Snug Me Up

Stunning isn’t it? Notice how each cord hugs her body and how well the lace lays flat against her butt. This dress is by Willowby and is a real show-stopper.

The challenge is to make all those cords and neckpiece to actually lie flat on my bride. Can you guess she bought 2 sizes too big? In the first photo below you can see how much has to be removed from the lower cording and neckpiece. I felt like a mother cat picking up her kitty by the scruff of the neck! It looks as though all the cords are wrapped around one main cord. We may also have to take in the side seams.


Let’s not forget messing with the zipper too…yes, don’t you get bored seeing me take in back zippers at least 2 inches on every bride?

What about the hem? I was just itching to remove the scalloped edging and raise it up 6.5 inches:

Once the hem and knit lining are shortened a one point bustle will be attached.





After checking out all the wrapped cords on both sides where they attach using a hook and eye, I decided, if it was possible, to open up the side bodice and fish out the neckpiece straps to shorten the whole back structure from the front.

What was needed was to remove 2 1/4 inches in length each side to make the neck sit high and nice.

In the photo below you can see the red basting thread where I went in to pull the strap down inside.


Each strap was pinned separately down the full back to make them tight once the neck was adjusted.

A shot of the hem and zipper in progress:


Every back cord is repositioned, not trimmed, double tacked inside in case the dress is to be sold later.



First, I stitched the zipper along the new line. Then I pinned the new interfacing to the back of that line. The interfacing was hand basted in place before making a second row of stitching as this was a knit lining along with knit lace so everything was stretching!





In the end, we had a happy bride with a dress that hugs her curves just like the model. The last photo still has the basted zipper and safety pinned bustle, but you get the idea.                            


This week Mother Nature continues to send messages to the veggies to keep producing. All that green is 2 basil plants which were turned into 3 quarts of pesto sauce  for the freezer.

Saving squash in the freezer too after shredding to make into soup or something in the future when the brides have eased up.

As some of you may know, we are experiencing forest fires on the whole West Coast and even though the smoke and soot has reached health hazardous levels in our valley, we can’t imagine what life is like for the firefighters who work every day to control the spread. Praying for rain!

Wishing you all a super sewing week!

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32 Responses to Snug Me Up

  1. Christine Taylor says:

    What a beautiful job you have job you have done here, as always. I do so admire your work and your veggies.

  2. Leiflynn Jeffery, Melfort, Saskatchewan says:

    Another great job! No I never get bored seeing you take in zippers and doing hems. You did excellent making that fit your bride. Why do they get them so big? How do you get time to get the garden stuff done with all the bride work to do? You amaze me. We have fires in Saskatchewan as well. Seems everyone is burning and we are so dry. Enjoy your garden feast and keep up the excellent posting. You know I use your blog as my go to alteration bible!!!

    • mrsmole says:

      Every Sunday we do the gardening and then for a reward we go out for a coffee and maybe a wander around a garden center or DIY warehouse. The brides buy dresses out of emotion so the size doesn’t really matter…sigh.

  3. Laura Jansen says:

    BRAVO! Again work by a sewing genius.

  4. Tee says:

    Great work, praying for rain for you guys!

  5. Donna says:

    I agree with Laura Jansen.

    So glad you are getting rain.

    I have a Spiralizer which makes great pasta out of zucchini, squash, etc..

    • mrsmole says:

      We Spiralize too, Donna…but when all the squash plants are pumping out produce…holy moley, even the 2 of us cannot keep up! Thankfully the neighbors like it too! Hope you don’t have too much smoke in your area from the LA fires!

  6. Another beautiful gown. Job well done !

  7. jay says:

    Fascinating still seeing impossible amounts of extra fabric disappear without evidence of cut lines. I’m glad you’ve finally got relief from the smoke.

    • mrsmole says:

      I did trim away some from the zipper area to cut down on the bulk. The smoke continues to enter the valley as we are surrounded by thousands of acres of forest fires the length of the state from top to bottom. It was a joy to see rain falling and the veggies getting a good washing!

