A Gift from David’s

There is a store policy that does not allow store seamstresses to alter a designer’s original design. Well, that is how the story went when I got a phone call from a bride who wanted something unusual done to her dress.

Here is what we started with minus the belt:KP3738_IVORY_CORE_WEB_2743_H_FRONT.jpg.fpx

The back neckline was straight across but this bride wanted a “V” added and lots of tightening of the seams to make it skin tight, of course.

First, I unzipped the zipper down to the point of the new back neckline and pinned out the seams. She also wanted some sort of straps so we tried different placements and a halter. Hemming will involve removing horsehair braid and shortening 3 or more inches in the satin and all the netting and lining.


Let’s move to the inside and get started:

P1190055-take-in-lining Pin out the lining layer

P1190056-stacked-linings Stack and duplicate both linings

P1190058-stacked-side-seams Pin out satin fabric layersP1190064--1.75-side-seams 2 inches removed and trimmed later

P1190062-back-seamsTake in center back seam under her butt

P1190067-interfacing-layer- Take in interfacing layers

P1190069  Hand baste new “V” back stitching line, remove boning strips in the lining

P1190070-other-sideThe other side

P1190071 Hand basted


Lining will be hand understitched.


Rat-tail nylon straps pinned on and bustle points selected. Dress now has a 20 inch waist (yes, I measured) and it is so tight than you can see all the boning through the satin and interfacing layers.

Let’s make those  straps and anchor them to some grosgrain ribbon with snaps so they can be attached after the ceremony. The cord was stitched down the center of the ribbon and then the other end was flipped up and sewn all the way around and snaps added.



In all, the front ribbon tabs will have 4 snaps each to attach to the bust cups inside and the back tabs will have 3 that attach diagonally as they criss-cross.

Add a 3 point bustle and she is ready to walk down the aisle…wait…there is more to be added?…she has asked a friend to make a big organza and lace bow for her waist in the back which I may get photos of later. The one thing that bothers me is the amount of wrinkles now that the dress is skin tight but I can only do what I am asked and the zipper started out that way from the factory.

When I mention to these girls that having such a dress so tight under the butt and not being able to sit or go up stairs, get in and out of a car, they just laugh it off. Sometimes I mention that they will have to totally remove the dress to pee…as nothing will get that tight area near the bottom of the thighs to slide up to the hips but then no one wants to think about that on their wedding day.


This week, my darling Mr. Mole has made a new gadget for our crops to keep the goldfinches off the new baby lettuce and chard plants:July-2015-17

Last week someone asked if just one of us tends the garden…we both do our best at wedding/weeding and trim and harvest and plant from seed although I like just planting seedlings from the nursery. Most of my plants are gown vertically to save ground space, here are the crookneck squash as you can also see in the background:


The green beans and scarlet runner beans are also climbing and protected with a sun shade along with the blueberry bushes:July-2015-14 Autumn raspberry plants in cages were transplanted this year from pots and they have taken over this 4 by 4 foot bed.

Happy sewing everyone…stay cool!


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45 Responses to A Gift from David’s

  1. Fabulous dress, but those girls won’t take good advice will they?(Perhaps they could use a ShePee).
    If only my plants needed a sunshade 😃

    • mrsmole says:

      Oh Kim, after a few drinks I think she and her bridesmaids could not even manage a ShePee or SheWee and with temps over 100+ this summer, the sweat will be dripping down her V back into her underpants or thong…delightful!

  2. ceci says:

    The dress looks uncomfortable…..and I always think about how I will pee.

    BUT I am fascinated by the squash grown in a wire cage….it looks like it would be good for keeping the plant up off the ground which is where whatever is killing my squash seems to start.

    Do you add the cage at the beginning and tuck in the leaves etc as they grow? Or…fit it over the established plant?

    Any enlightenment appreciated.


    • mrsmole says:

      As soon as the plant has some leaves, the cage is placed over it. This year I have 3 other plants in cages that are growing butternut squash and you would think…OH NO you can’t grow such heavy veggies…but they love it and cling unto the thick stems until we cut them free in Sept or Oct or the first frost.

  3. erniek3 says:

    I love the typo weeding/wedding.
    I used to wish I had sun in my backyard. I got used to buying tomatoes at the market in summer (the irony of vipe ripe tomatoes from BC Hothouse north of us in British Columbia).

    This week, after the house next door got torn down, I do. And a lot of dust and dirt. Too late to plant. Beware of what you wish for…

    • mrsmole says:

      Mr Mole always thought that he could live in the desert and now that we have desert temps here, he is suffering and cannot work very long in the garden. You can plant some things now for late Fall harvest or things like spinach and fennel for the Spring if they are under cover and protected from snow.

  4. Suzanne says:

    Happiest day of your life…not in that dress. That is a recipe for misery. I would hate to look back on my wedding and the first thing that comes to mind “oh my god I had to pee so bad”.

