Grandma Gifted

Back in January, I made a cotton blouse for myself that ended up being way cuter for my granddaughter as a skirt.

This time I tried again using cotton and Vogue 1687 because it said it was “Custom Fit”…yeah right. The bodice was going to be a magenta floral with a yellow skirt as View A.


I did all my usual alterations with the paper pattern and measured and compared and stacked all the front sections to compare…what could go wrong?


Might as well cut the fabrics and try on the bodice…about as unflattering as could be. The collar never sat well and the overall look was like many patterns I see on blogs, “pillowcase with a waist”.


This poor old seamstress worked and worked and worked the seams and sections and in the end it just did not lay right on the body,  soooo it has a new life now as a skirt and top for my granddaughter’s birthday present. The top was re-cut to a girl’s size 12 and sleeves were added and we have something wearable once again. I like to use different buttons to add some fun.

The front of the skirt retains the uneven points as in View A in the original pattern. Here is is pressed and ready to be packed and sent off.


Here it is just out of the envelope with packing wrinkles in time for the 12th birthday along with the first skirt re-made from the bird blouse.


Last Thursday, we flew to Los Angeles for a wedding…yes, I finally got to attend a real wedding! This one was for my 38 year old son who had found a nice girl to share his life with. It was a quick trip of 3 days as I have a room full of July brides to finish. Here we are, my face blurred out with Mr Mole and my youngest daughter included. My dress is a knit wrap top with a chiffon skirt that I bought online as there was so little time to whip something up. My son and all the groomsmen wore kilts (yes, my ex is Scottish) and the bridesmaids each wore blue dresses to keep with the theme of July 4th and red, white, and blue of Independence Day.


Now it is full steam ahead with all the summer brides to finish!

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34 Responses to Grandma Gifted

  1. Fabrickated says:

    As you say, you tried and tried with that “custom fit” pattern, didn’t you?. Why you have so much trouble I don’t know as you look pretty normal shaped to me. Maybe it is the way they design these pillow slips tops – the underlying shape of the thing is obliterated. I love the yellow and magenta colour scheme. But your granddaughter is the beneficiary of your failures – It really looks super on her, doesn’t it? And thank you so much for posting the real life wedding picture. I think you look beautiful (if a little blurry) – what a nice dress, even if it is RTW.

  2. mrsmole says:

    Hoping now that all this is behind me, parents moving, selling their house and flying to Los Angeles for the wedding…there will be plenty of time for business sewing and gardening. I have learned my lesson trying to make quilting cottons look flattering on my body…ha ha Also want to have more time read my favorite blogs like yours and see the progress of your custom dresses and custom home, Kate!

  3. Girl in the Stix says:

    Quilting cotton has no drape. I find as I get older (and a little fluffier), fabrics that are more fluid are my friend–rayon and rayon knits, silk and light silk cotton blends, medium-weight knits, and quality polyesters. No matter how much I love the novelty prints I find in the quilting cottons, they just don’t love me back!

    • mrsmole says:

      Those darn cottons lure us in with their bright colors and motifs…but never again!!! If it doesn’t drape, it will not get in my shopping bag!!! We “fluffy” gals have to be on our guard!

  4. Graca says:

    Your grand-daughter’s skirt is adorable, and nice save. I made Vogue 8791 a few years ago and it was an epic fail. And I made it in a raw silk, there were tears shed. It happened to be saved as a perfect fit for my sister-in-law who is much slimmer and taller than I and that made me feel better about the cut silk fabric.

  5. Bunny says:

    Great save and how awesome to make something for your granddaughter rather than wad it into the trash. It looks adorable on her. You looked great for the wedding and that pattern should have worked with all those alterations but cottons….Other than a tailored shirt (and there’s better for that, too) they just don’t drape and really don’t look that great on a lot of people. But those prints are inexpensive and seductive and I totally get that part of the allure. Anyhow, you made it work and that’s what matters.

