Brides Helping Brides

While I had heard about this organization in the past, I had never worked on a dress that came from their collection.

“Brides for a Cause” is more than a bridal store – it’s a bridal store to raise funds for charity! We are exclusively partnered with Wish Upon A Wedding, a non profit organization dedicated to granting weddings and vow renewals for couples facing serious illness or a life-altering circumstance​. We are a for-profit organization that collects and resells wedding dresses on behalf of Wish Upon A Wedding to help raise funds for their mission.”

So let’s have a  look at one dress that needed my help to fit. As usual, the bride fell in love with the dress (especially the hundreds of tiny organza blossoms and pearls and did not blink an eye when the dress was not her size. The dress was referred to me from another seamstress in town who said she could not do anything to make this fit and we had only a 3 week window as the bride was leaving and had to be put to the front of the line/queue.

First let’s pin out 4 inches on each side seam(invisible zipper included…right, total of 8 inches to start.

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The zipper is in the right side seam and with all the draped pleats I have to stop at the hips or end up re-designing the skirt portion. I explained that taking in that much will make the top of the side seams have a “step-down” effect but the top lace edging may be adjusted to cover that feature/problem.P1190038 Inside there is a huge bra strap device that is now 8 inches too long so the hook side edging strip is removed and re-positioned over 4 inches. Inside this tube is 4 inch wide elastic covered by knit fabric.

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First, I stay stitch the new seam edge.

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Stitch one side and then trim off the excess on the right.P1190042

Fold the back edge over the raw edge and stitch flat.P1190043

The hooked side attaches to the eye side but first the left side seams have to be stitched. Above is the lining side seam with long boning (love that!). Below is the fabric side seam.P1190044

You can see the dramatic difference ( step down) in the top of the side seam allowances. Both underarm areas looked like this before adjusting the lace edging strip.

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P1190046 The eyes section is a bit more complicated. It involves a guard (like on a front fly zipper in pants) that sits between the eyes and the zipper teeth and has to be stacked before stitching.

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Just below the eye section of the lining you can see it has been damaged by many girls trying on the dress and yanking the zipper in a huge effort to get it over their hips…it happens.

P1190073 After all the alterations have been done, hemming and lots of pleat tacking down and hand sewing, the bride asks for some romantic sleeves so I grab my roll of tulle and position a 22 inch long, 45 inch wide gathered strip in front and back.

The results are just what she envisioned:

P1190110-2P1190111-2P1190112 The last photo shows the closer-to-center positioning before they are hand sewn inside and trimmed off.

Each of the 4 layers were hemmed and every pleat of the top organza was hand tacked about 6 inches above the hem edge to the satin below to keep it in place, The French bustle was held with one button and loop.

The bride is making quite unique footwear for the herself and her bridesmaids for the Hawaiian wedding venue.

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Just before I go, here is a photo of our first strawberry harvest this year:Strawberries-1

Happy sewing, everyone! Welcome to all the new readers!

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26 Responses to Brides Helping Brides

  1. Theresa says:

    Beautiful Mrs. Mole! I love the addition of the little sleeves. Glad you could slip this one in and thank you for making us aware of that organization. Who knew?!

  2. mrsmole says:

    It’s nice to know that all the sample gowns and slightly used dresses can be made available to other women in need and the funds used for a greater good…otherwise there is a whole lot of ivory polyester just running loose and hanging in closets, Theresa.

  3. It’s always a good idea not to waste. These are once worn dresses and incredibly expensive, it is nice to hear they are put to good use again. It is a beautiful dress and again you did a fabulous job with it!

  4. I love what this group is doing…such a good idea! The dress looked so pretty after you finished it…”shoes” and all. Strawberries look delish! Enjoy!

    • mrsmole says:

      Some of these ideas are also working their way to prom dresses with other groups re-selling them too and the money and gowns can also be given to low-income girls who cannot afford a dress of their own. Some much money is wasted on gown for one night and one wearing, I’m happy they can have another chance to go to the ball.

