This dress is Mon Cheri Enchanting.
It was bought at a new local salon with no tags whatsoever inside which is bizarre! There were no labels as to fabric content or size or country of origin…all removed for some reason.
With little time to spare with a wedding booked just a month away, the bride bought this dress off the rack and the salesgirl told her that a seamstress would have no trouble making it fit…how nice!
So, we know it has fitting issues. When asked what she planned on doing with the train…she replied, “Oh, I don’t know”. The wedding will be in Las Vegas so dragging that train around all night was not an option so bustling up the satin/lining layer at one point gets it off the floor.
At least the satin layer can be bustled with just one point…whew!
All that lovely lace can be managed with a 5 point bustle and you can see that I need to take in her side seams from armhole to knees 2.5 inches on each side for a total of 5 inches. We avoid messing with all those buttons up the sheer back with loops and lower skirt zipper.
It will mean taking in the embroidered tulle layer and the satin layer and the lining layer all separately. Six seams to baste before the next try-on. Did I mention that the lace hem also need to be shortened by 7 inches too?
The lace is gorgeous and you can see the actual pattern it forms with the huge godet/wedge at center back.
Let’s start with the underarm junction where all the pieces come together with added boning…take a deep breath and release all the stitches…go get a Diet Pepsi.
Partway through you can see all the triangular seaming and layers…what next?
Time to remove the boning to baste the seams tighter:
Removing understitching and basting the red thread basting line for the new hem of satin and lining together. Thankfully not all hems are done this way.
White thread basting of lace layer along the red thread marking:
This top edge of the bodice gets the twill tape trick to snug it up. Here are the steps:
Pin the length from side seam to center front:
Move the center pin over one inch and ease everything into the tape, re-pin.
At this point I realized that one problem was the lining was too wide so it needed a minor vertical tuck to flatten out properly and reduce bulk. Can you do that? Yes, as it will not show on the outside.
Whip stitch the top edge of the twill tape down:
Then attach the lower edge, snugging up as you go along:
Do the left side the same way as the right:
Center front is flat and smooth:
Checking the basted side seam under the lace shows that this poor dress has been tried on by many people and become fuzzy:
The satin hem is fuzzy too:
Side seams basted by hand in red and basted tighter again with green threads.
Tulle/lace layer taken in and to be trimmed:
Outside side seams before tacking the lace motifs down:
Once the side seams are done, we have to put that boning back on but it won’t be attached as the original. I covered the boning with seam binding and hand sewed it higher up for support.
On the outside of the left side everything is flat and nice and snug.
The right side looks good and no one will know all what went on to make it fit right.
The front with the shoulders also taken up 2 inches each side. The new lace hem and satin/lining hem finished too. So glad I am not the one to do up all those buttons!
The back with the 5 point bustle for running around casinos. And that is what had to be done to make this sample dress fit properly…how many labor hours? At least 8 hours, so this dress was no bargain in the end.
Before I leave you, here is a photo of hungry winter birds in our yard gathering at the suet feeder. No snow has arrived in the valley yet this winter but these little critters are stocking up their fat reserves.
Happy Sewing Everyone! For those on the East Coast of the US…bundle up or stay inside! Who needs to be out in such freezing weather!