A few weeks ago, my good friend Stacey’s daughter, Katlyn, was asked to prom. They went shopping “all over” for a dress. They finally found one, but it didn’t quite fit. No problem, Stacey was thinking, I have Andrea. She will fix it.
I get a phone call from Stacey, “I bought this prom dress and it doesn’t quite fit. I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind taking a look at it. It looks really easy to fix. It just needs a dart or something around the arm holes.”
I have been sewing for a little while now and I know two things at this point:
- Arm holes usually don’t have darts.
- Nothing is as easy as it seems. EVER.
I agree by saying, “Sure. Bring it over and we can look at it TOGETHER.” This is my way of saying, “Yeah right, just a DART. You do not even know what a dart is. You have no idea what is involved with your “easy alteration”. I am going to make sure you will be here to do it yourself, so you can see for yourself, just how “easy” this will be.”
I also agree to this because I know Stacey. She bought this prom dress with double coupons on super special coupon day, with “store cash” and they actually paid HER to buy the dress. So if WE mess it up, it’s not thousands of dollars.
I also sent her a YouTube video that details how to alter a lined (yup, LINED) satin arm hole (satin=slippery). There are no darts involved. There is a lot of ripping and some hand sewing. I need her to be mentally prepared. I was thinking she would watch the video, realize what a pain in the ass this was going to be, and decide “not worth it”. But nope. She is coming over in 10 minutes. Did I mention this is also my first time altering anything. Good times, right!!??
Stacey and her daughter Katlyn come over. We pin it at the shoulders. I have determined this is our best option. I am guessing, but I sound confident. When in doubt, pretend you know what you are talking about. People will believe you.
I then tell Stacey to start ripping. “Wait what? Rip what? What do you mean rip the seams?” she says. “Did you watch the video?” I say. “Hmmmm, well, kind of. I mean I tried, but got distracted.” I KNEW it, she did NOT watch the video. Great. She still has no idea what is involved.
I smile and hand her the seam ripper and explain what needs to happen. “Do we have to do all that work? Can’t we just sew it right here (she makes a gesture with her hands) and call it good?” I say, “It’s your dress, we can do that, but it will not lay right or look right.” Stacey, “You are saying we should do it the right way, aren’t you?” Life lesson here. Anything that is worth anything takes a bit of work.
We get the shoulder adjusted. I made Stacey sew. Her first attempt looked like this. It had a slight pucker. Stacey says, “That’s okay, right?” The answer is NO. She actually knew the answer. She was just hoping. RIP RIP RIP. Stacey..welcome to my life:) I am smiling. I hope she keeps making mistakes. This is too much fun.
Now we have to close up the lining. The lining is a synthetic mesh. It is stretchy and awful to work with. Plus, you have to turn the lining inside out, it’s a pain. She did try. A few times. Each time looked terrible.
I can’t figure out how to make it look nice. I resort to hand sewing. It looks a little Frankenstein-like but it’s on the inside. No one (well hopefully no one, it is prom after all) will see it. I hand sew one side and send Stacey home with pink thread and a needle to do the other.
Stacey doesn’t know this but I have a little Stacey Spy. I don’t want to give her identity away but her name rhymes with “cannon”. I asked by secret spy to report back to me on how the hand sewing goes. My spy tells me Stacey had her MOTHER do it. I see Stacey a few days later. I ask her, “Are your fingers bleeding from all that hand sewing?” She looks at me. She is not sure what to say. She doesn’t want to lie, but she doesn’t want to tell the truth either. Her reply is, “Are yours?” WHAT kind of reply is that? It doesn’t even make sense. She is trying to throw me. She wants to see what I will say next. “Mine are, and apparently so are your MOTHERS.” I say.
A few days later I get this along with some yummy treats. FINE, I forgive you for having your mother do your dirty work.
All in all the alteration was a success.