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An Unexpected Emergency


A few weeks ago I had a bridal emergency, but not the sort I was expecting. I’ve mentioned that I’ve done a lot of different things in my life and one of them was dressmaking. I had a frantic message from a lass that did gymnastics with my daughter more than a decade ago asking if I could help with some alterations to a dress.


The wedding was less than a week away and the dress had been back to the shop twice already, getting worse (in her opinion) each time.

It was a beautiful dress, but designed for someone with a much more generous bust than this bride, and “fixing it” had entailed putting in more and more padding in the built in bra rather than taking the bodice apart and making it smaller, which would have been a huge job.


My daughter’s friend felt like she had a couple of rugby balls strapped to her chest. She looked great but felt really uncomfortable. For what should be one of the most special days in one’s life, for the one day when all eyes are on her, a bride should feel comfortable.


It took me three full days (I took a day off from my day job) carefully unpicking all the layers, making the cups smaller, putting it all back together and reapplying the heavy lace and beading and on the final fitting (the day they were leaving for their country wedding) we all shed tears of joy and relief.


If you’ve ever wondered why alterations cost so much I hope this answers the question. 8 hours x 3 days x $22/hour (Woolworths Cashier’s hourly rate, not a professional fee) = $528


No, I won’t make your dress for you, I stopped doing that when I worked out I’d made $1.27 an hour for the last one I did 17 years ago. However, you can relax knowing that there is always a needle and thread in my kit in case of emergencies on the day.

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