Friday, October 1, 2010

Peeve of the week

So I think Friday will be my pet peeve of the week post. After a full week of annoying brides calling me at all hours (and I do mean all hours) I have plenty of pent up rage.

This week's peeve:

Super unique bride...just like everybody else.

Yes, I hear it everyday, "I want my dress to look different, you know?" or "I just don't want to look like the typical bride."
Well, you are wearing an ivory strapless gown from a national designer and most people don't catch the subtle nuances of one cream puff over another. You want to look different? How about a crimson dress of pleated organza that looks like something molded onto your body, in other words "art", or how about a restored vintage dress from the 20's that feels more like a museum piece, or hell even a tea length skirt with some seamed-back hose and fabulous shoes? No? You feel more like a bride in your mermaid, strapless, taffeta white gown with a train? Well then you're going to look like a "typical" bride.

Here's a little secret for you. Lean in close so the internets can't all hear. Do you know why wedding dress styles change around every 6 years or so (ballgown for a while, then lace for a while, then pleated, and so on)? Because something becomes popular, then in an effort to look "different" a bride chooses a silhouette that is almost the opposite. Other brides see this and decide it's different, so they do the same thing. After 2 seasons of this the "new" style is now the "popular" style and then the "boring" style. Lather, rinse, repeat. Everyone wants to stand out, but no one has the guts to do something daring, so you all look the same. Deal with it.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The root of all evil

The other day I had an experience that just confirms the attitude of so many people about brides and how it is their magical special day.

While fitting a bride, a couple had brought in their son for a tux. Normally, I find young boys adorable in tuxes. This little demon may have changed a few things. See, I try to tamp down on my rage and create a peaceful, pleasant experience for my brides. I've been there and I understand that it can be a stressful situation (key term:can). It is a less attainable goal when your little monster is literally running around the shop, screaming bloody murder in the dressing room (I think my tympanic membrane has ruptured), and treating the dressing room curtains like they are your own personal matador.

Typically, we have idiots bring in their kids and let them run around several times a week. I hate it, but they all start to blur together in a sea of rage. This one, however stuck for a few reasons.

1) The child in question was about 5 or so. Old enough to be on good behavior for 20 minutes. I'm not expecting dinner with the queen, but could you at least not try to pole vault over my bride's skirt?

2) The child had a name. This name embodies all the reasons why this child is messed up. STFU Parents can back me up on the connection between bad name and bad behavior. There is a direct correlation. His name? Andrews. Yes. Plural. Probably spelled with a y in there somewhere.

3) While my bride was changing, Andrews's (?) mom grabbed his arm and told him he was not allowed to run into that dressing room (we have 4) because "there's a princess in there!" She even tried to sound all mystical about it. Really? Really?!? You can't just stop him from being an unholy terror for a few minutes, but have to use fantasy novel fodder to keep him from trashing only one dressing room?

Good hell.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Wow. Just wow.

Since it's been a while, I thought I would share one of my favorite stories. I should go ahead and say right now that this did not happen to me, nor in any of the shops I have worked in/with. It happened to a friend I worked with who not only made me do a full spit take when I heard it, she also gave me permission to post it*. Yay!

Quite often in this industry we are confronted with brides who are rather sheltered. Much as I don't want to have to explain the facts of life to a girl who should have known them for years, it does come up. At this point I am rarely surprised by the deer-in-the-headlights look on a fresh young face when I ask if they will be going on any oral contraceptives. The fact is, I kind of need to know that since some people react strongly to the hormones. It does me no good to fit a dress to you and then have you call me a week or two later complaining about the bust feeling too tight. Even so, this shocked me.

My friend was working as a consultant in a higher end shop and had a girl and her mom come in looking at dresses. She was getting married in a couple months and tried on a few things, but nothing was really doing it for her. Friend grabbed a dress that she thought the bride would like and waited while she put it on. After a few minutes the bride came out and it wasn't sitting at all right. The problem was that the bride, whose chest was a bit larger, hadn't properly placed the girls into the dress (this is common knowledge, right? You have to kind of lift and set in know about this, right?)and the result was an unfortunate quad-boob effect. Friend tried to delecately tell her that she needed to adjust herself and the dress would look fine. Here is the transcript:

Friend- So if you just pull the top down and kindof set the chest in place it will look right.
Bride-*Vacant stare*
Friend- Yeah...just go ahead and lift yourself into the dress.
Bride-*blink* huh?
Friend- *Getting a bit frustrated* Ok, you are going to have to lift and set your breasts into the cups of the dress for it to sit properly on you, so go ahead and reach in and do it. You can go back into the dressing room and do it if you are more comfortable.
Bride- Um, that's M@STERBATION!!
Bride's Mom- *nodding*
Friend- *Head explodes from the stupid*

Yup, she actually thought that the act of touching her own breasts in a purely functional way was self-love, but she decided to make the statement at full volume in a very busy shop. Way to keep it klassy!

I have just a few questions for her like how do you shower or put on a bra or what if, heaven forbid, you get the dreaded itchy boob? Also, you do realize that you are going to be getting married in a month and your husband will be expecting to be granted access, right? Should my friend have refferred to them as your dirty pillows? Ah, love. Stupid, silly, over-sheltered, basic biology shunning, Jesus horse riding, Darwin side-stepping, shameful love.

