Peachy Beachy

Is this beginning of a trend?

Last year, I had a bride who had been with her husband for 10+years and had children plus a brand new baby but never gone through a ceremony. Then she decided to invite all the rest of the family to a fake “family reunion” on a beach in California.

While everyone was frolicking in the sand, dragging seaweed up to make castles, digging for sand crabs and letting ice cream drip down their arms and eating snow cones, she and her groom would appear in gown and tux with a minister and surprise all by getting married. Well, now I have another such event planned.

This Madison James dress is similar to the bride’s but as the label had been cut out, I suspect it was from a past collection.

Let’s see what needs to be done…add some bust cups and shorten the shoulder straps.

Take in the hips in lace and lining, Hem the satin and lining and shorten the lace hem by about 5 inches. The hem had a tiny lace edging which will be removed and moved up. The bustles will be a 3-point for the satin and a 5-point for the lace. This lace looks light but it is very thick and heavy! The satin and lining are peach colored and shiny.


Pinning out a 2.5 inch tuck to mimic the final hem edge at floor/sand level:

Even though I marked the levels 5 inches apart, I changed my mind and removed the dainty edging and used a newer thread tracing level instead. See the black line?

Pinned on the black line and the rest will be trimmed away.

The satin layer ended up needing 5 points, not just 3:

One her left back, the strap has a gap which will be snugged up by hand with a running stitch. The lace layer will have 5 bustle points too. The lace edging is basted and has to be extended further back to the train to skim the floor/sand.



  Picture this train skimming the sand collecting all sorts of rubbish…no don’t!

This photo shows the satin train bustled on it’s own.









The final 5-point bustle with lace covered buttons:

At the end of all this altering and steaming of the dress and veil, the bride asks me the most important question of all, “Can I nurse my baby in this?” Sure…maybe spin the dress around and you have full access?

As we are surrounded by forest fires and the sky is thick with soot and smoke,  

this story of a calmer day on the Thames River takes my mind away:

If you have clean air where you live, go outdoors and breathe deep for me, please!!!!

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25 Responses to Peachy Beachy

  1. ParisGrrl says:

    It’s a pretty dress, if not ideal for the venue. Love your breastfeeding solution lol! The question is, did you say that to the bride or just howl with laughter in your head?

    • mrsmole says:

      I didn’t howl in my head, I just smiled and said she would have some difficulty once she was in the dress, so plan ahead before she goes down the aisle/path.

  2. jay says:

    I hope the fires keep away from you mrsmole. The dress is very pretty, another great save!

    • mrsmole says:

      Thanks, Jay…with smoke so thick and temps still at 100 every day it makes me so glad I have an inside job and air conditioning with smoke filters. Poor Mr Mole has been harvesting veggies wearing a smoke mask like everyone else in town.

  3. I thought the first pic in that link was a bride trying to jump across a boat.
    Stay safe!!

  4. You should have just added slits to the bust and covered with lace flaps you cut off the hem :D!!!! People are crazy.

    • mrsmole says:

      Best solution yet! Nursing wedding gowns…maybe they are the new trend along with lace and surprise beach weddings? Have you had any such requests, Rena?

  5. Tia Dia says:

    Stay safe, Mrs Mole! I drove through the edges of the BC fires last August. Terrifying and oh, so horrible to not be able to breathe clean air or see clear sky!

    • mrsmole says:

      When Mr. Mole cleans out the fountain where the birds all seem to bathe, the amount of grunge/soot at the bottom is remarkable so it is not just the veggies and sunflowers covered in the residue. Blue skies may return in November if and when the rains return and some of the fires have been put out.

  6. I don’t know how you refrain from bursting into laughter at some of the things these brides ask you. And also the trains – dragging through the sand or a forest floor. What are they thinking after they spend all that time and money on a dress. Hope these fires get contained/controlled soon and take care.

    • mrsmole says:

      It is amazing, Beth, after buying the most expensive dress they will ever own, they treat it like a thrift store find.The Redding fire is so heartbreaking seeing over 500 homes destroyed and lives lost. The last big fire on the border cost 25 million to put out. The water and fire retardant loaded planes flew over our house day and night.

