bridal gown alterations

A Framed Memory

The minute she put it on, Stacy knew that this gown was going to be treasured forever. Her exquisite Justin Alexander beaded gown was just what she had dreamed of and now what she will use as a piece of art. 

Framed gown in Stacy’s home

“I must say that the cleaning & framing of my dress turned out just as I had hoped, so the long wait was well worth it!”

We asked Stacy a few questions that led to the framing of her gown. 

How did you choose Oakwood Cleaners to clean your gown?

I used the knot and just google results. I then read a lot of reviews because I was a bit weary with handing my dress over to just anyone. I chose you all based on your reputation, cleaning process, and great customer service when I called with questions. I don’t recall whom I spoke to but I felt assured that my dress would be safe and not be around harmful chemicals.

Why did you choose to frame your wedding gown?

I chose to frame my gown because I have been dreaming of it since I was a little girl. My mother is Korean and was married in a traditional Korean dress (hanbok) rather than a “beautiful white American dress”, as she would say. Though she looked stunning I think she always wanted an American wedding dress, so growing up she would always tell me how important the dress is, what it symbolizes, and since it is worn on the most important day of our lives we should always keep it and take care of it. Originally I was just going to preserve it in a small box, but one day at my parents home I walked past hanbok from my first birthday, which is a big deal in Korea, and thought to myself…. how awesome would it be if I had my dress framed?? Though the size of the framing and investment would be quite a bit more than it was for my tiny baby dress, my former fiancée / now husband thought it would not only be a great way to preserve the memory of our special day, but show my mother that I don’t take for granted the fact I got a beautiful American wedding dress & that I would take care of it forever… The fact it is a beautiful piece of art in my home is an added bonus 🙂

When I look at it I think of my wedding day and how magical it was, but I also think about all of those times my mom would wander into the wedding section of a dress shop to fantasize which she would choose. It as always a lot of fun and one of those mother daughter memories I will always remember.  The touching part of this story is when I went to get my wedding dress I had them pick out a dress for her to try on. She was nearly in tears … kind of funny that a dress can mean so much/ hold such symbolic meaning. 

A Kiss

This is Stacy’s gown as she brought it to us for cleaning.

Stacy’s gown before cleaning

We always suggest using our neighbors The Beveled Edge for projects such as this. They also frame needle point, printed fabric, you name it! Here is the process direct from The Beveled Edge in Nashville, TN.

Laying the dress in place
Ready for delivery

 

A precious moment for Stacy

“Thank you again for the excellent quality in service and helping me preserve a little piece of my special day.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether you need pressing before your wedding, cleaning and or preservation after your wedding or something special like framing, Oakwood Cleaners is here for you!

Your Memories Preserved

I so enjoyed my interview with Geny’s Flower & Bridal about our Wedding Gown Preservation process. Here it is:

http://blog.genysflowersandbridal.com/wedding-dress-preservation-right-here-in-nashville?utm_campaign=Wedding+Dresses&utm_content=58870406&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook

BE SPOT SAVVY!

Wine on Raw Silk
Wine on Raw Silk

It is holiday party time!

Let’s face it, juggling a drink and buffet plate is no easy feat. Add to that the jostling and maneuvering inherent at any party, and the chances of a spill or stain increase dramatically.

Spilled wine on silk dress
Spilled wine on silk dress

We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: what do you do when your favorite outfit gets a wine, soda or dipping sauce stain?  As little as possible.

Water, club soda and even ‘miracle’ stain removal products will generally do more harm than good.  They will disturb sizings, cause rings and in some cases pull the color in dyes.  Rubbing a stain creates friction which will abrade the fibers and cause irreparable harm.  The fact is we can probably remove the stain safely, but there’s little we can do about dye disturbance, rings and fiber damage from abrasion.  So, what should you do?

Follow these simple, non-destructive steps –

– gently remove any excess

– place a clean white cloth UNDER the stained fabric and blot from the top with a clean white cloth

– NEVER RUB a stain

 – bring the item in promptly for cleaning

Tablecloth with wine spill
Tablecloth with wine spill

Stains will oxidize and set if left untreated for any length of time.  The alcohol in liquors and wines can pull color.  So in the case of spots and stains, haste does not make waste.  The quicker you bring the item in for cleaning, the more likely the stain removal treatment will have a favorable outcome.

As always, if you have any questions about stain removal or garment care, ask us.  We are happy to share our expertise with you.

 

TALE OF A NAVY PEA COAT

Nancy brought in her father’s vintage navy pea coat hoping that we could restore it for her son Alex to wear. Below are some pictures of how it looked when we first received it.

Torn up inside lining before restoration
Torn up inside lining before restoration

Front and Back before restoration

Front and Back before restoration

As you can see it had definately seen better days.