*I love stories. Love lovey love. If you have crazy stories, email them to me and I will give you mad props and a pony**.

**Pony not available in all areas.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A whole new me...complete with stories!

Ok, I have no idea if anyone even checks in on this blog anymore, but for those who have been waiting around for more crazy, know that I (eventually) give the people what they want. I had to take a bit of a break due to some health issues, but I'm doing well now and am ready to share some craziness.

When last we left, super crappy bride was wanting a bunch of stuff changed on her dress. Eventually, she was finally happy and became her husband's problem. Or so I thought. About a week ago I got a call from her and about screamed when her name showed up on my phone. Instead, I politely answered the phone and tamped down on the rage while she told me that the dress needed some touching up and steaming since the dry cleaner put it in a washing machine. I think it bears repeating. The dry cleaner put a handmade SILK gown in a washing machine. When I took a look at it I was torn between being super pissed that this white monster that commendeered a better part of 2 months of my life was irreparably damaged in about half an hour and wanting to grab a black sharpie and tag the stupid thing. Since I suck at being assertive in person, I agreed to steam it and fix a few things, though I did tell her that I would be charging her and that it would never be how it once was.

On a more odd note, I had a bridesmaid who started out normal, and went to a whole weird place. She emailed me a few times and we set up a time to meet. The day before, her husband called to confirm the time and I thought nothing of it. That fitting, he came with her and had to give his stamp of approval on everything. It was a bit strange, but I figured he was just helping her out. Nope. Every phone call received about the dress was made by him. Every fitting, he had to be present and had to tell her what he thought. Any calls about changes to the dress were made by him with her kind of talking in the background. It was all very strange. In person, she was personable, friendly, and even outgoing. So why, may one ask, is she not allowed to make a phone call?* It just gave off a very Edward from the books that shall not be named stalkerey-overprotective-he-just-kidnaps-me-because-he-loves-me sort of vibe.**

Anyway, consider me back with a fully charged snark battery. I feel the need to bash on some dresses.

*I don't actually know if she is "allowed" to make a phone call. I suspect that she is. But I haven't witnessed it.

**Do not get me started on this series. I get very stabby and can rant for hours. Literally.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Maybe a desk job is in order

I know I've been gone for a bit. Unfortunately, I have been dealing with the most awful bride of my entire career. It has gone past the point of being ridiculous or funny. She commissioned a custom dress with a time-line of only 2 1/2 months. For those who don't know, ordering a dress from a shop typically takes 4-6 months, and custom can take the same or longer. I agreed to do it because I am an idiot.
Initially, we were on the same page and things were going well. Then she started bring a camera to fittings and asking me to take pictures. Sure, no problem. She'd leave the fitting happy and then I would get an email the next day saying that she was unhappy with the pictures. Well, I am no photographer and my studio is made for sewing, not for taking nice pictures. Oh, and she's not a size 2, 5'11" model that's been photo-shopped.
I won't get into details about all the changes that have been made or how one week the skirt is too puffy and the next it's not puffy enough or how it's too long and I warn her that taking off more will make it too short but she insists and the next week she thinks it's too short. I won't even tell you the story of how she up and decided that it wasn't quite dark enough and could I just dye it darker (hell no!). I can't even laugh about it anymore. It makes me stabby and upset and I just want it to be done.
Yesterday was supposed to be the pickup fitting. Operative word: supposed. She was happy and smiling and wanted only a couple tweaks done to it, which I agreed to. I took a couple photos, explained why a certain thing was happening to the skirt in it, and sent her on her way finally happy that she had been reasonable.
This morning I woke up to an email complaining that the dress looked different in each photo and she wants to try it on with a crinoline (puffy slip, basically) and that the dress looks "awful" in the photos. Yes, she said awful.
My response was to tell her I don't just have crinolines lying around so she'd have to find her own and that it would make the skirt shorter and she'd just have to deal with that since I am not changing the length. I said some other stuff too, but I really don't even want to deal with it anymore.
People have asked me if I watch Say Yes to the Dress or Bridezillas. I don't. I live those shows and don't get paid to watch them. They hit too close to home and I don't find them entertaining or funny. It sends me into flashbacks of crap brides I've dealt with and some memories and people are better forgotten. It's funny from the outside, but there are times when being the one on the receiving end of that kind of crazy is too much to handle. I have thick skin; you have to in this industry. I can laugh off most situations (hence the blog) and join in with everyone in wondering how I can do this for a living, but know that it's not always so bad. Occasionally, though, there comes a bride that still finds a soft spot.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Gone for a bit!

I'm going to be off camping this week, but once I get back, oh the stories I have for you!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Not dead

But a certain bride is about to be. The short version is that a bride came to me asking me to recreate a designer dress. I agreed to do it and all happiness left me that day. We've had several fittings where she is fine with things and then the next day I receive an email listing out all the problems she has with the dress, most of which I already talked to her about at the aforementioned fitting.
I thought we were good, but the last week she has gone insane. All of a sudden she decided that she wasn't sure about the color of the dress. Well, kitten, I'm afraid that it isn't possible to take a giant silk gown and chuck it in a dye vat. Most recently she wanted to see if the ~200+ yards of ruffling could magically be gathered more tightly. Long story short, she is now deciding whether she wants me to remake the entire skirt. I wonder if any fast food places are hiring...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Undercover adventures!

