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Friday, January 30, 2015

Fairy Tales: Alice in Wonderland

As a seamstress, I find couples hilarious. This one couple in particular made me laugh because they were complete opposite. They came to me wanting to be Alice and the Mad Hatter. Easy enough, right? It should have been, but what started as a normal order quickly became the funniest experience of the year.

It started as most orders start. With the initial visit. I had to measure them both, so I started with the wife. Got her all measured up and we started discussing her costume. It was simple enough because she just wanted the blue dress, made of a heavy cotton, and a white apron, also made out of cotton. She also needed a petticoat trimmed in a cute lace, so we spent some time with lace samples. Her husband sat on the couch and rolled his eyes the whole time. Typical visit.

Then it was his turn to be measured. The measuring went fine. Then out came the fabric. I'll be honest and tell you that it's usually the wife picking the fabrics for the husband. Very few husbands actually care what costumes their wife pick out or what material those costumes are made out of. This husband was certainly not typical.

I pulled out the fabric I'd typically use for the Mad Hatter, but the husband immediately didn't like it. The wife shrugged and went to sit on the couch, so I told the husband to pick out what he'd like. He picked an olive green cotton (not what I'd usually use) for the pants and hat. The blue cotton I was using for the wife's dress was his pick for the tie, vest, and hatband. A white shirt was fine, but he thought it would be nice if the fabric was the same as the petticoat his wife was getting. That was just weird, but okay. But then he found this yellow-orange cotton that he insisted would make an excellent jacket. Okay, then...

By this point, the wife is giggling because the fabric choices weren't what you would call coordinated. And it was only going to get funnier. I pulled out the sketch I'd usually use for the Mad Hatter, one I'd made a dozen times before, but the husband pulled out one of his own. Let's just say they were...different. Mine was streamlined and generally what a husband who didn't exactly what to dress up would appreciate. His was...eccentric.

At this point, the wife is laughing outright. She was laughing so hard she just about fell off the couch, and I was having a hard time of it as well. The husband looked at both of us like we were nuts. Getting myself under control, I took his drawing and promised to do what I could.

Fast forward two weeks and they're back for a fitting. The wife loved her dress and it required only a few moments to take in the waist by a millimeter so it really hugged her. Perfect. The husband tried his on. The pants and shirt fit well enough, as did the vest. As per his drawing, the coat was big and nutty. And too long, but he liked it well enough.

The change he asked for? He wanted me to take my stitch ripper and rough it all up. With the wife giggling, I did so. Only a few tears at first, but with the husband pleading, I must have torn two dozen holes in the thing. As I did so, he threw the hat on the floor and stomped on it. Then he nodded to himself and put the hat on his head. Now I was giggling.

"Ignore him," the wife giggled. "He's always like this. Everything is perfect."

They were just about the happiest couple I've ever had the pleasure of serving. I guess that's what matters.

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