George A. Love
George A. Love

George A. Love served in the Seabees in World War II and in the Navy in the Korean War.

In WWII, he was assigned to the Seabee Construction Battalion Maintenance
Unit No. 623 as a Machinist Mate Second class (MM2C).

Construction Battalion Maintence Unit 623
Construction Battalion
Maintence Unit 623

They were sent to Guiuan, Samar in the Leyte Gulf (Philippines) to build an airstrip and infrastructure.

They arrived on December 23, 1944 on a Dutch cargo ship, the M.S. Sommelsdikj.

The H.M.S. Sommelsdijk
The H.M.S. Sommelsdijk

On December 25, Tokyo Rose, a radio broadcaster of Japanese propaganda, promised the Navy boys a Christmas present.  On the morning of December 26, a Japanese plane appeared and dropped two torpedoes.  The plane then crashed into the sea when its wing tip caught the water.  One torpedo hit the ship in Hold #1 starting a fire which quickly spread to Hold #2 where most of the men were staying.  Since the ship was in a bay, the ship was purposely run aground and the men either swam to shore or were able to evacuate to another ship.  The unit was allowed to stay in the Church of the Immaculate Conception until a camp site could be built.  Many were wounded but only six men lost their lives in this attack.

Map

George safely returned from this war and went back to high school where he met
and married Nancy’s mother, Martha E. Cathey.
He was re-drafted to the Korean War and claimed this was a sightseeing tour compared to WWII.

George and Martha Love
George and Martha Love

When he returned home, he and my mother had three daughters.
He never spoke of his service to our country.

I don’t know why – possibly he thought his “girls” would not want to hear about it.

When Desert Storm began in 1990, he and I were watching it on TV and he started talking about his service.  I became fascinated and wanted to hear all about it to preserve his story.

His pea coat was passed down to 2 sisters, but passed Nancy. Nancy’s sister Cathey, found the pea coat in her closet and passed it on to Alex the younger of Nancy’s two sons. Alex is a history buff especially about World War II and Classic Rock (but that’s another story…).  By now the coat was beginning to show wear and tear.  The lining was deteriorating, the buttons kept falling off and it was dirty and musty.

I wondered if it could be restored.  I posted the question on social media and Oakwood Cleaners came highly recommended as being very good at restoring vintage wedding gowns.  I gave them a call, met with Rhonda and her seamstress and I am very happy to say the pea coat looks brand new.

Front and Back after restoration
Front and Back after restoration
Inside after restoration
Inside after restoration

Alex is beyond Proud to continue to wear his grandfather’s Navy Pea Coat in honor of not only his grandfather but of our military and the sacrifices made for our country

Alex wearing George's  Navy Pea Coat
Alex wearing George’s
Navy Pea Coat

Life at Oakwood – Post 4

SEWING…

Needle_Thread

Is a Lost Art

We have found it at Oakwood Cleaners!

Megan 1draw smMegan 2 sm

Megan came to us as a graduate of O’more College of Design. Her portfolio is titillating with imaginative creations. She comes with the experience needed to perform the simplest to the most involved repairs and alterations. You must come see her, but make sure to call an schedule an appointment as she is high in demand.

Edgar 1 sm Edgar 2 sm

 

Edgardo has a unique attention to detail. He wears 2 hats at Oakwood Cleaners. Pressing linens and cottons is his primary team function. Since “Edgar” as we call him is at the Hermitage plant, he is called upon quite often for repairs that come in.

His attention to detail has become quite beneficial for hand or machine work on wedding gowns and other intricate items.

So… alterations are happening at Oakwood Cleaners. Our tailors are high in demand, appointments are a must for fittings and you must be prepared for a 2 to 3 week turn-around time for everyday wear. If you are interested in having your wedding gown or formal gown altered the turn-a-round time could be 3 to 4 months. Just give us a call at 615.620.6095 to schedule your appointment.

Some tips for your wedding gown fitting

You have your date, you have your dress and now it needs some alterations! Here are some important tips to follow when preparing to have your wedding gown altered.

  • If possible allow 3 to 4 months from your wedding date for your alterations. It is normal to have 3 fittings, the third being the final to make sure your dress is a perfect fit.
  • Always bring the shoes you will be wearing at your wedding and the undergarments you will be wearing that day. Your seamstress cannot be expected to fit your dress to your specifications without these in hand at every fitting.
  • You must communicate. You are the only one that knows how you want your dress to fit. Never assume the seamtress can read your mind. Make sure that notes are taken so you are both on the same page.
  • Vintage dresses can be a challenge but special. Again, let your seamstress know what you are thinking and you might want to count on an extra fitting.
  • Wrong or no shoes, wrong under garments usually end up in a more costly bill at the end.