I have made a fake me out of a paper mache head I used for a Halloween costume, so now people will think I am sewing. Of course, it doesn't actually sew anything so my evil scheme needs a bit of polishing, I suppose.

Speaking of evil schemes, I went to the fancy-schmanciest bridal shop over the weekend for some undercover work. The reason is simple: I am re-creating a designer gown and wanted to go have a look at a similar dress, steal its secrets, run away, and not get caught. Oh, and please no lectures on copyrights and integrity and such as I already have a mom.

Before going to the shop, I enlisted the help of a friend who also has quite a bit of fashion knowledge including the manufacturing side. Super-double bonus, she can out-snooty the best of them. I had been warned by several people that this shop is too cool for school and since I suck at being assertive, I opted to not go alone.

We arrived, and in 5 minutes had an elaborate story in place that included a trip to Rome for a very posh wedding in the fall. It was a work of art. Here's the problem. I tend to be a bit overzealous to vocalize my knowledge, so having to pretend not to know about alterations and various aspects of dresses took some effort.

So, friend picks the dress in question and a couple others to try on. I force myself to sit and act all maid-of-honor-ey while secreting away notes in my head. The funniest part? My friend knew all the details I needed to know, so she managed to find out some seriously detailed info while appearing to just be into the dress. We're talking the number of layers of tulle. She is made of win. I went ahead and accessed every bride trying on dress conversation I witnessed and said the appropriate things without even thinking about it. Sad, no?

I guess that the high budget she had for her "wedding" got the shop girls frothing at the mouths for commissions, so about 20 minutes in we had three girls helping us and using misplaced adjectives* while talking about how if you are drawn to quality, you will seek it out. What does that even mean? I can't diagram that sentence because it is so idiotic. If you are drawn to something, do you have to seek it out? Personally, my favorite part was when one of them was going on and on about the lace used on a dress and how it was patented because it was so amazing. Honey, I hate to break it to you, but that lace is used by a couple other designers and I have looked at it for way too many hours not to recognize it. Granted, it's pretty, but come on. Patented.

I do have to say that I was a little frightened by how easily my friend was able to come up with crazy bride syndrome. Talking about how the wedding had to be on the 13th of a month because it's always been her favorite number and how she is getting married in Italy so she can exclude all the "bitches" she doesn't like. Thankfully, when we got back in the car she dropped the act and started laughing about how the shop girls were tripping over themselves over how fancy she was and give me crap about knowing what eyelash lace was. Not to fear, I bought her super fancy cookies as a reward.

*Nothing gets on my nerves quite so much as expressions like "elegant but simple", "couture" and "vintage" by people who have no idea of what they really mean, but use them as a way of trying to sound smart. Stabby.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The story behind the law

I suppose I should have given more detail on the previous post, but honestly I was extremely frustrated, tired, and ready to go celebrate national hamburger day.

This can go on my list of pet peeves and types of brides.

The indecisive bride.

She can't make up her mind about anything (hence the name) and is most commonly heard to say, "What do you think?" What do I think? I think that I am not the one getting married and I giant don't care! I just want to get home and have lunch before 4:00 p.m. (I did. I ate my lunch at 3:30). She will act like things are fine, and then after the fitting her mom has to call me and tell me that the bride isn't happy. She won't be able to tell me exactly what the problem is, but just keeps saying that her daughter isn't pleased.

Yesterday I had a fitting with an extremely petite girl. I had cut the bust on the dress down to fit her probably AA-sized chest. It was almost done and hooray it was looking really good. When she put on the dress it was sitting on her a bit high and she was clearly not pleased. I told her when she puts on the dress she has to kind of place her breasts into the chest of the dress and then zip it up (you ladies know what I'm talking about. Guys it isn't as sexy as it may sound). She did and lo and behold, dress sat perfectly. She still wasn't happy with how small her chest looked, which I had to figure out through her nonsense ramblings of "It's just...I don't know, you know. It's not," so I gave her some pads to put in. They made it look much better, and she seemed pleased. Her mom kept telling her how great it looked. Hooray! Fitting was over and I could go home.

Twenty minutes later my phone rings. Crap.

-Hi, it's brides mom. She was talking to me and she feels like the dress is still not looking quite right. Can we fix it before her bridal photos next week?
-Possibly. What is she not liking about it?
-Oh, I don't know, exactly. She feels like the boobs are too high or something. I think she is just being rediculous.
-Fair enough. So why didn't she say it at the fitting when I could have done something about it?
-She said that since you and I both thought it looked good, she couldn't say anything. I just don't want you to have to do a ton of work to the dress and then have to redo it because she is being weird.

At this point my eye rolling was going to cause a busted cappilary. It should be noted that her mom is awesome and has been good to work with. I'm just frustrated that my saturday is all screwed up now because princess tiny-boobs is not used to how a wedding dress looks. She wants me to try taking out the boning in the bust and see if that helps. I told her I could try, but once it was gone it's gone and I can't put it back.

Seriously, brides. If you can't vocalize what is bugging you, then you need some serious communication lessons. I understand that you are worried about using the wrong term or aren't really sure what about it is bugging you, but take a moment, really look, and then use your big girl words to tell me what you don't like because mind-reading doesn't go hand in hand with sewing. Shocking, I know. I would much rather hear someone say, "I don't know how to describe it exactly, but the bust seems a little wonkey," than, "Um...huh...It just...hmmm." If I wanted that sort of idiotic, stunted dialog, I would go rent Twilight.

