I Can’t Decide

Recently, I have learned that the chain BHLDN (Beholden) has a store policy of allowing girls to order more than one dress/veil and keep them for 30 days and return what they don’t want. Sure, this sounds like a great idea for the consumer, but what it is doing is putting local salons out of business because brides no longer have to go anywhere to try on the dresses.

Even David’s Bridal is experiencing this trend in all their chain locations. David’s stores have become just a place to try on things and then go online and use a coupon and buy a cheaper version. So, eventually even David’s will close their local stores once they can’t compete with BHLDN by sending as many dresses out and getting them back.

While this seems to be a great idea with little restrictions stated as “All dresses must have original tags attached and NO DOG HAIR”, the state of a dress that has been sent around and around the country and tried on by chubby girls, girls with loads of make-up, girls direct from the gym…well, you get the picture…not everyone is as careful as they should be. I have worked on these dresses that look very “shop worn” with beads dangling and broken seams and zippers and stretched out necklines/straps until I want to scream!

Enter the bride who could not make up her mind for 29 days after ordering 2 dresses online:



Of course, she wanted bits and pieces from each dress combined into one…sorry.

She finally settled on the simpler one as the scalloped lace hem would have been a real labor intensive one to shorten…we all know that!

So, let’s trim all the excess tulle from the front and pin up the satin layers. There is a pile of tulle  just cut from the hem on the floor:

After the satin layers are hemmed we will trim away some of the train but leave enough to drag around/catch twigs, leaves etc. Luckily, the first trimming was good enough this time!

The tulle shoulder seams need shortening as well. They are so delicate with only the thread in the seam to keep them stable.

The front tulle of the bodice where you can see that the edge on my palm is the already stretched out underarm area perhaps from other brides trying on the dress over and over?

Adding to the indecision is the length of the purchased veil…oh my…here is a close up of their construction. Here is the basic technique…cut a 2 yard length of $2.00 tulle, grab a comb and do a couple whip stitches along the top.

Two veils were dropped off for me to steam and they are both long enough to trip over. The first one is 6 feet long and the second is 10 feet long…again, just long enough to snag on rocks and grass in an outdoor setting. The first 6 foot long one:


Then the 10 foot long one:

I got up the courage to ask, “How much did you pay for the shorter one?” and her answer was $200…holey moley…that is more than I even charged for her alterations!!! She finally decided on the shorter version. So, if you have a friend who is needing a veil…think about making one for her…lots of veil tutorials on Google: https://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+make+a+wedding+veil&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

Or how about this ready-made scalloped veil for $3.99…is that crazy or what? https://www.jjshouse.com/One-Tier-Waltz-Bridal-Veils-With-Scalloped-Edge-006052972-g52972?utm_term=52972&utm_size=OSFA&ggsub=pl&ggntk=g&ggcid=91132536276&ggkey=&ggpos=1o3&ggdev=c&ggdevm=&ggplm=&ggtgt=&gclid=Cj0KCQjwkZfLBRCzARIsAH3wMKrdvJvBf584y2VByBIj4-FbHmPIkmRx2EDuDtEC9qa_CSwlhaHYSvsaAqhxEALw_wcB

This week I am out of the sewing room, right in the middle of the season which has never happened before…but here is a hint from where I have been:


Next week, I will include more photos from the travels to help you find out where I am hiding. I did manage to meet up with a fellow blogger and share a lunch and 3 hours of sewing chat!

Meanwhile, back home the temps are 114 F/45.5  C degrees and I am sure my veggies are suffering or growing into torpedo-sized squash UNLESS my neighbors are harvesting them…fingers crossed!

Happy summer sewing everyone!

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41 Responses to I Can’t Decide

  1. Maureen says:

    I made a beautiful lace trimmed veils for two weddings. Cost was approx 30 for each they both wanted a pretty lace. A lot cheaper than the 200 dollar veils

  2. I like the front of the first dress and the back of the second dress please Mrs Mole! 😂😂 Hope you have a lovely time off!

    • mrsmole says:

      Thank you, Linda, while a winter break has been the norm, this year things went in a different direction and I will surely pay dearly when I get back with 13 brides booked in and waiting!

  3. Laura Jansen says:

    Well, Mrs. Mole, just the fact that you got away for awhile – I’m jealous and looking forward to the pix.

  4. MDy says:

    I had to go and see the veils for $3.99 – gotta say they looked nice. Did you notice – they have dresses too. Hope you’re enjoying a bit of time off.

    • mrsmole says:

      It makes you wonder about just buying some of those and having them handy to re-sell, doesn’t it? I have altered dresses from that company…some hits and some misses.

  5. I checked out the $3.99 veil as well 🙂 $200 for that veil is crazy. I do agree with you that it isn’t very ethical to go to a physical store to try things on and then order the same thing online.

  6. I know where that bear came from! I ALMOST joined you & Kim on Monday, but my sew-jo started to come back, so I stayed home and made good use of it. Maybe next time?
    Those veils are ridiculous- we looked at plenty when my daughter was getting married, but at least there was enough work in them to justify a fair price. Madness.

    • mrsmole says:

      Yes, thought you might recognize the bear but there are way more photos to come from more venues…so the challenge will be to see if you have been there too. Getting your sew-jo back means everything…glad you went with that…there will be a next time!

  7. jay says:

    $200 for the veil? Aren’t you tempted to add ‘bespoke veils’ to your brilliant services? Have a nice break.

  8. When my daughter married, she liked her aunt’s dress a lot and it was almost a perfect fit so my sanity was saved. I did make her veil though. Very satisfying and she looked awesome.

  9. dediydiva says:

    Making a veil is so easy. I did it myself. The prices of veils in a bridalshop are unbelievable!

