Blinged Out Babes

Is there anything nicer than a prom or bridesmaid dress covered in jewels and sequins? This week has been a bonanza for those here in the sewing room so I want to share some of the lovelies with you. Let’s go in order of arrival:

green-promHigh School Prom Princess. Hem 3 layers (chiffon, satin and lining) 300 inches around.

green-dressyellow-dressla-femme-16802-coral-dress There are 4 of these bridesmaids dresses from Simply Dresses to hem with chiffon and satin and lining…guess how many inches around? 432 …yes, 12 yards and each layer had to be pinned and stitched and pressed times 3.

A lovely one from David’s Bridal: 212 This one is branded a perfect dress for a Mexican traditional Quinceanera .

But it will be a prom dress too and it has many, many layers to shorten by 3 inches…lining, satin, and about 7 layers of netting and tulle. The girl would like the top tightened up as well so the invisible zipper will be removed and snugged up and re-attached and sequins added back on.

And last of all…an internet purchase for another high school prom. This dress had no side seams like the previous one and needed snugging up in the waist area below the upper corset detail. Here is the back with lines drawn where it should be taken in:back-pinnednetting-mess

See the mess of tulle all lumped at the bottom of the zipper? It was actually sewn into the lower edge and was so nasty that I undid all the layers, undid the stitching and then it could lay flat away from the re-attached lapped zipper.


Of course, we have to remove at least an inch of beads and sequins to move the zipper over. I anchored the beads that were going to be the new edge before detaching the extra ones. The zipper placement turned out nice and then I thought you would like to see the inside. I try to save as much of the original fabric in case the girl sells the dress to someone else and she can have it restored to the original size if necessary.

inside When you fold under at least one inch of fabric something has to give and normally it is the bodice seam, it is opened up a little and allowed to lay flay and hand stitched down. Hook and eye are added at the top edge and we are done. Here is a photo of what the girl thought she would be getting from QualityBridals :

net-and-satin-strapless-sweetheart-plus-size-prom-dress-p2968  back In the end she will have what fits and she may even swap the blue ribbon for silver in the tiny top corset area.

And in the middle of all the brides that came and dropped off their dresses last week in the last post, and the bridesmaids here that have been done and dusted and ready to be picked up, some older lady showed up with a crappy homemade fleece jacket she made for a relative. She said her high-end sewing machine would not make buttonholes so I had to do them for her…Really?

Do I have a sign outside my house that says, “I do all the stuff you don’t want to do”? So I tell her she can do this at home by wrapping washaway stabilizer over the front and back of the buttonhole area and just stitching but she want to leave me this nasty slippery stretchy cheap JoAnn’s fabric project for 5 buttonholes. Then she needs a firm price…Oh Lord….I tell her $8 just to get rid of her and she says she can wait while I do them…What?

Is there also a sign outside that says “Instant results”? I tell her later that day or early the next day would work better for me and she leaves the buttons and thread. I make the buttonholes, they are not easy, I swear a little, OK, I swear with each one and then I think, oh, what the Hell, I will sew on the buttons while I wait for her and add tiny plastic backer buttons since the first time the jacket is worn the buttons will pull through and make holes and come away from the fleece as she has used the thinnest nastiest interfacing on the market…like tissue paper. She arrives and says she is happy I sewed the buttons and hands me $10 and says she definitely wants her $2 in change…Really? Sewing on 5 buttons with backer buttons doesn’t warrant a $2 tip? Then she says she will be back the next time she needs help with troublesome fabric and buttonholes….ahhh…I will certainly be tooo busy!

Hope everyone had a super Easter no matter what the weather!

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26 Responses to Blinged Out Babes

  1. theresa says:

    Well, you are simply bathing in tulle and sequins aren’t you! What a frothy week you’ve had!
    Turn all those old ladies onto snaps…;)
    Happy Easter to you and yours. I hope someone at least brought in a lovely chocolate bunny or two.

  2. jenerators says:

    when my daughter was trying on dresses for last year’s graduation ball, she tried on one similar to the ones you show at the top of this post. (I’d attach pics, but I’m not quite sure how here.) They offered it to us for JUST $475, down from $700+ but that was beyond my budget and the shoulder straps would have needed to be shortened as well as the hem.

    • mrsmole says:

      Most dresses like that run around $300 in poly chiffon and beads…some of them need almost $100 in alterations but the mothers seem relieved when I quote prices…do people pay more than that for hems and zipper tightening? One girl, the last blue dress said they were quoted double my price just to move the zipper…scary!

  3. mrsmole says:

    Ha ha…Theresa, no chocolate bunnies running loose here! But hubby did bring home 2 pieces of Key Lime Pie for dessert tonight to celebrate the holiday. We did manage to sneak away from our work today to buy some plants at Home Depot to brighten up the garden. Gloomy day though with no sunshine in sight! Hope all your animals and husband behaved themselves and didn’t make work for you!

  4. BeaJay says:

    You must have the patience of a saint. I would run shrieking from the room pulling out my hair if I saw that. There are some lovely dresses there. Happy Easter to you too.

  5. mrsmole says:

    Oh Beajay, it’s not really so bad…although hemming 12 yards/meters of chiffon does take a while but I just attach my straight stitch needle plate, a microtex needle, straight stitch presser foot and just get busy. The zipper altering takes more time removing those darn beads etc and then putting them back so in a way prom dresses are more tedious and I don’t charge as much per hour as brides…that may change!