Ladies, you need to be able to vocalize what you want. That is why you get crappy haircuts and then go cry about it later. When you're married are you going to have your mom call and try to tell your husband that you were just bugged because the toast crumbs on the floor make your delicate toes all owie. Put on your big girl panties and say something or swollow hard and deal with it. Gah!

Now if you'll excuse me, it's time I put my less-tiny chest in a bra, pull out my rosetta stone and try to decifer what this girl wants.

Friday, May 28, 2010

New law for brides

If you are not mature enough to tell me directly what you want changed on your dress, but need your mom to call me 20 minutes after our fitting and explain what was bugging you, you are not mature enough to get married.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Broke the tether for a moment!

Yes, once again I have been too busy with "bridal emergencies" to do any posting. Still am, frankly, but I am sick of brides and their attitude that all possible moments must belong to them. Before the dogs sniff me out and make me work some more, I do have a story.
I had a bride who needed extensive work done to her dress. Typically, I request 3 weeks to do alterations, but can do it faster if need be. Operative word being NEED. This bride "needed" her dress done in about 9 days because she was going to be doing bridal photos (which are lame) by a certain date. I was already annoyed because I told her that wouldn't really fit in with my schedule and she would have to have bridals pushed back. After much insisting on her part, I relented (gah!) and said I could have it done in about 11 days.
I busted my ass, even staying up until 3 a.m. the night before so her dress would be done and ready. That day she shows up for her fitting and is thrilled with the dress. Good. I tell her the amount and ask if it will be cash or check. Then the following exchange happens:

Her: Oh, I forgot my checkbook.
Me: Well there is a bank just down the road. I'll wait.
Her: Well the dress isn't fully paid for yet, even.
Me: I am aware of that and you will have to settle that with the shop owner, but I am separate from her and you'll need to settle your bill with us both before the dress can go with you.
Her: Oh, I wouldn't dream of taking the dress before it was fully paid for! Besides*, I don't need it for another 2 weeks.

Then my head exploded. She had rescheduled her bridals and didn't bother to tell me. 3 a.m. people. 3 A.M.! Brides, this is why people hate you. You treat everyone like little peons that should hup-to in order for you to have your perfect day and screw them if they want to try to have a life outside of your butter cream-covered sparkle world of mystical wonder.

Crap. Now I want cake. And sleep.

* Yes, she said besides. I hate idiots.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A word of advice

If you are having several custom bridesmaid dresses made and said bridesmaids are from out of town, maybe you could have them come in for a fitting sooner than the day before the wedding. Please. For the sake of the seamstress do not do this.
Yes, I have 5 bridesmaid dresses to make (well, two left) and I was given nothing more than a few measurements to make the entire dress. Granted, some people are awesome enough to be able to do this without any adjustments being made, but I am not one of those people. As you can probably guess, I won't be posting much this weekend.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Weekly Snark

I know, I know. It's been longer than a week since the last one and I suck and all that. I'm still determining when I will have the snark day be, but until then it's going to be a bit unpredictable.

I should warn you all now that the spelling might be a bit off and the analogies may be less accurate. You see a magical thing happens when I am working consistently 12-16 hour days. Like the poet wrote, my body is a wonderland, but rather than having such features as a bubble gum tongue (uh..what?) I have broken bits that go on full rebellion when I overdo it. Currently, when I have a free moment to notice that I haven't showered in a few days, great amounts of pain crash through to my consciousness and demand my full attention. Something about unions, I suspect. Anyway, the point to this little story is that I am on some pain meds right now that don't make me the most lucid of creatures. They also make me realize that they don't play so well with delicate lacework. Not to worry, no one's dress got ruined. Yet.

So what could be more fun than me mocking wedding dresses? Me mocking dresses while on drugs that bring out the judgemental side even more. Yes it's possible. Shut up. You're fat.

On to the insults!

Looks like someone managed to set down their denim jacket and acid washed jeans long enough to sport this bedazzled number. Thank goodness that column is there so she can pose with her relaxed arm-shelf action. Also, what the hell is on the column? Is that supposed to be a carriage? Because I deffinitely though it was glitter cake or something. Really, I think it's the photoshop that makes this such a winner for me. In case I didn't know that each point of her silvery netting that was stolen from under a cake has a little something special, photoshop lets me know that there are sparkles to be had. Either that, or LED lights. Actually, LED lights on a dress would be awesome. Verdict: C-

What could be sexier than a giant, pink pillow that you find on you're grandmas bed? Freaking nothing! That's right, and this bride knows it. She's saying "Come hither. I am wearing the duvet, so we can have our tryst anywhere at all!" There is even a chair with needlepoint on it, so they totally are with me on this. I don't know if it's the meds, but as I let my eyes travel down the "skirt" it looks more and more like saggy flesh. Just me? Seriously, it's like I'm looking at a shaved shar pei. Verdict: Too much effing fabric!

All hail the accessory queen! Handbag, bracelet, necklace (presumably), earrings, bad highlights, oh and the innards of the duvet pictured above. Brilliant! To be honest, I am very much into the feathery illuminators with a touch of birdcage netting (even they know they belong together) but this has properly cured me of it, I think. It looks like she took a wrong turn at the Tyson chicken factory tour. Verdict: No

Even the mirror agrees with me. I'm glad that Deb stopped hanging out with Pedro and Napoleon long enough to get engaged, but lose those shoes, huh? The dress itself isn't terrible, I guess. The ruffles are pretty fun. It's too bad her scraped knee is bleeding all over them, though. Verdict: Your mom goes to college!

