Killer Lace

This Willowby Sookie dress is really quite striking on the model. It sits well on her waist and there are no gaps anywhere.


The only problem is…my bride needs the center back taken in 3 inches at the zipper. Now we know that there are 2 inches in between RTW sizes so this size 8 will be reduced down to a tight 4.  All the thick lace motifs will be removed before moving the zipper over.

Here is the zipper area with the lace removed, zipper basted and ready for stitching:

The waist is tight enough, the straps have to be shortened 2 inches by sliding the inside lower edges down below the waist edge. Maybe you can see the pins along the top of the waist edge? I will drop a triangular wedge of lace on tulle below the waistline to snug up the straps but not remove any lace motifs so she can sell the dress later.

You can also see that the lace below the end of the zipper is pinned and overlapped and will have to be done by hand. The back princess seams over her butt have been taken in one inch each side in the satin layer along with the lining.

Here the side seams are also pinned out an inch (total 2 inches) at the top down to nothing at the waist. The waist pins are more visible in this photo. There are also red thread tracing where a dart might have gone but that is not going to happen.

Here is the right side wedge flipped up:

The left side flipped down:

The new side seams are stitched and the waist is basted and you can see how the lace below the waist is attached….by hand and just overlapping the top edge.

Center back seam below the zipper tail with bustle point safety pins will require removing lace motifs and taking in the tulle and satin and lining:













Third fitting shows that the zipper will not close once the straps have been shortened, so I will drop the skirt 1/2 inch along the top and also move the zipper over 1/2 inch each side.

When you shorten straps like these they can bring the back skirt higher on the body and at that point the body widens for the ribs but it is a compromise in what you want tighter or comfortable. Brides also admit they feel “fluffy” for some fittings. Please ignore the black bra.

Last shot is of the one-point bustle that was eventually made so the bride could dance all night.

As summer winds down, the garden is still producing like crazy:

Mr Mole grew the little red potatoes in a plant pot as an experiment and they were successful! It was the first time growing red cabbage too and cantaloupe! Yellow plums have been abundant and the birds didn’t eat too many. The peppers were grown from seed as well as the squash but the fall fruiting raspberries are just starting to turn ripe along with a few good blueberries.

One of the 4 butternut squash plants coming to the end of the season and as soon as the squash turn a golden color they will be turned into all manner and variety of soup and given away to neighbors.

Wishing you all a calm September with kiddies going back to school and maybe more time to sew. Here the temps are still in the high 90’s and we are dreaming of a cooler Fall.

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25 Responses to Killer Lace

  1. maryfunt says:

    Looks great. How many hours to take off and resew all those lace motifs? I’m sure your trip was a welcome vacation before you returned to your waiting brides. The fruits and veggies are amazing.

    • mrsmole says:

      Oh Mary, if we kept track of all the labor for fiddling with lace…we would be very wealthy ladies who lunch! I am blessed with too many veggies and too many brides…blessed…makes me wonder some times.

  2. Jane M says:

    Wow, your garden wonderful this summer!! I love that dress and your details are always to enthralling. I love seeing how you make these changes and your thread tracing reminds me to slow down and do the right, careful thing in my more modest and simple sewing projects.

    • mrsmole says:

      Thread tracing does 2 things…gives you a landmark for new seam lines and it gives you time….time to walk away and let it hang for a while without fearing the pins will fall out. Thread tracing also makes brides think that I am a professional who is picky about my work. They try on their dresses and see other gowns with red thread tracings and feel happy. It is as Mr Mole says, “the perceived value” so between the fee schedule posted on the mirror and the red thread…it makes the process go smoothly, Jane.

  3. Your garden!! Very impressive – you and Mr Mole clearly have very green thumbs!
    For a hot second, I was afraid your intro was leading to ‘and we need to find 10″ somewhere to close that gap’…lol! Nice to see the beautiful work you did in making that pretty lace fit properly! Well done! Hope this season of winter brides is a good and uneventful one for you 🙂

    • mrsmole says:

      Keeping my fingers crossed for simpler brides this time of the year but the two piece ones have taken over and those skirts are a real challenge as you will see in future posts. Whose idea was it to make 2-piece dresses anyway? Mr Mole loves planting seeds so this year most of the veggies have been “from scratch” started in his office under a grow-light.

