I Think I Will Pass

Some of you may think that I accept anything that walks in the front door or gets into my email box…but I don’t!

If the dress and bride present themselves as way too much trouble, I can say I am booked or just decline.

Here are a couple who got a thumbs down:

This was an email asking me for a set price to make this dress fit. Obviously the salon owner convinced her that a seamstress would be delighted to remove excess fabric and remake the dress.

From this view it looks OK…but wait, do you see what I see? Are those 3 industrial clamps on her back?


I’m betting that the clamps are grabbing at least 2 inches all the way down…for a total of 4 inches. Imagine moving all those tulle straps from the gathered/clamped center back to back where they belong under her arms. Do you overlap them or reshape them? Then the zipper…at what point do you have to take in the whole center back of the dress? Maybe all 4 inches are taken out at the side seams…again what happens to the tulle straps under there?

Another dress that was stunning and similar in price to this other Marchesa dress needed some help. The bride’s email and model photo:

I will need to move the waist area up a bit and tightened so it fits more snug and doesn’t fall down. I’m guessing we’ll also then need to take in the sleeve a little bit so it doesn’t fall down. And of course we will have to shorten about a foot and a half or so.



Now, seriously, hands up who wants to remove the cummerbund and huge back bow and trailing sash and raise it up?  How about the sleeve? Want to shorten that too and then whack 18 inches off the hem? What do we do with the flowers? Can you also see a bustle being done? Not me, not this time.

Call me crazy but if you spend $7,000 on a designer dress…shouldn’t it be closer in the fit especially if you are petite? Even Amal Clooney would need alterations on this dress!







How about something simple for a change? All this bride needed was bust pads, hemming the lining and satin and shortening the halter. We added a one point satin bustle but she wanted to keep the tulle train and trim the tulle in front. Here is the model:

Here is the real bride…such a relief that it fits so well!


I don’t have an “after” photo but you can get the idea that this was one of the quicker projects.










Before I go, here are some garden photos now that we have 90 degree temps everyday:

First, we have tomato plants grown from store-bought slices of cherry and grape tomatoes and a wandering watermelon plant:

Next up in the pot are teddy bear sunflowers and zinnias grown from seed along with a huge lettuce grown from seed too:

Another raised bed with marjoram in a pot, pepper plant, more grape tomatoes in a cage, cantaloupe half on the ground and half crawling up the cage and a huge cauliflower with a new bed of asparagus inside a white cage in the far back. The gladioli in the vase were cut and rescued from the birds who like to tear through the buds at the top and shred them. You would think with all the lettuce and stocked feeders, they would leave the flowers alone. 















Here is our weather forecast for Thursday. You can see the high and the nighttime low. Nice to have a 56 degree drop at night to chill the house down and the 15% is the humidity. Dry heat is tolerable as long as the plants get water!

4:00 pm
Sunny Sunny
104 °F
48 °F

Thank you for dropping by…wishing you lots of time to sew and do some weeding in your garden too!


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31 Responses to I Think I Will Pass

  1. 104 degrees! We are dying at 80!

  2. mrsmole says:

    People and plants have to be tough in our area…ha ha This will be the norm until Sept when things cool down. When we moved here 17 years ago from Liverpool and it was 114 degrees/ 45 Celsius. It was a little overwhelming but low humidity makes it a bit more bearable than many other places and Mr. Mole has learned my motto: Shade is your friend. We are surrounded by pear orchards and vineyards as they need heat for a long time before the fall harvest time.

  3. Colleen says:

    I love your post. They make my day!

  4. jay says:

    Those are beautiful dresses, and you have to salute the salesperson for persuading someone to buy something in the wrong size. I’m not surprised you were too busy though!

    • mrsmole says:

      Clever salespeople or a bride who wants to impress all her new relatives or a little of both? Eliminating extra stress is the name of the game now that I am so close to retiring from bridal and having a garden that needs attention gets my out of the sewing room. If you bought the wrong size dress…I’m sorry. Other factors entered into the decision for me to refuse them which I cannot share right now.

  5. Elle C says:

    Hi Mrs Mole! Long time no comment 8-)!

    I am so very pleased to hear that you do say no sometimes. A set price to make that dress fit? WTF? If you knew exactly how long it would take, you would probably make a better living reading cards, auras or whatever.

    Enjoy your garden bounty.

  6. mrsmole says:

    Well hey there Elle! I thought it was time to share what didn’t get a look-in at my house. Hope all is well with you and you have been sewing up a storm on your days off. Wishing you a great summer!

  7. Beautiful dresses…what a shame you’re pretty models couldn’t buy a size that fit better! As for the bride you did take on, how lovely to see a well chosen, flattering dress on her instead of yet another sausage casing ‘can’t sit down, dance or eat’ things so many brides are opting for. She looked lovely and I’m sure will enjoy both her special day and her pictures twenty years from now…;)

    You have the greenest thumb ever! Your garden is beautiful. I can’t imagine having that temperature drop at night. Sounds heavenly. We’ve been stuck in the nineties for weeks here…lucky if it gets down to eighty at night. Enjoy the fruits of your labor – literally!

  8. I’m always fascinated by the fact that people think a seamstress can alter anything…or that everything should be altered. Glad to read about how you determine what should and shouldn’t be accepted.

  9. mrsmole says:

    Oh Carolyn, I have to admit I also screen brides that have a whole bunch of kids screaming in the background when they call. The amount of brides who have children already and want to bring them along just drives me nuts. If a $7000 gown doesn’t fit…there is a problem! If you or I were buying that gown…that sucker had better fit right off the hanger!!!!

