July 03, 2013

As for Alterations..

I've got a few things to say to all the brides and friends/family of the bride that plan on stopping by David's Bridal..

As an adult getting married, it's your responsibility to make yourself available for all the things you need to get done for the wedding (not just for alterations). With today's technology you should be able to set a reminder or add it to your calendar. We offer appointment cards, and do confirmation calls for the first appointment only. You should be responsible enough to read the big pink receipt we give you with the date and time on it, for the fitting we schedule WITH you..

YES, you do need an appointment. It's bridal season and my store specifically sees around 30 brides a week, and that is because we are turning a LOT of them away. We have too many brides, not enough seamstresses and never enough help for customer service. If things are moving slowly, or seem hectic it's because behind those curtains we are moving at light speed trying to get everything done. NO it is not ok to call us three weeks before your wedding and expect it to be done immediately. We are not your small time tailors, please remember that most brides in your area go to your store, and it's their "special day" too.

PLEASE do not bring, or leave, food in the alterations room. Also, please don't chew gum while we're fitting you. We have to maintain very close quarters while fitting a dress to your body and cannot walk away while you finish chewing very loudly. This also applies to anyone who has accompanied the person being fit.

If you are not the one currently in a dress to be fit, then please to do NOT get on the fitting platform. I know you really care and want to be helpful and inspect for any errors, but not only is it physically in our way, it's also very discouraging to the bride and seamstress. The Bride needs to be able to see the whole dress. No one who loves her will come up with a magnifying glass and inspect the dress shes wearing on the day of, so trust us to do our jobs. We have limited space and time to work in and the more you walk on stage and fidget with the dress on the bride the more we have to pause, explain, and correct what you're doing. I'm the least experienced of the seamstresses with only a year and half of in-store experience, but most of those women have had their own shops and have been doing this for over ten years. if you don't trust us because you can sew and think you know better, then why not do it yourself? Save the bride some money.

NO, We cannot change everything about your dress. It's a chain store, ladies. We have outside designers who we have contracts with, and we are legally not allowed to alter the style. If you bought an a-line dress but want it fitted through the hips, WE can't do that, Legally. If you bought a dress with a train but don't want a train on your dress, WE can't remove it. Legally. If you bought the strapless sweetheart and want straps made for you out of chiffon or whatever fabric you found, we're not even supposed to do that! If you want the dress you bought altered significantly, call a different seamstress. And if a sales girl reassures you "yeah they can totally do that" have them ASK alterations just in case. Most of the girls in my store know better, but we still get brides who are hurt because they "wouldn't have bought this dress if I knew I couldn't do that."

You need to bring ALL the things you plan on wearing underneath your dress, including but not limited to underwear, bras, slips, & shoes. It's an average of 2 or 3 fittings, meaning yes you have to show up 2 or 3 times with all your undergarments and shoes.

Payment is due at the end of the first fitting, we can't work on it until it's paid for.

and finally, please remember that this is your wedding day, but we are people. we have emotions, we bleed, sometimes literally and specifically FOR YOU. Yes things are getting stressful as it gets close to your special day, please remember to treat everyone you interact with, with human decency. You deserve to feel special on such a special occasion, but it should not come at the cost of someone else's dignity or job.

... over a year later ...

In case you didn't realize, I've been gone! I've officially graduated college with an AS In Custom Dressmaking and Small Business Orientation, I work for David's Bridal as an alterations specialist, and am trying to bump up my work outside of that for custom dressmaking!

I'm doing seven bridesmaids dresses for a wedding in October, which I am so excited for! The bride has purchased the fabric and the girls all get to decide what designs they want to wear, so it's going to be a lot of creative work and just so handy that they will definitely have professional pictures taken of them! I've already done two dresses for the bride, and she liked the experience so much she recruited me.

