Halter Girl

This dress by Tadashi Shoji comes with a list of descriptions and one of them is this:

Can be shortened; using an experienced bridal tailor is recommended.

You will notice that the model has a perfect figure for this body-hugging creation and is the perfect height.  The lace edging is all along the bodice top edges and along the hem. The thin drawstring holds the top to the neckline.

Here is what it looks like on a real bride:


The front neckline is very high and a bit choker-like leaving no room for jewelry. The back neckline is darling with little crystal beads at the end of the ties.


But…the hem…always a little too long for average height brides. The edging will be removed and restitched about 4 inches higher up along with 2 layers of…yes…you got it…KNIT lining with coverstitch finish. So every bit of thread is removed to release the scalloped lace edging.

We are leaving the small train which will be bustled up.

To shorten/drop down the neckline, I fold over more fabric to the inside…about one inch.

Now unto the hem: You can see by the red thread basting, the new hem line for the lace edging. The top red thread line is just holding the excess up and out of the way for the try-on. It will be trimmed away later.

Satin layer and 2 lining layers hand basted and later cover-stitched and trimmed.

Both knit layers are coverstitched:

Here is the dainty one-point bustle with the knit lining layers hanging free. Finally, something relatively simple that does not require the magic wand…it is being recharged anyway!

The view from my sewing room window this morning:

Marigolds, poppies, pear trees, irises and lots of veggies surround the new frog fountain. The squash plants are in and mulched by Mr. Mole.

This year I am recycling an older fountain into a succulent tower:

I’m still plowing my way through all the vintage gowns and fingers crossed, I will have the final photos for you soon!

Happy sewing everyone!

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28 Responses to Halter Girl

  1. Tia Dia says:

    The view from your sewing room window is sooooo lush! What a refreshing bit to see after going cross-eyed moving up a scalloped lace hem!

    • mrsmole says:

      What I didn’t get were all the birds in the fountain but maybe next time. You do need a break from intense eyeball popping sewing, Tia!

  2. ceci says:

    What a lovely dress – I was almost afraid to scroll down for fear it was going to be several sizes too small or something!


  3. Thats a really beautiful dress! Which can’t be said for many of the choices your brides seem to make! And what a relief that the alterations weren’t too strenuous 🙂

  4. Mary says:

    What a lovely gown. It will still look timeless twenty years from now. Great work as usual! Can I come & live in your backyard? After a house full of (grown) kids & grandkids; friends & music & 3 solid days of house hunting with the youngest & hubby; your garden looks like a piece of heaven!

    • mrsmole says:

      Yes, the garden is open for you…no kids, animals or noisy neighbors…sit back and listen to the frog fountain and watch hungry birds on the feeders…ahhhh…and look through the window to the tired seamstress within.

  5. Pins says:

    I love your garden!!

  6. I was afraid to scroll also, imagined over stretched sausage skin horrors but lo! It fits exceptionally well, apart from the length. Nice dress, nice garden. 8 squash plants??? What do you do with all the squash, big producers as they are?

    • mrsmole says:

      Last year I turned all the squash into soups and gave the rest away. You can never have enough butternut squash to bake or microwave. This year we have only one zucchini plant…as one is enough for 2 people.

  7. jay says:

    Me too. Afraid to scroll in case I was going to have to grit my teeth over another size delusion that is.The finished article is beautiful. Great view from the window too.

    • mrsmole says:

      Jay, maybe I should put a warning at the top of my post to let you know if good or bad things are coming…ha ha! Most of the time it is bad but I figured you were all bored with train wrecks and needed a little beauty instead.

  8. maryfunt says:

    Lovely dress and not the complicated mess for a change. The cover stitch machine makes the lining hem fast and easy. Beautiful view!

  9. racurac2 says:

    I guess the designers use former swimmers models: the back of the first model is as huge as my daughter’s who’s been swimming since age 3! My DD looks beautiful with complicated back designs. Beautiful dress and a garden made for drinking tea and eating dainty fairy cakes!

    • mrsmole says:

      By the time I get out into the garden around 5:30 pm…it is strictly cocktails and a handful of peanuts sitting in our “fed-up” anti-gravity chairs. Imagine being a bridal model…skinny skinny with huge shoulders…

  10. Beth (SunnyGal Studio) says:

    very pretty dress and wow I love that succulent tower. I am really getting the succulent bug lately and probably a good thing given our long term water situation here in California…..

    • mrsmole says:

      After 4 months of record breaking rain almost every day we are heading to 90 degrees and dry next week so the succulents may be the real survivors this summer. Mr Mole always wants to toss out unused things but part of me wants to give them a new life.

  11. kathyh says:

    I found your blog a few months back via Fabrikated (I think) and then put you in my sidebar as you appear to be local to me and I am fascinated by your alterations of bridezilla possibilities.
    I did laugh out loud at Mr. Mole mulching. This happens every year here too in my one long (300′) flower bed. Your succulent tower looks fab.

    • mrsmole says:

      300 feet of flowers? WOW….send me a photo when everything is in bloom!!!! Just when you think yoiu may have seen every bridal alteration….another one sneaks in to make your brain hurt! Thanks for dropping in, kathyh.

  12. fabrickated says:

    I love this dress even if it is supported by synthetic jersey lining. I like that it doesn’t reveal loads of cleavage and that the emphasis is on the back. Lots of women have got nice backs and the area can be rather sexy when suitably attired, I think. Halter necks are summery and pretty and really flatter women who have got biggish shoulders and more slender hips. You alterations are nice, although I would really want to shorten lace, but I guess like the old bustle, zip replacement, bust pad, and corset back it is your daily fare and you do it so well. Nice to see a coverstitch machine in use – I have never tried one. And as ever a gorgeous garden shot. Thank you for making my day.

  13. mrsmole says:

    Thanks, Kate…yes halters are so much more interesting than strapless dress and mountains of tulle! With all your sewing, I am surprised you have not ventured into the world of coverstitching…maybe your new sewing room will have a little space for one although yoiu tend to sew with wovens or knitted sweaters.Your latest collection is unbelievable…how do you get so much done with such beautiful results? http://fabrickated.com/

  14. This dress is beautiful! Something I wish I could have had at my wedding! Love it! And as usual you did a beautiful job. Love the view from you sewing room!

  15. Gorgeous dress – so lovely to see something other than a ‘run of the mill’ off the shoulder number. Great alterations, and what a fabulous garden!

  16. sewruth says:

    Nice dress but quite honestly I find your garden pictures more beautiful and makes me feels ashamed of a very plain lawn outside my window. So maybe this summer I’ll plant some colour – yeah, like cleaning out the kitchen drawers that have the dead batteries and bits of string therein – we can only but dream…..

  17. Lovely dress!
    I ha been working hard in my garden recently but it doesn’t look anywhere like as nice as yours. Enjoy the view while you work 😃

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