When I tell Mr. Mole that one of the advantages of being an introvert allows you to have very deep thoughts and an inner dialog with yourself, he asks me what I have learned?
One thing since early childhood, I have believed that every person that crosses/
disturbs your path actually teaches you something. So, when the phone call came in, I knew there would be a blog post coming my way. The voice was direct/ insistent and commanding/ bossy in her wants and needs for her dress alterations.
She also wrote a check in advance for the alterations which I never have accepted before from any client. I found out along the way that by paying me some money up front, she now had control of how many fittings, the frequency of each fitting she could have and how long they would last.
Here is what the dress started out as Wtoo Vesta:
and this is what we started with:
First thing to do was pin out one inch (2 inch total) on each bodice side seam and down 12 inches into the skirt. Each of the 3 layers, lace,tulle and satin had to be sewn separately. Then the front waistline seam was taken up 5/8 inch (total 1.25 inches). The center front V was brought together closer and the back raglan yoke on the sleeve was also taken in 1/2 inch (1 inch total).. After basting all that and trying it on, the bride wanted more taken in as she decided not to wear a bra. So, I pinned out more and ended up with a total of 3 inches taken out of each side for a total of 6 inches in the bodice.
Even with these extra alterations she was not happy as there was so little support in the bodice without a bra so I looked inside and instead of seeing real bust cups…all that was holding her boobs up was a foam structure with some boning below:
So, then as she kept grabbing at the side seams and complaining that there was too much fabric as I explained I could not take any more out of the side seams, I gave in and offered to just run a dart through all the layers and lining at once to grab even more out of the bust.
As you can see this dress had the top edge lace layers sandwiched between the satin and the lining so it showed up/stood up above the solid layers but this dart goes through all of that in one seam and creates a lump but we had run out of options and no one would know what had been done to the dress at this point except us. Once the dart is stitched, it is flipped forward and whip stitched flat. Maybe all those layers will act as a strip of boning too…one can only hope!
Let’s total up what was taken out the bodice side seams shall we?
6 plus 6 inches…delightful, nothing like taking in a bodice 12 inches…can I say…”This ain’t your dress”? We made a soft unstructured bodice into something that could finally contain her ample bosom without her bothering to wear a bra of any sort.
What’s left to do? First, attach the lining waist seam to the bodice waist seam so it will lie flat and not droop on its own
and make a one point bustle, add some thread belt loops so she can wear a belt/sash of her choice. This was an initial photo and I ended up raising the waist from the front all the way to the center back dart to get rid of the drag lines.
Another thing I learned about having the client in charge, she could call and say, “I am distressed, I am worried, I have to have another try-on to make sure we are going in the right direction”. The fact that I was not worried at all seemed irrelevant…what she really wanted/
needed to do was bring yet more various styles of shoes to wear and test out and bring head pieces and jewelry to pose with in the mirror. This was another case of a bride not bringing her posse with her (thank goodness) but needing more “mirror time” and photos.
It also proves the point that if your body needs boning and structure, don’t buy a soft flowy nightgown type and expect it to do all you need to look perfect…nightgowns don’t do that…they expect you have the perfect shape to start with.
Before I leave you, recently I asked another seamstress if she even has to do “resentment sewing” for clients who just rub her the wrong way/
treat her like a servant. Also asked my chiropractor this question and while both answered, “YES”, it just seems such a negative way to provide a service that we deal with this so often. All we ask is for a little respect for the time and effort that is required to provide what is needed…some days that is a bridge too far for customers.
Happy summer sewing everyone!