Such a Bargain

What if you could buy a $1500 beaded wedding gown for $200? What if it didn’t fit but you thought a seamstress could make it fit? What if you were told that it had never been worn?

This improbable story was told to me by my next bride. Here is the model from the website wearing her correct sized dress:353709ea1ad2e5e53f26df3f64a5dbc1

Stunning isn’t it? Now let’s see it in real life:


This eBay find/dream dress stated that it was new and never worn but the beads and sequins tell another story. After quoting the price for the alterations I asked the bride if she wanted me to snug-up all the dangling beads as that is what I always do before sending the finished dress out the door and her answer was, “Suit yourself”. WHAT? I told her that I was certainly not looking to make work for myself and I did it as a gift/favor to the bride for free.

  Not quite the same…back buttons missing, beads dangling, threads showing and a 6 inch gap in the zipper…just a small problem. Why is it always a 6 inch gap?

What shall we do? You know the answer don’t you? The familiar corset back will make this wearable and even though is will cost almost as much as the dress itself, the bride will be covered and can walk down the aisle safely.

Here are the loops basted on. Under the loops’ edge is an inside corset with hooks and eyes so the machine stitching has to be very close to the edge. I have asked the bride to wear underpants for the wedding as a thong is just NOT going to cut it.

No matter how tight I pull the lacing, (the ever-present blue grosgrain ribbon), the front is still flaring away from the bust. Pinning out the side seams did not take care of this weird area and it has to be taken in between the side seam and princess seam. Now this is what happens when the dress is much too small to start with.


You can also see that the length is too long but the bride likes it dragging.

I make the new front darts by following the shape and angle of the pins on the outside and on the inside. Beaded motifs are removed before any sewing.


Even after making the darts there is something strange about the bust…let’s look inside the lining and structure…ahhhh someone has been there before me…that eBay claim was bogus. I notice right away that the excess fabric over the bust cup is over 1 inch too much so I pin out 1/2 inch each side to conform with the boning on the right side (lace).


Looking further we can see that the original stitching (holes) have already been taken in once before and seams trimmed away.


So, what needs to happen is the felt underlayer needs to be taken in and the dart added on the right side of the photo. But first we have to release the stitching that holds the inner bust pad just so the the presser foot will fit into that small space. This is turning out to be more work.


Let’s stitch the thread basted line:


Completed new seam, flatter, and the excess will be trimmed away and the bust pad resewn.


Final try-on shows the bodice fits right up against her bust. She does not mind the darts  and says she has lost some weight so the lacing is narrower. She will use ivory grosgrain ribbon. You can see red-tipped pins on the center of the bodice where I will tack the lining to the satin layer under the lace to keep it flat.

P1210122  P1210123

To celebrate the ending of this week, Mr Mole has made a lo-carb cheesecake,cheesecake-1 so we cut up a ripe peach and poured sugar free syrup over it and enjoyed every bit. The rest will be cut up and frozen for other Fridays.


Our temperature went up to 104 today so staying in the shade is mandatory!

So, the squash plants have been pumping out fruit like crazy!squashes

Stay cool everyone!



This entry was posted in challenges and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Such a Bargain

  1. Suit yourself! Lol.
    Doesn’t anyone wear a corset these days? It would certainly help with shape altering/affirming. You can breathe another day.

  2. mrsmole says:

    No one wears a corset or a bra or even big girl panties…Certainly this bride cannot wear anything under this dress with no modesty panel! You crack me up…breathe another day!

  3. erniek3 says:

    The original dress photo is stunning only in that way where you’ve been smacked upside the head. No living human is shaped like that.
    On the living human, it is very unflattering. It’s a beaded sausage tube. She’s probably a lovely young person. This will not be her finest day. But I wouldn’t tell her that; she believes otherwise if she picked that dress.
    Over the weekend I attended an Irish step dance competition and learned of a whole new adhesive “Sock Up” for keeping those calf high socks perfectly placed. Now I see another application..

