Crummy to Cute

We all have wadders from time to time and they happen here too.

Over my vacation, I made up the quilting cotton bird fabric that I bought in Portland using a pattern I had used before. It was going to be fast and easy. Alterations were made on the paper pattern and cut out thoughtfully.bird-blouse

The back had the usual alterations too, rounded back, sway back and extra length added. The 2 previous blouses I had made with this pattern were rayon batik and very soft linen.


Yes, it was a no-brainer, raise neckline, add the previous bust dart and make the facing to match…but as I have warned people in the past…a cut-on sleeve is never your best look…I ignored that and went ahead with this quilting cotton. It was basted and tried on.

In this first photo, it looked like a sack and the top of the front flared away from my body so I tried making vertical tucks on the left side. It was a little better but not great, then I decided to pin out the front shoulder seam on the right of the photo…a little better. Then I pinned out the shoulder seam both front and back and side seams…a little better.

P1040772ย  P1040774

A close-up of the shoulder pinned out:


Close-up of the tucks:


Taking in the side seams and shoulder seams and removing the tucks:


The final result…a better fitting sack/pillowcase top with those folds of fabric where the armscye should be and a sad looking droopy sleeve…not for me. For you gals who think you can wear this style with narrow sloping shoulders like me…guess again. This does nothing for you or me. How did I manage to get that lens cover right over my bust point?


So what can be done? Well, I have a 12 year old granddaughter who could use a new skirt…let’s open the side seams and shoulder seams and re-cut this puppy. The center back seam was already French seamed so that became the back seam. The center front seam was piped and topstitched in pink and a pocket was added along with elastic in the waistband and the curved hem edges bound with the pink fabric and buttons.


Do I have any grown up clothes to work on this week?…well so glad you asked.

Has anyone ever heard of a Canadian designer from the 40’s and 50’s called Rae Hildebrand? No, neither had I until this dress came in to be altered:P1200228P1200256

The sleeves and neckline were way too wide so I have pinned/taken in 2 inches and hand basted all the way from the neckline down tapering to the wrist. To keep this dress on the client’s shoulders a thin strap will be attached from the front to the back and perhaps beaded using the original beads from what I will cut off.

Here are some other vintage styles from the same designer I found on Google:9760ab57f2128f9a8eef54ed668ef6baaut_0198images

So, this dress has started the season off nicely. My first 3 brides have announced they are pregnant and have moved their dates up and one has also already bought a larger empire dress to accommodate the tummy. There are now 21 brides on the schedule and I sure hope this is not going to be a trend this year although it makes you really good and fast making corset backs!

This advert came out in a local special wedding edition magazine yesterday…makes you wonder? The perfect wedding gift?shotgun

Happy Sewing everyone! Check out Anne’s new dress at Pretty Grieveances.

She has definitely found her way out of the Jungle…welcome back into civilization!



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22 Responses to Crummy to Cute

  1. prttynpnk says:

    I need a granddaughter to take my remakes- with my luck she’d be allergic to animal print or gaudiness!

  2. Beth (SunnyGal Studio) says:

    very clever to remake as a skirt. and that evening gown is lovely. but the magazine ad gave me the creeps.

  3. mrsmole says:

    Have you seen web photos of weddings with a camo theme? Everyone carrying a rifle and even the bride wearing camo khaki trimmed in neon orange. Maybe one day they will look back on those photos and cringe? The link to the newspaper article of 1947 was so interesting if you scroll up and down and sideways to read more about what was going on back then.,3127786&hl=en

  4. jay says:

    Mmm fabric far too nice not to find a use for and you made a really nice save. I hadn’t heard of Rae Hildebrand, the dresses are super. Remington, not so.

  5. Sam says:

    Great save on remodeling your top; lovely evening dresses; woah! can’t get my head around such advertising as we don’t have a ‘gun culture’ over here in Australia, just gives me the heeebie jeebies thinking that anyone walking around you may have a gun! Sam

    • mrsmole says:

      It gives me the creeps too…in fact one man wanted me to make a vest with enough room to slide over his concealed pistol…he brought the gun into my sewing room and I gave him to someone else…not for me!

