hell of a life to have 2 separate incidences where she breaks first a foot and then a rib !! ??
Then she announces that the dress is too small and she tried fixing it herself (Oh sweet Jesus, why oh why do they try to help us?)
Out of the plastic bag she pulls a battleship gray, cheap, flimsy, shiny, polyester, fresh from China, racer back “gown”.
The pix I am sending is the closest thing I could find on-line to show you what I was dealing with.
When you open the link, disregard the front and focus on the back of the dress please. And trust me, this old broad looks nothing at all like the model in the pix !!!!
The straps that meet in the back were wider and self pleating, then sewn into a rhinestone encrusted ring.
However, because it was too tight, she felt the need to cut the straps that start at the side seams (boobs) at the point that they were sewn into the ring. But wait, she didn’t stop there. She had also cut off (scissor happy woman) the white twill tape loops whose original purpose were to help keep the gown stay onto the hanger, which she did not have because this whole mess had been jammed into that plastic grocery bag. She had tied one end to the now dangling strap that originated from the side of the boobs with the white twill tape and the other end of the white twill tape was tied to the ring, holding the entire mess in a somewhat original racer back fashion.
……“Can’t you just put something where the white string is?”……..
I swear to you, my first thought was, how the hell am I going to get away with taking a photo of this to send to Mrs Mole?
Deer in the headlights moment ……………..
Ahh……..give me a minute …… maybe you should try it on and then perhaps I can see what I can do ……..
Did you bring proper undergarments with you?
As soon as that came out of my mouth I knew that there were no undergarments on the planet that could possibly save this catastrophe, forgive me, but I was in shock.
Her response was “No, what I have on is fine”, and into the dressing room she went.
At this point I was already rubbing my temples.
When she came back out sporting this little honey of a dress and turned around, it was even worse than I had imagined.
She had on a ragged, nasty old flesh tone bra and the straps of the dress that started at the sides and now tied to the ring, were gaping at the side seam/zipper area, and in the back, the top of the waist was all twisted weird and when she put on the dress, she hadn’t pulled the lining down over her fat ass so it was now poking from the top of the waist and out the sides. And of course there was fat back bulging and attempting to escape at every open area.
At the front of the gown, the fabric covering the cups is also self pleating. In my world the cup should caress the entire breast, but the bottom of these cups were hitting her right about nipple height and the tits were literally spilling out over the top. She would stuff in the right one and then the left one would pop out. As soon as she had that one under control, the right one would flop out again. Thank God for that ratty old bra !!
Miss, I have no idea what I would use in place of your white string.
“Can’t you just cut some off the bottom of the dress and use that? I don’t mind if it’s a little shorter”
Miss, only if you want the dress up above your knees and even then, I don’t think I have the powers to save this.
“Oh darn, and I really loved this dress !” “Where am I going to find another dress that I like this much, that will fit, in time for the wedding?”
At that moment I was thinking ….. how much tequila is in that bottle at home?
Meanwhile, a long time gentleman customer had come in and was in the other fitting room trying on pants for me to pin. I was desperately trying to hold it together, so not to make an ass of myself in front of him. But, like most men, he was totally oblivious!
Then from behind curtain number 1, I hear her voice asking me if I know where to get a machine that does nothing except sew. Her question: “Is there a machine that doesn’t do anything but sew?”
……long silence on my part…….
All that poured out of my mouth was,”I don’t know how to answer that!! I don’t know how to answer that!!”
Then she came back with ( I assume to further explain herself ) : “One that you don’t have to worry about the thing down on the bottom or all the stuff on top, one you just push a button for the color and go?”
That’s when I lost control and think I peed a little.
I gotta get me one of them contraptions !!!!
I’ve consumed 2 extra large margaritas and I think it would be best to go lie down now !
So dear readers, you have another insight into the wonderful world of running an alteration business…East coast, West coast…makes no difference.
Sharon will read any comments you want to share after you stop shaking your head.
Next time more ridiculous bride stories will be coming, happy sewing everyone!