When I get a call from a bride who says, “I can’t make up my mind to choose one of 3 wedding dresses I have ordered”…I just shake my head. Instead of going to a bricks and mortar store/salon brides opt to just click on Amazon bridal gowns knowing that they can return all or part of the collection with no strings attached.
I agreed to see the dresses and this time it was easy…like Goldilocks, one was toooo small, another was toooo large , and this one was just right:
After the try-on, I examined the inside of the dress she had settled on and it sure did look to me like it had been worn, altered, and returned to Amazon for resale. I told the bride this fact and she returned it, and ordered it again, this time in better shape.
It is hard to see all the horizontal, vertical and diagonal seams online. Also you cannot see or feel the cotton/silk fabric which has no sheen or drape…it might as well be heavy duck cloth. The fact that I can barely get a hand needle through this fabric for basting is a real pain!
The non-wedding will be in Florida on a beach…non-wedding? Yes, it has been explained to me that the couple will fly first class across the country, rent a fancy convertible sports car and glide along the coast until they find a perfect spot, get out of the car and then say a few word and get their photographer to film all this activity as they romp through the waves and seaweed. (Please don’t tell your seamstress this!)
Then, the bride has found a company in NYC that will dye the dress to be worn later. Not sure how the salt water will disrupt that procedure remembering that the fabric is half cotton-half silk.
I offered to make a 3 point bustle to help with the train:
The hem is pinned up and the bustle keeps the train off the floor/sand…but NO.
Having a proper bustle in the sand is just no fun so let’s attach a loop for the bride to carry and fly around for those photos. Let’s pin out the butt area to make it tight…great…can you see how the stiff fabric really does not want to co-operate? Tulle layer will be trimmed to floor length after having a 4 inch horizontal tuck in the lining/petticoat layer.
The front view with a piece of ribbon pinned on which will be later replaced with a strap made from the hem trimmings:
The new hem is thread traced in green and the original hem opened out. This is the first dress in 15 years that I have seen with cheap rayon hem facing. Still wondering how a brand new dress could have such a dirty hem??? Me too!
Another interesting fact….while the whole dress is lined…the front panel is not. Why?
Here’s another thing we don’t want to see …horsehair braid and hem facing and 2 layers of the hem all attached with ONE row of stitching. You start to remove one part and everything releases.
HH braid removed, hem tape removed and HH braid re-attached:
New hem length marked with Frixion pen:
Attach raggedy hem tape and trim off excess fabric:
Pressed and ready to fold under and sew by hand to the lining:
You can see both rows of stitching here so the next seamstress will not have to dread altering. (please ignore poor spelling)
The right side and wrong side of hand sewn hem:
The wrist strap made from scraps from hem:
So… as the bride pushed for me to finish quickly, 6 weeks before the wedding date, I made sure she had what she wanted.
An email came this morning telling me that she had lost a lot of weight in the last month and guess what? She wants her dress tighter and tighter now and how fast can I do this and how much will it cost and when will it be ready? It is 2 weeks until the date.
I did suggest, as I do with all the brides, to wait until 3-4 weeks before the actual date to make sure their weight is what it eventually will be but this girlie had other plans and now we start again. Not looking forward to getting back into those stiff seams!
In the meantime, I was told by one of her friends that the real reason she needed the dress so early was the fact that, like many brides, she held a “reveal party” for 30 of her best friends along with another party as her bridal shower/hen night for another 30 girlfriends. This seems to be a new thing.
So, I agreed to see here one more time for new snugging up. She told me that at her “reveal party” all of her 30 girlfriends were able to survey the dress and give their opinions on what was wrong with the altering and what else they thought she needed…isn’t that something nice? So their collective opinion was that she needed it skin tight…sure…who doesn’t want a skin tight dress to wear in a convertible sports car in Florida?
After I pinned every last seam, I asked her to try and sit down without popping pins everywhere. She had to take baby steps just to get to the chair and that dress just made the worst horizontal wrinkles ever in her lap! She got up and declared that it was just fine…Okey Dokey!
When this dress left my house a month ago, it was steamed along with the long rhinestone edged veil…now it looks like it has been left in a grocery bag but then it has been on display and handled by many….sigh.
Here the dress is pinned once again, this time removing 2 inches from waist to her knees and under her butt…Yes Ma’am, you have to get that to cup under as tight as possible. Can she now get up or down my platform? NO and she can barely sit down.
This center back seam will be taken in more and more…love those horizontal drag lines! This butt area was so tight, I could not even pin it from the outside!
Now that the evenings are in the 20’s F, I brought the gardenia plants indoors.
This gardenia plant has already produced 3 fragrant flowers.
Wishing you all a super final week of holiday sewing for all those on your Christmas list! Thank you to all the readers who follow along and leave comments! It is so rewarding to hear from other seamstresses who run into challenges!