Once a year there is a charity auction ball in our town. It is a night for the residents to dress up and bid ridiculous amounts of money in order to raise funds for local groups in need. Glitz and glamor have no boundaries, so what do ladies wear or try to wear?
There are 2 layers of shiny red satin covered by one huge layer of burgundy chiffon. The circumference of this skirt is 12 yards…432 inches…10.9 meters. How long will it take to narrow hem all that fabric and get it perfectly at ground level? I run a line of pins at ground level but know it will change once the lacing is done up. I replace the pins with white thread to get some idea of what has to be cut off.
The white thread tracing is the first pinning when the back of the dress was just a 6 inch gap, once laced up, the length changes (shortens) and the black thread tracing in now the new hem level. The middle stitching is the first pass before trimming and narrow hemming.
When the client described her dress as needing minor alterations…this in not what I was expecting. The center back zipper was supposed to close all the way up to the high neck halter collar…but it didn’t. She said she has one week to lose 5 pounds but even then, we would still have to bridge the gap. Her best friend told her not only would she have to lose a huge amount of weight but they would also have to remove some ribs to get that zipper up…friends tell it like it is!
She said she measured herself using a piece of yarn and then ordered a size 2. The gap is 6 inches. I have blurred out her tattoo.
On the website it shows where and how to measure with a proper measuring tape and even suggesting that a professional tailor/seamstress do the measuring. I measured the dress and the bust is 30 and the waist is 25 so I am not sure where on the chart it falls?
She asks if a corset back will work as she has combed the internet and she cannot find another dress that she likes as well and honestly…this is her dream dress for the formal event…no pressure…the event is in one week and I know that we cannot find all the components locally in time for the corset loops to match the burgundy.
I send her out anyway to dig through the racks of grosgrain ribbon and rattail cording at our local 3 craft stores.
Meanwhile, I ordered up the right color from Reasonable Ribbon and requested a priority 3-day shipping ($8.85) across the country. Fingers crossed!!!
The regular site where I have been buying satin cording for years has shut down so the next best thing is Amazon. At least I was able to find this in 2mm in a wine color.
Each loop is machine stitched down 3-4 times and ribbon folded in half.
Hand basted from neck to butt along the very narrow 3/8 inch edge:
Second row of hand basting one inch away for try-on:
Second try-on has some good results using light pink ribbon. Once the burgundy ribbon is used, it will be nice. You can see if the bride has her waist-to-hip area tightened much more, there will be drag lines. It will also pull the front tummy tighter and not be very flattering.
Those of you who wondered if the front would be pulling at a weird angle, the photo below shows it works out OK.
Using the zipper foot to stitch the band to a tiny 3/8 inch netting seam allowance and holding my breath as the needle pierces each thick satin loop.
You may wonder why the edges of the grosgrain ribbon do not match as normal. Well, after showing the client my usual loop size and ribbon lacing, she said she wanted the loops to be “exactly 1/3 less in size”. So, stitching was done right down the middle of the 1.5 inch wide ribbon as a base and then again 1/4 inch away before folding back on itself. The edges now be staggered/lay flat with no ridge as they cannot be hidden behind the sheer netting.
The top edge of the grosgrain ribbon will be a base for the new snaps.
Inside view of new snaps:
Right side view of new “dangling” snaps. You can use one or two of the holes to allow it to stick out and make a clean join with the other side.
The new 5/8 inch wide burgundy lacing ribbon is pinned to the neckline and flipped out of sight. All hand basting is gone and no one at the Ball will ever know what went into this dress other than the wearer.
Cinderella is now ready to go to the ball.
Just because we are 3 weeks away from Christmas, the brides keep coming. In fact, today I turned away a groom who called asking me to alter a wedding dress bought online by his pregnant bride in 2 days…ah nope…can’t squeeze in one more job!
I found this article so interesting about dolls since we are in the season for buying presents.
Wishing you all a super week in preparation for the holidays coming up faster than normal!!!