Tuesday, October 26

dress mess: the saga continues

Well, what was once known as 'dress stress' I have now renamed 'dress mess'. Not a mess in the desperate sense of the word, but quite literally a mess. Last evening my living room/foyer/library/occasional dining room/sewing room (this is all one room, it just serves innumerable purposes) looked like the aftermath of an F4 tornado: disembodied sleeves strewn about, zippers draped o'er the chairs, tissue-paper-pattern-carnage in every direction, and an inch-thick layer of black thread snippets across the entirety of the room. It was exhilarating!

On Saturday, as previously mentioned, I wandered into a small alterations shop in the area for some sewing salvation. There I met a short, elderly, Italian woman who does not like to make eye contact but who would patiently guide me through the fitting process. When she realized that the dress was crafted by my very hands she said very bluntly, "I'm not going to waste my time fixing your dress. I'll show you how to do it". And I simultaneously thought "dang!/YES!". After a good bit of pinning, tugging and chalking she told me to go home, make those alterations, and then return to her in a few days to figure out the next steps.

It seems that my petite Italian seamstress has become my sewing teacher. I mean she assigned me HOMEWORK. She also taught me how to take in only the front or only the back of the bodice if only one side needs to be adjusted. And how to rip out seams only at the places you need to alter instead of going too seam-ripping-happy.

Even though I came back from the dress fitting a bit tired (and tired of my dress), and even though I literally sent malicious side glances at the dress all weekend long, last night I was finally inspired enough to attempt the alterations. In the process I took off both sleeves, removed the zipper and hook & eye, took up half of the collar, ripped up and adjusted 3 of the pleats at the waist. Then I put everything back together, added a dart under each armhole and cut out/attached new sleeves.

So it is with great relief and confidence that I announce to you that in all likelihood the Little Black Dress will be usable and functional. I'm headed back to the seamstress later this week for some help with the hem, and soon after I hope to post some pictures.

I apologize if you find all this sewing-chatter boring. If you are a person who could care less about the sewing alterations process but somehow made it through this entire post, I have to say, 'you rock':

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