A friend of mine's daughter got married last week, and at the last minute, she needed the shoulders of her wedding dress altered. Apparently everyone she asked told her to come to me.
I was happy to help. It was good to find that drooling over all those sewing blogs has actually taught me a few things. 4 years ago I would not have had the courage or the ability to alter a wedding dress.
When I agreed, I knew there was a good possibility that I'd have to remove lace and then re-attach it as I worked.
What I didn't expect was that there would be beads and sequins which had been attached to the lace flowers after the lace flowers had been sewn to the tulle. So I had to unpick beads (carefully knotting the threads so the beads from the entire dress didn't come off) THEN unpick the lace.
Most of my time was spent unpicking the sleeves so that I could take 2 inches out of each shoulder. It is tricky to unpick tulle and not create big holes. I also shortened the sleeves, but the scariest part was altering the sleeves to fit the new, now smaller arm hole. For a little while I was thinking that if I don't repent good enough, I'll be sent to a place where I have to sew layers of tulle into sleeve holes all day for eternity.
Re-attaching the lace flowers and the beads was actually the fun part. Luckily, I've watched my Aunt Jeanie do bead work before, so I knew to use my sewing needle to pick up the beads I wanted instead of trying to pick up the beads with my fingers. That little trick makes the difference between torture & fun when it comes to beads.
I used a hemming trick my mom taught me to finish the sleeves, and they looked more professionally done by me than the original seamstress, if I do say so myself.
It all turned out okay: the shoulders of the dress stayed put and the neck line lay flat. I think I'd like to make a wedding dress from start to finish someday. I'll probably get the chance. I do have 5 daughters.
As always when I pull out my sewing machine, the girls want to start projects too. I can never get them excited about sewing until I'm working on something and under a drastic deadline. Then they want me to find them fabric and thread their needles and untangle their thread and show them the next thing to do. Arrgh!
However, Cherry Pie made this for her teacher, all by herself, and I'm super proud of her.
You can't see the words she stitched very well, but it says: "I <3 Mrs. Blessing" I think she did a great job choosing fabric, buttons, and ric-rac.
Tamale Pie also sewed some buttons.