Bargain-hunting Bride

So many brides want me to know about what discounts they managed to get on their dress. They are so pleased if they get 20% off or more and I admire their determination to try to save money where they can since weddings are crazy times to watch money disappear for a one-day event.

This next bride should get a medal for her find. She is having a garden wedding and wanted something light and airy and cheap and while trawling through re-sale shops in town she found the perfect dress:


It had sweet scallops at the top edges and an embroidered beaded organza over skirt over a satin layer and a lining. All that was needed was hemming but there was a slight problem…the hem was trimmed with thin narrow rayon edging which the bride had removed to cut down the costs. Cost….I almost forget…here is the original price tag:



Now in our area, consignment/resale shops list garments for 20% of their original cost and then they take 50-60% commission. In the end the seller gets about 10% of what she originally paid which never seems like a great proposition to me. But would you be shocked to know that this $775 designer dress was priced at $30? Yes…that means the seller got less than $15 and the bride got a real bargain!

Now, back to the alteration…let’s hem the lining and satin layer and tackle the rayon edging.


Next lay and pin the edging on the agreed upon finished men length and stitch it on.


Trim away all the excess below the edging and you can see the red thread line marking the hem edge.


and you end up with the lace hem just about 1/2 inch below the satin hem…perfect!


Since the edging was so fragile/frayed after the client removed it, I ended up sewing it all by hand as I thought for sure that using the sewing machine would further damage it with following all the curves and loops in the design.

Before I leave you, Mr Mole found this photo on the internet and he shared it with me. It has been on Google images for a while and you can find it and more if you do a search for “women sewing fishing nets”:sewing nets

They make sewing on wedding gowns a piece of cake!

Happy Spring sewing everyone!

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26 Responses to Bargain-hunting Bride

  1. jay says:

    Such a pretty dress, and what a bargain! Presumably the net menders have a system? It looks like plunging into a sea of green

  2. mrsmole says:

    It makes you wonder…where do they start and end?

  3. fabrickated says:

    It also looks like a good fit (for a change)!
    Love the fisher woman picture – such a gorgeous colour.

  4. Mandykatt says:

    That was a bargain of the dress for the bride! Thank goodness the bodice fit her.
    I bought my wedding dress from a consignment shop as well. It was $500, but fit perfectly. I didn’t even need a hem, so I consider it a fabulous bargain. My SIL, found her’s online for $300, but needed $400 worth of alterations. Somehow she thinks she got the better price. (silly non-sewers).

    My mum grew up in rural Newfoundland. She had learned to mend fishing nets by hand as a very young girl. I doubt they were as long as the ones in that photo, but it still brings a nostalgic feel with it to me.

    I love when you post photos of moving lace edges. I learn a lot from your writing!

    • mrsmole says:

      Thanks, Mandykatt…I’m sure there will be more lace photos throughout the season. I feel sorry for non-sewers but they end up with good fitting garments but with much more money being spent.

  5. Susie says:

    Now THAT’S a bargain!

    I will not be applying for the fishing net job. I may have nightmares about that tonight,

  6. symondezyn says:

    Wow, that is a screaming deal! And for once it is actually a lovely dress, making it a true bargain! 🙂 That fishing net photo is something else – can you imagine being swamped in that much netting?? How would you know where you started and ended? LOL

  7. robindrush says:

    Gorgeous dress–savvy sensible bride.

  8. Jennifer S says:

    I don’t have a dress story, but I do have a tent story. I used to work in the repair department at a Camping supply store. Fixing tents, backpacks, etc. For a four man tent, we usually charged about $60 to replace the zippers. That included a #10 coil zipper and the labour. Everyone always wanted aluminum, but they don’t bend to the D shape of the door and the teeth pull out. Well, one day, a lady decided that that was too much to spend to fix her tent zipper and decided to do it herself. Eunice TOLD her on the phone to just cut the teeth off of the old zipper tape and layer the new one underneath. She didn’t listen. Being a 10+ year old nylon tent that had seen its share of weather, the nylon stretched. Her husband came in with the tent with a door that was about 10″ bigger than the door “frame” that it was supposed to fit and Eunice ended up pleating the door back into the hole for $120 or so. I think the next time someone told this lady something, she listened.

    That bride was lucky to only spend $15 on her dress. Mine was $45, but I bought it at Winners and it really did look about as far away from a wedding dress as I could find, but that’s how I wanted it. I still will never be able to understand how you can stay so patient with these ladies. But then, I have an acquaintance who once made 6 bridesmaids dresses out of hot pink, metallic splashed lycra. With a pattern that needed non-stretch fabric. Because the bride and her mom didn’t think they needed help picking out fabric. Of course, they didn’t get enough either.

    • mrsmole says:

      Oh Jennifer, your tent story is a classic!!!! I feel sorry for your friend working on that nasty fabric…bad enough to turn out one difficult dress but 6 is insane!

  9. Krysti says:

    My most recent bride story is a call from the bridal shop I contract for. I got a call yesterday from one of the consultants wondering if the dress was done for a fitting Monday. Well this particular bride was very picky and concerned about the fit – so I recommended doing the sides and getting it fitted before we did the hem and bustle. Since the fitting, her sister decided that she was paying too much and knew another seamstress that could do it cheaper. The sides are done already, so they are going to reschedule the fitting so the sister can come in for an “inspection”. Well I don’t think that “cheaper” is always better especially with wedding gowns. So we will see if my work passes “inspection”! If not -I hope the other seamstress is really good and has LOTS of patience. ha ha

    • mrsmole says:

      After I give a bid for an alteration I always say, “If it is too high I can give you the name of someone who might be cheaper…it is your choice and I will not be offended”, but they never take me up on it. It would be harder if I had already started on the dress and then had someone butt it…Good luck to you!!! I’m sure both of us have seen and re-worked cheaper jobs from other seamstresses but it’s not always pleasant ripping out work done by others, is it?

  10. karen says:

    You must have the patience of a saint! I like to think of myself as a nice person,but, if I had to deal with some of the foolishness some of your customers display, I would be charging astronomical prices for the aggravation alone. I love that dress and am impressed that this young bride had the frugality to shop for her bridal gown in a consignment shop. I hope her big day is everything she imagines it will be. Have a good week. I am thrilled. We have had temperatures up to 3 degrees above freezing last week. Practically balmy weather! Spring should be here fully by mid April. So much to look forward to!

    • mrsmole says:

      My prices are set and posted so the only benefit I can get is material for these blog posts.
      Just when I think I have run low on weird clients….in walks another. Spring is coming…slowly.

  11. BeaJay says:

    Great bargain. She ended up with a beautiful dress with your hemming. Fab picture of the nets.

  12. prttynpnk says:

    This is my first day off cold medicine this week- that net pic makes me think I’m still on it! I swear the green is swirling!!!

  13. mrsmole says:

    If that netting ain’t swirling now, it certainly will be when the fish get inside! Hope you are on the road to recovery!!!!!

  14. She did get a bargain. Wow! I thought that photo was some psychedelic photo shopped one, until you told me what it was. That’s a Wow! Too!

  15. June says:

    That’s a beautiful dress, for sure. Re the fishing nets – I read an interesting article about mosquito nets in Africa being used for fishing instead (

  16. mrsmole says:

    What a sad article…having to choose between eating and getting malaria. Thanks for sharing it, June!

  17. Linda Craig says:

    Beautiful dress & job Mrs. Mole. If the bride is this good with all her financial decisions her husband won a good lady.

  18. mrsmole says:

    Yes, Linda, I certainly agree!

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