What’s a seamstress to do when the client arrives crying with a dress cut off too short? The story involves a bridal salon who swears they took the correct measurements before ordering the custom made Casablanca gown.
Once the gown arrives, it is not right, lace layer is 3 inches too short, satin /lining layer is 3 inches too short and no one has a clue as to what can be done. The salon asks another local seamstress to add “something” to the lining. The “something” is a double layer of thick satin edging that should be used for a home dec project or on curtain tie backs or valance boxes. But here it is attached to the thin lining…attached …a better word would be “bolted” as it has been sewn with thick machine-made tacks every 1/2 or closer.
So now, even with this 5 inch wide cardboard-like edging, the delicate lace layer is still 3 inches shorter all around the hem. What can I add to the lace layer to cover the thick edging without looking like what I call, “Grandma had her way with your dress”?
Enter…ivory tulle from JoAnn’s…I offer to make a strip 3 1/2 inches wide, use my ruffler/pleater attachment to make it look a step up from just gathers and attach it.
The crying bride and her mother agreed to this solution along with numerous other alterations to the upper part of the dress. The deep back “V” has already been lowered further down (by someone else) than the original position to accommodate a huge tattoo which I will color out in the photos. In making the “V” lower, the 2 back edges now fan out and are very loose/gaping open…anyone else know that removing fabric causes the remaining fabric to flare away from the body? How do you get fabric that is not there to hug the body? My job is to make the 2 edges cling to each other after someone else deepened it.
The bride tells me that “nobody TOLD me that the opening would be wider”. So, I offer to make a double layer tulle triangular panel to attach, one side sewn on, the other with snaps to hold the edges together without covering up the tattoo.
Also the straps are are too wide for the bride so I remove some of the twirly bits of lace to narrow them. What else? How about adding thick push up bra pads…anything else? Well, the back edges also need some hand made darts in the lace to make it curve into the body…and…yes, we need a bustle in the lace and lining…5 points in the lace and one in the satin lining will do nicely.
Oh, and can you make the side seams even tighter all the way down to my thighs? Sure thing and since each layer is seamed separately, it will be simple…not! Let’s not even think about what bulk will be in those lace seams. Only 7 hours of labor and then some will make this dress wearable and the main directive/
command from the bride after all this pinning and messing is: “Make sure none of my cowboy boots show at all UNLESS I am walking.”
Let’s attach the strip (double layer) to the hem of the lace, topstitch the seam after flipping it up.
I’m hoping she likes it, as it adds a custom romantic feel and covers the boots. Bustled up, it creates quite a nice silhouette. Tattooed back is painted over and tulle panel is in place.
During all the fittings, the bride stood frozen/
mesmerized by her own reflection in the mirror until her mother broke the silent admiring gaze with, “Baby girl, speak up, baby girl, tell the nice lady what you want”.
At this point I just wanted to ask her what my mind was thinking…“in 3 weeks you will be someone’s wife and dirty underwear washer/toilet scrubber and do you even know how to cook an egg?”…baby girl
This week my clients have been taking these beauties home with them, still 108 F degrees during the day and 78 at night…so glad I work inside! Stay cool everyone!