Saturday, May 30, 2009

Happy prom girl

I spent the after noon of my day off on the prom dress rescue. It was sewn by a friend of the family, who got in over her head. The dress is on the floor, because it didn't show much on a hanger. See the poof of sheer fabric to the side. The back skirt is cut too small at the top on that side. The zipper has a "nice" curve to it. The whole skirt torques like that. No more fabric was available in the right color.

I started with the bust, which was too tight. There was hardly any shaping. The girl is very small, but she does have curves. I let it out where I could and darted it in to fit the skirt seam. That part fit nicely.

See how short the zipper is! (14"). I couldn't match the color quite as well, but came close enough with a 22" zipper, of which I used 20".

The sheer overlay really looked funny. It's crystal organza, which is not the best fabric for a drape, but the girl loved the color. The dress fabric is lining fabric. There is a short skirt under the back for modesty. See the square edges on the train and the under layer of skirt. There are 1/2" seams to edge the organza and the "fashion fabric". UGLY!!!It is gathered into a bunch at the hem. The mother sent me a picture of the skirt they had wanted. There was such a difference!

I removed the skirt and completely took it apart. Most of the torque was in the sewing. I resewed the back and matched it up with the underskirt. The underskirt was wider, but I ignored the extra fabric in the seams, later trimmed and serged. It hung pretty straight on the dress form I used for draping.

Next up was the front. The split is actually in the center of the fabric. I removed all the wide edge stitching, and rounded the bottom edge. As you may be able to see, I used a baby hem. I cut the organza curve to match the lining hem curve. I put it on a dress form and pleated the top, lifting each pleat higher as I reached the edge, so it looked like a steep hill before trimming. There was a lot of organza to cut off the side at the hem. I had tilted the whole piece in the pleating and the seam had a lot of extra organza in a triangle tapering to nothing at the top seam. All the extra I found in the original hem was lifted out in the pleating. Sorry no picture, I was too busy sewing. It now looks nice and there is no fullness at the side. The half belt was in the original picture.

I put the back skirt on the top and put in the new zipper. Side seams were sewn and the front was placed as well as I could. The skirt front is off center because of the miscut of the back skirt. It still wraps to the back. The train looks nice, The side seams hang straight. I rounded the corners of the back and made a smooth transition into the train. I found a dress form that can be made small enough.

I like to leave a dress on the form as it shows to best advantage when the customer walks in. BTW when i got the dress, it had not been pressed, steamed, or anything like that. Delivered to the customer with the seams all wrinkled. I charged for steaming. They were going to take it to the cleaners for pressing, and I bought myself extra time. I'm glad I didn't need it. They got a dress ready to wear.

Prom girl came Friday after school and tried on the dress. It fit beautifully. It looked much like her dream. She couldn't stop crying, she was so happy. Her Dad took a stack of my business cards to give to friends. I could have done more and better with new fabric, but my husband still thinks I'm Wonder Woman. So does this family!


Steph said...

What a fantastic dress, you worked miracles. Steph in NH

sjanova said...

I definitely agree. Not only did you rescue the dress from a sure disaster, but you gave a girl her dream. She looks lovely -- and very happy. I like this one a whole lot better than the other 3 prom dresses but they also got what they had in mind -- improved, too. Wow. Yes, a miracle worker.