For HER college graduation my cousin Karen asked for a custom dress (to recreate this adorable dress), I haven't gotten to actually see her in the dress but I heard she loved it, and am eagerly anticipating the photograph I asked her to take :)

I've finally gotten hooked on Reddit, and specially the subreddit /r/ABraThatFits. My own sister has called me a Bravangelist. Doing fittings for brides and bridesmaids at Davids has just made me SO AWARE of how poorly some women understand their bodies. even my own coworker tried to tell me she was a 38D and I asked her if I could measure her and she was a 34E... Ahh if only I could be everywhere with measuring tape.. LADIES, your boobs are relative to your ribs in that Ds are actually kind of small on small rib cages. Don't be afraid of bigger than D cups. As a 32H, I feel like my boobs are proportional to my body most of the time. If you want to double check your fit, here's the quick start guide to A Bra that Fits

I've got two more dresses I plan on cranking out before the end of July, one for a coworker and one for a friend, and if anyone wants to work with me, PLEASE let me know. I'm pretty cheap for custom dresses and I make house calls (if you're not too far).

February 03, 2012

A Busy Schedule

Cleaning out your closet is like taking a weight off your shoulders you didn’t know was there. If you haven’t done it before, or at least not in a long time, it’ll take hours. It’s a great way to remember good times, first dates, vacations, or any other kind of memory you could have associated with clothes. For me, it was a little bit of happiness.

I didn’t get rid of many articles of clothing after spending all last year trying to improve my wardrobe. There were a few shirts that were too big, and a pair of pants that had too much wear in them to last more than a few more months, but other than that my closet stayed the same. It really made me appreciate the work I put in all last year building a custom wardrobe. I wear a lot of knit and a lot of custom fitted wovens most frequently because that’s what fits the best.

The one thing I had a very hard time cleaning out was my shoe collection… I don’t have that many pairs of shoes compared to most girls, and compared to female stereotypes. Yes, most of them are heels. Yes a few pairs I still haven’t worn more than once, but how often do you find an appropriate situation to wear gold platform strappy sandals? Only in Vegas, or somewhere equally as anti-chic (in the best way). I couldn’t bear to part with more than two pairs of shoes. I only recently started wearing flats and made the mistake of buy two pairs that don’t fit my feet properly. I have wide feet, and wearing shoes that are flat on the ground only makes it worse (thus so many heels) and after trying to wear each pair a few times outside of the store, I threw them to the back of my closet to be forgotten in the hopes that one day my feet will shrink. (btw, if you've got size 9 or 8 1/2 feet and would like to talk about taking over some shoes from me, hit me up. specially those gold heels described. they're Michael Kors and run kinda small)

All in all, I am definitely better for going through everything again. It was very easy for me because my boyfriend has gotten me in the habit of getting rid of things I don’t wear often enough, every time I bring home new clothing. Now I can again say with great confidence that my wardrobe is impeccable (to my tastes, of course).

For my many classes I have been doing a LOT of work. Lots of drawing, sewing, drafting, driving, and writing. For my bustier class I drafted a regular base for the bustier, got it fitted, sewed up a new one, got that even better fitted.

I got really lucky because I brought the second one in on a day where I have a class with a man named Grant. He makes tutus and bustiers for a living. He oversaw me getting help with mine from a different classmate and decided to make my day by offering some advice of his own. Of course, I will do everything he said and it will be so much better for it! He shortened the back at the top and bottom, (notice that weird curve on top? I didn't realize it was there at all.) and helped keep it sexy without being pornographic in front. I am that much more excited to make this! I went to Thai Silks to pick up my lining and exterior fabric. I cannot get anything prettier.

You can see it's pretty sheer, but it'll be over a couple layers of white, so its not like you'll actually be able to see anything underneath it. The outside pattern WILL be that heart bustier if I can get it to lay right. I don't think it'll be that big of a problem.

