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.