    • mrsmole says:

      Oh Bunny, we are both lucky to have deserving recipients to hand down our wadders. Your grandchildren are adorable and have the most thoughtful and stylish clothes and accessories. Quilting cottons will never try to pull a fast one on my again!!!

  6. Your grand daughter looks really happy with her new outfit. Very nice of you to make something for her!

    • mrsmole says:

      Having a granddaughter who thinks you make fun clothes is a blessing but soon as she cross over into the teenage years, this will all change…sigh. If she lived closer than 800 miles away, I could work with her and get her hooked on making her own clothes.

      • Yes? That makes me smile. Taught my son and daughter how to run my sewing machine – never know when you might need the skill. That’s as far as it went. They probably thought I was trying to brainwash them!

      • mrsmole says:

        Well, Linda, that very same 38 yr old son who just got married, tried to sew twigs together on my industrial Bernina machine 30 years ago. He was always making things and fastening things together, so no wonder he ended up in the plumbing business running pipes and soldering copper. You have to start them early if they get the passion!

  7. Kim Hood says:

    I did laugh at your ‘pillow case with a waist’ comment. It’s so sad when things for ourselves go so badly awry. If you are like me then the likelihood is that you are trying to do it under a great time pressure. We really need to treat ourselves better.

  8. mrsmole says:

    We both could use a month off with a clean sewing machine and our stash and unlimited cups of tea or coffee…but when will that happen, Kim? Clients find us and think we are just waiting by the phone for more work…when we should be shouting…”Please leave me alone”.

    • I feel your pain 😦 I re-opened my business in January 2006. I have ALWAYS had a couple of FREE weeks in late June/early July. No-MORE 😦 I am HAPPY but SAD about that 😦 YOU understand what I mean 🙂 Yesterday, July 5th, I received a call from a potential customer. Easy enough job..cut LONG window scarves in half, add a casing to each half… EIGHT scarves=16 casings. I quoted $15 each just in case. WELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That was TOO MUCH AND they NEEDED them THIS SUNDAY, the 10th!!!! WELL!!!!!!!! Let me just say 🙂 NOT HAPPENING 🙂 I am booked-COMPLETELY for two weeks 🙂 I have my BELOVED BRIDAL PARTIES 🙂 I don’t see a BRIGHT future for the curtain customer 😦 They are opening some sort of WEDDING/BRIDAL venue and wanted the curtains in place for the PUBLICITY photos/campaign. AND when I mentioned I would need their tax-exempt # to file paperwork so I didn’t need to charge them sales tax……………..She didn’t have a CLUE what that meant 😦 SIGH…:( Another ‘new’ business that is probably DOOMED because people think it would be FUN FUN to open a ‘shop’ and be self-employed…………My area seems to be bad about that 😦

      • Sharon says:

        Oh Cheryl, how familiar your story sounds. I closed my shop and retired from 20 years of trying to make customers happy. It’s been 4 months and I do NOT miss the shop nor the deadlines nor the overhead nor the whining customers for a minute. I would have quoted the exact same price as you did. Amazing that everyone wants things done at lightning speed but do not want to pay a fair price. Those that do not have our skills assume the job is quick and easy. Or as many of my past customers would say,”But it will only take you a minute!” Oh if only that were true, you and I would be a couple rich girls !!

      • mrsmole says:

        My clients always use the word to describe my business as “Glamorous”. Other than being able to handle clean clothes, I don’t know what they are talking about. 90% of my day is on the floor pinning up hems sweating like a pig and having to make small talk with excited princesses or listening to fights between the mothers and daughters over their weight, size of the cake, hairstyles, length of the veil, thickness of the push-up bust pads etc. Once they leave the dress, I get to turn everything inside out and scrounge around for wide seams to let out or narrow seams to take in and get all that chaos under the presser foot. The best part of the job some days is driving down to the bank with a stack of checks to deposit. You know that song, “She works hard for the money” from Flashdance? When you are feeling a bit low after being battered and fried by clients…watch this:

  9. First thing I ever made was a pillowcase top, I wore it with pride! Nothing wrong with a pillowcase… Mind you, I was 12 at the time. Scissors at the ready.

