Trim, Twill Tape and Repair

This feminine wedding gown is a Wtoo Della.

This poor model doesn’t seem to have enough bust to make the bodice look good.

On a real bride, the bodice looks quite different and you can see the little section of tulle holding the cups together in the center. It comes with a velvet belt which does nothing for the overall look so we ditch it.




There will be hemming of the tulle and this train will be chopped off at ground level. The first thing I see before removing the dress from the garment bag IS the bag. It has a tear in it because they stored the dress at a friend’s house who had an aggressive dog. While he tore through the plastic garment bag, he also tore a hole in the tulle in the back skirt.

Thankfully, it was in the back and I was able to repair the two round holes and make them into one line of stitching using invisible thread by hand.


Once repaired and steamed flat, most of the guests will not know what happened.


Onto the bodice, once again out comes the twill tape to the rescue! We went for maximum effect by adding push-up cups AND twill tape to keep the top edge close to her chest. From the inside, the twill tape makes wrinkles at the top edge but on the outside it snugs up the lace just fine and stabilizes it.


The satin layer is trimmed level with the floor and the tulle will be about a 1/2 inch longer. Yea! No train to bustle!

Can you see the repair in the tulle? Nope, not me!


                                 So nice to have a simple dress to work on!

This week, after a month under cover, we lifted the plastic to reveal the lettuce and chard and broccoli seedlings. It’s November but these little guys are warm and toasty and growing like weeds! The other thing growing well are the snails and slugs chomping holes in the leaves. Snails usually hibernate from Oct to May here but if they can find a cozy green spot, they don’t.

Today is Black Friday but I am thankful that I can stay home, avoid the chaos, and work on dresses for charity balls for my long-term clients:

I think the stores have already started playing Christmas carols to put us in a warm fuzzy buying mode…at least they waited until Thanksgiving was over and the turkey carcass was in the trash! Happy seasonal sewing everyone!

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18 Responses to Trim, Twill Tape and Repair

  1. erniek3 says:

    I wonder if the velvet ribbon is hiding the horizonal wrinkle in the lace that I see when it’s off. There’s no earthly reason otherwise to cut off that lace design at that point.
    I almost feel cheated when there’s no big laced up filler piece in the back on these. Dresses that mostly fit. Wow.
    White lace to black velvet. Time to turn up the lighting in the work room!
    Best of holidays to you and yours!
    SJ Kurtz

  2. mrsmole says:

    Sorry Stephanie…once in a while I get a close-to-fitting dress…ha ha. If it weren’t for Ott lights at every machine and hand sewing station, I could not function!!! Dresses, like brides, come in 2 versions…short waisted and long waisted…it is a bonus if the dress matches the girl’s waist level but sometimes the wide belts can cover that horizontal wrinkle.After a few glasses of champagne, no one will notice her waist…maybe the bust though? Best of the holidays to you and your family!

    • erniek3 says:

      Thanks. I have been wondering about this teeny belt phenomenon. I can rest easy (she of the short waist and horizontal wrinkle)!

    • Cheryl Designs says:

      That is a GREAT FIT from the manufacturer 🙂 NICE BUST fitting Mrs. Mole 🙂 GLAD she decided to TOSS that tiny belt 🙂 When a gown is NOT CUSTOM-MADE it is NEVER going to FIT PERFECTLY. I don’t know what you would charge but MY labor charge for a custom-made bridal would START at $1,500 and go UP from there. Actually more like $2,000 and higher for LABOR. Those fittings can SUCK your time away 🙂 My bridal alterations are 80% of my business 🙂

      • mrsmole says:

        No amount of money would get me to make a dress from scratch after seeing how many layers go into a ballgown. Who has the space to cut out the skirt fabric? You would need a table used by drapery makers! Fittings…Lordie…how many fittings would that take as well???

  3. MichaelC says:

    Great work again. Nice dress. Your lettuce would do well in this LA heat that we are having. 93 degrees on TDay

    • mrsmole says:

      Ha ha, Michael, when I raised my kids in Orange Country, they loved splashing in the pool on T-day. My last child was born in Dec 26 (had to be induced) and it was 88 degrees. I have the newspaper from that day and my other 2 kids were still in the pool. Having veggies under plastic make them feel that they are in a toasty sauna.

  4. Fabrickated says:

    Yep. That is one superb bust line. What a difference to the boney chested model. Nice work.

  5. aliciaarza says:

    Hi!! I discovered your blog yesterday and until now I’ve read all entries back to 2014, You are sooooo great!!!!!!! Thank you for writing so good explanations of the alterations with pictures. I’m learning to sew and you have taught me so much already! Thanks once again, you are like a Fairy Godmother for so many brides hahahah
    I’ve seen a lot of tulle skirt wedding dresses in the blog (a couple from BHLND and Watters, I think) and I am curious to know how thse skirts are made to look so “airy”. Are they just fill circle skirts? I’ve read about double circle skirts and godets, but since I don’t see any seams it just keeps me wondering!!
    Anyway, thanks again for your wonderful blog. Wishing you all the best from Spain!

    • Cheryl Designs says:

      Mrs. Mole and I agree I am sure 🙂 FULL TULLE SKIRTS have SEAMS 🙂 They just aren’t noticeable 🙂 Most are French-seamed, some aren’t. You can make a FULL CIRCLE skirt but you are LIMITED to the WIDTH of the fabric….whatever that fabric is 🙂 I am SEW HAPPY you are learning to sew 🙂 GOOD LUCK 🙂

      • mrsmole says:

        Yes, Cheryl, and alicia, tulle skirts have French seams and have many (I have worked with up to 8) airy layers but most are not circle skirts. They are just gathered on grain at the top or tapered to lie flat. Very few have godets unless they are really embroidered and it is to show off a dramatic train. Getting all the layers to behave themselves after being trimmed can be a problem if you live in a dry climate with static electricity. I suggest to every bride to purchase a spray can of Static Guard to relax the layers and not have them clump together.

  6. Ugh! I’d be so upset if a dog had ripped a hole into my dress. But you saved the day! Thanks for showing the twill tape trick so well.

  7. mrsmole says:

    Small children and animals can be dangerous for a wedding dress! The twill tape can be used on prom dresses too or anywhere you need to decrease the edges. When I was a girl in the 50’s, all ladies wore hats and inside every hat was a strip of twill tape. and if you went to a good hat shop, they would snug up the hat by adjusting the tape tighter.

  8. Pingback: Custom Corset Lacing | fit for a queen

  9. tracywright4789 says:

    I can’t quite figure out how twill tape pulls the bodice in. Is the twill tape cut slightly shorter than the edge, and the bodice eased over the twill tape? Very interested in this technique!

  10. mrsmole says:

    Here is a link, tracy…please scroll down for the photos of the steps:

  11. tracywright4789 says:

    Thank you MrsMole for sharing your knowledge! I do bridal and formal alterations just west of Atlanta. This is a trick I had not seen before but will definitely try!

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