Reading comments from other seamstresses and hobby sewers about their encounters with clients and family members can really brighten my day. My sewing sister, Sharon on the East coast shared this flashback recently:
Had a customer back during the ‘Dry Cleaning Center’ days that had a pair of ugly butterscotch pants that were too small, even after letting out the back as much as possible, and insisted that I add a wedge of fabric up the butt to make them fit. I had no scrap of fabric near that color and he refused to go shopping at the fabric stores (at that time we had more than just JoAnn’s). My boss persuaded me to do as the customer wanted and use the closest colored remnant I had in my bin, but to be sure the customer initialed the ticket, indicating he was aware the fabric would not match. The customer swore to me he would always wear a sweater or jacket with the winter weight pants and no one would ever notice, much less know I was the one that altered the pants.
Fast forward 15 years …. I had opened my own shop and stopped at the grocery store one morning to pick up a few essentials. There, right before my eyes, was that little old man toddling through vegetable produce section, wearing those damned butterscotch pants with the khaki wedge up his ass !!! Good grief !!!
This summer. Sara, a bride-to-be in the UK asked me for help with how to keep layers of tulle together at the hem. I told her that many dresses have French thread tacks between each layer to keep them from “wandering off”. Her stunning photos and explanation of her process below:
The skirt is a full circle skirt with extension at the back to create a train. I cut it in a lining layer, white base layer and then five layers of tulle, white except for a single blue layer 2nd from the top. This blue layer sandwiched in the middle gave a soft glow of colour to the skirt and the change in volume of fabric from waist to hem, characteristic of a circle skirt, concentrated the colour slightly at the lower hem for a very, very subtle graduation. The lace motifs around the waist and hip were clipped from embroidered tulle and hand stitched in place to emphasise the narrowest part of the skirt. This lace started life a creamy champagne colour and was hand dyed to match the pale silver blue of the silk ribbon used for the waistband. A single bustle point was used to bring the train up to a reinforced fixation point at the base of the concealed zip. The layers of the skirt tended to slip over each other and so were held softly together with French tacks.
The major benefit to constructing this as a circle skirt was simplicity! But I had already fallen in love with the soft, whimsical look that this shape of skirt gives, and I found narrower dresses that I had tried made me walk in a strange way… so the final shape served me well too! All those layers do create a lot of weight, so the waistband was quite a serious construction of several layers, topped for effect with a soft silk ribbon.
What a wonderful skirt and certainly a family heirloom to pass down when the time comes. The blue undertones really make it a custom garment! Many thanks to her for sharing the finished skirt!
This final week of 2017 brings me to pause and be thankful for all the hopeful brides who entered my sewing room and left happy to start their new lives on a new path. When Mr Mole tells me that I have to think back over all the years I have worked on wedding gowns and how I have made a real difference in the bride’s special day…I can feel proud that they chose me. Being a seamstress doesn’t always impress people or make young people want to go into such a profession but your impact is huge without knowing it. Sewing for someone else or even in those stolen moments sewing for yourself shouts out, “I care!”
Thank you for following me along on this journey…we all learn together. Happy New Year!