Simple Dresses for Hawaii

When you mention simple wedding gown…what comes to mind?


How about an unlikely place as the Sundance Catalog?

This Sundance ivory dress is so light weight and comes with a silk bias slip and only needs the side seam taken in a bit to fit perfectly.P1200191You can see the empire seaming in front,  diagonal skirt seams all around and the straight seams in back. And for around $235 she has a perfect comfortable wedding dress to wear in Hawaii.

Another simple dress is this one:wtoo-basha-15725-wedding-dress-beaded-bodice-soft-net-skirt-sweep-train-01.1596


This bride was in a rush to get married so she bought off the sample rack and while it looks like it should fit well, it doesn’t. The bride is very long waisted and the dress bodice is short-waisted so the top sits lower than it should and she feels her small breasts are not covered well enough. I gave her some flat bust pads to help fill the vacancy but she still felt the top edge of the dress flared away from her chest.

She was adamant that I could not alter the dress in any way like taking it in at the back zipper (my favorite) so I did the only thing I could think of…get out my roll of 1/4 inch twill tape and start snugging up the top edge inside.P1200092

If you have ever eased twill tape into the roll line of a jacket, you will get this. The tape is anchored at one end and pinned down along the curve. Then trim the end and remove the pins. Re-pin and slightly pull and pin along the way to ease in one inch of the cup. Then both long edges of the tape are hand stitched down and voila’ …cups that curve towards the chest instead of away from it:P1200093

Then the train had to be cut off and the satin layers hemmed and on the last fitting, the mother showed up. She grabbed the center back of the zipper at the waist seam and shouted at me, “YOU have to do something” to make it tighter while the girl was shouting, “NO NO NO”. I backed away and let them battle it out saying that I would do anything they wanted but it had to be decided between the two of them. It was a real fight with neither of them giving in.



Finally, I offered to attach a grosgrain ribbon waist stay to snug up the waist seam to keep it tight against the girl’s waist and high enough not to slide down (finger’s crossed!). They both relented and said I could do it…Whew! Here is what I added inside:P1200192P1200194  Hopefully, this will suffice and satisfy each one of them as the bride walks along the shoreline in Hawaii. Although when the bride was demonstrating to me that she wanted to fling her arms in all directions like the YMCA song, I had to caution her that she would be the demure star for the day. It was no use telling her to picture herself like Princess Grace Kelly or Jackie O on their wedding day!

In contrast, here is a very elaborate wedding/ball gown from the Carole Tanebaum Vintage collection of photos:ballgown

It just takes your breath away! Or this from AislePerfect.

Anyone know how to crochet?

terryanthony10 aisle perfect

Wishing you all a perfect week filled with love and candies and seasonal treats. Here at Mole Central….mincemeat tarts have been filling up Mr. Mole quite nicely. I send blessings and best wishes for the season of joy and peace to you all.


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40 Responses to Simple Dresses for Hawaii

  1. Alethia says:

    Wow, this immediately took me back to episodes so familiar at David’s Bridal, yeah!
    Just curious though, why didn’t the bride want you to make obvious alterations to the dress?
    Usually, adamant requests like that means either she’s vain and wants no one to know she had to have alterations. Or, she’s pregnant. It could also be get ignorance in thinking you’ll run the dress with any alterations. Hmmm?
    Either way, have a very merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and Mr.Mole.

    • mrsmole says:

      I think she did not want anyone messing with the dress at all like cutting the fabric…who knows? She is marrying someone from out of the country with the hopes the marriage will get him a green card so he can stay. Having married both times to a foreigner and going through the 2 year process it takes to make everything legal, I wish her well…it is never as easy as you think. Wishing you a very blessed Christmas Alethia and may all your clients not bother you over the holiday season so you can relax with the family!

  2. Margaret Crawford says:

    Having a customer screaming at me to fix the impossible or near so is a really good reason not to become a professional seamstress. You are a true diplomat as well as an artist. Thank you for allowing us to see your successes and how you got there.

  3. Girl in the Stix says:

    Oh, my! I thought the first dress was lovely and elegant. Kudos to the bride. The second dress was pretty but I couldn’t understand why the bride was fighting you about necessary alterations? Was she very young? Once again, congrats on making it all work.

  4. Cookie says:

    I so enjoy reading your blogs and not having to deal w/Bridzillas in actuality. Hours of entertainment. Merry Christmas

  5. Jennifer S says:

    Both of those dresses are gorgeous. I love simple dresses. I had a niece come to me last spring with a chiffon grad dress that had the bra type closure at the top, and then it was open to the waist. Of course, the manufacturer had only tacked two little hook and eyes in to the closure and they were already falling out. I managed to use a pants hook and eye there to make it stay, without the apparatus showing. She also needed it to hug in to the top of her bust, so I hand sewed while stretching some fold over elastic (without folding it) around the top of the dress and then back around so it made kind of an elastic bra, as she was slim but busty and of course the only strapless bra she could find that supported her had four hooks and the dress had barely enough room to hide two. She loved it. Her mom told me that someone had stepped on the hem of the dress at one point and the only reason she noticed was because she couldn’t walk away, not because her dress felt like it was going to slide off. The elastic held the dress up and she felt very secure in it. Plus, my FOE matched exactly – not an easy feat, when I live 1.5 hours from the nearest store that carries it. I was just lucky I had it on hand because I like to buy cool supplies for my personal need of touching things.

