Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mother of the Bride Frustrations

I have this discussion all the time -

"Where do you shop for Mother of the Bride dresses, that don't look like bridesmaid dresses or grandmother dresses?"

Shopping for your MOB dress can be one of the most disheartening parts of the whole wedding planning. There just are not a lot of choices out there that don't look like a bridesmaid dress, show a little too much skin, are too 'poofy', too 'strapless' or bare, too short, too embellished, too 'suit-y", or just plain ugly.

Well, dear MOB's - fear not! You may or may not have thought of the idea that a custom made dress is not just a luxury of a by-gone-era, but a very real modern day convenience.
 There is a vast assortment of patterns out there that are more than suitable for MOB dresses. And the fabrics we have at our disposal today are unimaginable! You have your traditional silks and satins, of course, as well as the ever popular chiffon. But then there are your textured silks, brocades, printed and embellished chiffons, hammered satins, crepes, even some lovely linens,  and knits, including silk jersey, and of course an unlimited supply of gorgeous laces, in all colors of the rainbow, with sequins, or beading, or simply - lace.

I have been saving MOB patterns in my Pinterest board - here-

These are just a very few - not really even touching the surface - of what is available. For more pattern idea's you can go  to http://voguepatterns.mccall.com/, or here: http://www.simplicity.com/ or here: http://www.marfy.it/?sl=EN
http://www.mccall.com/home.html ; or here:  http://www.simplicity.com/

These are just a few starting points. There are also patterns and ideas available on http://etsy.com
If your tastes run more towards vintage styles, you can find many great patterns here: http://evadress.com

With any of these patterns, it is usually not at all difficult to lengthen a short dress in to a long one, to add decorative embellishment where it is most needed, or change simple design details.

A dresses' beauty is found in the style lines, the flow of the fabric, and the fabric itself, but also in how the wearer feels in it. Don't settle for unsatisfactory dresses when you really don't have to!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Dear Bride: Why Yes! I Can!

"My dress is WAY too long, but it has a deep lace hem! Can you fix it?"
"I have a dress I love but it's about 5" too short! Can you fix it?"
"I found a dress really cheap- but it's about 5 sizes too big- can you make it fit me?"
"My dream dress is gorgeous! But it's a couple sizes too small. Can you help?"
The good news is - in most; not all, but most; cases, the answer is yes.
Deep lace hem?
 This deep lace hem was about 6 inches long. After measuring exactly how much it needed to be brought up, and pinning the extra length above the top row a lace -

 I carefully trimmed away and separated the bottom segment of lace and hem from the upper part of the skirt, cutting just above the top row of lace.
 This is the hardest part - re-pinning the lace that I removed, to the correct and level length. Not as easy as it looks. Then it is hand basted on before being machine stitched. If there is beading, it is usually all hand stitched.
 This is a gown that came in several sizes too small. I added a lace-up panel at the back, that the bride loved even more than the original zipper!
Here is a case of a dress that came in way too short! About 12 inches to be exact! Fortunately, I was able to get my hands on a sample dress with the same lace. After re-making the satin, crinoline and lining layers to the new length, I trimmed away the bottom 'trim' layer of the lace. I then very carefully removed about 15 inches from the bottom of the sample dress, and positioned in in place on the dress.
You can see the pins here, if you look closely! Hand basted, very carefully, to make sure it was all even and at the correct length; then machine stitched in place.
A challenge, to be sure- but can I tell you a secret? Shhhhh!!!
(The bride never knew! It was obvious when the dress arrived from the manufacturer, that it was much too short. In looking at her measurements, it was not difficult to figure how much length was needed, so I added it before she even saw it!)
There are many other alterations that can be performed on your wedding dress- including adding straps or even sleeves, adding or removing a petticoat, adding beading or other embellishments, and of course, my favorite - bustling! But that's another post!