Those of you who have been wondering about the Decades of Style pattern “Girl Friday” with the triple collar can see the first fitting with the addition of length in the sleeves. My client asked for 4 inches to be added and well you just can’t add something like a rectangle onto that pattern without thinking about the transition area. I widened the side seams to make the big swoop down to her elbow. Knowing that the side seams could then again be narrowed and pinned was a bonus to get the shaping right.5-back-pinned

Because her fabric  is a silk blend lightweight and at the same time crispy and snappy like silk organza and shows off all sorts of places to tweak…I tweaked them. The waist darts are being sewn higher up and lower down on the hem. Shoulder pads are usually needed so they went in too.6-front-pinned The pins on the neckline mark where the bias strip facing will go and be turned under and although I wanted to extend each collar to the neckline for stability, this thin fabric would not be good. What you end up with is 8 layers of fabric all sewn to a single layer…not this time! So each collar piece will be topstitched with a variegated thread from YLI cotton machine quilting V79 “Havana Market”. thread So stayed turned for the final photos!!!

Meanwhile the sewing room has been stuffed with poofy dresses, poofy girls and not so poofy dresses that need more corset backs and letting out. One girl came telling me that another seamstress told her that nothing could be done for her pink bridesmaid  dress and she needed a corset back. Now you all know this just gets Mrs Mole’s whiskers all a’twitching and I just had to do the right thing. After opening up the side seams and lining all the way to her knees…she will get the extra 2 inches she needs to zip the zipper and cover her Another bridesmaid came with a dress that was deemed “hopeless”. The bride had ordered all the dress on the internet and somehow this girl got stuck with the largest in the package:peach-bridesmaid

She needed 6 inches removed and I did the zipper-out-zipper-back-in technique…and the finished product:ashley-orange-back

It fit perfectly, the one shoulder strap with ruffles was shortened and she was off to the wedding in Michigan.

For those who think maybe the bridal season is slowing down…here are a couple of challenges still left: 2 big girls with big dresses: 2-brides-Aug-2013

The one with the corset is a size 22 needing more room and the one on the left has a 4 foot train that is being bustled up with 7 points underneath.

And on the other end of the spectrum is this little honey…a former beauty pageant princess turned princess bride…we are turning a pageant dress badly made into a better made bridal gown…insane. Here is the before version: frontback-with-straps Guess what is going to be done with it? Well the belt loops were for a leather belt…crazy, that goes, the satin skirt goes, the straight across center back goes and a new indecent deep “V” goes done to her crack, the front goes where the safety pin is holding it up and a new indecent deep “V’ goes there past her cleavage, straps will be added but only at the front and then wrapping around her shoulder joint to her underarm seam not crossed as I have suggested. The skirt will be replaced with yards and yards of gathered tulle so she can look like Glenda the good witch in Wizard of Oz. Then this entire mess will be skin tight and covered with embroidered and beaded lace which cost $129 a yard….stay tuned for that! I told her I would finish the dress just as she envisioned but that in the end all she was getting was a fancy apron and I worried about her being able to hold it all up with 2 tiny armhole straps. Her mother says to just give her what she wants. Maybe some of you or your daughters have been in pageants and you turned out OK but my experience with these girls has always been packed with selfishness and no compromise…I fear for their unsuspecting grooms and I wish I could give them one word of caution….”RUN”.

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29 Responses to Progress

  1. Lynda says:

    You are just amazing! I am so in awe of your talents. And glad NOT to be you dealing with these princess brides. It’s mind blowing that they don’t have the sense to listen when a professional tells them their stupid ideas won’t work. Don’t you want to ask their mothers why they let this happen to a perfectly pleasant little girl? Just don’t get it. I’d slap the B…. into the other room and just say no! But I guess that’s why you’re doing this and I’m not. LOL

  2. mrsmole says:

    Oh Lynda, I have to bite my tongue and remember that a rum and Diet Pepsi is always waiting at the end of the day for me. It is almost to the point I should put up a sign that says, “Former Pageant Queens are not accepted”. The weird thing is…these “former” anything girls are just basically average looking and have basic skills and I do feel sorry for them that a whole chunk of their life was devoted to this silly slice of American life. In the end, they like “former” athletic jocks have boxes of trophies/crowns and the expectation that the world owes them a living…it is sad to start out life or a marriage like that.