    • mrsmole says:

      Does this magic glue work better than double-sided tape? Yes, beaded sausage casing…for sure and she says she cannot even walk in it as the skirt is so narrow…it is a long day wrapped up that tight!

  4. accordion3 says:

    Sock glue is VERY effective. The only way to get the girls socks off is to peel them off after soaking in a bath. It is stronger than strapping tape.

    I can’t help thinking that this bride will look back in 10 years and be delighted she looked so terrific! All thanks to Mrs Mole’s magic.

    • mrsmole says:

      Thank you, yes, it is all about the photos years down the line and she will remember that a $200 bargain dress was not such a bargain as she could not walk or dance in it.

  5. Girl in the Stix says:

    What? No modesty panel? NOOOOOO!!! (collapses with the vapors)

    • mrsmole says:

      This month the temps can be 90-100+ every day…these brides was to feel a breeze or A/C on their back as sweat runs down. At least the boobs are covered and contained…small mercies….ha ha

  6. Martha Hughes says:

    I got married back in the 70s when a lot of the lace was itchy. I didn’t want any itchy lace in my dress. I wanted to be comfortable and enjoy my wedding day, so my mother made my dress. I was a comfortable happy bride. Who wants to be trussed up on such a wonderful important day. Apparently, modern brides do.

  7. fabrickated says:

    I am pretty sure the first photograph has been photoshopped to look so “perfect”. But despite the poor quality of the initial alterations and the challenge of the size I think you made it look pretty good. Which would you say is better when buying a second hand gown – too small or too big? For myself, with ordinary things, I often buy too big in the sales and then remodel the top or dress. I wouldn’t really risk it with trying to make a garment bigger if it was too small.

    Your veg are always so impressive but it sounds pretty darn hot round your way. Here it is just nice and warm.

    • mrsmole says:

      As a seamstress I am always way happier with a too big dress than a too small…less magic needs to be applied! I’m getting too old to rack my brain for outlandish solutions so taking in seams just suits me fine. Mother Nature does smile on us besides sending loads of weeds at this time.

  8. MIchaelC says:

    I am sure she thought she was getting a deal. Of course with you there to fix it to make it wearable and presentable helps tremendously. The original dress and picture looks unrealistic. So many of these girls buy when ” their eyes are bigger than their stomachs” and the opposite is true. That’s what keeps you busy and brides happy. Love the cheesecake. I’ll bring the coffee.

  9. ceci says:

    I realize I am channeling my mother, but…..she needs to hold her shoulders back if she is going to wear that dress. At least. Beautiful squash – ours seem to have some kind of blight.


    • mrsmole says:

      In some years my squash leaves look really bad and probably have some fungus but they still keep producing, thankfully. I do tell the girls that their dress will look better and their boobs perky if they remember to stand as tall as possible…at least until the drinks start flowing.

  10. Kim Hood says:

    Another bargain hunter – I hope she feels like a queen now. Your abilities should be better appreciated, not dismissed with a whatever attitude. She really needs to take your advice about the big girl panties though 😉

    • mrsmole says:

      I sure hope those panties go to the wedding!!!! So glad very few brides talk down to me…otherwise it would sure be a drag just working for the check at the end. You know that feeling, Kim!

  11. maryfunt says:

    It’s amazing what some brides will buy thinking they are getting a bargain. At least you worked your magic and made it wearable. Stuffed sausage is a very apt description! Your stories never fail to make me laugh.

  12. Tee says:

    Great work as usual!!!!!!

  13. Do these ladies ever sit down and split their dresses at the wedding? They all look so tight – I mean the style, not your alterations. The one of the model is lovely but not many ladies look like that.

    • mrsmole says:

      If they do, I have never heard back. I do warn them about the bustles though saying, “I don’t know what you girls will get up to on that day so please bring along some safety pins in case one of your loops is torn off.” Brides run through forests, toss themselves into the ocean and even climb up unto their husband’s truck for crazy photos so it is an active day for sure!

  14. Tia Dia says:

    I’m shocked and awed, Mrs. Mole. That is such a strumpet look, it’s disgusting. Just my little humble opinion. How DO you keep the nasty comments back?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s