Big changes to come

I have made some big progress this month (as it has been almost a month since I last posted again) – some sewing and some just life.

The Management and I went on a weeks holiday to Cornwall only a week after I spent the  mid-week in London so constructively. I don’t feel bad about being away so much of June as I have worked pretty hard between trips to ensure I wasn’t going to fall behind schedule. The Management certainly needed a break – and this was a great opportunity to chill out, enjoy the wonderful sea air on walks, and chew out some big life decisions.

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Enjoying a cliff walk on our 38th Wedding Anniversary

The biggest outcome from the week is that he has brought forward his retirement date to March 2017. Now, there is no point in him being retired and us not being able to do what we want at the drop of a hat because I am stuck on an order so….. I have decided that I will be stopping taking client work in December. My normal December/Christmas rules will apply so that effectively means that I will be finished all client work by Christmas this year! I was a bit uncertain about this decision at first but I am now seeing lots of benefits – the major one of which will be more time to do the things I want to sew. Hurrah! I have started telling clients and the response is OK so far, with the exception of the first I told who cried!

Anyway, what have I been doing? Well, washing all the fabric that I bought on the trip to Birmingham with the Demented Fairy ( and re-washing the piece that got coloured when it was sitting with another damp piece. Thankfully the transfer dye came out. Phew), cutting out the first pair of PJ’s (the bird box cotton since you ask) and a shirt in the red/black and white stripe for The Management ,  and planning a few things for myself that are still waiting in a heap. I have been blog stalking and coming away with loads more to add to my wish list (great, but not really helpful). The client work is up to date and the garden looks loads better so I can only hope that my own ‘wishes’ come true pretty soon.

One of the things that many dressmakers who are willing to do alterations are asked to do is alter clothing that has been ordered online – often allegedly ‘made to measure’. I confess I have probably made a fair amount of money over the years putting these right for people (and disappointed a few whom I had to tell there was no possibility of making their garment work). This isn’t another of those. This time I have an alteration to style on a garment that a client ordered – but I’m getting ahead of myself and she has given me permission to show photographs, so here we go.

A lovely client of some years standing has a wedding later this year, she will be the mother of the groom. After some searching online for what she might like to wear she came up with several options from the same source – V Bridal. Anne is very tiny so she knew there would be no huge hat (like the picture), and she thought the jacket sleeves weren’t right for her. The idea was to make a similar dress in silk rather than the synthetic offered by the company but the cost of the fabric and my estimated bill made this significantly more expensive than the offered dress/jacket. And no beading.The decision was taken to order the outfit and see how she felt about it when it arrived. I took the required measurements and they were duly sent off. I initially tried modelling the skirt to see if I could work out how this was done and was happy to see that I was almost exactly like the dress when it arrived.

I had Anne put the dress on so I could see – it was a pretty darn fine fit. The website says the dresses are made to exactly the measurements given – no wearing ease allowed there! She had just been on holiday and claimed to be at her heaviest, but we both know from past experience that she will lose weight in the run up to the wedding as she loses appetite under stress.

As you can see she looks great in the outfit, and once the sleeves were altered to be the simple straight sleeve she wanted she looks much more in proportion (You can’t really get the impression of just how weeny she really is from the pictures – and I can see she has already lost a bit of weight). The quality of the fabric was pretty good, and the construction was great (the sleeves had a base fabric for support and tulle to hold up the ‘puffs’in addition to the main fabric and lining). Bearing in mind the cost of the dresses on the website I can see the appeal of ordering to fit – and on this occasion it did fit well. With this in mind I would hesitatingly recommend the company – just take accurate measurements and make sure that you bear in mind there is no ease built into the measures you give. They were apparently very helpful by e-mail, and delivered the dress/jacket exactly when they said they would. For that alone they deserve a Hurrah!

I intend to get stuck in on the PJ’s and shirt for The Management next, but have every intention of being next in line after that!

 

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40 Comments on “Big changes to come”

  1. Roxane says:

    First, there is nothing like retirement. You will love it.

    I love the skirt on the dress, and your changes to the sleeve on the jacket really improved the whole look. I know quite a few people who have torn their hair out trying to find good MOB or MOG dresses, and would have sold their souls to find something like this.

    • I’m starting to relax already now that I have made the decision!
      I hope this isn’t a freak order but if this outfit is indicative of the standard V Bridal produce I would say they are worth a try.

  2. duffrunning says:

    The sleeves are loads better pared down. What a gorgeous colour as well.

