Some of you spotted the blue dress in the collection hanging up. OK…it is unusual, but we have the same problems we do with all gowns from Chinese websites…it just doesn’t/
will never fit. Here it is on a model: Blue wedding dress
It made me laugh when the bride said she could only find this gown in 2 places in the whole wide world…one was Paris, as in France, and the other some website in Canada.
So, since it has been her fantasy dream dress her whole life, she ordered one, from Canada, that had no resemblance to her size. Before the first fitting, I was told over the phone all she wanted was to chop off the train and straps. Seemed simple enough and since I am booked through November, I agreed to see her and her small alterations.
I left her alone in the room to get into the dress and always offer to do up zippers for the girls if they need help…well, she got the zipper up but the entire dress was hung up on her hips and butt…no amount of pulling and grunting would bring that dress down to the floor level…now what?
Sure, I can cut off the straps, but re-positioning them would work well and look more modern…let’s try that. Yes, cutting off the train will work but we have no idea how much to cut off with the hem dangling a foot or more off the floor…OK, let’s pretend shall we? I put some pins in the hem and just shake my head and explain that what really has to happen first is to open all the side seams of the satin and lining and hope to Hell that they left something in there for us. Fingers crossed!
The hems are the traditional crappy cheapy cheapy polyester that uses colors that don’t match and like to cling with industrial strength static. It involves opening the lining side seams and pulling out everything and running basting rows all around for the next try-on.
The front straps are removed and slid towards the armholes. She wants droopy hanging straps…like looking all romantic and coy…you know that look…temptress and virgin at the same time. We can do that.
Then I get to the removal of all the invisible nylon threads that were left from the factory lace attaching…I spent one whole evening cutting and stacking this stuff into a pile.
Besides letting out as many seams as I could, I did have to take in 2 front lace princess seams from the hips to the hem by 4 inches (8 inches total) for each. She could not have any flare.
After everything is basted we can slide the dress down over her hips to the correct position and see what we have:
Straps are now almost in her armpit. A 5 point bustle will work out OK.
You can see the holes in the lining that were caused by the dress being too tight when tried on. The new stitching line is at the very fraying edge.
Then that train had to be marked with thread basting and pins before it was machine stitched and trimmed off. You can see how the familiar hem seaming is done by cutting the lining and fabric the same length and then slipping the lining 1/2 inch down to pull the fabric to the inside. Only one problem, the lining is over an inch too narrow to lie flat so I have to take in the satin fabric to avoid puckers. Could I have left it and said…”the lace will cover it”…sure…but it is not my style.
Another funny thing about this outfit was the fact that the bride had a pair of simple white pump shoes and did not want to leave them at her house for fear that the groom would see them. So I stored them. Once the dress was done and steamed and looking the best it could, she just rolled the dress up into a tiny tight ball and stuffed it into a shopping bag along with the shoes. So much for the Cinderella effect.
So some of you might be thinking…isn’t the wedding season over yet? OH NO…brides are booked through November so there is no slowing down yet. The venues change, more Hawaiian and Vegas weddings in the fall but still the same issues and drama.
The season looks to be filled with very large dresses, in volume and size that will need to be cut down and fitted with a few ugly alterations done elsewhere that are re-done in my sewing room. And a new jacket for Nancy is in the works…hooray!
Happy sewing everyone and thank you for all your questions and challenges in private emails!