Once in a season, a two-piece gown comes into the sewing room. Normally it is when brides travel way out of town with their entourage for a 3-day hunt for the perfect wedding gown.
Here we have a classic example:
Catherine Deane bodysuit made out of acetate and spandex.
Combine that with a heavy multilayered tulle skirt. Here is one I found on eBay.
Let’s start with the skirt…first thing the bride wanted was to have one of the 3 layers of heavy stain removed to make it lighter. I think the skirt alone weighed over 10 pounds so removing just one layer didn’t do that much. The waist band was 4 inches too big…no problem for a seamstress right? Wrong! Detaching the band and tightening up all the gathered tulle layers, (3 of them) and then coming up with a way to hold all that on a small waist should be easy. Can you see that the hook is hanging on by a thread and there is also a clear plastic snap? How many poor brides have tried this skirt on before??? Hundreds?
My first attempt to tighten the waistband involved moving the zipper over 2.5 inches total to the pins the FIRST TIME.
After the first try-on it was obvious that more needed to be taken out to fit snugly.
Left side with final 4 inch total pinning and green thread being the new zipper edge.
Right side with pins holding pleats flat.
Left side (under flap) with pinned zipper face down:
Left side lapped with zipper pinned:
Inside of lapped side with all the excess fabric to be trimmed away:
Hand baste the lapped side down in white thread:
Machine stitch the lapped side and cross over to stitch up the under flap:
The lining was pinned the same amount of the satin and will be trimmed away and used as a mirror image pattern for the other side.
Excess trimmed and pinned read for hand sewing:
Excess waistband folded under. You know I hate cutting away any fabric that might be needed later:
Moving along to the top…that zipper needed to be moved over one inch each side. After removing the zipper early on, you can see the previous seamstress in the factory trimmed away lots of zipper tape near the top:
Both sides were really jagged and raveling so the edges were sewn and stabilized:
The bride wanted two new additional straps made to match the original one and moved more toward the center back to look “modern”. There was no fabric to use so I lucked out when I found that the hanging tags were actually the same as the straps…how lucky was that?
Close-up of the new strap added in front:
Once the zipper was moved a total of 2 inches, the lining is folded under and hand stitched. Thread knots mark the position of the new straps to be hand sewn on.
Toss in some teardrop shaped bust pads and hook and eye with the final try-on photo with shiny wrinkles and double straps. Sadly after all this was done, the wedding that was scheduled to be in Europe on a wind swept cliff overlooking the Atlantic ocean was cancelled due to the Corona lock-down. Maybe by the end of this year, she will be able to have a nice reception after getting married in the forest in hiking clothes with a solitary minister.
Last week Mr. Mole bought a jigsaw puzzle for me. As I spread the pieces on the table to find all the straight edge pieces…I slowly realized that the photo on the lid did not match the factory sealed puzzle inside. Mr. Mole searched the internet to find the real photo, printed it out and sealed it in a plastic sleeve.
Stay safe everyone and happy Mother’s Day to all who get to celebrate today!
PS. Lynn has found her wedding photos of her 2 piece dress with no zipper. What a romantic dress: