Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Beautiful Nightmare

Prom season. That kind of says it all, doesn't it?

This year it's large jeweled beading, lots of chiffon and bright colors.
A new dress shop has opened in the area and has brought me more Prom business than ever! Which is good - I can't complain! In fact,I will soon be turning people away for the April Proms, as I simply have too many dresses and haven't room or time for  any more!

Today was one of those days - working on a prom dress - that I hate. Now, usually I love my work. Most of the time I love my work! But today . . .

I met with a very sweet and mature young lady yesterday, who brought me her prom dress that  she had paid for herself (and spent a very pretty penny on). Her prom is one of the earliest this year, in March. So, I knew I had to get it done quickly, to stay on schedule with all the other lovely ladies waiting in storage. I gave her a quote on the price and sent her on her way. I got the dress out this morning, planning to spend most of the day on it. Lots of that jeweled beading at the bodice, where it needed taking in, and lots of layered chiffon at the hem.

4 hours later I was still working on the beading. 

Once I started on the hem I got another surprise. I knew there was 3 layers; one of a lining, 2 chiffon. First, the lining. 6 yards around. 2 hours. Next, the first chiffon layer. 3 hours, 9 yards around. Last layer (finally!) of chiffon. Almost 4 hours - 15 yards!!! One layer - 15 yards!!!
I ran out of pins in working on it, had to raid another dress hanging in storage for more!

When all was said and done I spent over 12 hours on this dress, that I fully expected to take no more than 6.

A Beautiful Nightmare.


  1. Hi :) I am also a professional seamstress :) CHERYL DESIGNS is the name of my business :) I just found your blog, it's great :) I have a TON of work to do but I will be back :) I feel your pain on under-estimating time requirements :( I have been working on formalwear since the 80's and I still get it 'wrong' sometimes :) I learned to check bodices for those inner corsets before estimating labor charges. They can add enough work to charge for TWO bodices. Nice to 'meet' you :)

    1. Hi Cheryl - It's always so good to hear from other seamstresses! Not a lot of us out here. Since you have ben in business since the 80's, can I ask - what do you attribute your long standing business with? I'm going through a struggle right now : the bridal store I had worked with for 6 years went out of business in December and I am having trouble finding enough new business. Hints?