All That Glitters

When you dress in gold, you get noticed.

This week, I got a frantic call from a mother of the bride with a request. It seems she ordered a gold sequined dress for some girls to be hostesses at the tables for her daughter’s wedding and one dress was too big. She told me she would drop off the dress and she wanted it taken in 2 inches in each side seam and 2 inches in the zipper. When I asked that the dress AND the intended girl come so I could pin out the excess fabric, she seemed confused/annoyed. Yes, Ma’am, I need to see the dress ON the girl before I agree to work on it and, yes, I realize I have 4 days before the wedding.

Here is what we started with: gold-sequins-1

Yes, an exposed brass jacket zipper (I think they look cheap and unfinished) and waist cutouts (also cheap and unfinished) that leave little to the imagination along with a deep V back. P1190237

In the photo on the website link, only in the silver photo can you see the gaping openings. So, after pinning out the center back seam/zipper I realized that this whole zipper will have to be removed, taken in 3 inches, thenΒ  re-aligned with the new neckline and re-attached after moving up 2 inches. The skirt portion below the zipper will also be taken in to make the skirt hug the body/butt.


Let’s remove the 2 rows of stitching to release the zipper. The lining and sequin layer have been serged together but I am NOT tossing this in MY serger…the edges will be trimmed and tucked under the zipper tape later.

gold-sequins-3gold-sequins-4 In the original seam there were lots of flattened sequins really close to the teeth which will not be the case when it is done.

gold-sequins-5 Zipper is hand See the gap at the bottom? It will be closed and sewn by handΒ  Zipper front, the right side

gold-sequins-8 Time to trim off all the excess fabric and sequins. I am using my craft scissors instead of the Trimmed and tucked under and topstitched from the inside. See the lining below the zipper? All closed up and lying flat so no one will know it was altered. After an hour and a half of labor, the girl can perform her duties as table hostess…whatever that title involves?

One more gold dress to share from my East Coast seamstress friend. She had a client bring in this NY designer knit dress to be shortened. It had vertical rows of silver beads attached and nearer the hem the beads stopped and a hem was stitched in the fabric. Here is her description as only Sharon can tell it:

There are 2 layers, both are polyester knit. Both layers need to be shortened 3″. I’ve done the lining, no problem. Normally to shorten the top layer, I measure 3″ from the bottom of each row of beads, secure that bead, then cut the threads releasing the beads below that 3″ mark, then hem. To my horror, I have just discovered these bastards are glued on. Glued on real good! I’ve tried tugging and they are not coming off without damaging the fabric.
Now what do I do?????
I’ve thought about just clean cutting 3″ from the bottom, but afraid the fabric will curl or get a run, like this crap fabric is apt to do.


Β OK…what DO you do when the beads are super-glued to the fabric? You ask a seamstress friend…you stress over it, you sure don’t just jump in and make a mess of it. If it is at the end of a long day…we hang it up, turn off the lights and face the music in the morning when many things look more doable in the first light of day. My suggestion was to try a hammer to crush each bead so the fabric could be hemmed, Mr Mole suggested using a hair dryer to soften the glue to remove each bead below the safety pin marker, but in the end she did just cut a straight horizontal line at the hem level and the fabric behaved itself and did not curl or run…whew! We see things that most folks only dread and have to find solutions for a quick turnaround. Good Going, Sharon!

Before I leave you, Mr Mole took this photo of 2 of the veggie beds…peppers, tomatoes, chard, onions, beets and lettuce are doing fine. Fruit trees (pear, plum and peach) in the background and cages ready for butternut squash to crawl up inside. Veggies---150618

We have been promised 108 degree temps this weekend so watering will really have to be the main concern along with those toasty brides…3 completed last weekend and 3 finished this weekend …halleluiah!

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44 Responses to All That Glitters

  1. I really don’t want those sort of ‘rush’ jobs anymore. Well done with the work on that sequined dress – and no it wouldn’t have gone through my overlocker either!
    Yowsa, Sharon’s beaded dress story should be shown to everyone who is thinking of sewing professionally. We all have a tale like that. And what is with the commercial producers and glue now?

  2. S says:

    I envy you your vegetable garden, Mrs. Mole. It looks like paradise!

    • mrsmole says:

      It is paradise for the birds who nibble on all the greens and the snails who plow through the seedlings and the earwigs who set up shop in the lettuces…other than that it is a place to stop and pull weeds and see bees buzzing inside huge squash flowers while green tomatoes ripen.

