Phonecalls and Peplums

Saturday morning….9 a.m. and the phone rings:


I have called every seamstress in the area this morning and no one answers their phone. I am a stewardess and I have a skirt that needs altering.

I am going through a divorce.

I am losing weight.

I want to be seen today.

I have a “girl” up north who does my sewing but I can’t wait until I go back home to have her do this job.

I am flying out Monday morning and I want this done before I leave this area.

Mrs Mole:

I’m sorry I cannot help you but I can give you the name of someone who might be available but seamstresses do not take work on the weekends.

Second caller:

I have a wedding dress that needs everything done to it.

I want an appointment on Labor Day.

I will bring my young son to take care of my newborn baby while I try on the dress and you pin everything out.

Mrs Mole:

This is not a child friendly area, you might want to pick a day when someone can watch your young son and baby at your home.

You may wonder why I cringe every time the phone rings…ha ha

But let’s get to some real sewing…more muslin fun for you!

Enter Vogue 8815….did I mention it is Very Easy? Remember…very easy for the designer. From the envelope it looks like you can have one that looks like a maternity top or something Posh Spice would look good in….the reality in muslin:

front-try-onback-try-on What will make this look better and flattering? Let’s angle those weird straight up darts to the actual bust points and lower them too.view-C-peplum And while we are at it, let’s lay the View C peplum over the top of AB version…yes, it is longer and higher up on the body but only by an inch or so, not a lot like in the photo envelope. The ends of the darts are 7 inches apart…now in my 40+ years of sewing I have never seen a pair of boobs 7 inches apart…go ahead…I’ll wait while you measure yours…how about 8-11 inches being the norm? While the AB version is just OK, sits on the natural waist with a horizontal seam…it just ain’t that flattering is it? So I put the C view paper over the AB view to see what might elongate the body and voila’ we have a winner! The  fabric will be a drapey polyester that will skim the curves and do more good.

What we learned today is that my client really looks good in this shape and here is another top I am whipping up in 2 different knits as well that do some good.

View-C-peplum-back    frontbacknew-frontnew-back It is from Vogue 8821.

Next time I will show you alterations to both the paper patterns to make the fronts lay flat and the sleeve alterations to sit nicer. Please click on the photos for clearer views of seamlines  and writing.

Another haul from the garden…thankful for everything that grows!veggies-aug-2013 Happy sewing!

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38 Responses to Phonecalls and Peplums

  1. symondezyn says:

    How do you stay so polite? I’m pretty sure my acid tongue would melt the phone and probably the other person’s ear LOL.

    And yes I had to measure, too… LOL

    • mrsmole says:

      I can stay polite because it is still up to me to say yes or no and more and more I say NO to such “important” people. I do sew for stewardesses and normally they are very nice and never expect such foolishness…this girl learned a valuable lesson. So now that you know the distance between your nipples…your sewing will improve! OK, maybe only your darts will be in the right place but you are in charge!

      • symondezyn says:

        LMAO!! I have moved dart points before but never taken that measurement – however, once a person brings up what’s “normal”, of course we all have to check, right? 😛

  2. So good you have made a muslin first!

    • mrsmole says:

      I love making muslins to test a design…heck some days I think I might be the first person to do so. My client loves muslins as well and is learning what her body looks good in and what she bought did not work for her shape. Making a muslin is such a small investment in time and material since if you like it, you will make more from that pattern or discover new ways to use it. Thanks for dropping by!

      • I fully agree with you! I am making muslins as well – specially when I deal with expensive fashion fabric.
        Sometimes I am making wearable moslin as well…. 🙂

  3. Marsha says:

    And the answer is: about 9.5 inches. And I’m not tall or large-framed nor do I have wide-set boobs.
    You deal with so many self-centered people that you might as well be running a preschool!