In advanced illustration we've been doing a lot of practicing to make sure everyone is ready to really delve into the new stuff. We've been drawing things from pictures up on the overhead and it's been a lot of fun! I'm fairly confident in my drawing skills, stylized as they may be, and this is just making me egotistical. Not really, but it does make me feel good. Next week we'll finally be doing some newer and more advanced techniques.

The last one is my favorite.

In my construction class we've been doing really simple things like french seams and overcast stitching, and in my historical costume pattern design class we've been doing a lot of review on historical fashion so that we can have discussions and get ideas about designs intelligently and actually know what we're talking about. If you had asked me two weeks ago what a farthingale was I would have made a stupid face and said "uhidunno.."

My intro to the Fashion Industry is so amazing. it's a lot of work, and a lot of fast paced information coming at you but otherwise It's great! The class has a really weird schedule, but I've gotten to see some business during the work day and see the true side of the underbelly of fashion.

Basically my life is amazing right now! I'm making a dress for a friend and school is great! not too much homework, not too much free time. I'll keep you guys updated as more happens!

January 12, 2012

Finals and Weddings

I never got to post the pictures of my final dress for flat pattern, but that's because I never finished it! On my last day of working on it(and of class), the serger at school wasn't working and my invisible zipper broke in my last fitting. Super fun was strutting around in it with hooks and eyes every 2.5 inches instead of the intended zipper. It was a design I posted on here back in november (shorter version of it at least). You can see here and here

Me with ugly mid-speach face but
Bonus hilarity of Sister's Face!

that the design is asymmetrical. I had a lot of fun designing it, but sewing it all up was a whole other matter. I wanted obvious gathers around the waist, but made the mistake of placing it on the bias which if you work with wovens you know means it just smoothed right on out. There was so much fabric being redirected over my waist from the bust that I had to convert it to a dart instead of just gathers, but even doing that left so much extra fabric underneath. I should have done some more contouring, but it was silk dupioni that I couldn't afford to replace.
Actually on that note the whole THING should have been made of silk but I just didn't the funds. All the under layers of black were random pieces of fabric i had in my stash, and the organza should have been silk organza but is polyester.

I wore it to my cousin's wedding on the 7th, and it was a truly beautiful affair! I was feeling very snooty because i made sure to dress appropriately for the formal event, and there were many women dressed in bright red mini dresses. Also Susan and I were getting endless compliments on our dresses! I had recently taken in her dress after learning so much from my techniques of fit class and boy did it pay off! She looked impeccable! I think it was a great way to start of the new year!

And it is a new year! This is the first year that I have actually held up and fulfilled my resolution and i am so proud! I cannot wait to see what 2012 provides! While this year my resolution isn't to make a dress every month, I have decided I need to sew something every 2 weeks! this should be very easy while I'm in school, but in the summer and fall I'll be significantly more pressed to sew things!

I plan on finishing up all but one of the classes I need for my certificate this semester, so I'll have no excuse to not make dresses and or skirts for sale! I already have my etsy store set up, now it's just to fill it with products! Unfortunately for me that'll have to wait until I'm quite a few weeks into school already since my sewing machine has taken a turn for the worst! I disengaged the machine to wind the bobbin, and then all of a sudden it wouldn't reengage! oh woe is me, I nearly cried. Once school starts I'll have money so I can take it to a repair shop, but until then... Time to really get acquainted with my serger!! I start school on the 18th so expect another update sometime after then! GOODBYE FOREVER

December 12, 2011


I was lucky enough to attend the BurdaStyle Book Launch Party in San Francisco with Nicole tonight, and It was GREAT! I had so much fun! We decided that since it was a sewing community event, that we should wear dresses we made ourselves, and boy was I glad we did! We looked great in our dresses and they got us noticed! We met a lot of great people in the sewing community, and the industrial side of the fashion/sewing world!

Nicole was amazing as always and even gave me an early christmas present! She bought me a copy of the Sewing Handbook we were there to party about, and even got it signed by one of the authors! I know, she is way too good to me. We got to meet some reps from mod cloth! and see a beautiful dress they were giving away.