  3. accordion3 says:

    42C over the weekend! That’s like our summers downunder.

    Was it possible to just put a really deep hem on the sequinned number?

    • mrsmole says:

      Do you mean on the beaded dress? It would have been pretty bulky and showed from the right side with a line and more bumps. The sequined dress was already short enough and just needed the back taken in.

    • Sharon says:

      Even a hand stitched hem would have
      been too noticeable on this sheer knit that was simar to pantyhose. The beads were spaced too closely to attempt whacking away at them with a hammer. And besides, my aim’s not that good! Mr. Mole’s suggestion was a good one but I feared melting all that polyester fabric & plastic beads with a hair dryer. After finally prying off 2 beads, I discovered that a glob of dried glue was left behind, so I had no choice but to clean cut the edge. Once again Mrs. Mole talked me down off the ledge. I did not jump but I sure had several choice words for this idiot designer and shouted those words at the dress !!! The dress remained silent.

      • Just an fyi…When I worked at a manufacturing firm, we used acetone/nail polish remover to remove the hot fix rhinestones transfers, but test it on a hidden spot or scrap fabric. I remember once accidentally spilling nail polish on a pair of pants and it ate right thru it!

  4. Beautiful garden! And wow…that gold sequined “hostess” dress with the side cut-outs? Nothin’ but class. πŸ˜‰ I wouldn’t last 5 minutes doing what you do!

  5. beansmum says:

    Needing to take in the back that much, combined with the cutouts, almost gives that poor girl a backless dress! At least she’s got the exposed brass zipper keeping it all together! πŸ˜›

    I think side cutouts are cute (if trendy) – in theory. In practice, they need to be impeccably fitted, and they so rarely are…

    • mrsmole says:

      They sure keep a girl from wearing decent underpants as everything shows!

      • splendidcakes says:

        Decent underpants- is that even a concept anymore? PLEASE don’t let any of the “hostesses” need to learn over a table to help a guest :O !!!!!!

  6. jay says:

    Side cut outs could be nice ….. if the fit is right and the person has the figure to carry it. Perhaps not the wisest choice for hostesses?

    • mrsmole says:

      Makes you wonder, Jay! If these poor girls, 15 and under, are serving food and drinks, they could possibly catch those cut out edges on something as well…like a table edge or a gentleman’s hand….hmmmm.

  7. yes I am with everyone else, what the heck is a table hostess? at a wedding? sounds more like a “gentlemen’s club” ha ha. gosh that was hideous. you really earn your $ !!! garden looks fantastic. supposed to be 102˚F here today. Once it hits the triple digits, yikes. as long as it doesn’t last more than 2 days I can deal with it.

  8. mrsmole says:

    Oh Beth, they have promised a week of 100-108 with no let-up…who ordered this August weather in June? A dress with side cut-outs just begs men to look there and reach out to touch…not a good start to a wedding reception with teenage “hostesses”.

  9. splendidcakes says:

    Wait a minute- the hostesses are 15 and under??????!!!!!!!! I wouldn’t let my 15 or under daughter wear that! Fortunately my only child is a 17 year old son πŸ™‚
    This really makes me angry. Let’s encourage young girls that their objectification is not only fine, but overseen by the mother of the bride! I tremble to think what, if anything, the bride is wearing 😦
    Maybe men will slip dollar bills into those cutouts…

  10. Tia Dia says:

    I have nothing to say about those gold dresses, except that I am routinely horrified at the cost of designer garments for what you get sometimes. And people quail at paying a seamstress to custom make a gown for the same decent amount of money with better quality construction. I don’t understand. BTW, I LOVE your raised beds. Your garden looks wonderful.

    • mrsmole says:

      Thank you, Tia…we should have veggies all summer if they don’t cook from the temps in the meantime! The newspaper today said we should all be out putting sticks in the ground around our plants and sliding pillowcases over the sticks….maybe when I am done hemming up two wedding dresses…yeah right…a raised bed of pillowcases…seems about right!

  11. I was dying to see the girl in the finished dress – with all those holes and what not! Lovely garden. Your weather is to hot for me though.

    • mrsmole says:

      Oh Linda, normal temps are in the 80’s this time of year so we have crossed over into the ugly zone for sure! Sorry I cannot always get the finished dress on-the-girl photos when another family member picks it up…bummer for all of us!

