Altering and Appointments

Last time we saw some peplum ideas and fitting and since the pattern gave us 2-3 versions let’s see what they are. Granted this was voted the best pattern of 2012 by but not many women mentioned the fact that the darts were merely decorative and completely out of place to do any good for the bust fitting. The fact that I cut a size 22 and the distance between the darts was less than 7 inches,(re-measured they are actually only 6.25) Lord knows what the smaller sizes measured out at! Anyone have this pattern to check it for me?

2-fronts Right away you can see the darts are the same and the only deviation is the dropping side seam waistline and rising center front for view C. The C peplum is much longer and wider and more flared. Really compared side by side they are not as dramatically different as the envelope drawings.

Now the backs: 2-backs

Again, same shoulders with fitting darts for roundness and more width and length. See how view C mimics the T-shirt beneath? Since my client really loved the shape and length of that work in progress, I knew View C would make her happy.

Speaking of that T-shirt how about some alteration on Vogue 8821? I made the first shirt without a muslin since I was using a stable knit with not much stretch and cut a 16 since the pattern measurements were close to working. The back was very wide and flowing and really added to the front overall circumference. But the front top section suffered on it’s own being too short and narrow and was  screaming “Release me or replace me”. The back section is so much longer and in a knit heavier so it pulls the front section up and over the shoulder and this raises the darts up too high and makes the armhole tight and torqued.

front-changing Adding an inch and extending the shoulder another 1/2 inch, the side seam 1/2 inch and backing up the side dart 1.5 inches will look much better. I cut a new front and measured the armscye since it grew too. The sleeve will have to be altered to fit the larger opening. Now the back section was just left as is, it was the bully and the armscye was OK. Even though this was a knit I thought to make the sleeve cap exactly the same as the altered front…see same 10.5 inches…call me crazy…I didn’t think I needed extra ease. Yes, I could have cut across the paper and added that way but hey a girl can make shortcuts and just cut larger some times.sleeve-changingnew-sleeve Here is the final sleeve, you can see the higher cap, and wider front to match the front The new sleeve fit perfectly in the T-shirt and now even though the back is still pulling with all it’s might, the front is longer and the darts stay put. I also cut a longer front lower panel and turned the pattern to be vertical lines instead of horizontal…you can do that? Yes, it is a knit but has so little stretch I thought of it like a woven and used the stripes to be a feature and cut that section 2 inches longer to cover the tummy as well…she loved it! Now it just needs some neck binding and hemming.

If you make this pattern be sure to add length to the front since you can always cut it off from both top and lower sections…that’s what makes it custom…add during cutting and trim off what you don’t like. People ask me all the time…how do you know what to remove? If you cut larger, baste, and then pin out what you don’t like and keep what you do like…all of a sudden you is a designer!

Remember last week the caller who wanted to bring her children to her wedding gown fitting and I asked her to leave them home? Well, guess who had her high-powered older sister write to me from another state to tell me her poor sister was having trouble finding a good seamstress….here’s the email…and my response…unbelievable:


My sister is in need of some alterations for her wedding dress. It’s too long and the sleeves need to be shortened…it’s short sleeved tank top type and she’s a very short girl if that makes sense. She’s been looking for someone and hasn’t had much luck. (REALLY?) The previous person she spoke with (THAT WOULD BE ME) charges by the hour (OUTRAGEOUS!) which I hadn’t heard of and restricts her from bring her child (DON’T YOU MEAN 2 CHILDREN? HOW UNCARING!) with her for a consultation. Can you give me some details about whether you can help and how you charge? Any information is appreciate, thank you.


I also charge by the hour and I do not allow children to come to my sewing room as it is full of machines and expensive tools. If your sister is called Cindy, I already have an appointment for her on Labor Day and her wedding is stated as Oct 18. I can give an accurate bid for my labor at the first free consultation. Customers are always free to go elsewhere and I will gladly give them names of others. I charge $XX per hour for bridal which is way less than David’s Bridal charges and I have many reviews on Google (which is how you found me) that tells of my quality of work.


