Another NYC wedding

For some reason I seem to get loads of West coast bridesmaids and guests heading to East coast weddings this time of year. Last week we had the little bridesmaid with a too tight top and this week, the reverse.

Here we have a perfectly normal dress that comes in regular and petite sizes through Nordstrom and other stores. You can order your size and even return it no problem.

$_12_9613633 In the tiny, tiny photo the dress shows that the shoulder seams are rounded/curved and are meant to sit on the very outer edge and act as a small cap sleeve. My client bought this dress a size too small and not petite even though she needed it…go figure.

To start with she tries it on and the zipper barely gets up and the whole hip area is sliding at a rapid pace upwards towards her waist. I grab the side seams and yank them down but it is determined to crawl upwards for the life of the garment. She say, “why does it do that” and my answer is, “fabric seeks its own level, the hips need more space so they have to migrate up the waist to relax and stop, I guess you will be sliding your dress down all day.” She tells me that the wedding is at the Waldorf-Astoria in NYC to impress me. OK

Then, I do what I always do for front wrap dresses…pin the wrap shut and offer to hand tack it inside to keep the sides flat and not (as Anne says) not let the “bunnies out of the hutch”. She looks down at the 2 pins and says she is NOT going for that and she wants the cleavage to show as much as possible. OK.  She says that when she sits down the wrap REALLY opens up and she is OK with that too. At this point I am thinking that instead of looking like she is a posh guest she make look more like a girl off the streets looking for work.

Then she grabs the shoulder seams and pulls them way up saying, “this is all it needs and I want them to stay on my shoulders and not slide down”. I notice/point out that the seams are definitely curved and meant to cup the top outer edge of her shoulder but she is not having any of that either. I tell her I will make bra strap guards for her. So then the shoulders are pinned and everything is discussed and I say the job will take 1.5 hours and quote her my normal price for regular clothes, not bridal. She steps back and say, “well that is a bit extravagant but I guess it may be worth it.” In my mind, I am thinking, well Honey,  there is the door and I am sure you can find someone who might do it cheaper, but I smile and ask when does she want this little frock.

“I will pick it up in 7 days” is her answer and as she walks down the front pathway, she turns to say, “And make sure that I can gain weight after this alteration and have it un-done”. So in other words….don’t cut off any fabric. OK, I can stuff all that sequined shit into that seam and leave it lumpy…you get exactly what you ask for here. If you want to see what was done to this dress the photos are here:

Thread baste the new stitching/seam lines 1.25 inches apart:



Open seam and pin sequined fabric, not lining:




make sure the curved seam is going to be sewn straight:




Open original seam and hold flat, flatten lace edges to opposite seam allowances:





Fold edges under, pin and hand sew:



Hand stitch all edges closed and re-attach the rubber strip. Add the bra guard and a snap at the neck edge.




Before I go, I want to share another little annoying trait of bridal clients. One new bride had an appointment at 10 today so she called at 9:30 to tell me she decided to stay home and address all her invitations instead and would turn up around 2 pm. “Besides”, she says,”I don’t even have any underwear to bring with me so I have to buy that as well before I see you.” The wedding is in 3 weeks and last week when she called to make the appointment she announced,”I will be bringing all my children to the appointment and I want it on a Saturday”. I responded, there are no Saturday appointments and I do not accept children. I see a red flag….

These days of Fall we have had to bring our citrus trees into the garage for the winter until May. But the bonus is…the smell of lemon and lime blossoms!



Happy sewing everyone!

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41 Responses to Another NYC wedding

  1. jay says:

    You need to add a charge for holding your tongue.

  2. Suzanne says:

    I think its probably rolled into the price Jay. I love this snarky blog.

  3. mrsmole says:

    You know you are 100% correct! Thanks for the laugh, Jay!

  4. Jay’s onto something with that fee for holding your tongue…! It would definitely be well deserved. I sure couldn’t do what you do! My clients would probably all leave in a!

  5. PS…LOVE your fruit trees! That’s so neat.

  6. mrsmole says:

    Thanks Cheryl…I hold my tongue because getting a bad review online would not be very nice. My trees are over 10 years old except for the baby key lime one in the middle. Clients cannot believe we manage to grow citrus here…as long as the bees can pollinate before the snow comes!

  7. jrp53 says:

    You have the patience of Job and you control your urges much better than I would. Good luck with the trees over the winter. It must be nice to have a bit of spring on some of the more dreary days.

  8. I am bowing to your patience and sore tongue!

  9. Jane Urbach says:

    She could at least considered some of that double sided tape for bodies like the Hollywood actresses wear to keep appropriately cover at highly photographed events. Wardrobe malfunctions on almost front-less/backless dresses is certainly a scene for negative comments. I once stepped in front of the photographer briefly as the bride/groom photos were being staged as her dress has slipped down to the point of showing the darker area of her bust, suggested that she give a tug up, which she did. Would have probably showed like neon in the photo, unless the photographer had Photoshop to fix it. The dress was borrowed and really too small, but she was stuffed into it. The marriage didn’t last 2 years as I remember.

    • mrsmole says:

      A sung dress is no guarantee for a perfect marriage! In the end there must be loads of former brides with a beautiful wedding album and no husband. Sad but very little planning goes into the marriage compared to the wedding day and dress.