  6. Just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas, I adore reading your blog and never miss a post. Thank you!

  7. Carol Bianchi says:

    Merry Christmas and may all your alterations be small ones!

  8. Both gorgeous dresses, and kudos to you for stepping back from the fitting room fight! Glad you were able to quietly satisfy both of them.

    • mrsmole says:

      You know, Kim, how stressful clients can be and Lord knows we don’t need to absorb any more drama!!!! There are times when I want to leave the room until the squabbling is over.

  9. Robin says:

    As a tall & long-waisted person, that strapless dress makes me nervous 🙂
    I can easily imagine some sort of a wardrobe malfunction – but both of your solutions make it much better.
    Merry Christmas Mrs. Mole!

    • mrsmole says:

      There is only so much we can do to keep those boobies in place and covered up…the rest is up to the bride to not go wild on the dance floor! Wishing you a super Christmas, Robin!

  10. fabrickated says:

    I have enjoyed reading your blog and your stories this year Mrs Mole. One of the things I like the best is that you are right in the midst of so many family dramas, tensions, hopes and fears, and how you deal with it. Withdrawing from the mother-daughter spat was a masterstroke. As was the waist stay. I really prefer the Sundance dress – personally I wouldn’t want to wear something very structured, especially with the fear that it would either constrict or fall down. It always amazes me at what terrific variety of dresses that are out there. It must be so hard for these brides to choose.

    • mrsmole says:

      As Mr Mole says, “You can’t buy this kind of entertainment”, it just finds you. Being an extreme introvert helps when i am on the floor pinning up layer after layer…in my own thoughts while the mothers are arguing and the daughters are on their cellphones while slowly turning on the platform…picture that day after day…thankfully I enjoy the sewing and the money helps too…ha ha. Hopefully the bride has chosen a dress that matches her personality but it is a jungle out there…too many options for sure! Love that Sundance dress too…quiet elegance! Thanks for following all year, Kate!

  11. Those strapless gowns always scare me … is it going to stay up? You have showed us some beautiful gowns, very lovely. You are very talented and I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy (and prosperous) New Year!

  12. maryfunt says:

    Wonderful solutions again! I’ve seen gaping at the top in many strapless gowns. It seems like the edges aren’t stayed during construction or the draft is too flat in the first place. I’ve used the twill tape trick also and it works wonderfully and saves redoing the bodice seams. Strange that she didn’t want you to do the necessary alterations. Maybe she planned to resell the dress but then she cut off the train. Don’t you just love the mother-daughter power struggles! Excellent maneuver to let the two of them battle it out. Great fix for the waistline. Now I hope you can relax and enjoy the holidays.

    • mrsmole says:

      It is true about the gaping top edges…they are all so flat and then with the added boning they seem to flare even more. When the bride has very little to fill up the cups, even with bust pads, we are in trouble! I have given up trying to figure out the rhyme or reason for brides to reject common sense and better fit. Sometimes they imagine the alterations will cost more than they do and want to keep the cost down so that enters into it. You never know, some will re-sell the dresses and some will “trash the dress” which saddens me beyond belief. I do take off the month of Jan when there are no brides in this valley and i can get caught up and maybe sew a little for myself…fingers crossed! We both deserve to healthy time off, Mary!

  13. Martina says:

    That’s the second mention of mince tarts I’ve seen this week. It brings back fond memories of my dad, who loved them. They haven’t been served at our family holidays for 20 years! I hope you and Mr. Mole enjoy your holidays, and may all the happiness you bring to your brides come back to you ten-fold!

  14. mrsmole says:

    What a lovely thought…ten-fold….WOW! I’ll take that and send you warm wishes from both Mr Mole and myself for a super Christmas and wonderful 2016, Martina!

  15. MIchaelC says:

    That’s a nice dress. I hope she enjoys it after all that drama. Those two dresses pictured are so over the top. Lovely but… more designed for show. I do hope you enjoy your holidays and get some sewing time for yourself.

  16. prttynpnk says:

    Sand….formal wear….I never understand that!

    • mrsmole says:

      Sand and layers of tulle….all flying up in your face …what about the photos…it IS all about those professional photos! Then a few of my brides this year went out into the surf and waited for a big wave to cover them….madness!

  17. erniek3 says:

    Thanks for sharing your work with us on this blog. All good tidings for you and all at MoleCentral, and I’ll have a few mince tarts in your honor!

  18. Sharon says:

    I always learn something from reading your blog. FOE – Who knew? Will have to check it out! Merry Christmas to all !!

  19. Karen Lyon says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I made the mincemeat and butter tarts last night. My sisters kids will eat a mincemeat tart to be seasonally sociable, but they prefer butter tarts. Enjoy the holiday season. I am looking forward to next year. This one has had too much going on, not all of it good. Take care. Karen

    Date: Mon, 21 Dec 2015 12:15:24 +0000 To:

  20. mrsmole says:

    Butter tarts…when I lived in canada for 4 years they were the staple food along with a glass of sherry every afternoon. Butter tarts…little pecan pies without the nuts…so sweet and so fattening! You too, Karen, stay healthy for 2016!

  21. Pingback: Return of the Satin | fit for a queen

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