Thank you for the information! I understand why you don’t want children there, that makes sense. It sounds like Cindy is already in good hands.
Did she think that by having her big sister write to me I would allow the children to visit and change my rates? Obviously the client forgot to mention to her sister that…oopsieI already made an appointment. Or did the older sister think by adding a list of 6 government titles of her job description after her signature would lend gravity to her request? Crazy to call in the big guns/cavalry/big sister to solve a problem. It’s no problem…my sewing room rules – no street shoes, no food and drinks, no kids and an hourly rate…so simple.
Before I go….look what I found in my veggie patch hiding under all the leaves….a butternut squash on steroids!130908---Squash And there are more of these mutants out there!!! It takes 2 hands to pick it up and it is not done growing yet and turning a delicious golden brown color…not quite as dark as this dragonfly my hubby found in the same patch just sitting on a stick sunning himself:130909-Draginfly
Have a super day off Labor Day (Monday, Sept 2 in the US)…I have 3 brides for fittings that day so I will certainly be laboring!


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20 Responses to Altering and Appointments

  1. Cindy says:

    You really have a lot of nerve not allowing that poor girl to bring her two children(who will be allowed to run wild while she is having her dress fit). And the nerve to actually charge enough to make this headache worth your time. What are you thinking?!? Now if you were to suggest that she is over paid for whatever she does for a living she would be extremely offended, and if she works somewhere that people bring their children and then don’t supervise them I’m willing to bet she’s the first to complain and her sister too. And most of all if she doesn’t like your prices she can do the alterations herself…….Oh wait, I’ll bet she can’t even sew on a button!! People with your skill are rare and your experience comes at a price and I’m willing to bet what you charge isn’t really high enough. There are so many times I want to suggest that if they don’t like what they are being charged they are free to do it themselves, but alas I need to keep my job.

    • mrsmole says:

      There are more expensive places to get sewing done in my area and I do say “Try them” or “Call them”. For those people who don’t like hourly rates and fair prices…go ask what a bustle price starts at…normal is $100…go compare apples to apples, ask for their killer reviews online…oh wait…they don’t have any…hmmmm wonder why?

  2. Monique says:

    Amazing, how you’re treated as lower than low, when you are so professional! Good for you for being so clear.
    What a quick turn-around the sister made. Maybe she’ll learn not to intervene for her sister in future. I wouldn’t, if I hadn’t got the correct and complete information.
    Oh, lovely, squash and pumpkins – the nicer things of Autumn.

    • mrsmole says:

      Ha ha…I’m sure the big sister did not expect me to reply that way and name her sister. She has learned a valuable lesson this time…B-O-B…Back off, Bitch.

  3. I think I may have asked her to let her sister know that the appointment made for Labor Day was now cancelled. See how she likes that! Sometimes people leave me speechless (though I am rarely speechless :[

    • mrsmole says:

      How delicious to think that!!!!!! But I have no courage to do it and this is a woman who would leave me a stinking review on Google…I don’t want that so I play along. We think alike, Kim!

      • Then charge the lady Mrs Mole! Big style. If people who wish to be clients really hack (I wanted to put something less polite there) me off I give a price that means that if they accept I am at least well paid to put up with the trouble.
        Good luck with this one – she sounds as if she may not be a ‘good review’ person no matter how well you treat her. (Isn’t it sad that the Google review is something that has to be considered – shouldn’t your ‘word of mouth’ reviews count for so much more).

      • Cindy says:

        Because everyone knows that if it’s on the internet it must be true. If only they had the whole story behind the nasty comments, they might know that they should just ignore the pouting and ranting.

