Take In and Trim Off

This dress really makes a statement. The lace is very much like Battenburg, thick and dominant.

Wtoo Lapis


The first fitting reveals a hemming job and the recommendation for tighter undergarments.

We try bustling up the tulle into 5 points and while it works well, the bride decides that just trimming some of the train might just be a better idea. The top edge of the bodice flares away from the body so twill tape will snug that up like so many of the dresses this season.


The zipper will be moved over 1 inch on each side to start with. Isn’t that lace wonderful? Well, not for stitching through as the bulk is a challenge!








Second fitting and the bride wants the bodice tighter still and the satin layer hem trimmed even with the floor and the tulle to drag behind her.

The second seamline for the zipper will be moved an additional 5/8 inch over and tried on again. All that lace will be folded to the inside and saved for the next owner of the dress.






While moving the zipper on the lace layer is no problem, we run into a little adjusting with the lining as it has the boning that will have to be shifted over one inch and sewn back down. Don’t forget to cover the top edges of the boning with some fabric!

The edge of the zipper tape is stitched to the lace to make the fold nice and flat inside. It also gives a second line of stabilizing stitches for the dancing part of the evening.

Ready for the lining edge to be hand stitched. You can see the twill tape in the photos used to snug up the top bodice edge.











The cups are now nice and snug so the bride can bend forward to hugs all her guests without exposing anything.

Some dresses come with a snug elastic strap that hugs the waist but this one was too loose. It was made with 2 straps of elastic overlapped at the ends and covered in knit. I pulled back the cover, trimmed off the elastic and replaced the hooked section and used a 3 step zigzag to attached everything flat.

By now you all know that moving a zipper over 1.5 inches on each side means you run out of fabric at the top, so this time I added an extra hook and eye to secure it.


Trying to find something to laugh about in these troubled political times, the witness2fashion blog covers such a wide variety of vintage fashion and ads from the different eras, I just had to share this wedding one.

Only 24 days until Christmas…good luck getting those homemade presents finished in time!!!



This entry was posted in challenges and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Take In and Trim Off

  1. jay says:

    Beautiful lace indeed! I read Witness2fashion, but missed the constipated bride, what a hoot.

  2. Susan Hart says:

    What size needle do you use on such thick lace? I’ve resorted to using the jeans size sometimes.

    • mrsmole says:

      On this dress I just used my usual 75/11 size…it managed OK. If I was sewing around beads, I’d change up to a thicker one and they make needles that are purple topped extra strong “heavy duty” 75/11 DP by Organ. I buy my needles at Discount Embroidery Supply online.

  3. ceci says:

    OK, I need to do some homework about why moving a zipper causes you to run out of fabric at the top…..


  4. mrsmole says:

    As the back slopes up the more your move the zipper sideways, your bodice is higher the further you go. I don’t remove the base of the zipper unless I absolutely have to. Taking in the back more than 2 inches sometimes requires removing the zipper or replacing it with a longer one…more labor that I didn’t want to do. You run out of zipper length, not fabric. On a straight across back bodice, this would not be an issue. Thanks for mentioning it, ceci!

  5. Chris says:

    Hello Mrs Mole. I have a client that could use your twill tape trick on a dress with a halter top style. Can you advise me on the use of grosgrain ribbon in place of twill tape?
    Thank you for your help and inspiration!
    Chris in Georgia

  6. mrsmole says:

    You can use grosgrain like twill tape. I buy my different widths and colors here: https://www.reasonableribbon.com/category/RRR_Select_Grosgrain_Ribbon_5_yd/c469
    I will send you photos privately.

    • Chris says:

      Thank you! I was unsure if twill tape had an advantage over grosgrain like clinging to the body better. I thought grosgrain would look aesthetically better in my case because I think it will still be seen a bit when she leans over. I look forward to your pictures

  7. JustGail says:

    Thanks for the link to witness2fashion, not that I *need* another site to take my attention away from actually accomplishing things 🙂 Keeping in mind what you accomplish with wedding dresses, I took a deep breath and replaced the hook & eyes on Dad’s pants with snaps. Thanks for showing us what can be done to make garments work better, whether fancy white lace or utilitarian black poly-cotton twill.

  8. Elle says:

    “Constipated since her marriage” brings all sorts of funny thoughts to mind, most best unexpressed!

  9. This is a beautiful wedding dress. The lace is perfect. And you have done a perfect job with it all too! Thank you for giving us the details!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s