Oh, Australia. What new horror have you wrought for us now? Here is the creative meeting behind this design:
-She needs to look sexy, so maybe a corset?
-Oh definitely a corset, but those aren't so sexy on their own. How about we make most of the corset sheer?
-Bob, you are a genius! Could we somehow bring more attention to her boobs?
-Hmmm....well, if we throw a couple packs of those ribbon rosettes on them, people will have to notice, right?
-True...but it's not quite enough attention. After all, who notices breasts without some extra help, right?
-I've got it! What if the front of the corset is totally open. Like almost down to her navel. Surely, that would bring some attention to her funbags.
-Oy mate, truth! How bout we make the skirt look like a giant jellyfish!

And scene. That is totally how it went down. Verdict: Danger, danger, danger!

Friday, April 23, 2010

One of my pet peeves

When I get sick, I tend to get kind of pissy. Unfortunately, I got sick but don't get a break from sewing. There is no way of calling a bride and telling her she will have to wait for her dress because you don't feel well. Some brides are cool with being shifted around, but most are so caught up in their own world that they think even the viruses attacking your body are donning her colors and shopping for a gift. To those brides I say BOO, you whore! Also, enjoy getting what I have. Should make for a sexy honeymoon.

After waking up from a fitful sleep spent dreaming about fittings and sewing (last night it was all new people as opposed to current clients...don't know what that was about)I spent a productive morning thinking about the worst brides I have ever worked with. They typically anger me because aside from being horrible to work with, they hone in on my pet peeves. Having incured my wrath, they get titles rather than names and become an archetype in my own epic saga. I'm like Odysseus, really. Traveling in rough seas just trying to make it home. Or maybe I am all out of it since I took some meds. Really, it could be either.

Anyway, today, I bring you the tale of Entourage Bride. Most people when they come to pick out a dress will bring one or two people. The entourage bride has to bring at least 5. She does the same thing at fittings. No one is allowed to question her taste, but is only there to tell her how skinny/beautiful/tan she is and how excited they are for her. They are also allowed to cry and misuse adjectives when describing dresses (more on that sub-peeve at a later date).

The original Entourage Bride-EB for short- was always at least 20 minutes late to each fitting. She chose a dress that was rather meh, but I'm not the one wearing it, so what do I care. It was one of these dresses that is made out of the 80's super shiny, soft satin. If you ask me, this fabric has it's jammies. Whatever. So since it feels all soft she proceeds to rub her dress during the whole fitting. Aside from looking bad, this gets oils from your skin onto the fabric and can be a bad thing, but what do I know.

EB had about 3 fittings with me and at each one brought 5-6 new people. It was remarkable. They sat and cooed over her and brought their infants (subpeeve!) and gave me dirty looks that there were pins on the floor that their precious little angel might eat. It wasn't until the final pickup meeting that I about went off on her and I never go off on people. I'm professional like that.

You may think from the name that a "pickup meeting" shouldn't take too long. The dress is done and steamed and you throw it on really quickly, say yay, and pay me my money. Hell, I thought that too. Apparently, EB didn't get that memo. She was 30 minutes late and when she arrived she refused to put on the dress until her stepdad got there and he was running a little late. 45 minutes into our 10 minute fitting, everyone is there, she puts on the dress and I am thinking I will be home and eating dinner in a few more minutes. Nope. The fitting went another hour and only ended then because the shop was closed and needed to lock up. She "forgot" that she needed to pay me and when I said I would be keeping the dress until the bill was paid in full, she remembered that her dad had given her a check to pay with. Yes, she not only tried to screw me out of my money, but it wasn't even coming out of her pocket!

The happy thing is the hilarious dialogues that ensued. Transcript time! Add your own super snobby voice for EB and the occasional eye roll.

Upon seeing a bit on makeup on the skirt (I rarely wear a bra when working, let alone any pageant-girl orange makeup):
"Um, why is there makeup on my dress?"
"Well, maybe some got on it when you were putting it on. It's pretty common, but easy to remedy."
"Oh, it couldn't be mine. I don't even wear foundation, I just have naturally good skin."

When I was having difficulty zipping up the dress:
"Oh my gosh, I just started birth control and it's totally made my boobs bigger."
Honey, your boobs are not located around your midsection. You've just gained weight.

When one of her friends asked her if she wanted to borrow her sandals for the wedding:
"Well, what size are they?"
"I don't know, like 7 or 7 1/2"
"Oh they would never fit me. My feet are only like a 5 1/2."

At that point I had to go into the other room, give the slow motion 80's clap and congratulate her fiance on finding such an amazingly nice-skinned, big boobed, tiny-footed bride. After all, that's what makes a marriage work, right? Please say yes, or I know far too many brides who are in for a world of hurt and such magical faeries don't deserve that sort of torment! I mean, look at them!! How could they handle such things with their tiny, tiny feet!?!? You people are monsters.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Gonna cut a bitch

A couple apologies, first of all.
Sorry for the swearing if you're offended by that sort of thing. Personally, I feel all words have a time and a place. If, by the end of this, you feel I still shouldn't use such unladylike terms then perhaps this just isn't the blog for you.

