Cover My Cleavage

Most brides this year have wanted to show off as much “boobage” as possible but one sensible bride picked a dress, had a baby, and needed to fit back into her dress for the wedding. She arrived with this small dilemma:

 P1160660   P1160661 We needed 2 inches from the side seams to get the zipper closed and the back deep V was too loose. The solution was to open the side seams and allow the dress back to drop down over her hips. The wrap front was too low so something had to be put in there. The front hem from side seam to side seam had to have the lace edging raised up 2 inches and re-attached so I could use what I cut off there to fill in the cleavage area.

Instead of just slapping a flat straight piece of lace there and looking like grandma had worked on the dress I decided to make it in a “V” shape that looked like the dress was made that way. So let’s get started:1-pinned-center Preview the shape,2-graph-behind Lay graph pattern paper behind for tracing,

3-draw-outline Draw the outline, 4-shape Draw the shape, 5-trimmed Cut the pattern,6-stacked Stack lace right side up, tulle on top and then the pattern…don’t trim anything!

7-ready-to-stitch Pin pattern for the stitching guide.8-use-as-guide9-use-as-guide10-flipped Stitched and flipped with sealed top edge,11-understitch Understitch tulle to seam,

12-topstitch Topstitch top edge,


Zigzag lower edge and trim off

14-trim, Pin and hand stitch into place15-attach

and happy bride:

P1160680 P1160681with her 3 point bustle and shortened lace hem.

Also this week, another bride came in for her final fitting and finally remembered to bring her shoes for the bustle making. She has been very quiet, no show of emotion, blank stares, almost zombie-like demeanor while her mother cannot stop talking about everything involved with the planning in 10 days. The last fitting involved the bride standing on the platform while I trimmed off some extra netting under the bustle and at one point her lips turned blue, she got all clammy and white and had to sit down. I asked her when was the last time she ate as it was 11 am and her answer was “yesterday”.  After a little rest she got back up and then collapsed into her mother’s arms this time with her eyes rolling back into her head and her whole body shaking. It was then that her mother told me, “she has saved herself for the wedding night and she is terrified.”

This added to the fact that I already knew she was only 17, bought her wedding dress the same day as her last prom dress in June and never wanted to have children and her fiance stacks luggage on a carousel at the local airport just made me wonder why anyone would rush their daughter into such a marriage. It was as though the bride was part of an arranged marriage, almost a child bride and I thought about her not even being able to feed herself breakfast while her mother was at work and having no job, no career, no plans for the future. I can understand being pregnant and wanting to marry, or marrying before your sweetheart goes off to war or even following a religious tradition of marrying early but this makes no sense. Life is scary enough!

Last week, Mr. Mole and I took a few days off to escape the sewing room and planned to relax on the coast but managed to endure the worst storm in 25 years with 50 mile an hour winds, flying debris and flooded roads and driving rain…but it forced us to stay in the rented condo and read and enjoy just being together with no clients or aging parents to take care of….heaven!

Here is what I found in my garden when I returned:Oct-2013 Yes, the Japanese eggplants have gone crazy!

Have a super sewing week everyone!

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27 Responses to Cover My Cleavage

  1. That young bride is making me feel really sad, and a bit scared for her. I truly hope her intended is a good person who will be good to her.
    Your other bride seems sensible, and the dress looks great. But what happened to having the babies AFTER the wedding. Maybe I am out of step. So many weddings now seem to have their own children as attendants. Ah well.
    Sorry that your weekend wasn’t as you planned – but it sounds as though it did you both good.

  2. mrsmole says:

    Yes, Kim it does seem more and more these days the bride and groom wait until their children are old enough to be attendants at their own wedding.Thanks for your kind thoughts!

  3. theresa says:

    What an elegant solution and beautifully executed on that lace dress. How very pretty she will be and so nice not to see another strapless gown. Wow, quite the storm up there. We had some rain and such but nothing like they predicted wind wise. I guess you all kept it to yourselves! 🙂

  4. mrsmole says:

    So happy you did not get whipped with that storm with all your winter preparation on your land, Theresa! I’d hate to think about your poor goats being frightened and all your pouches dripping wet at the back door! So nice to work with a sensible bride!

  5. what a great solution for the dress you showed and now it looks lovely. clever! as for the second bride, whew, what a situation. hard not to imagine her life in a few years …

    • mrsmole says:

      Hi Beth, this little young thing is in complete contrast to the last pageant princess bride and it takes your breath away.

  6. Wead Library says:

    That is such a lovely alteration to the dress. Ya dun good, Mrs. Mole!

    As far as the participants, there was a wedding like this in hubby’s side of the family. It was awful as well as strange how the parents pushed the kids into marriage. It had nothing to do with sex. They were old school and didn’t want to pay for another mouth to feed. Let me tell you, it has come back to bite them a hundred fold. As parents it is our duty to put out productive independent children. Many didn’t get that memo.

    • mrsmole says:

      It could be something like that in this case too…there have been indications. Being a 17 year old girl once back in the stone age I sure did not want to get married that young…there were so many things still to do!

  7. Mary Beth says:

    Thank you for the close photography of your elegant solution of the bodice. She will be a perfectly dressed bride. I applaud this lady’s taste. You know, I am sure you were alarmed at the inadvertent drama in your fitting space, I’m sorry you had to be a witness. It would make my sewing more difficult to fit this young bride because my heart would be reluctant and my mind would be working on the girl-child’s problems. I’m so glad you had a chance to get away from it and to write about it here. Maybe there is some separation now for you with this job. Good luck!