    • mrsmole says:

      Thank you for saying what we are all thinking…just getting into that dress required a lot of yanking and twisting and smoothing down to get the lining and interfacing layers all lined up…once you have to take it off and on again…no telling what it will look like!

  5. Sarah says:

    How will she take a breath, let alone eat or drink or laugh? If not for your outstanding work, she’d be popping seams on the way down the aisle.

    • mrsmole says:

      She was one of the brides who did not want to sit down to try out the seams and I kept looking over at her mother to see if she would not go along with this tight of a dress but she seemed fine too.

  6. Don’t you HATE this ridiculous dress style? I don’t know what the designers are thinking. How could you possibly actually enjoy yourself in this thing? And of course, the girls want it skin tight (thank you, Kardashians and other tacky people…!) Seems a heck of a problem to add to an already potentially stressful day…I mean, she already can’t SIT in this thing…now she can’t pee or bend or dance or much of anything. Fun day.

    Your garden looks wonderful! Love the cover your hubby built. We’ve missed our garden this year…!

  7. PS…Since I have two daughters who will be getting married within a year, we made a foray to David’s to check out bridesmaids dresses and a couple of wedding dresses (no go). It was CRAZY to see all these girls (many overweight) stuffing themselves into these ‘mermaid’ dresses. They seemed to ALL want them SO tight…and they looked awful, much less no way to move. Nevertheless, the ‘bell’ rang several times while we were there signaling that delusional brides had indeed chosen one of these torture gadgets…!

    • mrsmole says:

      They ring a bell??? Is this also Pavlovian? Knowing someone buys a dress makes the others swarm? OMG…Mermaid dresses…torture gadgets…Jessica Rabbit gowns…we can’t stop this madness!

  8. Valerie says:

    Lovely job on a lovely gown but .. After reading your blog for a while now I am starting to thnk of weddings as performance art.. It’s all as you say, about form not function ..she will need two bridesmaids to hold that gown up while she pees .. I actually know someone this happened to!

    • mrsmole says:

      Lots of bonding with your bridesmaids…but it is so tight under her butt that it will not slide up, it can only go down unto the floor.

      • Carolyn says:

        See that’s just nasty! She’s going to have to step out of a pool of dress to pee and the dress is going to puddle around her on the bathroom floor. I don’t understand the obsession with these mermaid too tight dresses…especially since the last couple of “stars” have worn more traditional/classic wedding gowns. Think Nicky Hilton – besides a train that was a little too long – it was a beautiful dress!

  9. I dont know why you’d buy a dress with all that boning if you’re A) rather slim already and B) could get that skin tight look with a well cut bias gown that doesn’t have any internal structure and C) getting married when it’s going to be boiling hot.
    So many women have bought into that crazy restrictive ‘princess dress’ madness and it doesn’t even flatter most shapes. Not even this lady who has a fantastic figure!

  10. jay says:

    I can remember when I used to think that skin tight was slimming too. Time heals all – even if it sends the 20 inch waist packing.

    • mrsmole says:

      They don’t listen to me when I mention that ribs expand when you sit and breath and eat…they say they will be standing up all day and night….sure.

      • June says:

        My SIL and I have a running joke about designing a formal dress with invisible side zippers that you can unzip for sitting to give your waist and tummy some breathing room!

  11. Mem says:

    OMG, this girl us too young and silly to be married. I wonder if the groom us similarly preoccupied with himself ? 😳

    • mrsmole says:

      The grooms really don’t figure into the event and are just there as a backdrop…someone to wear a tuxedo and toss the garter. They really are lambs to the slaughter…poor fools!

  12. Bunny says:

    How you have the patience to deal with these “entitleds” I cannot fathom. And to do it all with a smile and send them on their way……….

    On another level, I find brides like this disrespectful of the sanctity of marriage. Its all about the them, how they look and who they impress and not focusing on the commitment required and validated for society by the ceremony. This babe hasn’t got a clue. Wait till she goes into twelve hours of labor or has a hubby who gets laid off from his job. Good luck, sistah!

  13. maryfunt says:

    I know what you mean about only doing as you are asked. If she wants it that tight, she gets what she wants. At least you aren’t seeing rolls of flesh with this one. I hope she has a backup dress if this one springs open! Your garden looks wonderful.

    • mrsmole says:

      I hope so too, Mary! I warn them to bring some safety pins in case the bustle is damaged as I never know what these brides will get up to…some climb hills, wade through streams and waves and crawl up on their groom’s truck…crazy!