  4. mrsmole says:

    Maybe it is like running a school for spoiled movie star wanna-bes…I’m almost to the point of saying no to former pageant/beauty contest princesses and queens….one client asked me if dealing with big brides was a problem and are they really picky…I said they are a dream to work with as all they want is for the dress to zip up and the food and dancing to be good…the other skinny bitches make me take in their dress another 1/4 inch and another 1/4 inch before the wedding and stop eating.

  5. Tia Dia says:

    hehe…. I had to measure, too! Hilarious! You should be given awards for politeness. OMG, I would so be snarky, especially at 9:00am!!!

    • mrsmole says:

      Hey Tia, the thing is, I actually do fit in clients for emergencies on weekends but I had to release this chick, pronto…just got a bad vibe this time. I have actually sewn for people while they wait on weekends because I took pity on them or their frantic daughter or husband over the phone call hearing their desperation.

  6. Valerie says:

    Oh Dear, No Please could you or do you or could you fit me in… How rude

    • mrsmole says:

      You are correct, Valerie…not one word about that…losing weight and losing a husband must have been a bit traumatic for her….who knows?

  7. jillybe says:

    In the HIGHLY unlikely circumstance that I think about doing alterations for someone, I’ll be sure to refer to your blog before I agree. That should take care of it lol!

  8. mrsmole says:

    Oh Jilly….it’s not all this way…most of my clients are a kick and they end up my friends and send their friends my way…high praise indeed! You might be surprised at how appreciative some of them can be….but you do get the few flies in the ointment!

  9. TrishB says:

    Hi Mrs Mole. Thanks for reminding me that I can say no to rude people! Those sort of people with a sense of entitlement are usually trouble if you do actually do the work for them, so they’re best avoided, in my experience.
    I’ve had problems with new clients who bring their toddlers unexpectedly, and then spend the consultation having to watch the child/children take apart my sewing room! The ones who ask if it’s OK to bring them tend to have beautifully behaved children, I’ve found. Obviously they’ve learnt good manners from their mother!
    I can’t believe how Vogue patterns have deteriorated over the years. I can remember when they were a bit difficult to follow, but always a beautiful fit. Thank goodness your clients have your expertise to fill in the gaps!

    • mrsmole says:

      Ha ha…oh Trish, another clue is listening when they first call to make an appointment…if there are kids screaming in the background you have to speak up and say your sewing room is too dangerous for them with machines and sharp things…never mind they are probably monsters who will pick up every thing that is not nailed down and spend the whole time spinning chairs and throwing pillows and asking to use the bathroom or pulling food out their mother’s purse to eat and spill because she just picked them up from school and they are tired and hungry and hot. The well behaved ones are rare but are rewarded with sugar free candy when they leave or colorful ribbons from my stash for their dolly or ponytail.

  10. Another peach of a post that rang so true. I have never been happier than since I started to follow my instinct on the phone an discovered my ‘no’ to people I thought were likely to be real trouble. Like you say most are wonderful but it’s those like the ‘stewardess’ example you gave who you really want to avoid!
    Still giggling at the idea of everyone running away to measure their…

    • mrsmole says:

      Well Kim, if you know your nipple distance you can get great front princess seams since that is where they are supposed to go. I have patterns where they wander off towards the side seams and have no relevance whatsoever to a body’s shape or needs…again it is that same crappy back room designer who thought that moving vertical lines in and out would create something fresh…we should shout, “Put the darts where they belong!” ha ha

  11. Monique says:

    Doesn’t it always just come down to mutual respect and common courtesy – for both being a human being, and for the time and energy invested in the job? And by the same token, respect that someone is paying you and that there’s time and energy behind that? Even if everything is paid for by doting parents or husbands, someone had to do something to get them that dress by Mrs. Mole. “Take nothing for granted” could be added to your wall of educational messages. 🙂
    Good manners open doors, especially when honest and not used in a manipulative way. Being able to find out quickly what type of person is asking/demanding your service, is really very useful in helping to define boundaries – like saying “no” on a Saturday morning.
    The top looks so lovely on the envelope! I think they should do away with those too attractive drawings and give us photos instead of “regular” women. Not everyone can judge by the diagrams alone, but they don’t mislead as much.
    Enjoy your weekend and your lovely veggies!

