Monday, January 9, 2012

Me vs. The Bridesmaid Dress

That's right me vs. the bridesmaid dress.  My friend Jo is a bridesmaid in the wedding this upcoming Sunday (you know the one I just decided to sew a dress for) and she needed her dress hemmed.  She was very luck that this was the only alteration she needed for her dress.  It fits her great everywhere except in the length.  Like me Jo isn't short but we are by no means tall.  I was confident I could hem this dress.  I mean it's just a hem and so what if its a full skirt that's no big deal.  Then I saw the dress.

Here is said dress, here is the link to the dress on David's Bridle, just in case you wanted a better look.  From the photos online I thought this was going to be a straight forward baby hem.  I even brushed up and practiced baby hems.  There is a great baby hem tutorial on Burda Style.

I went over to do a fitting with Jo and found out that not only is there an underskirt there is a crinoline attached and the dresses skirt was a weird funky hem in the back so that all the gathers fall just so.  Even with heels on I still needed to take about 2 inches off the bottom of the dress and address the weird hemline.

Here's the crinoline, I only had to take one inch of the underskirt.  The Tulle was fine where it was.  The underskirt also behaved very well no problem there as the fabric and hem on that wasn't cut and hemmed in weird petal point looking things.

See easy peasy.  I sewed a quick hem and then trimmed the excess off of the under skirt folded the hem up again pressed and stitched the baby hem in place.  I finished the two under skirts in about an hour and a half.  Not to shabby for the skirt bring about 6 feet in diameter.  Here is where I took a break decided it was better to finish the dress after some lunch and a cup of coffee.

 This shot I took you can see the mound of dress sitting in the chair next to the table I was sewing on.  

So after my second cup of coffee and some tasty lunch I was ready.  In my head I was thinking "this will be easy I just spent the last hour and a half perfecting my baby hem on the underskirts I totally got this."  Well the dress had other ideas.  The dress is sewn in panels and the front panels behaved well and gave me no trouble.  When I got to the back of the dress where the weird petally hem was the dress decided it would have none of my hemming business.  It took me 45 minuets just to get the hem to lay right so I could press and pin for the first hem.  

 Here in this shot you can see the how the hem wouldn't lay right I had to iron and re-iron the hem so many times to get the creases out.  I finally won that battle and sewed around the skirt, trimmed the excess and started to fold and press the final baby hem in place.  The dress still was putting up a fight and it took another 30 minuets to just get the baby hem to lay flat, but once the dress realized there was no alternative but to be hemmed it finally succumbed to my sewing machine.  

The total time spent on hemming the dress: 3 hours and 15 min. 
The total time spent on just the skirt: 1 hour and 30 min (the same amount of time it took to do both underskirts).  
Injuries: One pin stab in the left index finger. 

I did get a very nice bottle of red wine for my battle, which was an unexpected reward.  

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