Where are the Easy Jobs?

Probably most folks don’t even think about the level of difficulty involved with their garment when they drop it off at the local seamstress. She nods and says it will be ready on a certain day and they leave happy. Then the fun/torture begins.

My East coast seamstress sister, Miss S, very kindly shared this photo of another one of those too-short baby-doll dresses that have been de rigueur these days. ALL she had to do was take in the zipper…easy peasy right? What’s to complain about? Until you see the beading…take off beads Can you see all the tiny rows of glass bugle beads that were removed and have to be re-attached after the zipper is moved over? Here is her partial pile of salvaged beads:beads Yes, big nasty cheap plastic rhinestones and seed beads and lots of labor. The finished product will look familiar once all the hand work is done…finished length of dress: barely covering the lady parts.photo 2 One of these graced my sewing room as well but all the girl wanted was the layers to be taken in to not have too much pouf.P1180116 Yes, that is a corset back and there is a modesty panel but it could not span the entire width of her back so she is not using it. Mothers allow their daughters to parade around in public with these ballerina dresses…scary!

Brides like to expose their backs as well as this dress, Ti Adora 7406, wandered into the sewing room too:TA7406-2 What you cannot see on this professional model is the side seams…one side is fabric, the other side is mesh. MESH? And what do I get to do….you know what’s coming…remove the invisible side zipper, take in 1 inch each side (2 inch total) and re-attach it so no one knows you altered it. Then I take in the other side the same way. No raw seams, everything is hidden within the lining.right-side

All the mesh side seams had to be folded under the zipper tape and hand attached to the mesh bodice so there were no puckers or lumps. You might be wondering…well Mrs. Mole…how can you take in the bodice 4 inches and not the skirt…oh yes, the skirt also had to be taken in all the way down to the hip area but I didn’t manage to get more photos. The beaded little belt had to be totally removed, 4 inches deleted and then all attached by hand.


Thankfully the bustle was a one point one.single-bustle

The shoes were Badgley Mischka for $245 in white satinLAVENDER-II01.1200.1

The last bride I want to share had a 5 foot long train of layers of vertical strips of tulle and lace and organza…yes sounds pretty and fluffy…train-steamed but for the bridesmaids to be able to find the buttons and loops for the 3 point bustle I had to tie 1/8 inch wide satin ribbons around each loop so they had something to grab unto. The satin layer underneath all this meringue also had 3 bustle points. Lots of fabric/insulation for a hot summer wedding!

all-bustled-upside-bustle 2

More brides keep pouring in this week and I am booked through until 2015 and even beyond with brides making appointments to make sure they get on the schedule…whew…it’s an epidemic!

Before I go, remember that the SEW BAD Saturday feature is just waiting for your wadders…everyone is welcome to send in photos of disasters! Be a star and submit your project!

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14 Responses to Where are the Easy Jobs?

  1. Whew…I don’t know how you do it, Mrs Mole! I’d be in business until one of those heinous dresses came in trying to be squeezed onto a ‘not ready for prime time’ body and it would be all over for me! That you not only manage to make the alterations look perfect and effortless ( !! ), but also please your clients is quite an accomplishment!

    Thanks for sharing your daily adventures and great sewing techniques with us! I’m still in awe over your cap sleeve/drag explanation!

    • mrsmole says:

      Thanks, Cheryl….more to come for the jacket as soon as Nancy gets back from her traveling. Good thing I am not the only seamstress in the world working on nasty cheap Chinese prom dresses!!! So nice for others to share their photos and trials with re-beading.

  2. Tia Dia says:

    Ugh. I want to go read a book instead of sewing after looking at all those fussy beading issues. Amazing. Just ah-may-zing.

    • mrsmole says:

      So glad that pink dress was not in my studio!!! The labor would have cost more than the dress. The gold dress that I worked on was given to the girl from a friend so being free it was such a bargain in the labor dept.

  3. Colleen says:

    First I love the title…”Where are all the easy jobs!” I have thought this so much to myself. I call them “slow nickel” projects and “fast dime” projects. It seems the “slow nickel” projects are winning at this moment with a busy fall bridal season.

    Second….Oh my! The short pink dress with the horizontal beads forming the wasitband is the worst work of all!! I don’t know how the factories/child labor get those beads in such a perfect straight line. Try to replace those by hand which you have to do…I have learned to remove as few as possible and hit the remaining ones with a dab of glue on a toothpick to not lose more than necessary! I would love to know any other tricks of the trade for beads in a straight line… mine look more like ~~ I do try to study the printed guide underneath but I just don’t have the touch!

    • mrsmole says:

      Me too…always up for tricks to re-attach stuff to these nasty poly dresses! Half the time the beads start out with glue and we are expected to work around them or rip them off with pliers and put them back…insane! Maybe there are machines that do specialty beading like that with perfect rows…you never know!Looking inside some of the serging of recent clothes from China, the high end variety, the serging is beautiful and the rolled hems…OMG how do they get them so narrow? I tell the clients that mine will be wider because I am not a factory…they never seem to mind. “Slow nickel”…great phrase…for those who don’t know…a nickel is 5 cents and a dime is 10 cents so I’d much rather be sewing fast dimes than slow nickels but we can’t pick and choose…darn it!

  4. jay says:

    I don’t know how you do it. (Well, I do, in theory.) In practice I don’t think I’d have the diplomacy and patience for below par fabrics and overexposed brides. I hope they appreciate it.

    • mrsmole says:

      Miss S told me last night that another client walked past the pink dress and said it was nice that she was working on an ice skating costume…so there you go…it is not everyone’s idea of a homecoming dance dress especially if the girl is almost 6 feet tall and wearing heels!…OH MY!

  5. Bunny says:

    I can’t believe those two short dresses, Dios mio!

  6. June says:

    My eyes cross in pain for Miss S’s beaded wonder. You ladies can work such miracles, truly.

    • mrsmole says:

      June, you can almost hear the great seamstress sighs can’t you? We all take a deep breath and wonder what else we could be doing instead of these silly projects. One day I will be sewing for myself with less hassle and grief…one day….

  7. Fashionista says:

    Great post as usual. You are hilarious. That gold frock is something to behold isn’t it? While the wedding dress really is something to behold, it looks lovely but I can imagine the altering nightmare that it is.

    I thought of you when Miss16 bought her formal (sort of like your prom, but slightly less overblown, only slightly mind) frock a couple of weeks ago in a “vintage shop”. I use the quotations because this particular shop has much pre 1990s stuff and yes while I know it is technically vintage, it is not. If you know what I mean.

    Back to the frock. It is a beautiful long beaded silk column from a New Jersey designer whose name escapes me (I know Miss16 goggled it and discovered the frocks start at about USD1000 so she was feeling very-clever-shopper). It looks stunning on her but will benefit with a little taking in down the back zip as she is very small across the back (and this is a common adjustment on anything I sew for her). Cue me unpicking lots of beads. Can’t wait. I can’t whinge though, we paid next to nothing for it and it is a very classy frock.

  8. prttynpnk says:

    Wow- im not a big fan of bridal, but that tia Tora Tostito whatever it was is really lovely- both in ‘real’ pics and the ads. You didbeautiful magic AGAIN!

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