As a seamstress, you know you are in trouble when the bride announces at the first fitting, “I have been a beauty pageant queen all my life!”
So, after wearing gorgeous custom made gowns all her life, the wedding dress has to be quite something.
Here we have the model wearing the Kitty Chen Kendra.
Let’s start with the back…I have to remove the zipper and take in each side one inch and re-attach the zipper. Can you see that the beaded layer is not connected to the under skirt layer? Just a small problem which requires the under layer to be altered and the top layer to be detached and then snugged up/gathered and sewn back into place.
How about this volume of layers and ruffles? Can you bustle all this up for walking and dancing? You can if you hand tack all the longest layers to the shortest layers.
First, figure out which long layers can be attached under the shorter layers so the whole mess doesn’t look like a huge cupcake. The tiny beaded straps will be shortened as well. Imagine the stress on those skinny straps to hold this whole heavy dress up!!!
Before wrestling with this dress, I placed it on the floor and decided what to tackle first…let’s hit the ironing board and warm up that steam generator iron!
Nothing like finding more layers of gathers and netting…
Starting with the lower layers:
Of course, Kitty Chen had to add horsehair braid to the hems.
More horsehair braid….
Ta Da….all steamed and pressed so now we can see what has to be done
Lots of fun here to hand tack and stand back to admire the volume.
The beaded layer of the bodice did not hug her under bust area tight enough, as in second skin, so all the beads had to be hand-tacked all the way through to the lining to emphasize the tiny waist and larger bust. See all the glass head pins where the lines of stitching have to go?
Now, if any of you have done this, you know that the needle and thread catches on every other bead as you go along. This step is a real patience trier….
The nude colored side seam panels of mesh had to be reduced in width by half to snug up that area as well…all by hand:
Some final narrow hemming of an organza layer:
Everything snugged up and shortened and ready to walk down the aisle:
If you are worried that this dress might be too large to dance in…never fear…she told me that she had 2 other dresses that would serve that purpose at the reception.
Back in Flapper era, the 1920’s, busts were flat and very little fitting was done to dresses. Click on this link for some cool patterns.
Hope all your Halloween costumes turn out just as good and scary as you planned! I already have my candy ready by the front door for the 150+ little scary monsters.