Fool’s Gold

It seems as though this has been the year of the lace wedding gown and I have been sharing week after week how the lace is cut and moved up to shorten the hem.

Well, a bride brought in a lovely dress that she fell in love with and just had to have and it is made with thick gold metallic lace. The top half of the dress is thick ivory lace and as it descends to the hem it changes to gold. So what’s the problem, Mrs Mole?

Can you spot anything?


Not all dresses come with a “dragon back” full of buttons. While the center back has a lapped zipper and lots of buttons down one side, the other side has elastic loops but the center back needs to be taken in 6 inches…6 inches…like 4 sizes. There is a lining that has to be taken in too and an underlining all somehow attached to that zipper. The hem is over 5 inches too long as well and will be cut and moved up like normal. Where to start…well, first we need a steady hand to remove the zipper and buttons and loop tape…crack open a Diet Dr. Pepper and grab my scalpel and get to work.P1170663 You all know I am a crazy person and have to baste everything with red  and green thread for marking so all 3 layers are thread marked and opened up and the lace hem edge as well otherwise how do you know where you are going?lace-hem The lower motifs are trimmed away and cut and moved up and pinned. Then every edge is hand basted in The excess lace is folded under and basted just until the first try-on. Here it is from the right side. All that excess will be trimmed away later.inside-hem Here is the inside with folded sections basted with white thread to look nice for the try-on. The metallic quality and density of the lace just do not show up in the photos…sorry!

After the first try-on we still have some things to tweak…like the hem still being an inch too long (pinned in the photo) and the top of the zipper needing to be a lot tighter. The bride wants a hand made ruched satin belt (with no bow or tie) and once all these things are done all the buttons and looping will be re-attached. The interesting thing we discovered today is the fact that the train being such a huge circle will require a 5 point bustle just to get all the edges up…you never know once you start pinning up…some days you end up with 3 points and the “dog ears” that still drag on the ground and I never let my brides have anything hanging down that they or a guest could step and trip on.


The funny thing that this bride said was that she never wanted or pictured herself in a lace dress with a train or a belt or strapless…and here she is with the whole enchilada! I wish she would have been able to find a dress closer to her own size but she bought it back East to be able to shop with her mother but works on the West coast and had to find a seamstress.

Next time Nancy returns with her completed Vogue 8947 that we re-designed and it is gorgeous! Remember what we started with? I’m so excited to share the finished dress!



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15 Responses to Fool’s Gold

  1. girl in the stix says:

    Do you find that the metallic threads dull your needles and scissors? And why would anyone buy a dress 6 sizes too big?? I guess better than too small . . .

  2. mrsmole says:

    Not so far, but I haven’t actually cut through the metallic threads, I cut all around the motifs so they can be moved up all in one chunk. If I sew the lace edging back unto the dress i will probably change my needle after that because the abrasiveness of the threads will not be good for the point. If I sew the lace by hand, it won’t make much difference to the hand needle. We shall see.
    Thanks for asking…great question!

  3. jay says:

    Fascinating, if painstaking, good luck with the metallic threads, they can have a mind of their own can’t they?

    • mrsmole says:

      Yes, Jay and last night and during the night while I was hand sewing the hem edging I was struck by how thick the lace was to start with never mind how thick it is when the 2 layers are overlapped. Once the back lace is trimmed away it should look pretty nice.

  4. Monique van Meijeren says:

    The dress looks so much better already! Looks like you’re working your miracles again.

    • mrsmole says:

      Oh Monique, let’s hope so, she is coming for her second fitting this week and if everything is tight enough I can finish the zipper and attach all those buttons down the back and put my magic wand away for a few days…ha ha

  5. Tia Dia says:

    That is a beautiful and modest wedding gown, if I may say so. Your work is going to make that dress amazing for the bride. Looking forward to seeing Nancy’s dress!

    • mrsmole says:

      I have never had a dress with the “ombre” lace changing color near the hem and up close it is really nice. Nancy looks so classy in her dress…reminding me of the dresses we wore back in the 60’s with a Jackie vibe. A second muslin for another Very Easy Vogue pattern has been fitted and another dress is in production…it is always fun working for my client.

  6. jlundy6116 says:

    I was wondering the same thing: how can the bride get a dress that’s too BIG? usually it’s the other way around, I’m guessing. It is a beautiful dress, tho. I’m sure you’ll work your magic and the bride will be beautiful.

    • mrsmole says:

      Brides try on every dress in the store and settle on one while the saleswoman tells her that a seamstress can easily make it 2-4 sizes smaller. Most brides have no idea what is involved and believe the advice they are getting. Many brides call me asking this before they actually buy a dress and I say so much depends on the style…and with beading and whether the design of the dress may be changed in the altering…you can only take in side seams and center back so much before it changes everything. Some brides even send me photos from the salon asking me that same question. Thanks for dropping by!

  7. prttynpnk says:

    Overwhelmed. Everytime you show the before pic I am staring at the impossible. I’ll never understand the voodoo that you do so well!

    • mrsmole says:

      Mr. Mole says the same thing, “How do you know what the solution is for every dress?” and I make him laugh by explaining, “You know, I just make this shit up”. There doesn’t seem to be too many books out there that explain how to enlarge or reduce wedding gowns up or down 4 sizes and since the alteration is done for so many different reason such as big boobs, no boobs, big hips, no butt…there cannot be “one size fits all” technique. You just pin out what you don’t want and keep what you do want. Call it voodoo…thanks Anne!

  8. Susie says:

    It looks like magic to me, mrs. Mole! You always amaze me with the wedding dress. When I bought my dress, from a very nice shop that did all the alterations, they started with a 14, even though I was a 4 at the time. It seemed crazy, but it came out lovely. Maybe because it was what they had in inventory.

  9. mrsmole says:

    You never know what happens to your dress once it leaves the showroom. I always tell my brides that their dress never leaves here and they can come by and “visit” with it any time. It would be interesting to know where and how they altered your dress to make it a size 4!!!! Slapping clamps in the back zipper for photos is one thing…making the seamstress in the back room work miracles is another! So happy you got great results, Susie!!!

  10. Pingback: Custom All the Way | fit for a queen

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