  3. Pella says:

    I love the shape of those collars. The rest has me befuddled. Why don’t they just have you make a nice dress from scratch, you know, one that will fit and be flattering and appropriate.

    • mrsmole says:

      You know, Pella, I have said over and over…we should start with a real pattern but Noooo it has to be this exact dress as a base and we build from there…I have learned a valuable lesson…to say NO next time a babe wants this big of a project!

  4. Monique says:

    It is such a shame (and shame on them) when your expertise seems to count for nothing! You manage to get them something good in the end, though. Challenging dresses and challenging clients, again – I suppose some days the rum and Diet Pepsi need to be extra good 🙂

  5. mrsmole says:

    This week has also had some high spots…some brides with their mothers who gave me free range to make alterations and additions so it all balances out in the end. I can’t complain…34 brides, 24 bridesmaids…already surpassing last year’s total and we are only half way.

  6. Bunny says:

    My head would be spinning!

  7. Caroline Bleil says:

    Mrs Mole, I’m looking forward to seeing your finished projects. You must be a glutton for punishment to put up with this/their crap/requests. You always manage to turn a sow’s ear into something beautiful. More power to you! Caroline

  8. Cafoline Bleil says:

    Oops! That’s CaRoline, not CaFoline!

    • mrsmole says:

      Thanks, Caroline, I changed the wrong spelling to right…maybe I am a glutton for punishment but it makes for fun blog posts don’t you think? ha ha

  9. BeaJay says:

    That top is coming along beautifully with all your tweaks.

  10. Marie Robison says:

    You are amazing. I marvel at your talent and patience!

    • mrsmole says:

      Thanks, Marie….remember when I was teaching machine embroidery to the group in my garage? Seems like simpler days just guiding women to use the correct hoops and stabilizer and thread…now my head hurts from all this engineering and dragging 11-14 pound gowns across the room to shove under the presser foot and then cranking out steam to press them…whew!

  11. sewruth says:

    Oh why not just start from scratch? So many projects on the go at once Mrs Mole. If they weren’t financing your well earned rum & cokes I’d say “RUN” too.

    • mrsmole says:

      If I ever retire, Ruth, I’ll think about not seeing another bride and just working through my stash….if I live long enough. The message on my answer machine says, “Sept is booked, if you are an Oct bride you can leave a message”….

  12. theresa says:

    Whew, I’ll have an extra drink for you just reading this post. I shall forever think of you as “the garment whisperer”…..

  13. prttynpnk says:

    I think perhaps an honest seamstress would have told her there was nothing SHE could do about it……and given her some addresses! I am still interested in that Decades of Style pattern- I can’t wait to see it!

  14. Alethia Hudson says:

    You certainly get some really crazy stuff! One thing about it, you don’t mind a challenge, LOL! I would have suggested that jacket be scheduled for a no return visit to File 13…. Beautiful wedding gowns! That pageant dress-turned-wedding gown is a piece of work…. I recently restyled a 25 y.o. wedding gown for the daughter to wear. I promised to not publicize the pictures until after the wedding in October.

    • mrsmole says:

      I’ll be checking your website, SewMuchTalent for updates and photos on that remake!!!!! Thanks for dropping by and making time from your equally busy and frantic schedule of brides!

  15. Some of those bridal gowns are frightening (most of them) and I don’t know how you do it. Love reading your posts, better you than me!

  16. mrsmole says:

    Beth, I love your recent sharing of the book, “Madeleine Vionnet by Betty Kirke, with a forward by Issey Miyake” on your blog…divine photos! The brides and their gowns can be frightening but I have no one locally who can guide me so I just make up solutions…and as my grandmother used to say, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat”…

  17. June says:

    I’m scrolling through pictures, but the pageant dress stopped me in my tracks as my brain said, “Wait… BELT LOOPS? On her thighs?!”

    It’s been said before, but you have amazing patience and skill. I am so impressed by your transformations.

  18. mrsmole says:

    Makes me wonder if the man who made the dress wasn’t suggesting some “bondage”…I’m suspicious of men who make pageant dresses. Later I will share some of the real ugliness on the inside of the dress…yuck! Thanks for dropping by June…your knitting is amazing and your kids so darling!

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