Many, many years ago I was deep into altering wedding gowns. I could do it all. Shorten, lengthen, remove or add sleeves, change a neckline, bustle, add eight inches to the width, remove/add appliques…WAIT! Did that say ADD eight inches to the width? Yes it did and yes I did.
You know what happens when you have a bride who was determined to fit into a gown that is too small – waaaaay too small? You have to accommodate and accommodate is what I did. She was going to wear that dress come hell or high water.
There was also another problem with this dress. It had to cover the tattoo emblazoned on her right shoulder. The reason? Her father didn’t know she had so fearlessly gotten this tattoo a few years before while still underage. Where there’s a will there’s a way kids!
I often ask brides if they are sorry they got that tattoo now that they will be strutting down the aisle with it showing in all its glory – or not glory. The majority say yes, they wished they had hindsight.
Well let’s call my bride Tanya for lack of me not remembering her name and of course for privacy. (I wonder if her father is still in the dark.) Tanya was insistent I cover that tattoo somehow and make it look as though it was meant to be.
The dress had a low back in a V-shape and made of ivory silk taffeta with beaded lace appliques. I told Tanya after seeing her in the dress and realizing she needed eight more inches plus a tattoo covering that I would have to sleep on this one for a few nights. You see, I do my best work in my sleep. The only problem here is when I wake up, that dress is still hanging where I left it and all that work I did while dreaming was yet to be done! 😦
Tanya took the dress off after I did some measuring and left me to my dreaming. When I wasn’t dreaming I was tearing apart my sewing room looking for appliques I had saved from other wedding dress projects and trying to match some to her dress.
The next week Tanya appeared for a fitting. I had removed the zipper and added five inches to each side and tapered down to where the dress actually did fit her and tapered up to the shoulder seam leaving enough in the V-shape to cover the tattoo. After pinning the width in and adding the zipper back, the seams were covered with the appliques and the V back was much higher and miraculously the tattoo was covered also!
Tanya was ecstatic, I was a bit richer – for I charged her for sleepless nights and nightmares when I did sleep – and her father was no more the wiser! At least I don’t think he was. She paid me and I never heard from her again.
A good rule when wedding gown shopping is to buy one that fits and covers your tattoo!