  10. mrsmole says:

    Oh Lordie, thank you for the morning laugh!!!! 12 years old was a loooong time ago!

  11. Selina says:

    Awe. Hope you had a great time at the wedding. Did you or would you ever make a kilt😀 Selina

  12. mrsmole says:

    After seeing these instructions: , the answer would be no and no. I can admire all the workmanship with pleats and plaid but it is not something I would want to tackle, Selina. It was fun seeing the groomsmen doing twirls in their kilts.

  13. SandyinMO says:

    I’ve learned that you can’t usually trust a pattern that only shows the garment in drawings. I always like to see it actually made and on a real person.

  14. Shams says:

    Well, if YOU have problems, what hope do “regular” sewists have?! Congrats on making it work for your granddaughter! And a big congrats on your daughter’s wedding! You look lovely, even with a blurred face. 🙂

  15. mrsmole says:

    The blurred face is on purpose…can’t be recognized! It was my son’s wedding…the boy in the kilt! I’m sure you have passed down lots of wadders to your girls in your day, Shams!!! Wishing you a great summer!

    • Shams says:

      Oh, I know it was on purpose! But you still look lovely! Sorry, I misread it… I thought you said it was your youngest daughter’s wedding. But if it was your son’s, the family kilt makes more sense! 🙂

  16. maryfunt says:

    Congratulations! What a lovely family. I fell in love with kilts during my recent trip to Scotland. The workmanship required for an authentic kilt is impressive. Wonderful remake for your granddaughter. Sorry you need to get back to,work but I’m looking forward to your next bridal tale.

    • mrsmole says:

      Thank you, Mary, as my ex played in a bagpipe band, I figured he would wear a kilt for the wedding but never thought my son would go whole hog and dress all his friends in them! But the men did enjoy doing lots of twirls…go figure! Brides come in so many different sizes that the posts will continue to amuse you all.

  17. Monique says:

    Many congratulations on your son’s wedding! How lovely and festive you all look together.
    And as Shams said, what hope do we mere sewing mortals have…? You manage to save everything in the end, so continue to be an inspiration!
    Enjoy your day.

    • mrsmole says:

      You are so sweet, Monique…I’m sure you have rescued a few items and turned them into something perfect for the next recipient…isn’t that what we gals do? Love a fabric and then insist on using it any way we can? Wishing you some lovely summer weather!

      • Monique says:

        Well, maybe, but certainly not as good as you! 🙂
        It looks like summer is coming our way for the next few days – we’ve had enormous amounts of rain, lately, so we’re certainly looking forward to more dry sunshine.

  18. amcclure2014 says:

    As others have said, what hope do we mere mortals have?
    I didn’t have time to make my outfit for my youngest daughter’s wedding with all the other dresses to make. Tour outfit looks good but hopefully with your parents moved you’ll get more time for yourself. I assume you didn’t make your dil’s dress?
    As far a kilts go, they are not difficult to make, for men anyway. The fit for ladies is more awkward due to the waist/hip difference My mother, no dressmaker at all, made a few. I made a full pleated skirt for a daughter but I struggled with the fit. A kilt would have been easier.

  19. mrsmole says:

    Anyone who ever thinks that they can make a wedding gown or bridesmaids dresses should visit your blog…holey moley…you give details and more information than most books! No, Anne, I didn’t have anything to do with the DIL dress. It kept sliding down so I don’t think it had much in the way of pre-wedding altering. With 24 gowns finished and 13 more to go in the next 2 months…that “me time” will not come for a while…but when it does…I will be ready! Ha ha!

  20. prttynpnk says:

    I’m always drawn to those skirted blouse shapes, but they do not drape my barrel self well!
    A beautiful couple you’ve got there.

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