We picked up lots of swag including buttons, stickers, business cards, lego earrings (you read right! curtsy of Instructables!), a really well illustrated measurement chart, and a little quick made satchel! They had some food and wine (good wine too, it was yummy) and my some food I mean it rocked my little foodie world! They had The Créme Brúlée Cart (nutella and strawberry creme brûlée!? amazing!), gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches a la Here, some delicious vegetables and hummus, and a nice variety of cupcakes (not sure who by though, shame). They even had a photo area!


This was the first real fashion event I had ever been to, and it was so much fun! I looked good, I networked successfully, and ate some DELICIOUS food. I am excited to open up this new door in my fashion life.

BTW, You can bet I totally plugged Cañada College. That school has taught me more about sewing, philosophy, body awareness, society, and myself than I could ever have imagined. Those students and teachers (and assistants!) have helped me feel confidant about my skills as a pattern designer, seamstress, and about my body. They don't make fun of me, and they offer only realistic, good-natured constructive criticism. When I was a bit younger my happy place was a hillside way up where no one would come disturb me and my thoughts, and now it's that classroom. I cannot thank anyone enough for letting me experience the greatness that they provide.

November 22, 2011

Fitting and Repurposing

So I never actually took any pictures of the celery dress that I made for my sister, and I only finally have because I've done some adjusting to the dress to make it fit her so much better! My techniques of fit class is invaluable. I don't think I'll ever be able to look at ready to wear the same again. And normally you want to leave about 2 inches of ease in the skirt around the hips, but Katy and I both prefer more closely fitted clothing. So after adjustments I present to you, The Celery Dress!

Ya! very stylish, we worked together to design the dress so it's a collaborative project if anything, but I have no problem sharing credit. Katy has excellent taste in clothing, and frequently we both have a desire for something that will be in style in a year or two.

The other day, one of my classmates came in the room in an adorable skirt! long, loose but still fitted to her, and looked so comfortable! After speaking with her, the teacher heard us talking about it and told us to ask her how she made it, "You'll never guess" She said. Turns out it was an old sweater of her husbands, and all she did was cut off the sleeves, collar, and take it in on the sides a couple inches! she added some fabric where the sleeve holes and necklines were because they created an odd looking hemline, and it's so adorable! I asked if I could post about her, and she said yes! I think this is just a great idea for re-purposing something that you would otherwise be getting rid of. There are so many ways to recycle old clothing or fabric, and while I'm not a fan of those no waste patterns (too many different grain variations in the garment for me. it'd hang so strangely.), I really do love taking old clothing items and redoing them for myself. You guys may remember about five months ago when I showed you the emerald green shirt I made for myself. What a great use of a T shirt that Tony wanted to get rid of! I even have a few more I cannot wait to get at once I have more time!

I'm working right now on more things for my techniques of fit class. We're trying to create a perfectly fitting bodice and skirt pattern for ourselves, and I've got the skirt down! Right now I'm working on the bodice (the hardest of the two) and I cannot tell you how many times I've had to do a "Full Bust Adjustment". Lemme just say, all patterns, no matter what size they are, are designed to accommodate only a B cup. I am so, so far away from a B cup. My teacher even joked yesterday "Is there a bust dart that fits you?" because we just keep trying and adjusting, and trying and adjusting.

Once I get the bodice pattern to fit me (it's got to be before this time next week :\ ) I'll be drafting my lab garment and my final garment for Advanced Flat Pattern! I showed you the design for the final garment last post, and I've recently decided to make my lab garment a slightly altered version of my Peplum dress! It was so successful and flattering that I could not limit it to one dress! So I've got this beautiful double layer fabric that is the perfect chocolate brown with intermittent orange flowers. They're kind of a warm sunset orange. Not too bright. the top layer is attached to the brown under layer creating a quilted look, but instead of just lines of quilting, it's actually hearts! it's so cute, I cannot wait to show it! The plan is to have the lab garment finished in time to wear it to thanksgiving actually.. It'd be perfect! Katy wearing her Celery Dress, me wearing my Autumn Peplum dress! Such a well dressed family. ahahaha.