  12. eumoronorio says:

    Wow, I never thought to measure nip distance. Hehe. Its strange, I’ve had a lot of luck with Vogue this month so I was surprised to see how crazy those darts are. I sometimes wonder if they have different pattern drafters for different patterns so that some come out quality and some are from the “I passed by the skin of my teeth” student. The latter I could imagine drafting darts 7″ apart, while the more detail oriented person drafted the Vogue wardrobe skirt and knit jacket that I just whipped up without barely a hiccup. Maybe we should start asking for pattern drafter names. It would be interesting to see trends like that.

    • mrsmole says:

      Wouldn’t it be interesting to have the designers actually own up to their poor designs? Wouldn’t it be nice to tell them that real women no matter what size have nipples further apart than 7 inches and to make the darts reflect that? Just before I obtained my fashion design degree at 41 years of age we were told if our pattern drafting skills were good enough a design house would take us on…if they were not good enough you could always get a job with the Big 4 pattern companies… sad but true. So happy your jacket fit way better!!!

      • eumoronorio says:

        wow what a life changing degree! As for the career advice, its a bit sad that the Big 4 have that reputation when many beginning seamstresses pick up their patterns. How many seamstresses gave up sewing or stopped learning because of how frustrating the patterns were? They should really step it up…
        I’ll try to post about my jacket soon, as soon as the camera is fixed. I am curious, have you ever tried a hook and eye closure on a low stretch knit? The pattern calls for that, but it seems like over time the fitted waist would stretch out with that sort of closure.

      • mrsmole says:

        A hook and eye might work if the knit was interfaced with something stable so it would not stretch in that area like a stiff waistband but that would be defeating the purpose of the knit wouldn’t it? Maybe the pattern called for a woven fabric hence that suggestion?

  13. Marty says:

    8 inches. I made that top! I made the sleeveless version, and I think the next time I would lengthen the top piece by about an inch. Really quick and cute though.

    • mrsmole says:

      That’s great that it fit right out of the envelope! The fit on my client was good considering that I cut a size 22 but the confusing thing was the fact that the designer thought a size 22 woman would only have a bust point distance of 7 inches. The sleeveless version would look cute with contrasting bindings too!

  14. sewruth says:

    Maybe you should have a business telephone number and when it rings at 10pm or Sunday morning just let the machine answer it – with a suitably curt pre-recorded message of course. As always your patience (perseverance?) with both clients and sewing amazes me.

  15. mrsmole says:

    My new message on my answerphone says if you are calling for a November wedding to please leave your name and number as all the Sept and Oct slots have been filled…that should weed a few people out…ha ha. Mr Mole constantly reminds me….”this too shall pass”…and it does and we have a laugh over a cocktail. Being a seamstress for the public makes you put your ego aside and just get the job done…in the end they do pay for your time even though they may leave a bad taste in your mouth, Ruth.

  16. KayoticSewing says:

    Whoa! Caller 1 was RUDE! You have loads of patience, Mrs. Mole! I think caller 2 was clueless, and you were kind in your response.

  17. prttynpnk says:

    I like my Vogue 8815, but I’ll bet I’ll like the next one more after your guidance on this. Hey, did you bet your husband that you could make 150 random women measure their nipple distance this morning? I hope he pays you promptly!

    • mrsmole says:

      He has his hands and brain full of everything else I make him listen to and try to understand…I didn’t need to toss in nipple distance…ha ha. I wish he could grasp the concept of making bustles in huge ball gown dresses…those give me fits! Did you leave your darts in the original place on V8815? If you go to Google images for that pattern you see lots of really bad dart placements for all range of sizes but all the women are smiling.

  18. Brenda says:

    I made 3 muslins for V8815 – just about everything got moved! The darts got moved with a full bust adjustment! I also added a dart.
    You are a good role model in boundary setting! And far more patient than I am!

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