      • lsaspacey says:

        Hmm, I thought two-piece dresses would be easier, no longer having to blend what could two very different sized body sections through the waist seam.

  4. Cactus says:

    At least she has the figure for the dress. I was almost afraid to look further than the first two pictures! Thank goodness you didn’t have to let it out 5 sizes. I wish in reality I was the size I imagine myself to be in my fantasy! lol Beautiful dress.

    • mrsmole says:

      It’s funny how many brides tell me that they are a size 8 and they don’t know why the dress tag says 12…you want to say, “Yes dear, we are all size 8 but some of us have a bit more padding”.

  5. I was scared too. Would the bride be totally inappropriate for the dress? Scrolling down, down, down… It’s almost a first! It’s a lovely dress too.

  6. jay says:

    It’s a beautiful dress. I wonder, do you ever feel like a rabbit in car headlights when someone brings you a lace encrusted gown and blithely asks you to resize it? I’m sure my first reaction would be ‘impossible!’.Like other commentators, I was hugely relieved to see that the bride did truly have the figure to carry off a figure hugging number though.

    • mrsmole says:

      If I think the project is going to be really difficult I set back from the dress and make a loud sighing sound and tell them that I will certainly try to fulfill their request. Lord knows you never want a client to think this who job will be easy!!!!

  7. fabrickated says:

    The red cabbage and cantaloupes are fabulous. As for the alteration I had trouble following this one – maybe just contemplating it made my head ache and my eyes spin. I am so glad you don’t scare easy Mrs Mole – it would have given me palpitations. Great job though – it looks really nice now.

    • mrsmole says:

      Thanks, Kate, it was pretty much tucking everything into the waist lining and making the snug zipper work. I have another tricky one to share but this time with cords…oh my! Cabbages and cantaloupes…the yard is pumping this stuff out like crazy…my neighbors get regular deliveries…ha ha

  8. racurac2 says:

    I guess at this point you must have forgotten how the produce section at the supermarket looks like heheheheh! You are the Queen of lace!

    • mrsmole says:

      Haven’t seen the inside of the grocery store for a while except to buy limes which we cannot grow here very well. I love lace, just wish there was more of it to cover these crazy brides!

  9. Kim says:

    Gorgeous lace Mrs M. Rather you than me for the alterations though 😉.
    Good to see that the garden didn’t suffer in your absence. What a glorious harvest!

    • mrsmole says:

      The veggies went wild and continue to produce even through all the smoke and soot in the air from the forest fires. Maybe the plants like air that has some bulk to it? Yes, Kim, gorgeous lace, too bad there was not more of it to cover her up…ha ha!

  10. Chris says:

    When will these girls realize that these tattoos look not only stupid but actually gross when exposed like this on a wedding dress!!!

    • mrsmole says:

      I’m relieved when I don’t see snakes running up their legs of across their shoulders! My advice would be to wear a bolero…but I am old.

    • pdxknitter says:

      Glad to see I’m not the only one who thinks this. I guess I am old as I was raised to ‘know’ that tattoos are for the lower classes and those who have visited prison. Seems quite incongruous on a bride.

  11. erniek3 says:

    Not shown: three rolls of ‘fashion tape’ to get the dress to not gape in the front as she moves. I do hope her tattoo is audience-friendly. I’m guessing that is a part of the attraction of this dress.

  12. mrsmole says:

    I can always count on you erniek for insightful comments! Tattoos and sticky tape rule the day!

  13. Wow! This looks like a perfect bride to me! Beautiful dress! I was just watching one of those bridal fashion shows where the dress had slits down the front of each leg and the bride had to hold her dress down to prevent “over exposure”!

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