Too Tall and Too Tight

A bride came in with a dress she ordered from NY from David’s Bridal without trying it on. Vera Wang produced this little honey complete with her signature over-sized organza roses.Vera-Wang-White-Ball-Gown-V Vera-Wang-White-Ball-Gown-VW351029-Soft-White-2011-2Like so many brides, the first time they see themselves in the big mirror in the sewing room, they sort of growl and moan under their breath and start pulling at the edges of the dress. This poor bride was over 6 ft tall and stunning but the bodice of the dress was too small.

The shoulder straps needed to be let out to the very edge of the seams to gain an inch of length and the side seams had to be let out 2 inches each side so she could breathe and the zipper would eventually close. The side seams at the hips needed to be taken in for some better shaping. All this could be done but she revealed that she had visited another sewing center in town and they told her, “The dress fits fine, all you need to do is go to the gym.” Imagine! Not only does that send a bad message to the bride but it also says, “we really don’t want to be bothered”.

The one thing that surprised me about this dress was the fact that the bride did not want to see the gigantic roses or the hip ruffles. Now from the stock photos..that’s pretty much what this dress has going for it but again the alteration can be done…it’s just labor after all.

Let’s see what had to be done:P1180355 Each of the 2 roses sections had to be un-tacked and gathered up tighter and narrower and re-attached (hand-tacked) with the vertical ruffles flipped over them concealing their fluffiness.P1180356


A 3 point tulle bustle was made to get all that supporting layer(s) off the ground before deciding on the ruffled organza layers.



Here we are with a possible 3 point bustle…where are the buttons going to go in all this meringue? How can any bridesmaid find the loops?



With all the side seams and shoulder seams completed and linings re-sewn the bride brings in a head band with elastic bands and some ribbon to make a belt.

P1180371  She thinks this will draw the eye away from her hip ruffles and roses. I hand sew all the beaded edges to the satin ribbon and then tack the belt to the dress at about 8 different places (seams). The belt being straight and the body being curved we had to dip the back of the satin lower but it followed the ruching and worked out OK.P1180368P1180369P1180370

After everything was done we ended up with larger pearl buttons for the bustle (to carry the extreme weight of the fabrics) and narrow satin ribbons tied to each loop in case the bridesmaids are a little tipsy.P1180414


Roses are minimized and the bride can breathe…my job here is done!

Ten days till Christmas and there are still brides to finish…where are those elves?


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33 Responses to Too Tall and Too Tight

  1. Cheryl says:

    Why in h#@% do they buy dresses they don’t like? It isn’t as if there wasn’t a gazillion to choose from. I hope you are charging a gazillion to do this crazy stuff.

  2. Trish says:

    I agree with Cheryl: was there anything she liked about the dress? It must have been a nightmare for you wrestling with all that volume in the skirt! The finished product is, as usual, amazing. Well done, Mrs Mole.

    • mrsmole says:

      Wrestling with white alligators is what my days are filled with. You know the weight of all that fabric and netting from your own sewing business…it’s the bride’s problem to try to stay cool and not let that sweat pouring down her back into her thong panties bother her.

  3. maryglenn says:

    You are a saint! I do a lot for brides but I don’t think I would attack the ‘rose’ issue. Great Job as usual.

  4. Ines says:

    Wow, I admit I like the dress better after the all the alterations but why buy it in the first place???!!! Great job thanks for sharing the brides dress issues is a whole underground fascinating world!

    • mrsmole says:

      Brides are living in a dreamworld…it’s not their fault…the whole bridal industry contributes to it and their friends and family want them to have the experience of a lifetime…but it is not all glamor…for the seamstress it is hard physical work that I like to share with you.

  5. Such complicated and intricate work! Beautiful job!

  6. Shams says:

    I agree, this one is a real head scratcher-why DID she buy it? But you’ve worked your miracles once again.

  7. Barbara says:

    Fascinating and beautiful work. But indeed why buy the dress, work for you and the elves though ☺

  8. Bunny says:

    That dress is the roses. What the……………..

  9. girl in the stix says:

    Once again, you have amazed me with your skill. And like the others above, am scratching my head about the bride’s choice of a dress she didn’t like (and didn’t try on????). Was it such a bargain that she figured with all that fabric something could be done? I hope she was pleasant to work with.

  10. mrsmole says:

    The dress was not on sale, she paid full price and expected it to fit but being over 6 feet tall most things do not fit her anyway…but she never thought ahead, She was easy to work with and a little goofy so that made it fun.

  11. fabrickated says:

    If I was 6″ I would have a Carolyn Bessette style dress I think. This dress is way too Disney for a really tall girl. When I realised you had to unpick the roses,and then I saw the hairband I didn’t know what to say. But you did a good job.

    • mrsmole says:

      She did want a sleek dress but gave into the groom’s demands…she should have stood her ground…the hairband was a good idea and it worked OK with the satin ribbon…sometimes big bulky gems make the satin ribbon pucker. I hate puckers!

  12. ceci says:

    this makes me a bit sad on a couple of levels, but lovely that the poor girl was treated with respect chez Mole if not at the gym referral place. Not that I will ever alter a wedding dress but there are frequently important lessons in your posts, so thank you!


    • mrsmole says:

      If the starting point with a client is that we are all related and we all have value, then I don’t see how anyone can talk down to a customer. My clients all say they love being in my sewing room and they don’t want to leave…pretty good comments for such a stressful time. Thank you, ceci.

  13. Tia Dia says:

    What the…?!??! Those roses ARE the dress, for pete’s sake. You’re amazing, Mrs. Mole!

  14. mrsmole says:

    Didn’t know I was a fashion florist as well did you? You thought I only grew vegetables….I’ll be glad when Vera switches to something else!

  15. symondezyn says:

    It takes a special kind of ballsy to order a wedding dress without trying it on… I sure wouldn’t take that risk! That and it would be a red flag for me if my fiancé was telling me what to wear too – I’m sorry but no one is telling me to wear a floofy dress made of giant roses! haha!! LOL I bet she’s VERY thankful she found you to make her perfect dress out of what could have been a total train wreck ^__^ And anyone who tells a bride-to-be to go to the gym should be shot and quartered!! LOL

  16. mrsmole says:

    Yes, Amanda…beware the groom who tells you what kind of dress to wear…show him the door! And never let anyone tell you to join a gym!

    • symondezyn says:

      The best kind of man is the one who thinks you’re gorgeous no matter what – and that’s the man I’m marrying ^__^ Also, he knows me well enough and trusts that I won’t show up looking daft LOL.

      I pity the soul that tried to tell me to go to the gym – I’d tell them I’m already there enough times a week and I never see them there, so maybe THEY should go!! haha

  17. Shari says:

    I shared this page with DH (who still doesn’t have his new shirts, BTW…). He said “You know, I don’t remember your wedding dress at all”. He went on to reminisce about things he did remember – people, the ceremony, the party. Interesting.

  18. mrsmole says:

    Next time you will have a laugh…a real vintage bride…it will bring back memories for some of us, Shari!

  19. Mema says:

    Dear Mrs Mole,
    Season’s greetings and best wishes for the New Year. I’m looking forward to read more about your work next year. Mema

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