Mini Betty Page

Maybe some of you remember when I had to alter a green bridesmaid dress last year from Betty Page website. They seem to specialize in retro fashions for curvy girls.

This year my oldest daughter is renewing her wedding vows and has chosen one of those dresses and added a red petticoat. Without revealing too much, here is what the dress looks like on a model:pam dress 3 And here it is on a live person:mom-dress-side  mom-ruffle

Now the request was put to me to make a matching dress for her 8 year old daughter to wear on that day. OK, how hard can that be? Let’s start with a pattern with princess lines:M6018 McCalls 6018 should do the trick. Now, all I had to do was visit my local JoAnn’s for some polka dot material and solid black broadcloth, black ribbon and lots of red tulle netting. The dress was lengthened and lined and I added rows of loops in the seams made from rayon rattail cord. The black 5/8 inch grosgrain ribbon would fit through those nicely and not slip away.

3-loops4-loops The ribbon was stitched down at the top and the hems were machine stitched using 2 different colors of thread. The red tulle netting was attached to the lining between the outside skirt and the underskirt for greater poof.

1-front2-backside Center back has an invisible zipper. I think this little girl will feel very special.

Speaking of invisible zippers, some of you would do anything to avoid using or inserting them. But I have found that over the years most garments come with them and removing and re-inserting them is just my bread and butter so it’s no big deal.

You just get used to digging out the zipper foot and just getting on with it. I just finished 2 skirts which had to have that alteration done and another batch came in last week…included are some with side pockets next to the zipper:1-side-zipper-into-pocket Another problem that has shown up is what to do when there is a tear below the back vent? Remember the black skirt with the ribbon waistband last week? Here is the last little bit required to finish it…5-vent-ribbon 6-hole7-hole8-baste-down10-vent-ribbon  Problem solved, hole covered and protected with a cute interesting detail that matches the waistband….and how did those weird darts work out? Ta-Da…9-side-seam No one knows but you what was done to snug up that waist, the bottom of the new dart blends into the visual line of the lower dart of the skirt.

The bridal season has really kicked off and I was able to use my new platform/pedestal for pinning up hems this week. Some real nice brides and their mothers so far, well except one that I may share later.

Also got the usual call from a nervous bride who dropped off her dress at another seamstress in the area, not known for her speed or accuracy or delivering gowns on time and high prices…get the picture? The bride wants to gather up her dress which still has the original pins in it and come over for a consult…it has to be so disturbing for girls who put all their trust in one shop only to have them dashed a month later…I say to them “Get on Google maps, and READ THE REVIEWS! Customers leave good and bad remarks for future customers…it is the only way to know what to expect!” A seamstress earns EVERY word of a review…good or bad and when the reviews say “Don’t go here”…they mean it!

Wishing you good weather and some spring-like skies this week!

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22 Responses to Mini Betty Page

  1. Carolyn says:

    Your granddaughter’s dress is awesome! I’m sure your daughter will be pleased!

    • mrsmole says:

      One day, Carolyn, you may be called upon to do the same for a beautiful granddaughter. Your wardrobe is amazing and continues to encourage others!

  2. theresa says:

    What a fabulous matching dress. I’d say you’ve outdone yourself. And think how pretty they will be together. Hope you are going to make it to the vow renewal!

  3. Andrea says:

    Love that your daughter chose something so fun for renewing vows, and not traditionally wedding-ish. Your granddaughter will look and feel great dressed like her mom. This makes you the best grandma!
    Great little fix with ribbon. I mean interesting detail!

  4. pix says:

    As always you have the solution for everything you are the epitome of ” rock star” with a needle. I am sure your daughter and granddaughter are extremely grateful to have such a talented mom and grandma.

  5. Shel says:

    Omigosh, the little girl dress is adorable! I can see her twirling now. Her mom’s dress looks very twirl-worthy too. : )

  6. What a lovely dress. Well done – I hope everyone has a wonderful day.
    I agree with you about reputation. I do try to keep everyone happy and when I am busy I say so and give a long finish date rather than missing a closer one (or risking less than perfect work in a rush). The only people who should be afraid of the reviews are those who aren’t fulfilling promises.

  7. prttynpnk says:

    How gorgeous your little maid of honor will be! This could be the start of a life-long addiction to rockabilly!

  8. mrsmole says:

    Thank you to all of you who have commented on the mini dress. The main issue was changing the skirt pattern to have the same princess lines so the white sections matched the bodice and followed through with the same pleats. Originally the skirt was only in 2 pieces, a front and back with 6 pleats which do not show up in the photo. It is fun to actually make something from scratch once in a while, but then all of you who don’t sew for clients have that opportunity every day!

  9. Ahh, I have the luxury of sewing for myself, Mrs Mole, but none of your talent or expertise! A fabulous dress, simply beautiful.

  10. Karin says:

    You are right, your granddaughter is going to feel very special!

  11. lozzen says:

    Mrsmole, I am always fascinated by your sewing solutions. Although I think the little dress was beautiful, I love to see how you solve these other alteration problems. Thanks agains for an informative read.

  12. mrsmole says:

    The interesting thing is with making up solutions is to make that a “feature” so that no one thinks grandma had her way with the garment.I see so many garments that have features that are never used like belt loops on $300 pants. I ask the client, “do you wear this with a belt?” and they answer, “I don’t own a belt”…so there are at least 5 wasted belt loops making lumps under a nice sweater or t-shirt. Front and back pockets are the same, if you don’t use them, have your seamstress serge them off inside and stitch them closed on the outside…instant flat tummy and butt cheeks.

  13. Bunny says:

    Wonderful post! Your grandaughter’s dress is just a perfect little knockoff of Mom’s really cool dress. I love what she has chosen for her renewal.

    • mrsmole says:

      It seems that those Betty Page dresses are really catching on and my daughter who works as a floor manager for TJ Maxx says they just got a whole shipment of them in with discount prices so more women can wear “I Love Lucy” dresses as she calls them.

  14. Monique says:

    Lovely, Mrs Mole! Will you be making something nice for yourself too? I hope you all have a wonderful day when it comes.

  15. anne k says:

    What fun choices by your daughter, and how wonderfully you realized her vision! As always.
    Thank you for sending me to Bunny at La Sewista. I’ve read her blog from start to finish, as I did yours. It’s great to learn from The Best!

    • mrsmole says:

      Bunny’s blog is amazing and awe-inspiring! Thank you for the nice comments on my granddaughter’s dress.

  16. Alethia says:

    Great job on both dresses, especially the little mini me dress, lol!!

  17. mrsmole says:

    I’ll bet you get requests for those dresses too from time to time…it is because we cannot say no…and we put so much “thinking time” into our sewing time. Like my sewing friends say, “If we got paid for our thinking time, we’d be rich”.

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