The Sewing Place

Another wedding dress alteration. Would appreciate a little advice.

crafter

I have a full skirt, tulle wedding dress to alter.  Just worked out that the last time I did one of these was about 30 years ago.  I remember exactly how I did it but I thought I would run my technique past you knowledgeable ones so you can tell me if I might have it wrong.

Marked the amount to be taken off by marking to the top of the shoe with pins.  Did not turn it up as that would add weight to the skirt so not allowing for the fullness to spring out.  Measured the amount to be taken off on the top layer.  When working on it, mark a line where the dress is to be cut of with a blue/purple washable or air dissolving pen on all layers and the same amount for each layer.

Finally, run each layer through the overlocker without needles or thread, thereby just using the blade to cut a smooth line.

The alteration was successful but I thought I would ask if you can see a problem.

A perfectionist never achieves perfection.  If perfection was achieved, then the standard was not set high enough.

Ploshkin

Re: Another wedding dress alteration. Would appreciate a little advice.
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2019, 18:34:46 PM »
I haven't got a clue but I would never have thought of using the overlocker like that to get a cut edge.  So thank you, I'll bank that one in case I need it one day  :)
Life's too short for ironing.

Surest1tch

Re: Another wedding dress alteration. Would appreciate a little advice.
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2019, 18:55:39 PM »
Sorry, I don't have an opinion on your method to be honest I'd sooner poke pins in my eyes than touch bridal wear, I hate faffy stuff. Just wanted to wish you good luck 👍.

Kwaaked

Re: Another wedding dress alteration. Would appreciate a little advice.
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2019, 21:18:40 PM »
Two things: if it is cut off grain, a serger can cut and make it appear to be crooked if you look at it too hard.  Also bear in mind you'll still likely have to trim parts off since on the body can be slightly different then flat.

The other being that most dresses are designed for the outer layer to be 10 cm or so longer then the other layers, and even throughout the layers can sometimes make the inner layers look longer and need additional hemming.

Editing here: another thing to consider, modern wedding dresses suck.  Quality is FAR different to what it was 30 years ago...even on expensive dresses.  Budget ones are worse.  Grain, fabric quality, construction...all have taken some really major shotcuts and it shows when you try and alter them.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 21:21:06 PM by Kwaaked »

Sandra

Re: Another wedding dress alteration. Would appreciate a little advice.
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2019, 09:05:23 AM »
I wouldn't assume to take exactly the same amount off each layer of tulle. It can vary.

I shortened a big foofy tulle wedding dress a few years ago...I pinned the length on the under-layer first to get the length...this was a satin layer of fabric, and I used this as my guide. (We did this a bit shorter because we knew all the top layers of tulle would be cut fractionally longer.)

All the top layers of tulle were then shortened according to this. I trimmed each one separately.
In fact, on the one layer there was a huge sweeping curve of shorter tulle where it was cut wrong in the first place. Not especially noticeable, but it shouldn't have been cut so off to start with.

I was so worried about altering it that I tacked the length up for a second fitting, just so we could be sure we were happy with how much I was going to cut off.

I've never considered trimming off using the overlocker. I'll remember that tip although I wouldn't have done that on the tulle dress I shortened...there was just too much dress, too many layers, and too far round for me to be able to concentrate on keeping on the cutting line.

Didn't really enjoy taking the job on, but I think she was happy with it.

Good luck.

Sandra.
xxx

crafter

Re: Another wedding dress alteration. Would appreciate a little advice.
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2019, 14:32:26 PM »
Thanks you so much ladies for your thoughts and especially your concerns. Some of them I hadn't thought of.

I have seen a photo of the bride in the dress and it looks as though about 4/5 inches needs to come off.  I am going to use the method I described to cut off less than I have to, say 2/3 inches and then do a second fitting.  At this stage I will try pinning to get the exact length.  I think if I try to pin 5" up it will give a very full lower edge to the skirt, so it will stick out further and it won't be a true length.  Wish me luck.

I really thought you would all throw up your hands in horror at the thought of applying purple disappearing pen to a wedding dress!  But you didn't so I will go ahead with using it. :D
A perfectionist never achieves perfection.  If perfection was achieved, then the standard was not set high enough.

Kwaaked

Re: Another wedding dress alteration. Would appreciate a little advice.
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2019, 14:46:33 PM »
I figure the ink will be cut off and fractionally longer then the cutting line so it wasn't a worry.


crafter

Thought I would let you know how I got on.

Turned out that the dress wasn't the dress I though it was.  It wasn't a big blousy multi layered tulle dress (just the top later tulle).  The skirt was an A line shape, although there was a great deal of fullness.  When a huge hoop and added netting was worn with it, it looked ridiculous.

When I pointed this out to the bride and we ditched the hoop and netting, she was much happier with it.  Also ditched the bra on my advice.

I cannot for the life of me work out why the shop thought there should be a hoop under it.  Apparently, its a shop where you go in and buy the dress there and then and take it away with you.  Big change from when I worked with bridal shops and you had to order your dress a year before!  I think all bridal shop staff should at least know about how a dress is put together.

So, having done the fitting and being unable to work out where to hem due to all the extra net underneath, I shortened the nine layers to where I thought and allowed a little extra just in case.

Delivered it this evening and it was  :D :D perfect :D :D.  Happy bride and happy me.
A perfectionist never achieves perfection.  If perfection was achieved, then the standard was not set high enough.

Acorn

Well done!
I might look as though I'm talking to you, but inside my head I'm sewing.

Sandra

Fabulous! You can now breathe a sigh of relief that the job's done, the bride's happy, and the dress is out of your way.

Sandra.
xxx

Kwaaked

Re: Another wedding dress alteration. Would appreciate a little advice.
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2019, 05:42:36 AM »
Awesome!

This is partly why I have styling certs to my credentials...no one does it on any level and so many people are unhappy.

I did work in a chain store bridal shop fairly recently.  Even ordering one...most came in 2 weeks from order to arrival, although they say 6-8 weeks or more (bridesmaids dresses take longer to arrive then wedding gowns, so go figure that out...and they are usually made better). And these are not necessarily cheap dresses. 

Started in the alteration department, and this is technically where my pay came from, but spent time on the floor.  (I was fired, for the record, from sales...although I did occasionally get pulled in for people throwing massive fits.)  The thing is, it's sell, sell, sell then up sell, up sell, up sell and get those alterations charged!  Needed or not.  So having all that extra is not a surprise...considering that was another $200 or more on the petticoat and hoops.  Plus you work on commission, in sales and alterations, so with the high sales goal to make that commission, there is a lot of stuff sold and pushed onto brides that they don't need.

Our store was big on bust pads at $40 a pop.  Most brides needed actual bras for support...and in my own shop I'll put them in, but still recommend they get proper foundations (which no one wears!  At all!  Like..oh my god!)

So that's why she had stupid stuff added.