  6. Shams says:

    Seriously, you really DO have the patience of a saint!!!!

  7. mrsmole says:

    You know, Shams, some days it is way easier to fit a stranger than fit myself. Having a platform really is a dream too…don’t know why I didn’t have one built years ago! Having a blog lets me be crabby…even saints have to be crabby sometimes! ha ha!

  8. Oh my! I think I would get lost in all of that tulle, linings and satin…not to mention the sequins. You definitely need a tip jar too. 🙂

    • mrsmole says:

      Here’s a cool word that my British husband shared with me: cumshaw and here is the meaning:
      I could have a cumshaw/tip jar and it would be empty most of the year. I get 2-3 tips a year…mainly from a bride or a man…never from regular customers, in fact, one of my sewing sisters in town has to put her own money in her tip jar…pathetic… and even then it is a rare day to see any of her customers grace her with their generosity.

      • Alethia says:

        What do you mean “she has to put her own money in her tip” …She does that to make people see there’s money in the tip jar …a suggestion tactic?

  9. Alethia says:

    Yeah (for the buttonhole lady), I would definitely be busy,too!
    As for all that pressing and turning each hem…do you ever use a rolled hem foot…that would cut your time in half?
    And, why is it that it seems to rain certain styles at the same time? #beadedpromdresses

    • mrsmole says:

      You know I bought the rolled hem foot from Wawak but have never practiced with it and have my doubts that it can make the hems very even when they are circle skirts of chiffon. Lordie, the chiffon is pretty uneven right from the factory in most cases but I should give it a try if I ever get a straight columnar skirt. Wish I could visit with you one day and get some experience, Alethia!!!

      • Alethia says:

        Oh no, I am humbled by your comment, but it is truly the opposite way around,lol!
        Per my “life changing” conversation with you…I am making a drastic move…we’ll talk more. 🙂

    • mrsmole says:

      Yes, my sewing sister thinks this will encourage folks to be generous…it does not seem to be working! If it doesn’t work for her, I never thought it would work for me. You know here in the Northwest we have coffee drive-ups and everyone orders a couple cups and then throws in a dollar in THEIR tip jar…all they did was pour a cup of coffee and slap a lid on it…does this make sense? Beauticians, masseuses, estheticians all get tips too but seamstresses who work their butts off to make clients look better than they are…they come up short.

  10. Andrea says:

    Wow you get some doozies!

  11. ‘Then she says she will be back the next time she needs help with troublesome fabric and buttonholes….ahhh…I will certainly be tooo busy!’

    Amen to that!

  12. Tia Dia says:

    I’ve always preferred to hem humungous chiffon skirts the old fashioned way and skip the rolled hem foot – it never EVER works on a curved hem! And I cannot believe the buttonhole lady. I would have charged her double just for the stupidity of the request!!! haha

  13. mrsmole says:

    Me too, Tia Dia…but this old dog should learn a few new tricks and practice with chiffon scraps…in my spare time…ha ha. You know that buttonhole lady doesn’t tip ANYONE nor does she recognize a favor when she gets one…sad creature. Thanks for dropping by!

  14. Mitch says:

    I feel your tulle/netting pain – I’m in the process of making a purchased childs tutu dress larger (because apparently she grew since measuring even though I added plenty of growing room to the measurements – I measure every kid in our dance school even for the purchased costumes) – removing the 8 layers of netting & lace, re-gathering & re-applying – to some cheap, nasty stretch material. This is so the teacher does not have to re-order new costumes for the entire class – because of course it was a closeout deal from China and she can’t get just one more in a bigger size. I’m feeling the need for a little chocolate therapy.

    And your buttonhole lady needs to learn how to make her own buttonholes – like, by here’s a novel approach, practicing on her machine at home. Life is too short to deal with difficult people.

  15. mrsmole says:

    Oh Mitch, why do we always get called upon to save everyone else’s bacon? Your tutus will be done right with care and a heck of a lot better than the first bunch. I feel your pain too!!!
    Buttonhole lady probably has the highest end machine out there and has never learned the buttonhole function…I agree with you…it is time to get going! I gave her piece of washaway topper to practice with…she is toast.

  16. Valerie says:

    You probably made the buttonholes lady’s day…
    p.s. You have the patience of a saint..

    • mrsmole says:

      Just have my fingers crossed that she doesn’t share my name with her friends…yes, go see this seamstress, she makes buttonholes really cheap!

      • Monique says:

        Offer them a course instead, or beter still, refer them to one. 😉 Doing it yourself is cheaper in the long run – and that idea must certainly appeal to them. Have a great day – Hope Spring is settling in!

  17. Carol says:

    Mrs. Mole, The other day on tv I watched a segment about girls getting ripped off on cheap prom dresses. Most were from China. They were too large, the wrong fabric and/or color, and generally ugly. One girl paid $300 instead of $400 for hers, on sale! The entire top in the picture was seguined, so the maker included a baggie full on sequins to be sewed on by the purchaser! I couldn’t help but think of you and your comments on these dresses. Sad, but at least the news carried a story to warn girls.

  18. mrsmole says:

    Holey Moley! Beads in a baggie! Dresses ordered from China can be good, I have mentioned a few companies that do good work but in the main, they are very shoddy inside and the measurements you send to them are hardly used…you just get a dress in a box off the production line. Carol, do you remember anything about the TV segment you can share with me and I will feature it?

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