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Behind the Seams II part II

Often times the muslin sample dress needs a few alterations such as hem length, sides being loose or too tight. When I make my alterations I like to pin and mark with a sharpie I also write down how much and where I need to take in or out. I make sure that the client is happy with the fit and design. Sometimes I ask questions such as; can you move or is it too tight? Is the hem too long will you able to walk and not fall? One of my main concerns about this particular design was the type of bra that would be used, I offered to insert cups for more support. However I can only make suggestions, it is always up to the client to take them or not.

Whatever changes I make on to the muslin I must transfer them on to the flat pattern. How I do this, I tear apart the original muslin and cut off the seams. I use a Styrofoam sheet to pin down the old paper pattern and the altered muslin pattern. This helps me trace down the new alterations onto the old pattern.

Once I retrace everything, I make sure lines are neat and again use my French curves. At this point it is crucial to have the seam allowance on point.

After all the flat patterns have been fixed we move on to the real deal. Yes that's right cutting onto the precious fabric and hope to God that there are no mistakes. At this point, it is important that all my finishes are done beautifully and that everything is up to par.

I was really happy with the end result. The dress looked gorgeous, and I could not wait for her to see it in person. Most importantly I couldn't wait to see how it fit her. You know, even though I've been doing custom designs for a couple of years now I still get nervous about it not fitting. Most of the time the fit is perfect.

This time the fit was NOT perfect. Everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong. The dress was too tight we could not get it to zip. The hem was too long, and since the client didn't want cups the bust really needed support.

That day she left disappointed, and I really didn't want her to think it was her fault. The whole point of a custom design is for the design to fit ones body. I knew I had done something wrong during my alteration process at this point I believe that muslin and peach skin are not alike in their stretchiness.

I usually like to give myself a week before the deadline, incase these type of things happen. I needed to loosen up the dress, therefore I had to rip the seams apart in order to get more fabric out. However, this method did not work because it left tiny holes from the previous stitches and that's a big NO, NO. I thought long and hard of what to do. I found myself not knowing if I should just give up, time and money were not on my side. I only had four days and spending on the materials again meant a tiny profit for me. It was pretty late when I finally made up my mind, I decided to just go for it. I only had 1 hour before they closed the fabric shop and I ran in there like a chicken with it's head cut off. I even had to run in twice because I was forgetting a few things.

This felt like a project runway moment! I re-altered the pattern pieces, while prewashing the fabric that night. I got a good nights rest that day, because I knew what was to come. The next day I woke up early to get a head start. Doing the dress all over was a gamble I was willing to take, because I really wanted my client to be happy the day of her event. This however didn't guarantee me that the second time around would be the charm.

That day, I worked like a mad woman. That literally my husband had to remind me to take breaks and to eat lunch. I was on fire that day, my mind was in the zone. The client had no idea what was happening behind the scenes, she was pretty anxious to get her dress that day. That finally I just had to tell her what was going on because I didn't know when I would be done with the dress.

Twelve hours later!! It's alive, it's alive. I felt a huge relieve to finish the dress, but I wasn't able to breath until I knew IT fit.

Unfortunately............ I had to wait another day to have her try it on.


The following day, I prepared for the worst. I prayed and prayed that it would fit amazingly.

The moment of truth was finally here!

I could finally breath again, the fit was right on point. She was loving her dress and was thankful I took a gamble.

To tell you the truth this dress was better than the first one, like they say practice makes perfect.


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