  6. Fashionista says:

    Great save for the quilting cotton. Wadders really annoy me but I take a deep breath and try to take the lessons from the process (before I throw it in the bin in a fit of pique!).

    That vintage frock is gorgeous. Will you be able to treat us with a pic of the finished ensemble?

    The gun advertisement is weird. As Sam above said, us Australians just don’t get it.

  7. mrsmole says:

    I remember seeing photos of all the guns that were handed in when Australia outlawed them…impressive, wish we could do that here but the politicians are all being paid by the NRA (National Rifle Association). One presidential candidate wraps bacon strips around the end of an AK 47 semi automatic rifle and fires it to cook the bacon…real he-man …NOT!
    Yes, I will have photos of that dress when it is done and ready to start a new life!

  8. I’m always happy when I can save a fail. Cute skirt!

  9. I’ve just read some of the other comments on guns and I find the whole gun bravado a bit strange. I wouldn’t want to make a concealed weapon vest neither! Keep up the “good” work! ๐Ÿ˜„

  10. abbey says:

    Hi, thanks for sharing the Ottawa Citizen page. So very interesting to see news from 1947 from the city in which I live now. The dresses are lovely too.

    With regards to the gun ad…yes, we don’t get it either.

    Abbey Sews

    • mrsmole says:

      Other countries do allow and sell hunting rifles, but our country allows anyone to buy whatever type they want. It is so sad. I really enjoyed reading the articles about the community doings and weddings along side the adverts for the dresses.

  11. Good save with the quilting cotton – sometimes you just have to give up on a project before it breaks you.
    But really – guns as wedding gifts? Really? Sorry, we (or at least me) don’t get this in the UK either. It seems terrifying.

    • mrsmole says:

      You have hunters like the Royals who use and need them to put grouse and quail on the dinner table but the sudden uprise of mass shootings is just too much to bear. Some days quilting cotton should remain as just that…cotton in a quilt and not on my body…ha ha

  12. Fabrickated says:

    When you bought that fabric I thought it was really pretty, and actually the top almost makes it, doesn’t it? I am sorry it didn’t work out for you (and you really tried), but it was very reassuring for us to know that sometimes you mess up. And kind of you to share how you altered it and what you tried. Sometimes the link between body + pattern + fabric just fails without a good reason and it is wise to know when to give up and make a really cute little skirt with a beautiful pocket.

  13. mrsmole says:

    Almost…almost ain’t good enough and it wanted to be a skirt so I let it. We forget there is a personality to fabric…not all of them want to bend to our whims…certainly this one was tougher than normal…ha ha

  14. accordion3 says:

    Yes, some of my fabric stash has a mind of its’ own too. I have some fabric that I intended to be a casual top for me. It is screaming in protest, claiming it wants to be a dress for one of the lasses..

    The Hildebrand dress is beautiful, the gun is not. Really glad I live in Aus.

  15. That would be a difficult top to make flattering on most anyone! Good save on the skirt ๐Ÿ™‚
    Those Hildebrand dresses are lovely! I can totally see Elizabeth Taylor rocking that look – and maybe Audrey Hepburn in a similar style. Very pretty!
    LOL at the gun ad…shotgun wedding indeed! Handing out guns as attendant gifts I’m sure was not the intent (it would also be illegal!). No need to be frightened of legally purchased guns in the hands of citizens who respect firearms! The danger comes with the idiots who steal the guns or buy them on the black market to do harm (You DO know that criminals don’t purchase their weapons legally, right? They also don’t think much of ‘gun free’ zones…). People with criminal intent will find a way to turn anything into a weapon, unfortunately. If a gun isn’t available, it will be something else…Those are the folks we need to fear – and put away!

    Wishing everyone happier thoughts of finding the perfect fabric for that project…or finding the perfect project for that fabulous fabric in your stash! Happy sewing ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. maryfunt says:

    Good remake of the blouse. I guess the fabric really wanted to be a skirt. The black dress is stunning and a break from your usual sea of white. You seem to have a busy season ahead; hopefully not too many bridezillas will come you ur way. Too bad the lobbiests are in control and we can’t seem to rid our society of high powered guns that no one outside of the military should be in possession of.

  17. Pingback: Grandma Gifted | fit for a queen

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