  12. sewruth says:

    You deal with nothing but pure class, don’t you? You need a new sign – Trash to class or class to trash – whatever you want to pay for.

  13. fabrickated says:

    I love your alterations Mrs Mole. And the support group you and Sharon run. Great stuff. And the gorgeous vegetable arrangement – very stylish and beautiful.

    I like waist cut out, like Jay. I think they are rather intriguing and I feel that the tummy and back – on young, slim women, are far more interesting and attractive than upper thighs, boobs and bottom clinging skirts. It is nice to be sexy and suggestive when you are young and firm figured – and I think this feature could be very pretty. I would have it with a higher neck and a much longer skirt.

    • mrsmole says:

      The photos on the website barely show how wide that opening is and I was working on a size 4…imagine anything larger! I’m still surprised that the dress did not have to be hemmed shorter for a real shocking scene! Arranging vegetable plants…trying to get the tall ones in back and the short ones in front and hoping the sprinklers can handle it all in this heat is a challenge while searching for zucchini under huge leaves BEFORE they get to the size of baseball bats! Your new home site is just delicious!!! I can see why that is all you have been talking and dreaming about with your husband, Kate!

  14. maryfunt says:

    What a horror! “Hostesses” in those trashy gold sequin dresses. Non-sewers have no understanding that getting these dresses apart, all the serged seams, takes forever. Don’t you love working with this stuff! The glued on trim- great story.

  15. mrsmole says:

    As always I am aware that sequins can make a mess of bobbin cases and needles and serger blades. Working on prom dress fabrics with tiny metal dots can leave behind melted bits in the bobbin case too and I wish I could just weed these clothes out and say no. Probably should ask over the phone what the dress is made of but I forget when it is a rush job. So glad I did not have to work with the glued on beads…have seen plenty on prom dresses but never expect to see them on high-end NY designs…ever! You must see such things, Mary!

  16. Your blog is slowly preparing me for my next task in preparing for my daughter’s wedding – the alterations. I’m altering her gown and 4 bridesmaids gowns. It is SO HELPFUL to watch what you do and how you do it. A big part of doing this kind of work it to “feel the fear and do it anyway”
    I see many delicious meals coming out of that garden!

    • mrsmole says:

      So much of what I do is just thinking backwards. Decide what you want/need and work the steps back to where you are. Finding the sequence of the original sewing helps too and taking photos as you go. Hemming with horsehair braid is time consuming, removing zippers is tedious or shortening straps but all worth it for a great fit. If you have any questions, maybe I can help, email me privately…I wish you only easy solutions Robin!!!

  17. Martina says:

    Those “hostess” dresses look like they should be worn by dealers in Vegas!

    I helped with new Nutcracker costumes for Boston Ballet, and they used hot fix stones on a lot of the costumes. They tested and they actually stayed on better than the hand sewn version we used to use…the costumes take a lot of abuse, and they are meant to last at least 10 years. I can’t post a picture in the comments, but the stones really look stunning!

  18. symondezyn says:

    those ‘hostess’ dresses are…. weird LOL. Why would you want those at your wedding? I can’t even picture what it would look like on a body – it just looks like a strange boxy X LOL Also, I agree – not a fan of the exposed zipper at all!!

    kudos to you for rassling with this, and such gross fabric on the second one πŸ˜›

  19. Azar Lo says:

    Lovely vegetable garden. Sorry to hear about your heatwave. But, at least you are allowed to water your plants. Here in California we have strict water restrictions because of the drought. I have turned off the sprinklers and have to go out in the dark like criminals to water my beloved flower pots with a hose. God forbid if water nazis are passing by. Their disapproving stares burn a hole in my back.

    • mrsmole says:

      My brother lives in Flintridge and sneaks around his neighborhood reporting water wasters…he is retired and has nothing else to do…we all have to do our part before Mother nature decided to send us rain again…but she is taking her sweet time!

  20. JustGail says:

    I think table hostess is a term someone came up with because “I’d like your precious princess to be a table hostess” sounds so much less hostile than “Oh, you’re going to have a fit if your precious princess is not involved in my wedding? Fine! She can wait on and bus tables at the reception.”

    I’m just not seeing those dresses on 15 & under girls either.

    • mrsmole says:

      I think you are absolutely right, Gail…same goes for the coveted title of the girl who sits behind the “guest book” table….watching all the beautiful people file past her knowing this is not her wedding or her friends.

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