Hello Readers, Mrs Mole said I could introduce myself; I’m a Maggie Sottero dress and back in 2013, I was featured as a tribute to the British TV series Downton Abbey. I was stunning, heavy, drapey and going to be a bitch to alter. I hung in a shop for 4 years waiting for just the right person to buy me.
Loads of women were attracted to my shiny exterior but none of them desired me enough to take me home. As the years progressed and more and more big-butted gals tried me on and stepped on my train I started to look very “shop worn” in other words “tatty/ratty” until my bride fell in love with me. She came to the shop wanting something simple but then we met and as they say, the rest is history…or in other words…Mrs Mole’s problem. She will describe my issues:
Normally, when brides call me for the first fitting, I ask what brand and style of the dress they have so I can find it online and grab photos of the dress on a model. If they have purchased the dress within a year, it pops right up on Google…well, not this one…I had to really dig around. I finally typed in “Maggie Sottero Nude” and in “images”…there it was.
Now, imagine all those beads being dragged across a sandy beach in Mexico…what? This is NOT a beach wedding dress with 2 layers of thick nude lining. All those scallops are heavy gold embroidered thread and every 1/2 inch there are rows and rows of gold bugle beads and rhinestones…which will have to be removed before any altering happens.
Like with ALL brides…this little critter has to be TIGHT! So I am going to take in both side seams and add push up bust pads too. The sides are pinned and red thread basted to mark the new seam lines and also to guide me where to remove all the beads that are in the way…so glad I record TV shows so I can just sit for hours and remove and save beads for later. I mentioned to the bride that to save money she could do a lot of re-beading to the damaged parts of her dress as there are lots of “bald” areas and threads dangling where beads used to be 4 years ago. Her answer was ,”I’m too busy, I would rather pay you”…so can you hear the labor costs going up?
Let’s have a look at the bodice and the right and left side seams:
You can see the gold embroidered strips were not sewn into the seam and were just butted up against each other…I will sew them both into the seam.
The thread tracing and bead removal:
The above photos show that part of the embroidered sections were overlapped and not sewn into the seam and on every row of gold thread, there was a row of bugle beads now removed from the new seam allowance before sewing.
Even with all the beads removed this hand basted and pinned side seam looks so darn lumpy.
But once stitched, it looks OK. All the removed beads will be re-attached into the curved sections.
Frustrating enough? Oh No…let’s move down to the scalloped hem…a nice thick border of heavy gold metallic edging sewn to delicate one layer of tulle makes a bold statement/me weep. I mark the floor level with red pins and then that will be red thread-traced before I move the edging up. The 2 layers of satin lining are already pinned up. The narrow hemmed edges of the lining and satin layers are so fuzzy from being dragged across the floor for 4 years.
See all the rows of bugle beads from her toes to the hem? Yes, they will all be removed before the edging is moved up. The edging will have to overlap the other gold motifs higher up as well.
But wait….look at the train hem…after 4 years, a few girls have stepped on the train and ripped holes near the edging…delightful, no? Can I fix it, too? Sure…it is only labor after all. The edging is now basted in place, higher up and away from the holes. Will this show as being uneven…not if the sand does a good job of clinging to the gold thread.
Stitching top edge with the zipper foot. Notice the joined section and everything to the right will be trimmed away. All bugle beads were removed under the edging and I used a heavy duty needle in my Juki.
Another joined section and also stitching through the bulk of the motif underneath:
So, do you really think anyone will notice the train hem repairs after a couple of margaritas???
How about the bustle??? Can we get all of that off the floor for dancing all night? Yes, we can and with just one bustle point and a 1 inch fancy button it will be done. The bustle is just pinned in the photo as the bride wants to buy her own button.
Once all the seams are trimmed and pressed flat, no one will know what was done to the dress. I spent over 2 hours re-beading all the distressed areas and with a pair of push-up bust cups attached, she is ready!
In this view she reminds me of Mariah Carey.
It is related to this earlier post…maybe some of you can recognize it.
It is a perfect addition to our garden from my honey!
Happy sewing or sowing!