9 Months and a Prayer

Back in November this bride brought her dress for a consultation.


Another nice Wtoo Britt dress, another dropped waist/tulle skirt that brides are drawn to but don’t take into consideration their shape. Some days the zipper will just not go up, so I pin ribbon to bridge the gap and suggest that a corset back will get it closed and work for the wedding in July.

The bride decides she is going to hunker down and lose 20 pounds in 9 months. Check out that train!I pin some loops in place to show her how it might look:

At this fitting she wants to know how she is going to keep the top from sliding down so we try some tulle straps to match her skirt.

Then some rattail cord double straps and solid ribbons:

None of these make her happy so we skip that and agree to make another appointment 7 months later, closer to the date of the wedding.

Eight pounds lighter, we can get the zipper up with some minimal amount of back skin creasing. I am so proud of her!

One thing the weight loss has also done is drop the skirt and lining by almost 2 inches. You can see the original red thread tracing and the finished black thread hem line. The pinked edge shows that I already removed 4 inches all around just to have something easier to turn up.

To reduce the fluff of the skirt, we removed two layers of gathered netted petticoats (I save them to recycle in other dresses) and then I explain to her that bustling that amount of tulle will just add to the bulk of the skirt. Trimming the train off to ground level will give her dress a lighter feel and more dancing moves, so she agrees. Let’s flip the top layers up and work on the lower layers first:So glad I have mannequins who don’t mind standing for hours and having fabric tossed up over their heads!

The former train:

After 2 hours of sitting on the floor and trimming all 4 layers of tulle to just cover the 2 layers of satin and linings, the mother tells me that she wants the entire level of the hem trimmed up shorter by another 1/2 inch.





Once the hem is trimmed all around again, the bride decides she wants to hide her cleavage with a bit of lace, so center front is filled in:

 The finished dress also gets some satin straps to keep everything in place for dancing.

With a month to go, this determined bride will lose a few extra pounds and wear some tight underpants to make the bodice a little smoother. On the dance floor she will be happy to have every bit of tulle off the ground so she can spin and twirl all night.

Just had to share a quote from my favorite daily site gratefulness.org:


Whoever believes in the good in people, draws forth the good in people.

Jean Paul


Hope everyone has a super sewing week with very little ripping out!!!!

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24 Responses to 9 Months and a Prayer

  1. Wow, this is a first…a bride who actually loses weight! Kudos!!!! Happy Sewing!!!!

    • mrsmole says:

      Normally a bride losing weight would make you want to tear your hair out and it is always the very thin ones who stop eating a month before the wedding date. This time it was wonderful!

  2. ceci says:

    For some reason the “9 Months….” title lead me to expect weight GAIN. I like the bodice alterations.


  3. jay says:

    Losing weight – so often the ideal solution to the fit problems you get! But I’m curious, would the MOB really notice half an inch shorter on such a full, floor length skirt?

    • Seconded, that is such a fussy thing but I’ve had clients who were like that too. Just 1/2 shorter or longer, otherwise they weren’t happy. I know I notice things that small because I’m a seamstress but most non-sewing people don’t usually notice so it can be frustrating when they are picky about it.

      • erniek3 says:

        Shhhhh. (I’ve pretended I did the tiny change (in addition to actually doing billions of other things) on a couple of projects and yes, they thanked me specifically for doing it)

    • mrsmole says:

      After I got everything trimmed, the mother decided that as the bride was going to be walking through grass, everything should be shorter. Not much to do but follow her request.

  4. Susan Hart says:

    Awesome alterations! I too have had to remove a full under net skirt when there was just too much “poof” for anyone!
    Love getting your blog in my email.
    Jealous of your squash being WAAYY bigger than mine!

    • mrsmole says:

      Do you give the netting to the bride or keep it to recycle it? I roll them up and store them in my other room for the time when a bride needs more poof and I can attach it and just charge them for the labor. Buying petticoats can run $69 an up. Thank you, Susan.

  5. maryfunt says:

    Another great fix. Thankfully this bride helped by actually losing some weight. I would have screamed when they requested one half inch taken off. I certainly hoped you charged double for the hem.

    • mrsmole says:

      No Mary, I just tell them I will do it later and so when I am home alone on Saturday, I can put the dress on the appropriate mannequin on the platform and sit quietly and trim while watching TV shows I have recorded. Wish I could be more ruthless with my pricing!

      • Chris says:

        Hi Mrs Mole. I’ve discovered that my serger does a marvel job when trimming tulle hems. The serger isn’t threaded, I just use the cutting function. I find it cuts smoother and more even than scissors especially when taking off a half inch more 😜

      • mrsmole says:

        That is such a good idea! My sergers are all crammed into a corner and the thought of unthreading one might work. Thank you!

      • Chris says:

        I’ve actually got two sergers, one to actually sew a serged seam or edge, and the other that I have taken the needles and thread out of to do the tulle trimming operation. So handy.

  6. sewruth says:

    Not only do you have amazing sewing skills but the flexibility and fitness to sit on the floor for two hours!

    • mrsmole says:

      It’s sewing yoga, my dear…I spread my legs apart and scoot right up to the platform. Then every 30 minutes, I bend one leg back and then the other just to get one butt cheek off the rug and then the other…If only the platform was motorized like a lazy susan…life would be a dream!

  7. Trish says:

    The two hours it takes to shorten tulle skirts is something non-sewers don’t seem to understand. I’ve only done it once, on my daughter’s wedding dress (I avoid brides as clients😏) and it seemed endless. I cheated, by putting the mannequin on my dining room table, so that I could sit down on a chair to do the job.
    I found that I had to do each layer separately to be able to get a smooth edge. Is there any way you’ve found to do four layers at once,Mrs Mole?

    • mrsmole says:

      I grab the 2 lower layers first and trim them together, then do the next 2 separately. In my mind, I want the top layers a bit longer than the lower ones so I don’t mind if they don’t all match. Jeez…the bride will be moving most of the day and tulle will never sit flat. In fact we live in such a low humidity valley that the tulle layers have static and grab unto each other into a right mess and clump so I tell them all to buy Static Guard, a spray in a can that eliminates static charge. They make cans of this for computers and other electronic equipment. It is clear and can be sprayed on over and over on tulle.

  8. Accordion3 says:

    Looking at the dress I’m wondering if a hedgetrimmer might work.. 😉 Half an inch is just silly!

    Fantastic work as always.

  9. mrsmole says:

    You crack me up! Wouldn’t it be dandy to have a booth where the bride steps into it and a blade juts out to trim the tulle exactly a set amount above floor level??? I tell Mr Mole that if they let women rule the world and design new gadgets…we could solve quite a few problems…this being one of them!

  10. Kim says:

    With the nine months reference I half expected another problem……
    I have had brides (and a bridesmaid) turn up with passengers I needed to take into account!
    I have a story about a hem alteration to a full circle skirt I will tell you in private 😉

  11. You can be famous and rich – invent the dress form that turns like a lazy susan! Lovely work! I’m just catching up on my reading now. So on to your next story!

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