When one seamstress friend is ill in town, we ask another to help out. A friend that has her own shop called to say I would be hearing from a bride as she could not work due to an upcoming surgery. I said I would help but I needed time to fit her in.
The first week of October the bride called to tell me she was losing weight but needed a corset back for her size 8 dress. She also needed a hem and bustle but wanted the first seamstress, my friend, to do that work. It really did not matter to me if she wanted to split up the work, so I agreed. The wedding was to be in November, so we were planning just in the nick of time. Then, I never heard from her again…no appointment arranged, nothing.
She then called back the second week of Nov. to make an appointment. She said she would be bringing her girlfriend who has a wild toddler and she would also be bringing her own wild toddler to be in the room. That’s when I said, “AH NO, no children are allowed”. She said her boy could climb over anything, like this would make me allow her to bring him? I said I lived in a cul-de-sac and the friend could run the kids around there but not come in.
Then 30 minutes before showing up for the appointment, she called to say that one of her kids was sick and she was not able to come. We rescheduled for the end of the week. She was 45 minutes late blaming someone else for that. At this point Mr. Mole, the voice of reason, said I should have told her NO. But it was too late.
Now, the bride falls into the emergency category, the second this month with one more to come to squeeze in with the booked brides.
It is one of the heaviest dresses I have ever worked on with the train weighing at least 10 pounds all by itself…nothing like that for a simple bustle.
Here is the dress on my client:
Can you see a corset coming? I know lots of you HATE them but how does one bridge the 7 inch wide and 16 inch long gap? Suggestions?
Here is the back story…the size 8 dress was bought many years ago when she fit into it…that was 45 pounds ago. In the meantime, she has had two children and cervical cancer. Getting past that, she really wants a white wedding and thinks that planning it 3 weeks in advance should be plenty of time. She says she does best work with a looming deadline. I said “I do not”.
OK, so I get the job of making the corset and as my seamstress friend is still not up to speed having had wrist surgery, I have to do the bustle too and we skip the hem to save money. Luckily, the bustle will work with one giant button on her butt and one giant double loop to hike all those ruffles up. After the ceremony, an old denim shirt will worn over it.
Just as a refresher…how I make the loops…pinning, stitching, zigzagging, fold under, stitch again.
Making the modesty panel I line the satin with cotton drill fabric used for work-wear pockets from Wawak. This absorbs sweat and beefs up the satin without interfacing.
Mark on the drill where the boning goes on the top edge and middle. Stitch and flip to the right side, insert boning and press and stitch all around leaving the bottom open, pink across.
Pin and hand baste loops in place, machine stitch and hand sew the lining to the grosgrain ribbon.
Pin the left side to the dress and it is ready to be sewn. Right side will have a big snap.
After steaming all the ruffles you get an idea of what has to be bustled up just to be able to walk.
One point bustle is in place:
The bride wanted a huge fancy button for her bustle so she picked this jeweled one. I used a double loop of this pre-made crochet thread from Wawak.
Keeping my fingers crossed that everything holds for her special day and the kids don’t cause too much trouble and the rain/snow stays away as she is having this outdoors at a picnic site and dragging that very long dress through tall grass, dead leaves and weeds and twigs.
Yes, the blue grosgrain ribbon will be replaced with white.
Wishing all my US readers a good week before Thanksgiving. May your bird be tender and your dressing moist!