That heart bustier for draping class came along quite perfectly! it was awesome! Since I've made an official pattern for it, once I get my personal fit sloper worked out I can working out the pieces in my size, and then next semester when I'm in the Bustier Class, I'll be making this for myself! I'm thinking a deep red for the heart, and probably either a black, brown, or ivory color for the rest of it. not sure. Oh well! Either way it's going to look amazing, and I'll have made it myself.. there is going to be so much boning in that thing... But Believe me, once it's all finished and sewn up, you WILL see me in it! I plan on wearing that thing out!

Alright well I've got to get started on all that pattern work so I bid you Adieu!

also please forgive me if the HTML coding gets annoying this blog is basically a live broadcast of me learning HTML. yay for Internets!

November 10, 2011

Been a while!

I have been SO BUSY with school. I've been doing a lot of fun stuff though and definitely a lot of sewing! I made myself a cute sundress for next summer, but I didn't get a good picture of it yet (too cold to wear it!). I took advantage of the pattern work I did on that summer dress though and made myself a wool winter dress!
it's a simple strapless bodice top and flared skirt but there was barely any fabric so I had to make the bodice in pieces instead of one whole front bodice, whole back bodice, and whole skirt front. You can tell in the picture the skirt front is two pieces. It was a good move for conserving fabric and most of the time in person no one seemed to notice it until we were talking about it. That made me pretty happy. :) You'll notice i'm wearing a long sleeve shirt underneath! I haven't lined the dress yet because I haven't got enough lining material to do the dress, my jacket for my Tailoring class, and also it's been damn cold! Since it was cold and I wore the dress to a hockey game I also wore tights (and a nice red coat, not shown).

heeeeeey it's my halloween costume! I was a My Little Pony, but I didn't want to sew the "cutie mark" onto my dress so that I could maybe wear it some other time where a lot of cleavage is ok ahaha. I curled my wig, a LONG arduous process, and made my horn! I bought some "pluffy" molding clay from Michaels, baked it for too long, and then painted it white. It was a little tricky attaching the horn to the wig, but after about 45 minutes of fidgeting i got it to attach and stand upright!

It was a pretty successful costume. One kid didn't even recognize me as a unicorn! ahahahahaha. Made me laugh. We only got three trick or treaters though and it was sad.

I am definitely having fun in my draping class! Its been really easy but also very interesting as it's opened up my creativity for pattern making and design! we had to do a princess seam bodice and this is what I did. very simple, but since everyone else did the traditional middle of the shoulder seam to middle of the waist, I feel pretty good about it.

I'm also doing this! yes that IS a heart bustier, and yes I think it's adorable. I'm gonna sew it up as an outside layer of muslin for class, and then next semester I'm taking an actual class on how to make a Bustier, os since I get that one made, I'm going to ACTUALLY make myself a legit heart bustier!

I've also been working on some illustrations for ideas for more dresses to make! I knew I needed to do something awesome for my lab and my final project for my advanced flat pattern class, so I've been trying really hard to come up with something that I liked, and that would also hopefully be good enough for a wedding I get to attend in january!

I toyed around with the idea of some tea or knee length dresses

But then I decided on something floor length when the invitations came and said Formal!

forgive the melty face illustration, i'm not very good at faces still. i'm imagining it in a jewel tone or a subtle shimmery gold.

I've still got a lot of work ahead of me on the dress, Katy's dress, my tailoring jacket, my tailoring skirt, and my bodice and skirt for techniques of fit.again, I'm feeling pretty dang good, but I know there's still al lot of work ahead of me. Wish me luck!