A Surprise and a Stunner

Reading comments from other seamstresses and hobby sewers about their encounters with clients and family members can really brighten my day. My sewing sister, Sharon on the East coast shared this flashback recently:

Had a customer back during the ‘Dry Cleaning Center’ days that had a pair of ugly butterscotch pants that were too small, even after letting out the back as much as possible, and insisted that I add a wedge of fabric up the butt to make them fit. I had no scrap of fabric near that color and he refused to go shopping at the fabric stores (at that time we had more than just JoAnn’s). My boss persuaded me to do as the customer wanted and use the closest colored remnant I had in my bin, but to be sure the customer initialed the ticket, indicating he was aware the fabric would not match. The customer swore to me he would always wear a sweater or jacket with the winter weight pants and no one would ever notice, much less know I was the one that altered the pants. 

Fast forward 15 years …. I had opened my own shop and stopped at the grocery store one morning to pick up a few essentials. There, right before my eyes, was that little old  man toddling through vegetable produce section, wearing those damned butterscotch pants with the khaki wedge up his ass !!! Good grief !!!

This summer. Sara, a bride-to-be in the UK asked me for help with how to keep layers of tulle together at the hem. I told her that many dresses have French thread tacks between each layer to keep them from “wandering off”. Her stunning photos and explanation of her process below:

The skirt is a full circle skirt with extension at the back to create a train. I cut it in a lining layer, white base layer and then five layers of tulle, white except for a single blue layer 2nd from the top. This blue layer sandwiched in the middle gave a soft glow of colour to the skirt and the change in volume of fabric from waist to hem, characteristic of a circle skirt, concentrated the colour slightly at the lower hem for a very, very subtle graduation. The lace motifs around the waist and hip were clipped from embroidered tulle and hand stitched in place to emphasise the narrowest part of the skirt. This lace started life a creamy champagne colour and was hand dyed to match the pale silver blue of the silk ribbon used for the waistband. A single bustle point was used to bring the train up to a reinforced fixation point at the base of the concealed zip. The layers of the skirt tended to slip over each other and so were held softly together with French tacks.

The major benefit to constructing this as a circle skirt was simplicity! But I had already fallen in love with the soft, whimsical look that this shape of skirt gives, and I found narrower dresses that I had tried made me walk in a strange way… so the final shape served me well too! All those layers do create a lot of weight, so the waistband was quite a serious construction of several layers, topped for effect with a soft silk ribbon. 

What a wonderful skirt and certainly a family heirloom to pass down when the time comes. The blue undertones really make it a custom garment! Many thanks to her for sharing the finished skirt!

This final week of 2017 brings me to pause and be thankful for all the hopeful brides who entered my sewing room and left happy to start their new lives on a new path. When Mr Mole tells me that I have to think back over all the years I have worked on wedding gowns and how I have made a real difference in the bride’s special day…I can feel proud that they chose me. Being a seamstress doesn’t always impress people or make young people want to go into such a profession but your impact is huge without knowing it. Sewing for someone else or even in those stolen moments sewing for yourself shouts out, “I care!”

Thank you for following me along on this journey…we all learn together. Happy New Year!

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34 Responses to A Surprise and a Stunner

  1. Martina says:

    Two wonderful stories…one so funny, and one so pretty! Hope you and Mr. Mole have a happy new year, and I’m looking forward to another year of brides who are blessed with your help for their big day. Thank you for sharing your stories and expertise!

  2. Wow, what great stories you shared! The circle skirt is so girly and romantic; it is perfect for a wedding. Much success and new brides for you in 2018. Enjoy it!


  3. Sarah says:

    After I made my granddaughter’s first communion dress last year, she asked me to make her wedding dress when she grows up. I’ve saved this post, along with many others from “fit for a queen”, to show her for inspiration when that happy time comes.

    Thanks for sharing your visions, Mrs. M.

  4. Nancy says:

    I always enjoy reading your posts – have a wonderful new year

  5. Shari in Bend says:

    Happy New Year, Mrs Mole! How I look forward to your posts!

  6. justine says:

    Thank you, Mrs Mole. I enjoy reading about the ups and downs of your sewing business! Your humor and warmth always shine through, whatever the weeks’ project may be.

  7. Mema says:

    Dear Mrs. Mole, I always read your stories and I like them. Thank you. And a happy New Year and lots of wonderful products from the garden in 2018.

  8. Beth (SunnyGal Studio) says:

    love your posts. Happy New Year to you and Mr. Mole.

  9. MichaelC says:

    Love all your observations. Love the dresses. Love your work. Happy New Year

  10. jay says:

    The pants wedge! I’m going to be laughing about that all day. The wedding dress is beautiful, thanks for sharing this with us. May 2018 be happy and prosperous for you.

  11. sewruth says:

    Happy New Year Mrs Mole, may it be a good one!

  12. laura nespbor says:

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. I learn so much and always finish reading with a smile.

  13. Kim says:

    May all your brides be sweet and easy to deal with in 2018 – though maybe just one or two howlers to keep us entertained 😉.
    Best wishes to you and Mr Mole

  14. poppykettle says:

    Just fabulous – both stories, but especially that gorgeous, gorgeous skirt! She looks just beautiful. Thanks for sharing with us Mrs Mole, you always make me smile 🙂

    • mrsmole says:

      Yes, Poppy, just when you think the world is just one ball of ivory fabric and tulle…a very determined seamstress shows us another way to look gorgeous and effortless on her wedding day!

  15. Michele says:

    When I was planning my wedding I was gifted a family heirloom of the most beautiful cotton lace loomed in Darvel, Scotland. I chose a Vogue pattern with a circle skirt, which was extended at the back into a small train just like this lovely tulle skirt! I am hopeful that my youngest granddaughter will wear it for her upcoming wedding, and this photo is perfect for showing her the beautiful silhouette! I’ll keep you posted!

  16. Tee says:

    Happy New Year!!!!

  17. Susan Hart says:

    I love the romantic look of that bride’s blue gown!
    Did your sewing friend say where in U.K. she was getting married? Looks like a lovely estate perhaps?

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