She ordered her custom made dress 6 months ago. She wrote and asked me first if she should add an extended train to the totally tulle skirt…I said no, as it could not be bustled up for dancing…she ordered it anyway and didn’t tell her mother.
The appointment was confirmed, she and her mother arrived on time after rushing over to the bridal salon for the late but promised wedding gown of her dreams. Never thinking to open the garment bag before paying for the dress was the first mistake.
I welcomed them into the sewing room and unzipped the garment bag…the bride covered her mouth and shrieked, “That’s not my dress” and the tears started to flow. I sat her down, gave her a glass of water and discovered that the dress was meant to be ivory but had been confused with blush and now we have a very tan/pinkish dress with a very long extended train on our hands. The new garment bag was so full the zipper was already broken.
She tried it on anyway and we got all of it back into the garment bag for her to return to the salon to try to make things right. The salon owner refused to own any responsibility and would not do anything to remedy the situation. The next day, the bride called to tell me the bad news but asked if she could return and work with me to make the dress work. She said, “I own it and I’m going to make sure everyone at the wedding knows that I OWN it.”
The dress will need to be shortened in front from side seam to side seam and something done with that train. Because the train was lengthened in the factory, to control it the hem of the train had been tacked to the lining every 4 inches to look like a balloon shade. This would not allow me to make a proper bustle so I had to remove the tacks all around the entire train by hand.
The center back zipper area flared away from her back just below the waist as it had not been cut on the straight of grain. To bring it back to being flat, I pinned a huge chunk, you can see the pins:
The first thing to do was take in the center back zipper (remove the zipper) area below the waist as it flared away from the body. Later, I would discover that it would have to be re-attached completely by hand as none of this would fit into the sewing machine. There were 2 rows of pearls on the cap sleeves so they had to be removed and the sleeve narrowed (removing the cap) so that a strip of lace edging could be attached. The shoulder seams had to be taken up 1.5 inches as well.
The inside corset had to be taken in twice as the bride started losing weight which meant the skirt lining also had to be removed and taken in and re-attached.
Another issue was the front neckline with lace edging and the bride wanted small darts made to keep that edge flat.
Now that the top had been fitted we move unto the 8 foot train. What will it take to get all that fabric up off the floor for dancing in cowboy boots?
One Saturday morning, the mother came along, and I used her to help me decide on all the bustle points. We both worked pinning up and down for 3 hours. Nothing pleased the bride…nothing. She actually wanted all that fabric to be perfectly straight across the bottom and the satin bustled with the lace as one unit. This would never work as in most dresses the lace layer is 3-6 inches longer for a nice effect. I sent them home and got to work on making all of this work.
How about 11 bustle points for the lining???
and how about 7 bustle points for the 2 layers of tulle??? All seven points are hidden up under all that bling hanging down from the waist. The bride was insistent that no one could see her satin bustle buttons. You can’t see the small clear buttons or the loops and the tulle folds nicely into flat triangles without adding too much bulk…well, we can only hope for the best with 8 feet of fluff to start with!
At one point during all this pinning, the frustrated, overheated mother asked the bride, “Remind me again why you needed such a long train?” and her answer was, “because I want one”. When the mother suggested trimming the tulle shorter to have a more manageable length the answer was “NO”.
In the end, it was a relief to have it all done and just thinking about all those points being attached the day of the wedding made me smile.
Wishing all of you easy breezy summer sewing and time to reflect on your blessings.