For two years, I have been pinning and unpinning this bride’s dress with no idea of a set date. She and her mother have finally made the leap and selected a date so I can finally get started on this dress:
Like so many brides who shop at BHLDN….the dress never fits but they buy it anyway as the salesgirl tells them that it will be an easy alteration.
Their website promotion is:
The drape, the details,
the dreamy silhouettes;
take a closer look…
but my response forthe seamstress is…THEN RUN!
You can see that she needs the side seams taken in at least 2 inches on each side for a total of at least 4 inches from armhole to hips.
Great…so I can open up every vertical and horizontal seam involved and just pin out, hand baste and attach it all back together for the next fitting…but wait…the skirt involves layers of netting and tulle and flowers and it is currently covered with 4 panels of thick lace.
This lace overlay is attached to itself and another one below it with machine tacking…yes, you know the type that is a tiny little ball of thread almost impossible to cut free…let’s see…how many do I have to cut through….at least 20.
Then, take in the layers and layers of tulle and netting 8 inches each side (total of 16 inches) and then lap the top lace panels over to make it look like the girl has no hips. No hips?
That’s right and the second request was to turn this dress into a mermaid…really…really! Maybe it makes sense if you have 2 years to look at your dress and imagine every mermaid dress on Pinterest being worn by you…I’m sure the seamstress can deliver.
All layers machine basted and folded/wadded up under and as flat as I can get them:
Align the top edges and pin those puppies:
Hand baste all layers…why by hand? Well, you know darn well that I will have to go back in there and trim all the new seams and probably have to make it even tighter…don’t you just love planning ahead? The skirt lining is that slippery knit crap we love, so I hand basted the new seams there too.
Flip to the bodice side seam…I may trim some of this away depending on what the bride wants:
OK…and what does all this look like from the right side??? The 4 front and back lace panels are now overlapped and as flat as my mannequin. If the bride is happy, I will hand tack all that down and remove the safety pins.
Where are the hips?
While the knit lining will be hemmed with my Coverstitch machine, what happens to the train?
A 3-point bustle will bring the train up to ground level…not the most attractive but what the bride wants.
As I work on this dress and 4 others hanging in the sewing room, I got in this special wedding dress from 1980 to be preserved. It was the bride’s mother’s dress and unfortunately none of her 4 daughters could fit into it and now they want it preserved for another future generation.
The fabric is acetate, yellowed and very stiff so the preservation people charge more as they have to soak the dress in special solutions to bring it back to life and they scrub it by hand with toothbrushes but in the end it will come back looking brand new.
The train is truly attached that high up and the bow that holds it all together is sewn to the dress on one side with a snap to clip it to the opposite side across the back zipper. There was a cathedral length veil too but I forgot to include it in this photo session.
Last photo…Mr Mole’s veggie seedlings are doing well under the grow lights and in a month or so they will be strong enough to go outside to the mini greenhouse to harden off. The top containers are self-watering and the lower ones have been transplanted into single pots as they have outgrown the starter cells. Way in the back is a zucchini plant that has already got 5-6 flower buds…makes you want to shout…Whoa…it’s still winter!