Baroque Couture - Week 7

Week 7:

Tue 2nd - (12:30 to 5:30)
Towards the end of last week, a lady called Fiona came into the store with a dress she had brought from 'The Dressing Room' and wanted it altered for her fast approaching wedding. Elaina asked me if I wanted to do the alterations again and this time, the entire amount of money made from the alteration would be given to me. Fiona tried on her dress and Elaina and I pinned the bodice into a better fit as this was the area that needed the most alterations. Today I started with the alterations of the dress and I focused on the bust and side seams where the required amounts would taken in. I spent the most part of the day taking in the bodice as the dress was made from so many layers and was made in such a difficult and irregular way that the whole alteration process was extended considerably. I especially struggled with joining the lining and outer dress back together along the top edge as the seam allowance had previously been snipped into to reduce bulk so therefore there was a lot less fabric for the sewing machine to grip onto. By the end of the day I had finished adding the darts into the seam and closed off the bodice again, I just left a small hole on the inside of the lining that I will hand - stitch closed tomorrow.

Wed 3rd - (10 to 5)
When I got to the shop this morning, I hand - stitched closed the small hole on the inside of Fiona's dress and added 2 hanging straps on the inside of the side seams so the dress could be stored properly. Once the alterations were finished, I gave the bodice and the skirt of the dress a light steam to ensure that everything was laying flat and none of the seams had twisted during the alterations process.  

I also helped Elaina re - make the shoulder shrug for Caroline. After pinning the Marabou feather trimming onto the shrug before hand - stitching it into place, we realized that we didn't have enough trim and had only managed to cover 3/4's of the shrug. Elaina asked me to find and order some more trimming for the shrug, off the internet so that we could finish it for Caroline's wedding which was on Sun 7th. I found a private seller on Ebay and ordered 3 metres of Marabou trimming in Ivory. When it finally got delivered a number of days later, the trimming was cream and didn't match the colour of the feathers we already had on the shrug. Elaina decided to keep the cream trimming away and I ordered a further 10 metres of Marabou feather trimming from a different selling on Ebay, so that we could replace the previous trimming and re - cover the shrug with the new shade. When the second set of feathers were delivered we found that the feathers were once again very cream and were totally un-suitable. This was a complete nightmare as we only had 2 days left to find an alternative and make the shrug.
I sent the wrong feathers back to the seller and got a refund and Elaina decided to make the shrug out of a very glossy velvet with a white shine that would mirror the ivory colour on Caroline's wedding dress. I removed all the pins from the previous shrug we had made and used the pattern from the old shrug as a basis for the velvet shrug. We also altered the shaping of the shoulders to give a better fit and added a thick silk lining for extra warmth. Elaina then quickly finished off the shrug by adding a light embellishment around the neckline and attaching 2 large silk ties on the front to be used as a fastening.

Once the shrug was finished we received a fabric delivery from Elaina's fabric supplier 'Carrington's textiles' based in Lancaster. The new fabric would be for new brides Caroline's and Lucy's dresses.

For the final part of the day, Elaina and I moved back onto the Art - Deco dress, which is the 3rd dress for the new Ethereal collection. We found some old vintage lace that Elaina had in storage and used that to cover the bodice and to make the underskirt of the dress. We attached the skirt to the bodice along the hip line and then I added a long hidden zip down the centre back of the dress to use as the fastening.

Fri 5th - (12 to 6)
As we had received a new fabric delivery the previous day, today Elaina and I were able to cut out and make the top circular skirts/polos for Gemma's dress. We used the same polo pattern we had followed for the underskirts and netting of the dress, to ensure that all the layers were the same length and would fall the same way. We cut out 4 polos, 2 for the front and 2 for the back, and joined them all together to make a generous top flounce to cover the netting. Elaina then pinned it into place along the same attachment point of the rest of the layers and allowed the fabric to 'drop' over night in storage.

Bride Caroline also came in to collect her dress for her wedding this week and also tried on the velvet shoulder shrug we had made for her. The shrug was still slightly too big on her shoulders so Elaina pinned it to take it in again and then she would personally deliver the shrug to Caroline when she helped her with her make - up on the day of the wedding. Overall Caroline loved the shrug and was very excited about her wedding. 
This was lovely as I got on really well with Caroline and it was nice to see the whole process with the bride from designs and fittings to collecting the dress and wishing them the best of luck for their wedding. 

Today was my last day and I have officially completed 140 hours of work placement at Baroque Couture.
I have also be offered a job as a self employed Pattern Cutter/Creative Cutter/Tailor and Seamstress working with Elaina :)

Later today Elaina came to my flat and gave me a beautiful bunch of flowers and a card to say thankyou. It was really sweet of her and I shall miss working with her.

Day to day diary /notes I had recorded during my time at Baroque Couture. . .

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