Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Prom Season: The Year of the Jewels

So prom season is officially over here in the studio and with numerous alterations going in and out our doors, we noticed a huge trend this year: JEWELS and BEADS.  While all of the dresses were beautiful, as we mentioned in our How To Spot Quality: Formal Attire Edition blog, they are much harder to alter.  Since the alterations are complicated to do (and visualize!), we thought we'd do a little picture book expansion for you guys!

Dress before any work was done.  The safety pins mark how much the dress needed to be taken in.
After determining which beads can stay and which have to go, we hand stitch each individual bead onto the dress to help stabilize them.  Because the beads are all sewn on in long strands, if we were to just cut them off without resewing the remaining beads, all of the beads would fall off.  This photo was taken after the surrounding beads were stabilized and we had begun to take off the extra beads.

One side done!!  See the threads coming out of the rows of gold beads?  Those are the threads that hold all of the gold beads like I mentioned above.  Imagine just cutting them and all of those tiny beads falling off!!  Also notice the pilers in the picture: we use those to crush beads as well to keep their threads intact.  If the threading will be hidden, we can keep it, ensuring that the remaining beads won't go sliding off.

All of the extra stuff taken off!!  Because this dress in particular had to be taken in so much, we ended up with a huge pile of beads.  The tiny needle and thread I pointed out in the picture are what we use to stabilize all of the bead.  See in comparison to the beads how small it is?  It's tiny size is so it is able to thread through even the smallest of beads.

Both sizes stabilized and extra beads removed so this dress is ready for taking in!  
So after all of that tedious work, we are ready to actually take this dress in!  See the added time it takes to alter it?

In the end, jeweled and beaded gowns always look AMAZING, but the time it takes to get there is a bit longer.  In line with our How to Spot Quality series, this is just something to think about when out shopping for that perfect formal dress.  You go girl and get that jeweled gown!  But keep in mind, if it doesn't fit off the rack you could end up paying for it again in alterations...

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