Do you all remember the photo of the wedding dress/tunic that a bride sent to me telling me that she thought the bust area might be tight?
Well, when the dress and bride arrived and she tried it on the zipper could not zip up all the way and all you could see was her “bunnies in the hutch” trying to make a run for it. The scalloped lace hem barely covered her butt cheeks and she could not sit down.
I told her that there was really nothing I could do for her as there was too little dress for her body…a nice way to say she resembled a sausage. She was bragging that she could spend so little on a dress for her wedding and she was not being stupid like all her other friends who had bought proper wedding gowns…not her…no siree… she was the smartest of them all. That’s when I thought I would never hear from her again. Two months go by….
BUT…3 days ago she sent a message through Facebook asking for an appointment to see her latest purchase.
Here is the model wearing this nightgown/no boning dress:
I stupidly agreed and this is what showed up:
Some of the obvious needs are letting out her side seams, shortening her straps, and her request of making a horizontal tuck across her tummy to raise the scalloped lace hem 3 inches. The bust area came with triangular pads which were positioned too high for her bust thus giving a 4-boob look. She is holding ribbon at her waist so we can hide the tuck. You can see the bust cup peeking over the top of the bodice.
These odd bust cups will be dropped 2 inches:
To shorten the straps I open the lining side seams and reach inside and pull out the end of the straps. What a joke to find that the end of the strap had only a 1/4 inch in the seam. The stitching is released and the strap is pulled 1.25 inches out and re-stitched. I did not trim off the strap for the next seamstress.
The bride wanted me to give her a real shapely butt so she asked for pleats…sure, let’s toss in 3 of those just above where the lace bustle point will go. Hiking the lace up will require shortening the lining hems 2 inches. The 2 layers of knit lining will have their own bustle button under the lace one.
The lining is a double layer of thick polyester knit and it is very heavy so I am adding a strip of grosgrain ribbon to the tail end of the zipper which will serve as some support for the clear lining bustle button.
Now for the real challenge or hiking up only the lace layer 3 inches to shorten the hem. The pins mark the waist level and the lower red thread line will be brought up to meet the upper thread and all covered with ribbon…a fine mess and not too professional. Sometimes we have to bite our tongue and just do whatever the bride wants even though it is not the best way of doing things.
Unfortunately, the lace layer is attached to the side seams at the waist and so something has to be altered to allow some sort of gradual transition to the back zipper. Fingers crossed that ribbon will hide lumps and bumps from seam.
To make the ribbon lie flat it will need a dart at the side seams:
The bride decided she needed some boobage coverage using the scalloped edge of the additional lace she had ordered. That will be added and stitched by hand.
The extra yard of lace was ordered ($150) to make sleeves. Here the lace is just pinned into place roughly shorter in the front and longer in the back.
The right sleeve is used as a pattern to cut the mirror image left sleeve. You can see how lace with the eyelash edging comes attached to a woven selvedge that will be trimmed away.
Here’s a weird thing I found inside on the lining…a huge white area. Could this have been cleaned for some reason? Was this a second-hand dress?
Here is another weird thing, the side seams on one side were stitched almost 2 inches from the edge so I am thinking, yes, indeed this dress has been altered before but the bride claims she ordered it new.
The new sleeves have been attached to the thin straps by hand:
The original bust cups were angled and not meant to be used that way and as a result, there were creases no matter how low I sewed them. I managed to get a rush order of tear drop bust cups from Wawak in DD/E size and these will give some support although the dress has none. Another reason why I think this dress was either a sample or worn before was the fact that these bust cups are supposed to be sewn in horizontal not vertical.
Boobs in place, sleeves attached, lace modesty neckline and the dress is ready to go out the door…7 days to create a custom dress!!!
Just so thankful that most brides give me more than 7 days to make magic!
Yesterday was Earth Day and Mr. Mole and I celebrated by working in the garden for 3 hours weeding and transplanting veggies and planning out where the new baby plants will go when the frost subsides. Next time I will bring some of the worms from the garage wormery to introduce into the raised beds along with new chicken manure to refresh and enrich the soil.
After a crazy bridal week and lots of squatting and tugging outdoors, we rewarded ourselves with the first margarita of the year and watched the birds flirting.