  4. Marsha says:

    Well, now you know why the bride is so self-centered. She’s probably the baby of the family and has always gotten her way by whining to big sis and other family members, “But that mean sewing lady (or whoever) was so unreasonable and didn’t do what I wanted, waaaaa…..” And the family take care of the poor little darling.
    And don’t get me started on my “don’t put the cart before the horse” speech. I’m completely old-fashioned in the belief that brides who already have children have missed the big white wedding window and should have a simple, low-key ceremony. But then again, I’m just a cranky old woman.

    • mrsmole says:

      Oh Marsha, I feel the same…cranking out children with one or multiple fathers and then wanting the big white wedding just seems unnecessary when simple and tasteful would do. What makes me nuts is when they have this big occasion planned, money spent, flowers ordered and last is the dress a month before the wedding date and the come and whine because they have run out of money in the budget…the seamstress is left “Carrying the can” as they say in the UK or “holding the bag” in the US. It is then the responsibility of the sewer to whip it up cheap to make her special day…oh well.

  5. How strange! On my pattern, the darts are 7 1/2″ apart (sizes 8-16 – exactly 3 3/4″ from center front line). Wonder what happened with your pattern?

    LOL at the client calling in her big sis…! The things people do…Sigh.

    Nice butternut squash! It looks delicious 🙂 Good luck with all your clients – especially the charming Labor Day one who had better arrive sans children! Hope they all realize what a prize they have in their seamstress – and treat you accordingly 🙂

    • mrsmole says:

      I measured mine again today…size 16-24 and the spacing is 3 inches from fold to darts stitching line…even less than I thought but once made into the muslin they stretched a little from 6 inches to almost 7…thanks Very Easy Vogue!

  6. Bunny says:

    People never cease to amaze me and I think your clients and their sisters even more so. Around here we call that brass balls. And using all the degrees and certifications? Pulease! I can’t wait to hear the “rest of the story”.

  7. mrsmole says:

    On the West coast we say “cojones” and the big sister must have had a huge pair…ha ha! All will be revealed labor Day…if the babe shows up without her brood. Thanks for dropping in, Bunny!

  8. theresa says:

    Geesh, you have the patience of a saint. If the sister is so damn smart, let her do the alterations.

    • mrsmole says:

      Oh Honey, she is toooo busy running the entire transportation department of a state nearby…she has no time to sew, maybe she knits to relax?

  9. prttynpnk says:

    I wonder if Sissy is the competent family member and everyone leans on her to handle stuff. You may have been getting the ‘let me see what my loon sister is babbling about, why is everything so hard for her to handle, oy?!’ email and once she saw she was dealing with an articulate sane professional she is getting out of the way- I hope!
    When you finish 8815, I’ll be making an improved one with your tips- can’t wait to see if the darts fit!

  10. Gabrielle says:

    Hmm that’s very disappointing about the dart placement in the larger sizes… I made this pattern a couple of times last July/August in a size 12 at shoulders & bust, size 14 waist. The darts seemed OK for me and I was really happy with my tops, but the pattern seemed to run small and seemed a bit short waisted (even on me and I AM short waisted). Maybe a shortcut grading job? I wonder what the starting size was?

    Your latest bridezilla sounds so painful – definitely sounds like she’s used to being indulged ;-). I don’t know how you have the patience!

    • mrsmole says:

      You must be a whiz at making things short-waisted and look forward to things that come that way from the beginning!My client is also short-waisted in some things and it was just right in front but a tad bit long in the back. I have cut out the pattern in real fabric and re-measured the View C nipple distance and the dart distance. Can you believe they set the nipples at 2 inches from the fold and the dart tip at 3.25 from the fold…what 16-24 sized woman does that represent? Brides can be trying…trying…that is the operative word…they keep trying to add more stuff to the dress before the wedding thinking that everyone will be wowed. A bride came yesterday to get her dress and it cost $1600 and she paid the shop another $1600 to sew on hundreds of Swarovski crystals and then opted for a huge beaded belt for another $500. Her shoes are totally beaded and blinged out too. Good thing her wedding is indoors or the sunlight would be toooo reflective for the photographer!

  11. Pingback: Knit – Not | fit for a queen

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