  8. So glad you were able to make the dress work and look so classy for the first bride…and the second bride, will she still be married in 5 years? You do meet some interesting people, that’s for sure!

    • mrsmole says:

      To see and work for brides and their mothers who are polar opposites gives my brain a real workout! Being able to share my concerns and observations with you all helps! Thanks for dropping by, Carolyn…your recent collection of dresses is stunning!

  9. Shams says:

    Mrs Mole, you are a miracle worker, you are. But I think that a part of you just loves these challenges! Do you have a highly analytical mind? It seems that you do. What you did with that dress is amazing.

    That young bride has me sad. It does sound like this wedding might be for the mother’s sake, rather than the bride’s sake. My children are 18 and almost-21 and I can’t fathom either of them marrying yet, much less at 17. And neither can they!

  10. mrsmole says:

    I do drool over re-working another seamstresses work and making the impossible possible…ha ha. I was an x-ray tech in my early days and wanted to be an architect in school but the nuns didn’t teach mechanical drawing, only typing and cooking…neither one was for me. You know that movie with Bruce Willis where the little boy says, “I see dead people”…well I see lines, vertical and horizontal on everyone’s body…curse or blessing…so glad I can use it in my work. Loved your LBD in the Fabric Mart contest…holy moley, Shams…every woman would die to be able to have one of their own!!!!

  11. robindrush says:

    I love reading your bride stories. I agree with Theresa. It seems all I see is strapless gowns. So refreshing to see one with straps or sleeves (sleeves? what are those?). Bride #2–seems like mom is living vicariously through her daughter. Wonder if they are getting premarital counseling. 17 and just graduated from high school–ever hear about college? working? finding yourself? Last thing–babies before marriage–I applaud anyone who gets married, babies and all. I’ve seen so many couples that live together as husband and wife, with children, and introduce each other as fiance/fiancee (without, of course, no concrete plans for marriage). When I was growing up, it was called ‘shacking up’ and it was frowned upon. Yes, I’m old fashioned and standards are different now.

  12. mrsmole says:

    They are straps acting as dropped cap sleeves…so feminine! It seems as though the standards for what comes first marriage or baby has been set by celebrities…every day this stuff is broadcast in movie magazines and reality shows. The Kardashians make a living out of this behavior and TV producers love it…sad for the children. Thanks for dropping by, Robin!

  13. Pella says:

    Wonderful dress fix! Not a hint of a remake about it.

    • mrsmole says:

      Thank you, Pella…that’s what we all strive for isn’t it? Sometimes is works out good and as one blogger says “Keeps the bunnies in the hutch”. I have purchased 2 of the last books you reviewed on pattern making and they are wonderful!

  14. Valerie says:

    Mrs Mole That first dress! The neckline treatment improved the look of the garment. Genius.
    Re The second girl. I have to wonder if she is not quite right. The situation certainly isn’t.

    • mrsmole says:

      It is too bad, Valerie…but some things require common sense and some folks are really lacking in that department. The lace insert could be used for any dress or top that needs a little extra coverage.

  15. Kat Jackson says:

    I love the style of the first dress, and what you have achieved to make it work!

    Like lots of the other commenters, the story of the second bride makes me quite upset. I hope her future husband is kind and good to her, but I am sad that it seems her parents don’t want to parent her anymore (and at only 17!). At least she will have a lovely dress, seeing as you are involved 🙂

    • mrsmole says:

      Thank you, Kat…we can only do our best to wish her well. Maybe after the ceremony and wedding night she will have her eyes opened.

  16. Monique says:

    Well, what can I say? It’s all been said. The dress looks wonderful, as was to be expected! 🙂 Are the days really gone when brides were expected to look modest (and therefore a bit more covered?). A classy dress is probably the safest thing, too, if you want to look at your wedding photos without cringing in so many years’ time.
    Poor girl. I hope she finds her own soul and blossoms anyway.
    Enjoy your day,Mrs. Mole. I enjoyed reading about how your mind works and I suppose working on constructing with silk and lace beats the bricks and glass in the end.

    • mrsmole says:

      Hi Monique, I did not realize how much this encounter with the girl disturbed me…feeling helpless to do anything but bustle her dress and move the zipper over. Next time the photos will be shown. At least doing bridal gowns I get to handle clean fabrics…not all seamstresses are that lucky. Nice to hear from you, hope you are having a colorful Autumn in the Netherlands!

      • Monique says:

        It disturbs me too. Sometimes there’s not much more you can do than help to with what you are called for to do and just hope for the best.
        Colourful and very wet at the moment. Snow in the Alps – not that they’re close to us, but that seems to be tied in with our continual rain today (and next week, probably). So winter seems to be on its way.
        Have a good weekend. 🙂

  17. prttynpnk says:

    I think at 17, I was engaged. It didn’t happen. My parents humored me until we both got to college and realized that our interests and growth was shifting in different directions. Lord, I didn’t feel the same way about anything week to week at 17- let alone enough to make a huge commitment. I feel sad for them.

  18. Miss Celie says:

    I looove what you did with the alteration at the bust!! It’s so pretty and graceful! And, I’m sick for that child. Yikes!

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