Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Modern Cinderella

at 7:57 PM
Once upon a time there was a beautiful girl who planned the most amazing Cinderella-style wedding, and invited all her best friends to be her bridesmaids, only to find out that her husband-to-be did not have enough available groomsmen.

Though heart-wrenching, she had to make some cuts, and siblings can't be cut from the bridal party.

Then Stephy found this wonderful idea of a Bridal Brigade and all was right in the world.

So, not being a bridesmaid, I searched for the perfect dress that was alike and yet different from the bridesmaids outfits.

And I found one that perfectly matches the color and style of the bridesmaids dress, but is shorter! (There's will be floor length).

I found it on Overstock, and fell in love.

After getting it approved by T and her family, I ordered in it my normal pants size.

It didn't fit.

So I sent it back and ordered it in the next size up. Overstock has a great and simple return policy. You can schedule a return on their website (no pesky phones!) and then print out a return label, paste it on the box, and drop it off at a UPS store. They take some money out of the refund for shipping (about $7, in my case) but it was hassle-free and easy.

However. The second dress still did not fit. Nor did the third size up.

At this point, I realized it wasn't going to fit, no matter the size. Most of the dress fit perfectly, but it was about 4 inches to small in the chest area. The downsize to large breasts. The waist area fit perfectly.

So, I kept the third dress. And I went to the cloth store. There are no chain cloth stores in my town, but there's an indie cloth store downtown. I went in, went to the satin-y area, and found the perfect match in color right away.

The cloth was a different weight, but it worked out well. I bought about a yard, to have some play (in case I goofed!)

Then came the hard part. I thought that taking apart the seams would be simple. There was a seam right under the armpit on the top part of the dress. I figured I would take that seam out and add a couple inches on either side.

Well, the dress was lined. And those seams didn't line up with the outside seams. So it took a lot longer than I had anticipated.

The part of the dress I needed to add cloth to was ruched. That part was easy! I learned how to make ruffles when I first started sewing. I want to say it was in 1st grade, but I could be off by a year or two either direction. My first big sewing project was making an apron from my Grammy.

Rushing is just making a ruffle on both sides on a cloth.

If you don't know how...

You start by setting your sewing machine to a longer length stitch (4 on mine). Then you sew from one end to the other, along the edge (like a hem without folding over the cloth). Leave the strings on either side long. You'll need them.

Then, repeat, next to the first line. I usually put the sewing machine foot so that it lines up with the inside of the line I just sewed.

Take the long strings you left, and pull the bobbin string on both lines at the same time. It will bunch up the cloth.

For the ruching I did, I just repeated on the other side.

Make sure your cloth is at least double the length you need it to end up.

After you've pulled it to the length you like, set your sewing machine back to normal, and stitch across the edges again, so that the ruffle stays put. Then I sewed it to another piece of cloth that was the length I wanted, as backing. 

As you can see in the above picture, they're fairly big ruffles. I ironed them slightly to make them flatten a bit. More cloth would allow for smaller ruffles. 

Then I just had to piece these pieces into my dress. Not having a second person to help, nor a dressmaker dummy, this was also more time consuming than it should have been. 

But with the use of a lot of pins, mirrors, and dumb luck, I made it work!

 Not the best pictures, but they'll do.

You can't even tell where I added in the cloth, and it fits perfectly!

This wasn't meant to be a tutorial, but more of an inspiration. I can't give legit sewing tutorials because I'm really an nontraditional sewer... and by that, I mean I tend to guesstimate on measurements, and do a lot of eye-balling. 

My seam ripper is my favorite tool, haha. 

But somehow I always prevail. It's one of those things I can't teach because I'm never quite sure how I got to my final product. 

I wish I had some in-progress pictures of my last sewing escapade. Not my Harley Quinn or Renn Faire costumes, those I used a pattern for, but my Arabian Nights costume from college. I made it completely from scratch, with no patterns. 

 There it is. Complete with an arm band face mask. 
...Oh, and yea. I had pink hair.



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