You would think after all these years, I would have learned the hard lesson of saying no. Every time I get a request from a friend to take on a wedding dress from BHLDN I end up regretting it BIG TIME.
The first issue is the lining and outside fabrics are really incompatible. The lining is stretchy polyester knit and the outside fabric is thin chiffon intensely beaded by hand in India and weighs a ton. As the lining is stretching around the body and the bride says she feels “comfy”, the chiffon is being tugged southward to the floor and growing.
This dress looks elegant but is filled with problems.
Some of the features that are the selling points like “no construction” in the bust…really? As in, bring your own “perky” boobs because we didn’t add support or any boning nightgown?
Next is the “looser fit” at the waist…this means you will not get this sucker to cling to your waist if that is your best feature.
The hips have the heaviest beading and give a definite horizontal line just where most brides don’t want or need it.
Finally the hem…can you see that the skirt and hem are made up of 8 godets heavily beaded vertically on either side so shortening this will require removing more beads?
Let’s get started!
At the first fitting it is obvious that the circumference at the bust is 4 inches too large and the straps will need to be shortened and moved more towards center.
The labor to remove the beads and sequins will total 2 hours just for this area. I find that every bead and sequin has been attached with a backstitch so there is no chance to pull a thread and remove them easily. Every sequin has to have the individual thread snipped and removed. The straps will also need bead removal. The bride wanted every bead and sequin saved.
So, simple so far…inside is another story. The entire zipper has chiffon binding on both edges:
As I start to snip threads, I find that the thin chiffon binding strips have been sewn with FOUR rows on each side. Then the zipper has also been attached with 2 rows of stitching next to the teeth each side. Here is what we have and what we have to re-attach later.
The way is now clear to hand baste the zipper back into place for the second fitting.
Can you feel the knit lining stretching and the chiffon screaming…”please don’t do it”? I warn the bride that making chiffon that tight will cause the back princess seams to be stressed and cause drag lines at her waist…she humors me by sitting on a chair to feel the final circumference. I’m holding my breath as this is the point when pins pop and bend and she was happy.
At the second fitting the bride decides that the center back has to cling to her skin so another 2 inches (total) are removed near the waist, beads removed and the zipper moved over and basted again.
More sequins to remove:
Moving down to the chiffon hem…pins mark the final length.
How about removing more beads? Add another hour of labor and then make a narrow hem like the original.
One fortunate thing with this dress with no boning or means of support for the bust…Tear-drop bust pads were attached to the lining to help smooth out the wrinkles and the bride was thrilled that she could bend forward and feel secure.
Mr Mole found this photo of a 1914 Irish wedding dress and I am so glad I didn’t have to alter something like this!!!
A baby butternut squash:
Bush beans, pole beans and Lima beans with sticks and poles to discourage cats from using the soft soil as a toilet.
Who doesn’t like corn in the summer? With 20 plants, we should have a nice crop.
Last photo…I have mentioned our blue tailed skinks before and this year we have families of them either running over rocks or sunning themselves. This little creature perched itself on a rabbit statue. They eat bugs in the wild so fingers crossed they remain throughout the season.
With over 8 weeks in quarantine, we all long for more freedom and a haircut but it is still pretty scary out there with so many people refusing to wear masks to protect each other. Just this week 3 children under 10 years of age were tested positive in our town so the risk is still there for ALL AGES!