  10. Susie says:

    I’d like to think that if sewing skills were still taught in school, people would have a better grasp of what is involved in a “simple alteration”, even if they didn’t want to do it themselves (or knew it wasn’t in their skill sets to do it nicely). I don’t think I could do your job without a therapist on the side!

    • mrsmole says:

      I know I always have a cocktail waiting for me at the end of these days and a massage once a month to work out all the torqued muscles. You need a plan to keep the old body working at peak performance!

  11. jen (NY) says:

    I have vague memories of my grandmother’s comments about clients, particularly in regard to a wedding-ful of bridesmaids dresses that she once made. I guess the unrealistic expectations have existed forever, but I tend to think that clients were just little more polite in the 70s.

  12. Kathy Schrank says:

    Why are people so nasty. In 1yr those unfortunate grooms are going to wonder just where their little sweetie went. I feel so sorry for them.

  13. Colleen says:

    I agree with Susie for sure!! It is an opportunity to teach as you deal with these clients. I thought it was a great explaination for why the dress was sliding up…I need to remember that. For example, I told one bride she would not comfortably sit down as tight as she wanted the dress of which she replied “I don’t care, I just want to look good in the photographs!” So when the complaint came after the wedding….”the bride could not sit down…” I had proof that I had warned her of this plight!!

    • mrsmole says:

      One of my brides said she did not want to breath or sit down…so I made sure she could not do either…always here to please! ha ha…it’s crazy!

      • Cindy says:

        For some reason brides don’t like the words “let it out” so I tell them they are shorter waisted than the dress and we just need to match the dress to their hip curves, it sounds soooo much better than the dress doesn’t fit your big butt!! Which is what I’m thinking, good thing the voices in my head can’t be heard by any one but me!

  14. Trish says:

    It’s so reassuring to know that the crazies are not just residing in Australia! I agree with Kathy: those grooms are in for a shock. I did some alterations for a bride recently (who gave me 3 days to complete a very difficult makeover) and after dealing with the entitled princess, I wished I could warn the groom to escape while he still had time!
    I agree with you, Mrs Mole, that we can’t be rude to them, because bad reviews seem to travel faster than the good ones.

  15. Another demonstration of just how much self control you have Mrs Mole! I think I would have snapped long before now. Well done – now go and have that well deserved drink 🙂

  16. Gosh you deal with some really horrible people, you must be tempted sometimes to give them a piece of your mind!

  17. fabrickated says:

    Another great story. This would make such an entertaining TV series.

  18. girl in the stix says:

    I just don’t understand the rudeness. I, too, admire your restraint.

    • mrsmole says:

      Some folks just think being a seamstress is like being a servant. They never think I have a degree, have worked in many high end professions nor mingled with other professionals and celebrities in my own life…they see me on the floor pinning hems. They would be shocked to know that I have had dinner with Henry Kissinger, Buzz Aldrin and Captain and Tennile, just to name a few and have the photos to prove it.

  19. Alex in California says:

    I believe clients try to minimize what the alteration will entail so they won’t have to pay much. What most clients don’t understand is how careful you have to be when working with delicate, fragile fabrics. It is time consuming and haste can lead to regret.

    • mrsmole says:

      You know, Alex, I would love to have a video of their alterations technique so they could see a time-lapsed recording and understand…but they would probably not want to sit still long enough to watch!

  20. Nicole D. says:

    The more you curse, the more I love you 😉

  21. Monique says:

    Being served does seem to bring out the worst in some people! The worst and some form of deafness too. Good for you, for holding on to your standards and rules, though I (not even in the same business), would probably suggest the first girl should go shopping and buy the correct size. Who wants to look tacky, unless being served makes you a blind in a distorting kind of way? Where DO they get their examples and role models from?!
    Lovely garden 🙂

    • mrsmole says:

      Have you read any celebrity gossip magazines lately? These are the role models…demanding and pushy and entitled…all attributes that were not part of the scene growing up in the past generation. One day they may all get a dose of reality…and wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall then???

      • Monique says:

        Well, I do see what popular culture is and you’re right. So many spoilt children. Have you followed the discussion on “Black Peter” in The Netherlands – he’s Saint Nicholas’s helper? Recently, some people have been offended by his blackness, stereotype and links to colonialism and these people are trying to give Peter more colours; and by doing that, changing the whole centuries old tradition, say others. (As if halloween suddenly revolves around tomatoes instead of pumpkins). And boy, do these groups get militant! Unbelievable, the world is suffering and on fire, and the organiser of one of the processions has been getting death threats for planning to use coloured Peters (instead of the usual black).
        What would happen if these people suddenly had REAL problems to deal with, I wonder? I can only hope they get a grip and some sense of proportion.
        Despite the madness, keep your cool and keep up with the amazing work; the weekend is almost starting 🙂

  22. I don’t understand why she would buy a size too small and go through the trouble and expense of altering it, instead of buying the correct size if it’s available? Especially if she’s cheap. So weird, so rude. Kudos to you for holding in the snark so that we can snark on her here. lol

  23. mrsmole says:

    It hurts my brain too much to figure out why anyone does anything anymore…all I know is it is up to me to find a solution and charge them and deliver within 7 days…not too much to ask? These poor women are out there buying online without a clue and expecting to show up looking radiant with cleavage for all to see. Momma Mia!

  24. Mitch says:

    She’ll get what she has coming to her, Mrs. Mole. My money is on the mother of the bride handing her some safety pins so that she doesn’t ruin the photos or the video. Won’t she be shocked?

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