Also sorry for the extremely long delay in posting. Seriously, I have no intention of getting so bogged down again.

Finally, I apologize in advance that today's post is going to be rather short. I will have more excitement in the coming days, including making fun of dresses.

So why am I going to cut something other than fabric (i.e. a bitch)? Oh how happy I am that you asked! Aside from having about 7 dresses to complete in 5 days because brides are idiots resulting in 12-16 hour work days, I also had a death in the family. Since nothing can be without a bride deciding she is the center of the universe, I present you the following tale.

At her second to last fitting, I had known about the death for roughly 2 hours. It wasn't sudden or unexpected, but it was sucky. My husband had been sent home from work and I would much rather have been with him. I was stuck with four fittings including the bride in question. While setting up a pickup time I informed her that I didn't know if the funeral was going to be Monday or Tuesday and could we set it up after I knew. She wasn't really having that since she was flying out and wanted her dress before then. She isn't getting married until July. She informed me that "Funerals don't last all day, so we can do the fitting in the evening, right?"

I should have told her to go to hell and spit on her dress, but I wasn't even prepared for someone to say such a thing, so I just nodded while I tried to find the ctrl-alt-del combo for my brain.

Since I am nice, I crammed her dress in with the other work and stayed up until about 1 a.m. to finish it in time for her. Her final fitting was today and guess what...her plans have changed and she doesn't need it yet, so she'll just swing by and pick it up on Friday or something. Bitch.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Because I suck

Actually, more because I have about 6 dresses to finish this week, I won't be posting amusing tales for a few days. In the mean time, go do something fun since I certainly won't be.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Nightmare addendum

Remember how I foolishly said that nightmare bride's dress wasn't going to be done by the desired 1 pm pick up time? The short story is that the girl at the shop forgot to call and tell her it wasn't a possibility and to deal with it. Oops! Good thing I work fast when needed. The shop owner appologized a bunch and came out to my house to pick it up. We'll see if they pay up or decide they don't need the dress.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The nightmare returns

There are days when I love my job. The fabulousness of working in pj's while watching movies and sewing seems to lull me into a gentle peace. The birds seem to sing just for me, the air is crisp and sweet, and even the sun seems a bit brighter in the delicate blue sky.

Today is not that day. Remember this bride? Well she's back, and what's more, so is her mom. Apparently, her mom is concerned with how a bit of fabric is laying on the bust. Now, normally I wouldn't mind so much. Here is what makes me twitch like I have a Gom Jabbar pointed at my tender bits.

1- She had her bridal pictures done two weeks ago

2- She decided not to bring the dress by to be fixed until two hours ago

3- She is getting married ON FRIDAY!

4- She expects to pick it up tomorrow at 1 (not happening princess!)


Oh, and on top of that I am in my busiest season of the year (hence the less frequent posting) and can't just drop everything to fix a nit-picky little issue that the bride doesn't even care about. There are 11 dresses crammed into my studio right now. Guess who is just a number to me right now.

I therefore offer this letter to all the brides who think that their dress is the only dress in all of Christmas Town:

Dear pretty pretty princess brides,

Despite what you may have learned from your idiot parents or sycophantic friends or some facebook quiz, the world continues it's orbit around Sol, not you. You are so worried about tiny details of your dress that no one else will ever notice or care about. Honestly, most people are just showing up for the free food and to see if a disaster happens (oh they want disaster to happen. Your wedding is just a fancier Nascar to them). Your floofy meringue will attract there attention for approximately 2.74 minutes (it's true cause it's science!) and I guarantee they will never notice if the buttons down the back are all pointing the exact same direction.

You want to know the truth? No one cares. Even a very beautiful wedding will be talked about for all of 2 minutes after the fact. That is what your tens of thousands of dollars are getting you. 2 minutes. Course, I guess that's enough for some girls (boo-ya!).

More importantly, I don't care about your dress. Don't get me wrong, I care about doing a good job and getting paid. Sure, I want you to be happy with what I've done, but I don't sit at home on your wedding day wringing my hands together hoping that everyone tells you how lovely it is or asking who did your alterations (no one ever asks, anyway). I am probably sitting at home on my couch watching a movie and enjoying a tasty beverage. I don't suddenly sit upright, sniff the air and exclaim, "Ah! AshlyynKenzyyeLeigh is now married. Huzzah*!"

With all that in mind, please do the world a favor and shut the hell up. This goes for you too moms, grandmas and all other annoying bridal party people. I checked my calendar and it doesn't say anywhere that it is "your day." The rest of us have lives of our own that don't involve you or your cookie cutter wedding and we tend to want to keep it that way.

Your Sewing Bitch

*Ok, I might actually exclaim "Huzzah!", but I assure you it is merely coincidental.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Weekly feature?

I was reminded today of the deep love I have for mocking hideous wedding dresses. Particularly expensive dresses. Some highly couture dresses are just too easy to mock, so I tend to steer clear of those (no one actually buys them, after's more about an artistic statement), but there is something about completely trashing a gown that someone would actually spend thousands of dollars on that leaves me all warm and squishy inside.

