Second Hand Rose

Buying a wedding dress can be scary especially when faced with a price tag of $1000 plus. But if you are a cagey shopper you can find bargains out there like at Brides for a Cause.

My next bride managed to find this previously-worn beaded lace dress for around $300. It had been altered in the side seams and was very tight but once I looked inside…Eureka, the previous seamstress had left the excess there for us to find!


Too bad the previous bride was taller as the lace hem will have to be taken up like normal…do you all see a pattern here?

Once the border lace is cut off, it is raised up to the red thread 6 inch higher line. Some lace borders have long stitches so you can release the border itself but this one was not like that.

Pin the top of each motif on the new line:

Then at the side seams, allow the border to drop down to join the rest of the train. You can see the huge vertical tuck right now but it will not be there later.

Most times, I trim off the tulle hanging down but this bride wanted me to save as much as I could in case she wanted to hand it down to a daughter in the future. So, I will see if I can tuck all that under and save it just in case the next wearer is tall. The same goes for the satin layer and lining. Normally I make the hems just like the original with horsehair braid and everything trimmed off but this time I  serged off everything but 2 inches and folded that under and hand stitched it to the satin.   

After the side seams were let out, the zipper went up fine.

The only issue was the lace above the top of the satin bodice had been stretched by the previous bride from hugging folks all day…this happens.

So I have pins where the lace will be lifted and tucked inside and then hand tacked back down. The bride is not wearing the previous velvet belt and may design a new one for herself.


With the 3 bustle buttons and loops in place, she is ready for pick-up.

Two weeks ago, I shared the really lacy 1973 dress and I thought you might like to see the bride’s mother in the original.

We did add a grosgrain belt and 5 point bustle:



One last thing before I get back to the chaos, on Valentine’s Day, Mr. Mole bought me an amaryllis bulb and we have been waiting for the bloom…ta da…it opened on Earth Day 2017…perfect timing don’t you think?

Happy Spring sewing everyone! Thanks for dropping by! More vintage brides have arrived with the original photos…Lordie!

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13 Responses to Second Hand Rose

  1. Laura Jansen says:

    $300 dress, how ever much she paid you to adjust and make it beautiful – priceless!!!

  2. You did your magic again to make another bride happy 🙂
    Love the amaryllis, too – those are such gorgeous flowers! Hope this wedding season brings you some lovely, sweet brides!

    • mrsmole says:

      So far things have been pretty good…not too much hair pulling! And the contents of rum bottle does not seem to be going down as rapidly as in previous years but the season is young! Three months down only 8 more to go! Thanks Cheryl!

  3. erniek3 says:

    I love the ‘voila!’ moments in your blog. I am sure you enjoy them more in real life. As ever, thanks beyond thanks. And thanks previous alterations person, for leaving enough to work with later. Wider seam allowances for everyone!

    • mrsmole says:

      Here, here for wider seam allowances, they make a seamstress smile for sure! When clients say, “you must enjoy your work”, I have to say I really do when you can get the best results in the short amount of time thus saving the bride some money and me some time to get onto the next white alligator in the line.

  4. jay says:

    Perfect timing by the flower and another perfect result by you!

  5. maryfunt says:

    Don’t you wish more gowns were made with future alterations in mind? Great idea to tuck the extra hem length up to allow for future changes.

    • mrsmole says:

      Yes, Mary, I do wish all gowns had a little “extra” inside for us!!! I do my best to keep all the excess fabric and make sure to give all my brides a bag of cuttings from their dress in case the next seamstress needs them…you never know!

  6. Susan Hart says:

    Hi again, Susan here! So funny thing how many connections we seem to have… MY daughter shopped for her gown at Brides for a Cause off Alberta Street, too! Hers was a basic satin strapless with pickups and a side swept style. Really stunning on her and YES, it had room left inside to let it out for her also. She got married in October 2.5 months after giving birth!
    It was a wonderful store, SO many gowns!! Hers was only $200!

    • mrsmole says:

      The bargains are out there for the thrifty bride! It does seem a shame for a $1000 gown to just hang in the back of a closet when it could be loved for a second time. Your daughter was so practical waiting until after the birth to make all the plans and avoid the stress before the delivery!

  7. I love a lady who can save money and yet still wear a beautiful gown at her wedding! (I love the vintage photo too!). Nice work again, Mrs Mole!

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