    • Cheryl Designs says:

      Ha 🙂 I ‘screen’ too 🙂 Sometimes you can just tell it will be a BAD experience 😦 I will tell them I am fully booked OR quote a price so high I know they won’t go for it 🙂 The overlarge tulle gown would have been quoted $400-$600 as a GUESS. The bridal shops tell these brides ANYTHING to sell a gown 😦 I LOVE the $7K gown 🙂 I wouldn’t want to alter it but I would quote $1,200-$1,500 as a GUESS. AND I would need at least 9 months or so to fit it in. My opinion about expensive gowns that don’t fit is…Don’t buy it if you are worried about the alteration cost 🙂 Wasn’t it REFRESHING to have that simple gown alteration? I LOVE it when that happens 🙂 “Oh, you just need a simple hem and a bustle? I could KISS you 🙂 “

  10. Penny Costal says:

    Thanks for my “private showing” of the dresses you do accept. I just can’t imagine doing that much work. How is the one with the exposed zipper coming along? I cannot fathom a designer saying”hey why don’t we put the zipper on the outside of a wedding dress and call it a design element?”

  11. mrsmole says:

    Shhhhhh, Barb, that one has not made an appearance yet…ha ha. I did take the lower half of the zipper out but then decided that it would be better to take the top half out as well…making more work for myself of course! Thank you for dropping by and collecting community sewing kits for the ASG!!!!

  12. Convict outpost says:

    Such fun. A long time lurker…but I have to say that I am now so much more appreciative of my mother, who made my wedding dress, and for refusing to tackle an enormous 1980s bow on the back that I seriously coveted at the time. Luckily she had more taste and it was a gorgeous dress which fit perfectly. The marchesa dress reminded me of the vagaries of fashion. And I would love to be good enough to make my daughters dress when the time comes, so love your blog. Thanks for hours of entertainment

    • mrsmole says:

      You are welcome, Convict, working on all these dresses really makes you wrack your brain for solutions! Now the 80’s dresses were way more complicated weren’t they?

  13. Miss Celie says:

    That Marchessa is just INCREDIBLE. Pity she couldn’t get it custom made.

  14. mrsmole says:

    Imagine how much that dress weighs! You could really rock a dress like that Renee!

  15. Kim says:

    Gorgeous dresses but I quite understand why you would be declining the privilege of altering them 😂.
    Your garden looks fabulous – mine is currently dried to a crisp and I have no inclination to go outside with the humidity as high as it is. Please remind me of this when I’m whinging about the rain 😉

  16. birdmommy says:

    I’d tell the bride with the industrial clips that you could make the dress fit quickly and easily… she should just eat plenty of cream and bacon until she’d filled out that 4″ all by herself! 🙂

    • mrsmole says:

      You know birdmommy, my saying is, “there is nothing that a McDonald’s chocolate shake can’t fix” and that goes for skinny brides too! You want to see…”Hey, get some silver or gold clamps and wear it as is as a design feature”. If the label says size 10 and you are a size 0 then this ain’t your dress!

  17. Susan Hart says:

    Hi kiddo—
    That 1st dress…OMG. Right there with ya on that call! Also I noticed that because it WAS way too big that even the bra cups looked too large for her tiny frame!
    And the Marchesa gown would’ve been a fun challenge IF it wasn’t summer AND the client had given you more time AND was realistic about how much alterations REALLY do cost…but I always value MY sanity over their disappointment and seemingly ‘bad attitude’….
    I did move a poofy dress waist up to shorten the hemline for a family member because it had a fishingline hem that was curly! That wasn’t as hard as I had thought. The whole 3-4 layers were sewed together and all I had to do was do a few extra folds to blend in with the existing gathers. The fabric was very thin chiffon so it didn’t add bulk, but OMG that weird curly hem was something else to just try to tame while I was tackling the waist! LOL!
    My hubby would sometimes look in on me for dinnertime and I’d be swallowed up inside a huge poofy dress at my sewing machine.
    He just walked away laughing!
    I was going to suggest you get some sparkly shiny ribbon to tie onto bamboo stakes to help scare away the birds from some of the palnts you want to save for yourself. We have plenty to share too, but I use thin strips of mylar wrapping paper around my lettuce and my blueberries.
    Just set up our pool in anticipation of the 92 degrees on Thursday….👙🕶☀️

    • mrsmole says:

      Thanks for the tip with Mylar ribbons…do you remember when we all had CD’s and hung them from the fruit trees to scare birds? Do people still do that? I certainly agree with all your comments…I want to say well-meaning bridesmaids and mothers who tell me it will be easy raising a waist in an A-line dress…”it is not like making a table-runner, honey” if you think about circumference being larger the further down you go…how many darts and seams do we have to take in to match the bodice circumference? Don’t forget the sunscreen!

  18. prttynpnk says:

    I think not altering Marchesa is a mercy- one less circus bareback rider gown out on the town!!

  19. mrsmole says:

    Yes, that never occurred to me…wouldn’t that just be a hit on horseback?

  20. healthstyleandfashion says:

    Enjoy reading your posts Mrs Mole!
    By the way, your garden looks lovely!
    Currently, in wintery Sydney, we have the following in my garden: lettuce, parsley, red chilis, oranges and lemons. Our continental beans are done for the year!

    Can’t wait for the next post!


  21. Bunny says:

    Your garden is awesome. Right now all we are growing is pine needles! And you do it in desert atmosphere, so impressive. You know I am in awe of your gown skills as well as your psychoanalytical abilities with clients. Let’s add gardening greatness to the list!

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