So here is what I propose. Each Friday I will be trashing a couple dresses. Ideally, I would love to have people submit pictures for me to mock. Especially actual wedding pictures (I will blur out faces and such). They don't even have to be obviously ugly. I can find the hideous in just about everything. I'm basically a reverse Mr. Rogers.

Not sure about this? Well let's give it a go, shall we?

This week's dresses are designed by Atelier Aimée. I don't know anything about this designer, other than her dresses run in excess of $6000. What can 6k get you? how about this?

When even the model looks squat and hippey (I have no idea how one would spell this made-up word), you have a serious problem. She even looks like she's begining to say "Shut up, you guys!" It's like she wrapped herself in the tablecloth, including those fancy doilies, threw a bodice on that did nothing to balance the proportions, then, failing to draw attention away from her trouble spots, added a big clump of silk flowers to add insult to injury. Verdict: C-

Fun, right? Let's do another one!

Who told Helena Bonham Carter this was a good idea? (Seriously, does this not look like a young HBC? It so does, shut up!) Lets take mommy's fancy corset, raise the top 3 inches so it is totally not slutty anymore, oh, but leave it kinda sheer, and how to complete the look? Oh, I KNOW! Stick a giant cotton ball on the bottom. Don't forget the ill-placed silk flowers. I can't emphasize enough how much I believe in silk flowers. It's not the worst dress in the world, but it sure isn't the best. Verdict: C

Gah! It's like the can can saloon girl and the Degas ballerina got together and had a hideous child, then stuck a flowered wreath on it's head. Wedding gowns should never have an apron. Verdict:D-

And finally:

Wow. Just. No. The lace tights. The Auntie Mame/Norma Desmond hat. The visible girdle. The mullet skirt. It's sad when the silk flowers are the least offensive part of the dress. Also, I'm pretty sure I had those same heels when I was 9. Plastic heel, came in a barbie box? Yup, same ones. Verdict: Burn it!

Ah...sweet, healing snark. So what is your verdict? Do you want a weekly snark? What should it be called? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Background check

It's been requested that I give some info on myself and how I got into this mess. I'll tell what I can and still maintain some anonymity. As for making this blog private, I don't think that is necessary at this point. The main purpose of this blog is to share the crazy with as many people as would like to hear (read?) it as well as give anyone else a chance to vent their own stories while maintaining anonymity themselves.

So, about me. I started sewing at a very young age (maybe 9 or 10). One of my first projects was an amazingly bad quilt that consisted of plaid flannel and cartoon characters that didn't match up at all and earned laughter from my mother. Hey, it was the late 80's and I was totally gonna have a grunge/cartoon quilt! I think it was deemed good enough for the dogs to sleep the basement. Undaunted, I kept at it and actually started getting decently good. A few years later I began sewing historical recreation dresses and taught myself how to make patterns and do alterations. Time went by and I decided to take a stab at a wedding dress. My sister was getting married and I made her dress. After I picked myself off the floor, I swore off sewing forever. Meh, I was still a teenager and I needed time for angst or something.
I would occasionally sew something, but I was earning steady money at a desk job that I absolutely loathed. I realized I was unhappy and figured I may as well be unhappy doing something I was good at and that not everyone did. I dove back into the crazy world of brides and realized a few things: I didn't have to like the brides, in fact, I could laugh about their idiosyncrasies now. I was better at budgeting my time and had a more advanced knowledge of what I was doing. Lastly, working my my pj's is worth dealing with occasional crazy brides. Now, most of my work is custom wedding gowns and specialty alterations on bridal gowns (changing a neckline or shape of the skirt, adding or removing sleeves/shoulders, or changing other design elements of the dress). I am almost entirely self-taught and continue to learn new techniques.

Because I am younger than most people in this particular line of work, I get a lot of odd looks and questions. In a typical day I get asked by about 90% of my brides how I got started doing this and 99.95% of their moms ask the same thing. It's their way of letting me know they don't trust me. Heaven knows that I can't possibly know what I am doing. I am too young and too English-speaking (Don't send me hate-mail about this. The fact is that most seamstresses and tailors in my area are Hispanic, Russian, or middle eastern and English is not their first language. The young kids today are just too lazy and spoiled to get off their butts and sew on a button! Now get off my lawn!). Some of the other questions I have gotten are:
"So do you know how to sew?"
"Now, who will be sewing my dress, cause it can't be you."
"Do you know what a *insert common sewing term* is?"
"Do you have a sewing machine?"


So there you go. I'm gonna start telling brides that I haven't actually sewed anything before, but I got a machine last week and figure I don't want to mess up any of my own things trying to learn.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Elbow elbow, wrist wrist

Thank the heavens above, the fitting the other day went well and that bride is no longer my concern. Idiot that she was, she was once the problem of a different seamstress but 5 fittings later decided it wasn't working out, so it was now on my shoulders. Yup, I had to redo someone else's work with only 4 days to do it. Bah! Oh, and that seamstress had already redone it three times. You can understand why I was a bit nervous about the situation.

So, onto happier things...or at least less fresh things (why do I feel like I need to be walking on the beach with a trusted friend when I say that?). Have I mentioned that I hate pageant people? No? Well, I do. We've had a couple brides come into the shop with their fake tans, bleached all to hell teeth, ugly blonde highlights perfectly coiffed with the aid of the biggest bumpit ever created and their moms. Oh the moms. Their moms do all the talking (typically about how amazing their daughter is) and the daughters do all the bitching. Bust still, why so much rage?

