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The Gown of My Nightmares!

Posted on Oct 4, 2014 by in Custom Designs, Featured, Weddings |

One of the things I love about what it is I get to do every day, is that no dress is ever the same. There is always more to learn! And while I usually am quite ready and willing to learn new techniques or methods in my craft, this dress became a bit of a challenge (to say the least)!

This client came to me with a photo of a super model wearing a lovely slinky silver dress with an organza ruffle effect at the neck.The dress had a VERY low back, and was basically molded to her curves. My client was in love with the dress – with a few changes. #1 – she wanted it in a shade of peachy pink instead of silver. #2 – the back must be covered.

Problem #1 – finding the fabric in the shade she wanted. Wasn’t going to happen. She did find a lovely beaded fabric in the perfect shade. It wasn’t a stretch fabric (which I specified was needed for the shape of the gown as pictured); but she had fallen in love, so . . . .  we made adjustments.

Problem #2 – Because we needed to adjust the design of the pattern to fit the fabric (instead of the other way around – which is how it’s usually done), there would be seams where she didn’t necessarily want them. But because it was not a knit, I explained, it HAD to have seams. A strange concept, I know, but even though I have been called a magician, I simply cannot change some of the rules of sewing.

Problem #3 – The quote I had originally given her was for a simple sheath dress done it a knit fabric. Few seams, no closures except for the neck, and, with the serger, easy seam finishing. However. This fabric was heavily beaded. Heavily beaded needs underlining for support. Heavily beaded needs removal of beads within ALL seam allowances. Ka-ching. Ka-ching. Ka-ching.

First off – cutting the pieces and preparing them – i.e. underlining-





Each bodice piece had the lining, the underlining and the fashion beaded fabric to be cut.


The underlining needed to be hand sewn to the beaded fabric, along the seam line.


Now the fun part; before anything can be sewn on the machine, all the beading within the seam lines must be removed. By hand. With a small needle nosed pliers.  6 Hours and several blisters later . . . .

001 (2)

….. I had a lovely pile of smashed glass beading. What you see here is a small fraction of what I actually ended up with!

So, atleast 8 broken needles, 5 fittings, 4 more designs alterations and one very frustrated seamstress later –

003 (2)


001 (3)


It actually turned out very pretty. While I ended up being fairly pleased, it was a true pleasure to see that dress finally leave the sewing room in the hands of a very happy bride!!