Friday, June 05, 2015

Back in the Sewing Room (with some Humble Pie)

Now that the vegetable garden is in, the flower beds are finished, and three new English roses found their way into my bench garden, I've had some time for sewing. I finished up another apron this week and will hopefully finish up a dress for my mom before Sunday. Once that is completed, I'm anxious to start on some vintage dresses from patterns that I bought last year. The plan is to make them for the shop, but I sort of fell in love with the designs and fabrics as I was cutting them out. We'll see.

With being home for the summer, I've been looking around for a summer job and the other day a lady from church told me of the local bridal shop that she works for and how they were looking for another seamstress. It sounded a bit daunting, but I got brave and went in to talk to the store owner. The conversation went like this (after introductions):

Owner: You are going to have to be extremely OCD with sewing, because brides can be super finicky about seams that are unseen. Every seam you sew will have to be checked by me for awhile.
Church friend: Oh, Cheri is a better seamstress than me. (She boosted my confidence when it was beginning to melt)
Owner: Can you do a roll hem?
Me: As in on a serger?
Owner: No, like this. (And then showed an example of a 1/8" hem on the edge of a satin wedding gown)
Me: Oh. No, I don't know how to do that.
Owner: Well, it's the one thing a seamstress must do if they work for me.
Owner: Have you done a bustle before?
(Me thinking dryly: never needed one before…haha!)

And then she proceeded on with other things, but it became rather clear that I am not skilled in areas needed to be a bridal seamstress/alteration person. It was humbling for me since I thought I knew how to do most things. Even though I've been mostly self-taught, I've been sewing for others and running a small online etsy shop for several years and while not perfect, 99.99% of my customers have been happy and have returned.

But it's all good. Some seamstresses are cut out to work in a bridal shop and some are for working in a small basement sewing room pulling out vintage patterns, fabrics, and trims.

And I like it.

One of the vintage dresses that I intended to make last year.


Anonymous said...

I'm with you, I'm not sure it would be very enjoyable to work with super-fiddly fabrics and an exacting boss (although I understand why she would need to be). Sounds like a recipe for stress! Glad you were able to find something else.
I looked up the DA roses you mentioned and they are so pretty! I got mine in the ground today... Hope it does well. I don't know whether to expect any blooms this first year or not.
Laura from Quietude (issues with signing in on my phone, sorry)

Lily said...

Cheri, your sewing plans sound absolutely delightful! I hope they prove to be enjoyable and successful!

You're so right about different areas of skill in sewing. I recently dabbled in quilting- wow. That is so, so different from my garment-making techniques... I now have a huge appreciation for quilters!

I'm glad you could find out that the job wasn't a good fit before starting... brides can be so, so, so difficult to work with. My personal alteration business is small and mainly word of mouth, so my brides have all been pretty nice, conservative people but even then... there's just so much expectation and pressure. I can't imagine what immersing yourself in the secular bridal world would be like! :-/

Hope your summer is restful and refreshing!

Sarah said...


I look forward to seeing your new creations! You have such an eye for colors and details! I am always inspired when I visit your beautiful blog. Believe me when I say, working for a bridal shop is not fun. I did for couple years, and it is not a job I would want to return to. You are an excellent seamstress, and if given the chance I am sure you would be terrific at bridal alterations. : ) May the LORD continue to bless the work of your hands! Psalm 90:17


Cheri said...


What kind of rose did you end up getting? Before the sale was over, my sister bought a pale yellow DA rose bush called Graham Thomas. I'm not generally into yellow roses, but this one is a beauty! Thanks to your introducing your mom's roses on the blog, my family has been enjoying them. :)


Cheri said...


Thankyou for stopping by and saying "hello." I often think of you when I pull out 1930s patterns, but then I wonder where I've gotten a lot of inspiration from?? ;)

Do you have any fun summer sewing projects?


Cheri said...


Your kind and thoughtful note made my day. :) I'm glad there is someone who still enjoy's coming to my blog every now and then! With being in school it's hard to keep up with it, and this past semester I gave up the idea of even trying to update it. Hopefully I can make up for it during the summer months, but without going over board. :)


Lily said...

Cheri, funnily enough- I have quite a few 1930s dresses planned for this summer! ;-) I have 3 planned currently, and 2 will definitely be completed (outside-of-my-rescheduling-control deadlines! ;-)). I'm sure I'll work a few 1950s dresses into the lineup as well. I set a super ambitious stash-busting plan for myself this year so I'll be trying to hit that hardest in the summer months. I'm finding that my blog is also a good impetus to make more dresses- that way I keep having things to blog about! ;-)

Laura said...

Cheri, the rose bush we have is St. Swithun. It's a frothy, light pink rose. My mom's are Abraham Darby (also light pink, which I've posted photos of on my blog) and another ivory one whose name I don't remember. I'm so glad you are enjoying them. I can't remember how I first learned about David Austin roses -- probably in "Victoria" magazine or something like that. :)