  3. Congratulations on the anniversary!!! So great that you have spent so many years together! Retirement sounds great to me! 🙂

    • Kim Hood says:

      There’s no one else who would put up with me! Hopefully we will be able to do much more together in retirement – but also individually which gives us plenty to talk about 😃

  4. ooooooh retirement, the magic word! I’ve got to struggle on for another 10 years unfortunately, and hopefully not die from stress on the way! Enjoy it, and think of all the fun sewing you can get done!

  5. mrsmole says:

    Fabulous decision, Kim! Many of my 55-60 yr old young sewing friends are doing the same…leaving the rest of us to work until 70. You might miss all the stress and anguish of troublesome clients so you can get your fix reading other blogs. I do look forward to seeing new creations and locations of relaxation!!! You lucky girl!!!

  6. Thimberlina says:

    Congratulations on the Management’s Anniversary! And to your forthcoming retirements, I’m sure you’ll both soon wonder how you had time to work. The dress does look so much better with your changes 🙂

  7. CurlsnSkirls says:

    Congratulations for your anniversary and some grand decisions! 🎉🎈And a wonderful re-do for that Mother of the Groom ~ it’s a lovely dress & I know she’ll enjoy wearing it. Happy PJ-sewing! ✂️

  8. sew2pro says:

    What a lovely couple you are (and nice to meet the Management)!

    (I’m very interested in your experience, and opinion, of V Bridal: I have a client I measured up for a bridesmaid dress from a similar company coming tomorrow to arrange an alteration and I’m curious to see how the dress will look)

    • Kim Hood says:

      Thank you! (A rare picture of us together – and he hates selfies!)
      Please let me know your experience with the bridesmaids dress – I was amazed at the fit of Anne’s dress.

      • sew2pro says:

        The fit wasn’t brilliant but I don’t blame the company (OK Dress). The client had set herself a target of losing a stone in half a year and this hasn’t happened. The CB zip didn’t do up for 5cm. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to alter the dress; the seam allowances were generous and the chiffon was underlined so no danger of spoiling it. I wish I could think of a good business model like that!
        Tomorrow she picks up so I’ll find out if my alteration worked.

        Adieu, from an alterations novice to a retiring pro!

        • The planned weight loss rarely works. Glad the alterations were straightforward. Always available for advice should you need it – but I’m sure you are fine 😃.

  9. sewbussted says:

    How wonderful!!! So happy for you. It will take a little period of adjustment, but I think you’ll find that it’s going to be your favorite period of life.

    • Kim Hood says:

      Thanks Rhonda! We are looking forward to having more time – although everyone we know who is retired seems to be really busy (the difference seems to be that it’s what you want to do rather than HAVE to do 😃)

  10. What a lovely vacation, and retirement plans for both of you. Wonderful! I must say, simplifying those sleeves made all the difference in the world. The MOG looks fabulous in her beautiful dress.

  11. Mike Eaton says:

    Good luck for the future, sounds like you will have a lot of fun – the joys of retirement! think I may have a go at that this year, at 69 traveling for work is becoming a bit onerous!

  12. tialys says:

    Good decision! I can definitely see quilts on your horizon now 😉

  13. Exciting times. You’ll have a blast!
    This jacket is so much better without those sleeves. They absolutely swamped her!

  14. helenkosings says:

    Just started reading yer blog – I just *love* that you call your husband “the Management”! I’d steal it from you for my own blog, if I hadn’t been calling my DH “Studmuffin” on the blog for nearly a decade. 🙂

  15. amcclure2014 says:

    Great decision made! You must be next on your sewing list! I like your sleeve alterations much better than the original – in better proportion for Anne. Great colour too.

  16. Congratulations for everything…the anniversary, the holiday, the retirement decision and the wonderful photo of you both! Lovely too to see some of your client work, she looks amazing 😀

    • Thank you! I only show client work with their permission – but clearly that wont be for much longer 🙂 . I am enjoying planning what I want to make for us at the moment. I will need to live ’til I’m 160 or more to finish it all!

  17. Ann Webber says:

    Your version of the sleeves infinitely superior. Wonderful color on her. But the big news! Retirement! Congratulations. Life’s next phase. Oh the possibilities….

  18. Oh I would love to have more time for myself and my family – Lucky you! That dress is fabulous!

  19. Fadanista says:

    Oh congratulations on the joint decision – you will love being retired and will wonder how you ever found time to work. I love what you did with your dress and can imagine that your clients are going to be desolate when you give up work.

  20. sewruth says:

    Enjoy your ‘retirement’. Nothing like having time that’s your own.


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