  5. Dara says:

    Beautifull!!!

  6. June says:

    Beautiful work, and ohmigosh, homegrown strawberries! I had strawberry plants at my last home and loved eating them warm from the garden.

    • mrsmole says:

      Overripe strawberries…like sugar! The cool thing is the plants send out tons of runners after fruiting and make so many little baby plants for us…like all for free that we have to cut them from the parent plants and give them to the neighbors to start their own strawberry patch.

  7. Monique says:

    Miracles again, Mrs Mole! Lovely, and the organisation/charity a great idea.
    Those strawberries, hmmm… A sure sign Summer is here. Hope you find the time to enjoy it all.

    • mrsmole says:

      We are eating those berries morning and night while they last before the squash make an appearance…they are just not as much fun…ha ha! The dress was a challenge but don’t we learn the most from those??? I sure do!

  8. erniek3 says:

    This is such a lovely dress and such a great idea that it pains me to feel the hackles raised on my back with the phrase “We are a for-profit organization that collects and resells wedding dresses on behalf of Wish Upon A Wedding to help raise funds for their mission.” Mixing your business like that will end in tax court at least, no matter how pure your intentions.

    • mrsmole says:

      I guess being sort of the middleman for this charity is the only way they would even see any money and it does get un-used dresses a second life and recycled gowns a new owner. I know salon owners here who donate are happy to have a tax deduction so maybe it is a win/win once the rent is paid on the warehouse building and the travel expenses paid for the traveling bridal shows. I just thought it was OK to mention it here.

    • Val says:

      Never heard of either of this organizations before today’s posting . . . I could be wrong but I got the idea that the ‘Brides for a Cause’ organization makes no bones that they are in it for a profit but somehow donate at least some funds and/or dresses to the non-profit organization. Like everyone else who’s commenting here, it’s great to know that pretty gowns can have a second life for a gal who’s watching her budget.

  9. prttynpnk says:

    I love the sleevelets- the whole dress is just lovely and I’m amazed at how you did all that! I’d have had a giant hissy fit and thrown it out the window!

    • mrsmole says:

      Those sleevelets (love your term) are so easy to make and so romantic and cheap…a yard of tulle does it. No time for hissy fits here…hissy fits don’t get you the checks or cash…ha ha!

  10. Pretty amazing, again! Great job for a good cause.
    Any strawberries around here would be found by the squirrels before being ready for eating so I don’t bother anymore.

    • mrsmole says:

      Snails, slugs and robins take their toll but we do check them every couple of days and keep it all netted otherwise it would be a free-for-all with the local birds and foxes.

  11. jenerators says:

    A lot of Orthodox Jewish communities run something called a “Gemach” which loans out wedding dresses (amongst other things) (I think for free) to brides who can’t afford to buy one. However they often need to alter them to add long sleeves and/or raise the neckline as the borrowers are religious and for modesty reasons don’t want too much (ie any) flesh showing.

  12. What a great idea. You did a great job on this dress (as you always do) and I love the ‘shoes’ to go with it. Perfect for the location.
    Enjoy your strawberries!

  13. Martina says:

    We have a similar charity for prom dresses…one of the big dry cleaning chains collects them and cleans them, and then they have a warehouse type event where girls who can’t afford a dress get to pick one out. I’ve donated a few dresses…it’s nice to know they’re going to a good cause.

  14. Sharon says:

    Another mission accomplished. You rock Mrs. Mole !

  15. fabrickated says:

    This looks like it was a particularly tough challenge Mrs Mole. But the end result is quite special. It looks slightly ethereal as well as making the most of the bride’s’ lovely figure. A great outcome – as are the strawberries – what a lot. I hope you guys are hungry (or like making jam)…

  16. twotoast says:

    What a beautiful dress – there must be a fantastic sense of achievement when you see the faces of the brides! And ooooh, those strawberries look lovely! Much nicer than our imported ones. Next year I will be growing my own so will pop over for some ‘top tips’!

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