  7. Laura says:

    You still amaze me. Sorry – can’t go out and breathe for ya. We have the smoke all the way to Central Cali.

    • mrsmole says:

      I figured you had smoke and soot of your own too, Laura. They are saying we are due for another season of El Nino…not sure if we get more or less rain?

  8. Cheryl Designs says:

    I am so so sorry about the fires 😦 Stay safe. I am SEW GRATEFUL to live in my area 🙂 Southeastern Ohio 🙂 We have storms/high winds now and then that do some damage but I live on a HILL close to a river but ZERO chance of flooding here. Fires aren’t a concern. That gown is LOVELY but WHY do these brides choose TRAINS in the sand? I don’t advise, I just alter 😉

    • mrsmole says:

      And I just bustle bustle bustle…having a dress with 10 bustle points at the beach is just plain crazy and being surrounded by family with sandy sticky hands just makes me wonder where common sense went?

  9. upsew says:

    I am sorry to hear of the fires – We had a drought here in Ireland (although it seems not as severe as Sweden) and luckily no bogs were burnt this year where I live (its an illegal practice that has never had prosecutions) as they did last year and some got out of hand. We now luckily have gotten the rain this last few date – and I do appreciate it, as I am sure do the cows who can fully graze again….wonderful work on the dress, hope the smoke clears for you.

    • mrsmole says:

      Livestock and crops do suffer during these times for sure although the local vineyard owners are trying to convince everyone that having soot covered grapes is a good thing.

    • mrsmole says:

      Wow…what a story…how awful for the mother of the groom to be kept in the dark and show up wearing jeans…it is almost mean to do that while letting the MOB look glamorous for the photos. You wonder what was the point? Maybe the lesson learned here is to always have a back-up dress in the car just in case!!!

  10. Paola says:

    As ever wonderful work, on this dress.
    I have a friend who went to what she thought was going to be a very casual outdoor evening party at a bushcamp to celebrate the engagement of her son to his fiance. Well, they did have a casual evening party, but it turned into a wedding celebration later in the evening. Trouble is, my friend was wearing jeans to the party, while mother of the bride had prior notice, and “looked the part”. My friend was in shock for weeks and couldn’t talk about the wedding without crying.
    I’ve told my children to never, ever do that to me!!
    Hope your fires go away soon.

  11. Susan Hart says:

    Hi Mrs Mole,
    Been thinking of you and worried you’d be in the middle of fires! That would scare me to no end!
    My “grungy bridal gown story” is that I altered a gown for a niece who was getting married in Jamaica on the beach. (We went too, BTW!)
    And….she decided to sort of “trash it” by getting more pics done around sunset, so the dress was in the ocean, on the beach etc …..
    And THEN!! They both fell into one of the resort pools…. on purpose!
    I suppose that was a good way to “clean” it?
    Wow that dress went thru a lot!
    Stay safe,

  12. ceci says:

    So sad to hear about the fires, and worrisome that you are having to breath all that soot and smoke. I have to say that the conspicuous consumption approach – trashing an expensive dres – seems vulgar and pretentious to me, very pre-revolution French aristo. And of course that didn’t end well for THEM.


  13. MoniqueNL says:

    Stay safe, Mrs Mole! We’re on amber alert for our own heat and dryness, and this is one time I’m glad we’re not surrounded by trees. If I could successfully do a rain dance, I would!

  14. Kim says:

    I’m playing catch up so I hope the fires and smoke problem is going/gone away now. As everyone else has said stay safe, and I am thinking of you here in the dry but smoke free UK. The preserved railway in Bewdley has been running diesel engines to prevent fires recently.
    I love the suggestion of slits and flaps for your bride to nurse her baby 😂.

  15. Wendy says:

    I’m stuck in the Bay Area instead of our wonderful mountain home (where my sewing room is) because of the awful smoke from the Yosemite fire. We have to be grateful, though, that we have smoke rather than fire. Such a bad fire year–hoping for cooler weather soon!

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