  8. mhdwileski says:

    I can’t say I’m a fan of that style dress, just moving normally seems like it would create problems. However, you did a wonderful job in taming those little skinny straps and I hope the bride appreciates it. Love the veggies! The season overwhelms now, but it is so short. Enjoy!!!

  9. paloverde says:

    Why is it that brides feel they need to expose so much of themselves? Why not just wear a swimsuit and have done with it? (My god, I sound like my grandmother. I must be getting old!) Excellent work as usual, Mrs. Mole

    • mrsmole says:

      Maybe you were just have a grumpy day paloverde…No matter how much I preach to the girls about crossing over into “hoochie mama” territory…they just don’t listen!

  10. erniek3 says:

    I tested a pattern that had ….yards of tubes to be woven, tied, sewn…Those suckers twist and keep stretching unless you fill them with cording. Which I assume these have. Oy – hard to anchor and not have that top edge pull out in waves.
    It’s really pretty on her, though (which I wouldn’t have imagined based on the model) ; people will see her, not just the dress. That’s a nice change for sure.

    • mrsmole says:

      I was thrilled that she didn’t have a full back full of tattoos of snakes and stuff trying to escape through the cords…OH MY! The cords were filled with other cords so they did behave…thank God!

      • Cheryl Designs says:

        THANK YOU 🙂 I KNOW tats and piercings are trendy. I am 60 yrs old. They were still UNUSUAL to me in 2006-2009 but I am used to them now 😦 I work in Southeastern Ohio, we are a BIT behind the times 🙂 I admit, I still really DISLIKE fitting a LOVELY bridal gown to a back that is FULL of DARK BLUE/BLACK tattoos 😦 I am envisioning myself as a GUEST at that wedding. I am looking FRONTWARD to a LOVELY setting and a LOVELY bride who has a BACK FULL OF TATS:( I continue to vote NO on tats… AND facial piercings of all types. Call me FUDEY DUDEY, that’s OK:)

  11. Sandi Benfield says:

    Beautiful job Mrs. Mole

  12. Rose in SV says:

    You are a magician! lovely job!

  13. Trish says:

    Wow, Mrs Mole, just reading about what you had to do to that dress made my head hurt!
    Getting those straps to behave would have been a challenge. It’s lucky it’s a dress that will only be worn once, because I would imagine there could be a problem with stretching.
    As I’ve commented before, your patience is inspirational. I find I get half way through a job like that and think of changing careers.😏

  14. mrsmole says:

    No question that frustration sinks in on some of these jobs…there are days I wish I was just a hostess seating people in a restaurant…way less stress! The great thing about this dress is the stretch so if she gains any weight and wants to wear it on a cruise…more room for indulging!

  15. Katherine Rockey says:

    Just had the pleasure of helping my daughter choose a wedding dress. I was prepared to make one, if that’s what she wanted, but she found one that is stunning, and I don’t think there is any way I could make it for $800. When the shop owner offered alterations.. let out at the hips, hem the scalloped lace front and lining about 6 inches and bustle the back with the scalloped lace the train, I asked how much. She said $200 and I said, sold. Let someone who really knows how to do it have the job and I don’t have the stress. It was a lot like watching Cinderella have the fairy godmother work her magic, though. Thanks for all you do to make their day special. You have a real gift.

  16. Kim says:

    Another triumph Moley. I hadn’t considered how that would look with tattoos – a mercy there are none.
    I was going to offer some of our rain (we have plenty to spare) but you seem to be sorted now 😃.

  17. Vicki says:

    I am so grateful for the efforts you go through to share your knowledge with all of your readers. In some ways, it feels like a master class in alterations and you give it so generously. 🙂

  18. That’s a different style but I like it! I would never have thought that the straps/cords would be so much work, but you’re right – you given the whole dress a fitting make over. I pray for the residents evacuated and the fire fighters etc who have to deal with these fires this summer. So sad.

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