Bride # 29 and Counting

Yes, it is only the end of July and 29 nervous brides have wandered in and out of my sewing room hoping that their dresses will send people gasping in the pews on their special day. You have seen the popular brands of wedding gowns but have you ever seen one from a project Runway Season 5 designer who now sells her wares on Etsy?

Who remembers Leanne Marshall? She did show some promise and for a while had her own line online but now she is selling custom-made gowns on Etsy and my client just fell in love with one of her designs. Now you might imagine that such a dress would come in a lovely garment bag, maybe with it’s own signature hanger but you would be wrong. The client came with an old brown paper grocery bag from Trader Joe’s and she whipped this little honey out:

il_570xN.427548267_aip4il_570xN.427548329_kbba The bodice is completely see through with only the white front sections covering the boobs and my job was to tighten it up be removing the invisible zipper and shortening all the hems. The chiffon was silk and the lining was silk charmeuse. You know that feel is way different from the polyester variety! I first felt it and asked the mother if she knew she had bought a silk dress and she said she didn’t know but she paid $1700 for the dress and it arrived in an envelope.

The zipper was put in so all the tape section was showing, a weird if not badly constructed detail and with no stabilizer or interfacing behind it once removed. I told the mother this zipper was actually attached to AIR and not much else but that I would sew it as tight as I could but a bride with a ripped center back seam would not be happy on her day.front

For those of you who want some bustle shots…let’s do it!

Last time I did show a slinky single bustle and this time how about the lace dress overlay with it’s own 3 point French bustle? First, figure out where the top center button attachment will be…not too close to her butt of course and then the 2 side sections which will have their own buttons and loops. All this is done blind be picking a point and tucking it up under the back of the dress and pinning it there to check for length. Once happy with the look, I turn the dress inside out and even up the locations, run a strip of 1/4 inch wide grosgrain ribbon down the center back seam for strength and take a photo for you.

measurements The loops have small pieces of the ribbon wedged under them for stability as do the 2 side buttons, after all we are sewing on air most of the time. Now this lace was a bitch to work with as it is metallic…it has no drape and is rough to touch and has threads sticking out everywhere.

What buttons to use? I use these from Wawak as they are flat with 2 holes:buttonsbuttons-in-hand

Once done, the bustle looks like this although this photo has the colored safety pins still attached.

final-pinning-side But is has the effect the bride wanted, narrow and close to the body and ready for dancing!

So many sewing bloggers have been writing about being too hot to sew or blog and just taking it easy this summer. It sounds so idyllic to relax with a good book and a cool drink. I have 5 more brides to finish before Labor Day and then the late-summer-into-Fall bridal season starts. Two of my brides have to be temple-ready, meaning everything covered up and very modest, so that is a challenge to keep things light as well and with our temps still at 99-105 and no relief in sight…they will need some cool breezes and/or powerful air conditioning to keep them from sweating through all those added layers.

Before I leave you, here is what the garden is producing despite the oppressive heat:


Have a super week everyone, stay cool!

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28 Responses to Bride # 29 and Counting

  1. Sewbussted says:

    When it comes to gowns, I’m never ceased to be amazed at what is put out there.
    Your garden produce looks so, well, YUMMM!!!

    • mrsmole says:

      Some of the cheapest internet dresses are made better than some high end ones…I look inside the dresses before the bride tries it on to make sure we have wide seams and things they want altered and sometime I just shake my head and say “What were they thinking….certainly not about the seamstress at the end of this”.

  2. Susie says:

    I look forward to your posts, always entertaining and interesting. When did “custom” become “needs to be altered”? My wedding gown (purchased in a nice boutique) included several fittings and it fit me perfectly on my wedding day. I didn’t spend a fortune on it, but it was still quality, silk taffeta. I guess the shop cared about their reputation?

    • mrsmole says:

      Custom should at least fit around your bust and waist and not drag on the floor…I agree. The inside of the dress looked homemade with the gathered lining being bunched up in places especially at the zipper…makes you wonder…this is high end?

  3. Tia Dia says:

    I’ve never watched any Project Runway stuff (don’t subscribe to a TV service, and don’t have time to sit and watch anything these days), but that dress is gorgeous! And how lovely to sew silk instead of that horrid polychester icky crap. Love your garden produce!

    • mrsmole says:

      The feel and drape was wonderful and there was no fabric chain store smell when you pressed it….some days you get lucky!

  4. The dress “arrived in an envelope”??? Good heavens. I remember Leanne Marshall – she did some pretty things on PR, but they did seem to have a recurring theme. Wondered what she’d end up doing. I’m sure your bride was happy with her altered (and more stable!) gown!

    Yum on the produce! Looks great. Since we’ve been in the middle of a move to a new city, we haven’t been able to do a garden – so I’m going to enjoy your harvest 🙂

    29 brides and counting…whew! I’m tired FOR you!

    • mrsmole says:

      Most internet dresses are vacuum packed flat and that means wrinkles are almost “pressed” in to save postage. Some quality time with my iron fixes that!
      Do you need any Japanese eggplant for the bar-be-que?