1. They get nasty orange makeup all over the insides of the dresses. Seriously, why do you need makeup on your chest? How is it getting into all the nooks and crannies of the designer dresses? Why is it always the same exact shade of orange?

2. The delicate little snowflakes are so much more special than every other bride ever. "Well, she is used to wearing very expensive gowns, so this one has to be amazing," and, "Well she's been in a lot of pageants and won the *insert random title that means absolutely NOTHING to anyone with any sense* two years running, so I certainly hope you have something that can wow us." Look, I don't sell the dresses, I just make them look right. I couldn't care less if you aren't "wowed" by the dresses here.

3. They sit and fuss over the smallest details that, apparently, make them look bigger than they are. Honey, between the eating disorders and the overexposure to UV rays, you look like a freaking slim jim. I know you are just fishing for compliments about how you actually look so great, well this stream is all tapped out, best try elsewhere.

4. They call me Hon, Sweetie, Babe, and every other variant that exists. Listen, Sugar, I am older than you and I have a name. Use it or GTFO.

Is that enough? Is my hate justified yet? I had one of these cheeto orange monstrosities a while back that stood out more than some others. A few minutes into the fitting it turned out that I had known her brother several years back. We were never super close, so I just chuckled a bit and went back to pinning. She decided that "Ohmygosh, that is just so crazy and who could have imagined such a small world! And ohmygosh, mom, call him right now!!"
Yes, while I was trying to do my job, I was forced into an awkward phone call with a guy who I hadn't spoken to in over 5 years. He was married and had 2 or 3 kids and, after asking me if I had kids, questioned when I was going to take the leap.

*On a side note, if you want to make me all stabby, ask me when I am going to have kids. I typically tell people that unless they are directly involved in their making, they don't need to worry about what goes on in my uterus so much*

I go back to pinning the girl who is quickly becoming my least favorite person ever while her mom insists on telling me all the amazing things her kids have accomplished. The list pretty much consists of being pretty, and procreating. Once it was all finished, both of them made sure I knew to be extra careful and do an extra good job on her dress since she is so super important. They even tell me I should come to the reception since I'm basically an old family friend now. Yeah, I got home and proceeded to chuck the dress on a chair in a wad*.

*Look, the dresses are all made in China and get smooshed into a tiny box to ship on a boat. Nothing I do can hurt it any worse. I make sure they don't get damaged or dirty, but sometimes you have to let a few crinkles show your rage. That is, until I steam them out.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Disclaimers and stuff

I suppose I need to put this up here somewhere:
This blog is for entertainment purposes. I make a large effort to keep everyone (including myself) anonymous. If you somehow happen upon this and think you know who I am, or think I am talking about you and your tender little feelers are all hurt, just ask me and I will remove the story. Honestly, the likelihood of this happening is about the same as me winning an oscar. I'm not sure how it would happen, but I have my fancy shoes all polished just in case.

I know I am not the only one out there with crazy stories, so feel free to email me your own. Please keep it to stories you have experienced first-hand, since we're all about integrity around here.

Comments and discussion are encouraged and welcome. I will be screening all comments for now, but maybe if you're good you can say what you want and have one (ONE!) juicebox before your afternoon nap. Maybe.

I have plenty more crazy, but for now I have to go work on a dress that has been re-done 3 other times. Yes. This is attempt number 4 to satisfy this precious little snowflake because some people don't know or say what they want. Only 3 more hours before I have to put on my "Yay, weddings!" face. In the meantime what do you want to hear about? Funny stories? Awkward moments? How I got stuck doing this? How not to end up on this blog? Just tell me. I do, after all, make a habit of giving the people what they want.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

And so it begins

"I don't know how you can deal with brides everyday!"

This is a phrase I hear all too often. I have been working for some time as a seamstress primarily working on wedding gowns. Honestly, it's not the most horrible gig in the world. I work from home (in my p.j.s most days), make decent money, set my own hours, and, oh yeah, get to deal with some of the craziest people on the planet (and their moms!). Hmm...why do I do it? Meh, who cares. At least I get some entertaining stories out of it, and, by extension, so do you.

Where to begin. How about we keep it fairly tame for this intro post. This happened fairly recently and is still extremely odd to me. I had a first fitting with this bride the day before and she was rather picky, but not awful. Honestly, how many times do I need to pin the bustle for you to feel at peace with it? We finished up, set up a pickup appointment, and all was well. For that day. The next day (sunday-my day off) my phone rang at 9 am and guess who it is. Here is a basic transcript of the conversation (for a written copy send a self addressed envelope to Pueblo, Colorado!):

Her: Hi, I was just calling because I just had a nightmare last night that the hem on my dress ended up being too short.

Me: Um...ok...

Her: Yeah, so I think we should make it longer than what you marked yesterday.

Me: Well, I can do that if you like, but I marked it to just above the ground and it really should be fine.

Her: I know, it's just in my dream it was really too short, so I think we should move it just to be safe.

Me: *getting a strained neck from how hard I'm rolling my eyes* You got it. I will do it a little longer than what is marked.

Her: Good! Thanks!

Don't you hate it when people insist on telling you about their dreams? Seriously, though, why would you phrase it like that? She could have just told me she had decided she wanted it longer, but she feels the need to tell me it's because of a dream?
Brides are crazy and there is the proof.