  10. JustGail says:

    I wonder why the return instructions say no dog hair, instead of no pet hair. I think I’ll add making custom veils to my list of possible part time employment thoughts if I ever get to retire from the current full time work. Or not – I’m not sure I want to deal with brides after reading your stories.

    Speaking of store closings, have you had any fallout from that bridal chain that suddenly closed up a few weeks ago?

    • mrsmole says:

      We did not have any Angelo dress outlets here but I know David’s has been very generous in offering discount gowns nationwide to frantic brides and Brides for a Cause in Portland was giving away gowns free for a week to all military brides. At least veils don’t have fitting problems….do it!

  11. Tee says:

    Veils are expensive here too! I’ve made some and not charged that much–it depends on the tiara that they use. A lot of brides are opting not to wear a veil these days. Enjoy well deserved time away! I’m getting ready for my much anticipated 4-day sewing retreat!!! Whoopee!!

    • mrsmole says:

      What a treat, Tee..to let your mind and hands wander onto new projects..have a super time…you deserve it The same is here with brides with half saying they don’t want the veil.

  12. CherylDesigns says:

    WOW! That policy sounds BAD to me. Those gowns are going to be in pitiful shape. You and I have seen gowns that are in terrible shape just from try-ons in a store. The company is going to have to discount a lot of gowns to sell them after they are returned. I liked the first gown but agree about the expensive hem alteration 🙂 When I get the chance to advise my brides BEFORE they purchase I give them hints about what to look for to keep alteration costs down 🙂 If their choice needs $$$ alterations, at least they are forewarned 🙂 Enjoy your break 🙂

    • mrsmole says:

      Thanks, Cheryl…funny that my relatives are asking me if I am missing the sewing room while I am away and expecting a huge NO…but I do miss the hands on projects and the quiet control that goes with it. I have been asked to be in on gown selection from time to time and it does work well for both bride and salon…maybe this could be a job for retirement…pre-wedding gown counseling?

  13. Vanessa says:

    I hope you are enjoying your cooler temperatures, I’ve decided to stay in the pool until the weather decides to cooperate, lol.
    I made my veil 20 some years ago, the first I ever heard of ‘lettuce edging’ and came out wonderful. Veils are one of the single most over priced items in retail.
    And of course I liked the 1st dress better than the 2nd, made her seem taller and more slender. The 2nd dress cuts her off at the waist.
    See you soon!

    • mrsmole says:

      The pool is the only place to be for sure, Vanessa! Maybe you should drop by my house and go through the left side gate and help yourself when you are in the neighborhood…do it!

  14. ceci says:

    Interesting how different the 2 dresses are, at least she wasn’t agonizing over subtle points! I do like the second dress more from the back than the front, which seems a bit, ummmm, saggy? Maybe there is a better undergarment in her future?

    The tried on by everybody dresses do sound quite unhygienic!

  15. erniek3 says:

    We will all go into the veil business, but everyone who reads this will be sworn to silence and vow never to undercut each other’s price. Tell em its imported French tulle.

    • mrsmole says:

      Absolutely! Every time I have bought or had my sergers serviced, the dealer has told me to use my machine to attach pearls on the edges of veils. Two things keep me from doing that…the weight of the pearls and the time it takes to fiddle with all that netting. Guess I’d rather be ripping open seams and adding darts that.

  16. Connie says:

    If you end up with overgrown zucchini or yellow necks, here’s my solution.

    Gardener’s Summer Squash Soup

    6 pounds zucchini—large overgrown ones are fine

    1/4 cup olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced (3 cups)

    1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/2 cup heavy cream
fresh basil leaves, shredded for garnish

    Peel the squash and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices.

    In a 9-quart heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Stir in the onions, cover, reduce the heat, and braise for five minutes.

    Add the squash, which will fill the pot. Raise the heat to medium high and stir the onions and squash together the best you can, watching that the onions don’t burn. You must stir continually for several minutes until the squash starts rendering its liquid. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover the pot, reduce the heat, and braise for 15 minutes or until the squash has melted to half is volume.
    When the squash is soft, there should be enough liquid to cover it; if not, add water to barely cover. Add a bouillon cube to give more flavor to the squash liquid. Cover the soup pot and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool.

    In batches, purée the soup in a blender or food processor. Add the cream and reheat the soup, taste and correct seasoning before serving it, garnished with basil.

    To serve cold, cool before refrigerating for several hours.

    Makes 6–8 servings

    Soup of the Day
    Lydie Marshall

    Of course, you can use smaller zucchini, but you’ll spend ever so much more time peeling them than you do with the overgrown ones.

  17. mrsmole says:

    Thank you, Connie, I’m sure those with gardens can use this recipe all summer!

  18. lsaspacey says:

    Have you ever made chocolate zucchini bread, it is amazingly moist and delicious? I can’t find my recipe right now, but most are good, try it.

  19. sewruth says:

    Personally, I like dress 1 better but I’m not the one getting married!
    Hope you had a relaxing holiday but I look forward to having you back in the sewing room.

  20. Wead Library says:

    I liked dress #3 best as well.
    As far as the hint with the critter. I thought it was Puxatawny Phil and you were headed to Puxatawny, PA. But it seems its a bear. Are you coming to visit me? We have lots of bears.

  21. Fabrickated says:

    Interesting post. No idea where you are but I am glad you are having fun. I made my own veil – pink tulle – with a cheap as chips “tiara” from a girls shop. My DIL wasn’t planning one. Then her dad arrived from Brazil and was horrified that she hadn’t got one that he made one with fusible interfacing and other non-sewing techniques. It looked fine actually. I love tulle – you just trim it.

  22. poppykettle says:

    $200 for a veil like that? I don’t think I’ve ever been more shocked….

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