Fit for a queen tales from the sewing studio e 87 gasoline


Well, remove the basketball sized sleeves and use all those covered buttons down the back of the dress, remove every single lace motif and save for future projects, remove every single pearl and discolored sequin and save them for some future project…OK

What WAS going to be a simple challenge measuring and make new lace panels will now require taking the whole dress apart and using it as a pattern to get the flower placement correct and away from seams. Also I have to use the scalloped edges of the new fabric in the best was possible to highlight it.

I wish I could share the tension in the room when I had 6 ladies all shouting their opinion about what should/could/would be done on the dress. Eventually after 90 minutes of this circus, I heard a soft knock on my studio door from Mr. Mole.

He whispers through the opening, “there are 3 kids running amok in the cul-de-sac alone.” Then a couple of the women jump up and run out the door as the three toddlers they left in the 3 huge trucks parked outside finally got bored and let themselves out to run screaming.

Then, there is the issue of the hem…we have seen this before haven’t we? A skirt that is 5 inches too long and lots of thick scallop lace trim. Is it removable or will it have to be cut away first and then hand sewn back into place higher up? Then, there is the skirt lining with 2 inch wide HH braid and any netting to deal with.

Again, another first…under that lace edging is a 3 inch wide strip of Horsehair just sewn on for stiffness so if I want to shorten the hem, the HH braid has to be removed…by unpicking all the 3 lines of stitching. The bride says she is not fussy about putting the HH back so we may leave the front hem soft instead.

Then I red thread trace the new placement line for the top edge of the scallops. Just yesterday I was watching a video of how to do this, well, someone else’s version of how to do this on YouTube and she whipped off the edging and CUT OFF the extra tulle and re-attached the lace border higher up and I was gasping! Beside not taking into account that the bride might change her mind/wear different shoes or the lace/tulle relaxes between fittings, she just machine sewed all the lace edging on without a fitting. Scary or gutsy?

The final fitting yields a bustle that clears the floor evenly and a front that clears the floor perfectly too. Some days I am amazed at how well things turn out…must be those fairies who come in and sew during the night every night…God Bless them!

Well, when the dress and bride arrived and she tried it on the zipper could not zip up all the way and all you could see was her “bunnies in the hutch” trying to make a run for it. The scalloped lace hem barely covered her butt cheeks and she could not sit down.

I told her that there was really nothing I could do for her as there was too little dress for her body…a nice way to say she resembled a sausage. She was bragging that she could spend so little on a dress for her wedding and she was not being stupid like all her other friends who had bought proper wedding gowns…not her…no siree… she was the smartest of them all. That’s when I thought I would never hear from her again. Two months go by….

Some of the obvious needs are letting out her side seams, shortening her straps, and her request of making a horizontal tuck across her tummy to raise the scalloped lace hem 3 inches. The bust area came with triangular pads which were positioned too high for her bust thus giving a 4-boob look. She is holding ribbon at her waist so we can hide the tuck. You can see the bust cup peeking over the top of the bodice.

To shorten the straps I open the lining side seams and reach inside and pull out the end of the straps. What a joke to find that the end of the strap had only a 1/4 inch in the seam. The stitching is released and the strap is pulled 1.25 inches out and re-stitched. I did not trim off the strap for the next seamstress.

The bride wanted me to give her a real shapely butt so she asked for pleats…sure, let’s toss in 3 of those just above where the lace bustle point will go. Hiking the lace up will require shortening the lining hems 2 inches. The 2 layers of knit lining will have their own bustle button under the lace one.

Now for the real challenge or hiking up only the lace layer 3 inches to shorten the hem. The pins mark the waist level and the lower red thread line will be brought up to meet the upper thread and all covered with ribbon…a fine mess and not too professional. Sometimes we have to bite our tongue and just do whatever the bride wants even though it is not the best way of doing things.

The original bust cups were angled and not meant to be used that way and as a result, there were creases no matter how low I sewed them. I managed to get a rush order of tear drop bust cups from Wawak in DD/E size and these will give some support although the dress has none. Another reason why I think this dress was either a sample or worn before was the fact that these bust cups are supposed to be sewn in horizontal not vertical.

Yesterday was Earth Day and Mr. Mole and I celebrated by working in the garden for 3 hours weeding and transplanting veggies and planning out where the new baby plants will go when the frost subsides. Next time I will bring some of the worms from the garage wormery to introduce into the raised beds along with new chicken manure to refresh and enrich the soil.

Even though the bodice is tight with the lacing, one issue seemed to be that the lace layer was not attached to the lining and it bubbled away from her ribs. All the layers will be tacked together by hand. All the pins along the lower line are actually situated above a ribbon inside that is supposed to be sitting on her waist.

Last weekend, Mr. Mole whisked me away for my birthday and some of you may remember that he gave me my very own wormery last year. Good news, it has been flourishing and the worms are producing good soil, castings and baby worms like crazy, in fact they are almost up to the top layer of the 4 layer condo!

So, this year when he told me he had a chance to get tickets to a reptile show up north, I jumped at it. Now, mind you, I have never been around exotic pets or pet stores and not really crazy about snakes and spiders but I do like watching chameleons, so he booked 2 nights away.

But what I really wanted to see was the chameleons. They like to hang upside down using their prehensile tail and can change colors according to their mood. To keep a chameleon we were told that they need a very precise humidity and temperature and an owner should have their own generator in case of any power failure so definitely not for the beginner!!!

After the show we went to the largest indoor carousel in the US. It was made in the late 1880’s in New Jersey and stored for many years until it was donated to be restored in the Northwest. All the animals have been carved by volunteers and sponsored by local families to reflect special aspects of beloved family members. Right now the number of animals is 35 but that will eventually be 50. They also swap out animals for seasonal times like Christmas and Halloween.