  14. you did a great job fulfilling her request but yikes, that looks bad, way too tight as you said. I agree, too tight is not flattering, just a recipe for creases. and tight satin, not exactly elegant. As for the bathroom break I was at a friend’s wedding, she had a gigantic poufy ball gown dress and I recall walking into the restroom where her bridesmaid was standing there holding the dress as the bride was sitting on the “throne” in only her corset. Kind of ruined the illusion 🙂

    • mrsmole says:

      Oh Beth, they never picture themselves on THAT throne! The dress was so tight that you could see the lining layers and the interfacing layers through the satin and the shame was, none of the seams lined up so, to me, the gown looked striped.

  15. Ok Mrs. Mole…tell us how much Crisco you needed to get her into that dress during the final fitting!

    I’m starting to get uncomfortable just *thinking* about trying to sit in a dress that tight. If I wore a skirt that tight I would also be spending most of the day tugging it down as soon as I took five steps.

    • mrsmole says:

      She could not get down off the platform without sliding one foot over the edge and hoping to lower herself down as her knees were too close together. You cannot imagine any sort of dancing or much needed ventilation during the reception. There was much tugging on my part just to get the dress down on her hips after she slid it over her head, it could not be stepped into!

  16. Fashionista says:

    Once again thank you for your amusing anecdote, dear Lord you are surely the Saint of Wedding Dress Alterations!

    About 100 years ago (well OK I exaggerate, only 29 years) when I was trying on wedding dresses, the very scary salon lady made me sit down/get up/walk around/bend over/lift my arms above my head to ensure that I could move in the gown with some degree of normalcy. I have never forgotten that lesson and it is now something I do in my fitting process and I make my daughter do whenever she is trying on clothes.

    Thank you also for the excellent tip on installing the straps. So simple, yet so effective, I am going to absolutely use that method.

  17. mrsmole says:

    So happy to pass long some strap solutions…you know I make this stuff up on the fly as there are NO books on how to do this. I tell them that they are the star for the day and it is a moving kind of day with hugging and dancing and tossing flowers…the works and they will not be standing still but they are frozen in the mirror and can pick out every little wrinkle and excess amount of fabric that needs to be snugged up to within an 1/8 of an inch. It can be tough on a Saint and require regular amounts of blessed medicine aka Rum and Diet Pepsi.

  18. Ah it’s just one day. She can have what she wants. Looks like a nice alteration.

  19. Mitch says:

    If only you made a dime when those brides realized/regretted that their dresses were so tight, you would probably be able to retire in style. Of course, the dimes would keep coming every time they looked at their wedding photos.

  20. All I could think of the whole time I was reading was how tight the dress is. I don’t think it is stylish to see what’s underneath because the dress is so tight. I don’t think the dress should be sewed under her bum and around her curves. She might as well be wearing a latex bodysuits! This isn’t elegant. I would have difficulty keeping my mouth shout. But then maybe I am just old. You did a fabulous and professional job, as usual!

  21. DeniseM says:

    This princess can’t gain even 1/4 a pound before the big day! Maybe she has a 2nd outfit planned for the reception?

  22. Denise L says:

    You have the patience of a saint. Your blog makes me laugh and shudder in horror – sometimes at the same thing. Overall, it is so interesting to see how you remake these gowns. I hate doing alterations and have unwillingly hemmed a few formal dresses for family in the past. Love seeing your work

  23. prttynpnk says:

    Evil dress! It’s reminding me of those old pics of 30’s actresses in their costumes resting on leaning boards so they don’t wrinkle up!
    Also makes me think of the 1 episode I watched of ‘say yes to an overpriced dress’ where the bride came out of the fitting room aglow in her mer-slut splendor and her mother asks her ‘Can you drop it low?’ And she sinks into a booty dance that probably split that dress into 4 pieces!

    • mrsmole says:

      Lordie, I must have missed that episode! Brides that want a “stand-up” dress forget they might have to sit during the 6-8 hour event and wrinkles will find them! Maybe we need more leaning boards? You know all about those from your vast movie buff background, Anne! Mer-slut….seems the cameras catch attitude as well as poses.

  24. Mary says:

    It takes a special person, and that person is obviously you, Mrs. Mole. When my in-laws were 40 years married, there was a centennial celebration at the church they had married in showcasing 100 years of wedding dresses worn in the church. My Mother-in-law wore her dress, with absolutely no alterations, and it fit like the day she was married in it. I wonder how this bride would fare getting into this after 40 years? LOL

    • mrsmole says:

      I remember back in the 60’s when women bought their wedding dresses at JC Penney’s and Broadway and probably even Sears and bragged about being about to wear a junior size 3 or 5. Wouldn’t it be a hoot to see them next to their dresses today? That church display must have been quite something! Your mother-in-law must have received so many compliments! Thanks for sharing, Mary!

      • Mary says:

        It truly was incredible to see all the fashions! My in-laws were married there, as were my mother-in’law’s parents, my sister-in-law and youngest brother-in-law were as well, and 2 years ago, my son continued the tradition. Truly something to have 4 generations married in the same church!

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