  5. It is interesting to see what the Project Runway contestants get up to. And I think it is probably easier to ship off a dress via web order instead of having a studio and actually doing custom with fitted dresses. (leaving you to do it instead!) Leanne Marshall also has patterns on Simplicity. And your description of sewing on air made me laugh. I see stuff in stores and think – built in wardrobe malfunction. Stay cool and what a great garden haul.

    • mrsmole says:

      Makes you wonder who is actually doing the sewing and where??? Most of the beaded motifs covering the boobs were just attached loosely along with dangling beads and pearls which I snugged up before finishing the rest. The sides seams were just covered with brown rayon hem tape…not bound just laid on top.

  6. Andrea says:

    $$1700? Whoa. And came in an envelope? Wow.
    Maybe you should make custom gowns and charge $1700 and present it on a hanger?

    • mrsmole says:

      For $1700 I’d even throw in a bodice lining and zipper backing! Thanks, Andrea!

      • Marsha says:

        “Mrsmole’s Magnificent Matrimonials”
        I had my wedding gown (31 years ago!) made by a local seamstress. It fit perfectly and was exquisitely constructed. And it cost less than most of the off-the-rack dresses. Of course, this was years before the internet. Too many people nowadays look online for everything instead of considering local sources.

  7. Monique says:

    Lovely fabrics at least! Such a shame so many chances for “being great” are missed. I didn’t see much of any Project Runway series, but can imagine the participants are not all good at sewing (or at business for that matter). But you saved the day again. 🙂
    Your vegetables look absolutely delicious.
    We are blessed today with a little rain, though other parts of the country suffered through heavy thunderstorms. Hopefully we’ll get some cooler weather soon, as it’s been sweltering.
    Keep well!

    • mrsmole says:

      You are correct…the contestants have all levels of construction and production…some arrive and they have barely threaded a machine but they either pick up speed or get eliminated soon. Heat in your area would probably be pretty humid and sticky…at least ours is dry heat.

      • Monique says:

        You’re right, sooo sticky – I always like to fantasize about Southern Belles and “Gone with the Wind” with these conditions, but have no time to languish on a porch. 😉 No AC either.
        But luckily for us, it rained quite a bit overnight, so now (9.40 a.m.) it’s quite pleasant.
        Enjoy your day.

  8. prttynpnk says:

    I remember Leanne Marshall- she even emailed me when I blogged one of her Simplicity patterns- she does such interesting pleaty business. I’m surprised by the zipper….how did that lace color look on the bride? The color seemed interesting.

    • mrsmole says:

      The brown lace color was very dominant and odd and the fact that the bodice was not lined, just bare lace made it impossible to wear anything under it. Good thing the girl was flat chested as there was no room for any boobage at all. In fact the dress could have been worn backwards except for the beading over the nipples. Has anyone made any of her Simplicity patterns? I’ll have to check on PR.

  9. jillybe says:

    Perhaps she thought she was still on a Project Runway deadline? I like Susie’s comment “when did ‘custom’ becomes ‘needs to be altered’?” 😀

    And yum on the produce!!!

    • mrsmole says:

      The dress was ordered 16 weeks in advance…4 months….with measurements….and it arrived 2 weeks before the wedding…cutting it a little close?

  10. theresa says:

    Well, I never liked Leanne and I think for $1700.00 custom should be custom, as in fitting like a glove and well made. Guys wouldn’t stand for that kind of crap in a suit and I think brides should raise up and start complaining, LOUDLY! As always, you have done them proud though with such fine and precise work. Nice array of veggies too. Makes me hungry, lets eat! 😉

  11. LeeAnn says:

    Half the fun of reading your blog is your post. The other is reading through the comments! Bonus! My first thought when I saw the dress was I hope the bride has no chest. No bras allowed in that gown! I liked Leanne on PR (when I watched TV) and felt like her designs made a women feel feminine. I keep learning something every time I read. On your garden bounty- have you ever roasted your eggplant whole (or grilled over low heat) then scoop out the soft flesh and mix with olive oil, chopped sundried tomatoes, herbs, lots of salt and served with toasty bread (or pita). Mmmm. Excellent snack or veggie meal.

  12. mrsmole says:

    I think the design for the dress was OK, could have been lined and the execution a little more couture but passable for what it out there these days. The eggplants are roasted on the bar-b-que whole and then sliced open and eaten when mushy…I eat the skins too as they are picked when they are smallish and tender. If I ate bread I’d be loving that spread! I dare say most things mixed with all those ingredients would be delicious!!!! Next time I will include photos of the butternut squash that have crawled up and out of the their tomato cages and run rampant across the garden…even carrying heavy fruit the stalks seem to be OK.

  13. Bunny says:

    Now what little critter took the bite out of that great big zuke?

    That gown is lovely in concept but it is sad that it is so poor in execution and even more so at that price point. I know you will “make it work”. 😉

  14. mrsmole says:

    No little critter, Bunny…I dropped it on the patio on my into the kitchen. Every day seamstresses have to “make it work” and some projects require a little more magic than others…ha ha!

  15. Gjeometry says:

    Wow, that looks like a very difficult dress to alter! And, your garden produce is amazing! My garden has been ‘producing’ as well, despite how much rain we’ve been having here.

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