Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fantastic plastic

Have I mentioned that people are morons? Well they are.

I had a few fittings with a mom and daughter for a wedding and bridesmaid dress. The mom is the one getting married. The bridesmaid dress needed some taking in and a few other things to look how she wanted it to. The day of her final fitting she walks in and says, "Oh, I didn't know if it was important for you to know, but I'm having breast augmentation surgery in 2 days and didn't know if that would affect how the dress fit."

Considering that wearing a different bra changes how the dress fits, I think going up 3 cup sizes will affect it a bit, but I'm no doctor.
I ended up having to put a lace-up back on it because *shocker!* it wouldn't come close to zipping up after the surgery.

Then, at the bride's final fitting the hips were too big and needed taking in. I asked her if she'd lost weight and she said "Oh, I had a full body wrap. You know, lipo, tuck, everything. It was a couple months ago and I must just have less swelling."

I'm not going to go into my personal feelings about plastic surgery. To each their own, I guess. What I take issue with is that someone who is as familiar with it as this woman was wouldn't realize how much she is screwing me over by not saying ANYTHING until the final fittings.

Oh, and trying to alter a wedding dress to look nice on someone with a boob job is tricky and sometimes impossible. The dresses are designed to be proportionate. When you body isn't, and when parts of your body are unable to move in a natural way, the dress never quite looks right.

On a similar note, I did a hem of a young girl's (around 15) pageant dress. Foof to end all foofiness! While trying to make chit chat with her I asked what got her interested in doing pageants. She said, "Oh, I was watching this show Toddlers in Tiaras, and it made it look like so much fun." I had to choke down my laughter and astonishment since 5 minutes of an episode was enough to send me in a rage and "fun" is the last adjective I would use to describe what I was seeing.

Here's hoping that barbie bride's granddaughter- who they insisted on bringing to the actual final fitting- doesn't get too sick from licking all the mirrors in the shop. Yes. She spent 10 minutes licking mirrors. Hope for the future = officially spent.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Every so often I like to look at my stats and see if am getting appropriate validation from teh interwebs. As such, I get to see the search terms people use to find me.

To the person who found my blog typing in "stories about doing the bride" sorry I was not exactly what you were looking for, but thanks for making my brain hurt trying to think of all the reasons for this search. In the words of my favorite STFU Parents commenter, May God have mercy on your soul.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The brides have sucked away my brain matter

At least that's what I'm blaming for the broken-ness of the previous post. Fixed it now.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Oh, brides!

I feel like I should partially explain why I was gone for so long.
1- I was busy sewing, go figure!
2- My husband and I are in the middle of adoption proceedings and it takes time to sign fifty forms stating that you aren't on the child abuse registries of the state you spent a summer in when you were only 18 (true story, peeps).
3- I decided it would be a good idea to start my own line of bridal gowns, so I was basically chained to my sewing machine.
4- Realized that I would make more money working the fry vat than doing highly specialized sewing. Climbed into a vat of Ben and Jerry's and had trouble heaving myself out.
5- Bridal line decided not to sell yet, so belly-flopped back into the sugary goodness.
6- Still traumatized from this nutter

Here's the deal, my pretties. I work in an industry where my clients demand monumental feats for pennies on the dollar. "But, my dress only cost $1500. Why does it cost $200 just to hem it??" Well the simple answer is that I am not a young factory worker "overseas" who is getting paid $40 a month. It costs $200 because it is going to take me about 6 hours to do. I have to remove the lace along the bottom (gently so as not to damage it), unpick the lining, move the horsehair up, hand sew the edge so it looks pretty, sew the lace back on by hand, hem the inner lining, and shorten the 4+ layers of netting. Oh, and that doesn't even factor in driving to fittings, dealing with 10:45 p.m. phone calls, and having your mom/grandma/sister/friend/dog all giving me the stink eye and ask me if I know what I'm doing. Fair enough, I ask myself what I am doing in this business all the time.

My favorite is the cheap bride. The one who has an oh-so-tragically small budget of $10k or so. This poor little flower is very tender and must not be upset because she already has so much to deal with. She can't be bothered to keep track of what's going on in Egypt because what is a revolution compared with the injustice of only having $700 to spend on flowers! She is convinced that wedding dresses are so expensive because of the shops bumping up the price so much and if she could only get rid of the retail element, surely she could get a custom made silk gown for $600 or less. After all, she wants tea length, so that's like 30% less fabric. That should directly correlate to the price she pays, no?

Not only no, but hell no. The fabric is only a very small portion of what makes a dress cost what it does. I may only use $100 on fabric, but I still have to pattern, cut, sew, and fit the blasted thing. Oh, and tea-length can suck it. Take a look at your jeans. Now imagine how many seams were sewn, and how long it took to put together. Now let's think about how much that changes if they are 7 inches shorter. Wait. Give it a minute. Ah, there you go. Yes, it is EXACTLY THE SAME NUMBER OF SEAMS AND STITCHES! Gah. Sorry about the anurysm there.

Now, on to the issue of commisioning something vs. buying off the rack. Allow me to use an analogy to illustrate why the supposition that avoiding the shop will cost you less money. Let's say I want to buy a guitar, but I can't find one that is exactly what I am looking for, plus they seem expensive. If I decide to get one custom built from Gibson from just the wood I want, with my perfect pickups and detailed inlay, do you suppose I will pay more or less than I would buying a factory made guitar sold in a shop. If you said "more" then reward yourself with a cookie, because you won the prize of "common sense" that illudes so many girls whose are too distracted by the shiny new finger trinket they find themselves in possession of.

Brides, if you ask me to make a custom dress for you for less than retail (and with less than 3 months time) I'm going to sue you for damages since my *facepalm* will be strong enough to cause irreperable damage.