Since my last post, things went downhill quickly health-wise. On the Sunday morning, I ended up in the Urgent Care Center/Emergency unable to take a deep breath and an unending tight cough and fever.
Thankfully, I was able to be seen and given a prescription for antibiotics, an inhaler and narcotic cough medicine just like the last time this happened 18 months ago. Then I cancelled all my bridal appointments for the next week and did nothing but rest and drink fluids. You know you are really sick when you have to call brides to tell them that their February wedding plans have been delayed a week when time is tight as it is!
So, now that all I had left is a barking seal sounding cough, I had to resume working on this dress. The bride is planning on a wedding in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico but never thought about packing this dress in a garment bag or any sort of luggage.
Even though this dress was custom ordered, the length was 2.5 inches too long with all the layers from lace embroidered hem and all 9 layers, yes 9, beneath it. Half of the layers had 2 inch wide horsehair braid attached just to keep the hem of this dress poofy enough so lots of labor running all those edges through the machine.
Normally, you know I like to shorten lace hems from the bottom by cutting/removing the border/motifs and moving them up to the correct level but this was too much for me. The lace was way to tall and way too wide to deal with so I broke down and opened the waist seam to slide the lace layer up 2.5 inches. Now, lots of you write to me privately to tell me that I am doing the lace hems all wrong and should be opening the waist seams and that sounds really nice but the issue is always…what do you do with the top circumference when you slide everything up on an A-line skirt as it gets wider? Do you want to open up and re-do the French side seams…not me. And how smooth a transition can you make reducing 12 extra inches at a waist down to the hips with French seams?
You have seen than many of the dresses I deal with need at least 6 inches of length removed and by the time that amount is raised up at the waist, you have at least another 12 inches of excess fabric to deal with.
This time the excess was only 4 inches so the bride said that she would not mind having small tucks. I also suggested that we replace the 1/2 inch wide white grosgrain belt with a 7/8 inch wide one in a darker shade to make a real feature of her waist.
The new wider grosgrain ribbon belt hand stitched top and bottom:
Besides the hem, the bodice needed to be taken in at least an inch through the zipper.
We opted for a 3 point bustle (just pinned in the photo) and no, the bride will not be wearing a white bra for her ceremony. Imagine this heavy fluffy dress crammed into a garment bag and the look on the flight attendant’s face as she walks into the plane…brides don’t always match the size of their dress with the destination venue!
Besides phone calls from brides, I also get other calls needing help. Yesterday, a man called to tell me that he has moved to our little rural valley from Hawaii (why would anyone do that?) and he makes the best Panama hats in the world…ok…quite the opening line isn’t it? Then he said, “I saw your reviews online and I decided that you were MY GIRL“. Now for those who know and love me this is just not the phrase I ever want to hear. But he carried on to tell me that he wants someone with skill and precision to sew sweat bands and ribbon trim on his hats. I referred him to a friend of mine who MAY be interested and said that he will have to call her to see if she has the time. His response was, “She had better have the time or I am out of business!” Is this another case of poor planning…moving to a location with no knowledge of the services and resources available?
Wishing you all a healthy week and lots of progress on your sewing projects!