The Longest Wait

Most brides that come through my door are quite lively. Most brides are so excited at the prospect of starting their lives with a loving partner.

This season, I encountered the liveliest of all and for a different reason…she had waited 70 years to find her soulmate. My dear bride spent her whole life teaching and developing her spiritual side. She was an East Coast native and never expected what came next when she retired and moved to the West Coast.

Her soulmate had been here waiting for her the whole time keeping the faith that one day the perfect girl would show up in an adult community college course. Their eyes met the first day and they were smitten!

He proposed, she ordered a dress online and found me to make it right. Of course, the dress came vacuum packed in a small shipping bag and bore no resemblance to the sleek Chinese model that was on the website but that could be remedied. Satin wrinkles are courtesy of being stuffed into a mailing envelope. The only request from the bride was, “Make me look like the model on the website”…whew…it’s a little late for that!

What needed to be done? Let’s hike up the straps and take up the hem and see what happens when the sheer lace godet train gets bustled up:

The side seams were pinned to reduce the excess front tummy fabric and give more definition to her back. As you can see the lace motifs are very thick and stiff and beaded and pearled which is not the most flattering on a curved body. As usual, they will have to be removed/lifted where the side seams are taken in and then sewn back down afterwards by hand.

Have you ever seen such a train? She will need a 3-point bustle.














After red thread tracing the new tighter bodice side seams, the thick lace flowers and beads had to be removed/loosened and flipped away from that area. Below this area on the hips, the seams needed to be let out to allow the dress to drop down.


The straps were shortened 2 inches on each side:

Here we are at the second fitting with more pinning out of the bodice side seams but the hem is basted and looking even on the floor.


The hip seams were let out right to the very edge.

The bodice seams were taken in for under bust support.

Along with the dress being ordered online, so was the veil. It was just placed on her head for a trial photo. I attached it to the comb while removing 2 lace motifs.












How about this for a veil?

With gratitude, the bride and groom gave me a bag of sweet cherries from their garden.


A British colleague of Mr. Mole’s sent this link to me. I thanked her for sending it and it made me realize that besides have great hand sewing skills, we seamstresses have another key ingredient to making edges of fabric meet perfectly…PATIENCE! Sewing skin doesn’t allow for mistakes and ripping out!!!

Happy Halloween…we get 150 goblins from 6-9pm all dressed up and begging for candy…oh dear, 3 weeks until Thanksgiving!



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

24 Responses to The Longest Wait

  1. Tia Dia says:

    Seventy years! Wow! Good for her for waiting. I wish them every good thing in their future life together.

  2. Sandi says:

    You have done it again. What a beautiful dress….she looked stunning!!

  3. Alethia says:

    What an incredible love story! There is still hope for my 50+ year old friends that are still waiting on mister.
    And, you did an incredible job as always!

    • mrsmole says:

      Tell your girlfriends to hang out where the men will have the same interests as them, be it fishing or bowling or golf or lectures…it might just work?

  4. maryfunt says:

    Wonderful story. Every bride, no matter what age, wants to look amazing on her day. Great job!

  5. I’ve seen a lack of fine motor skills in kids these days. They cannot use scissors effectively! My daughter got a research position in college because of her fine motor skills! She knits, embroiders, sews, crochets, and does generally crafty things. She’s a physics major!

    • mrsmole says:

      Oh Rena, they document that kids starting school cannot tie their shoes or hold a pencil and some cannot hold cutlery having been fed finger food for the first 6 years of their life. Your daughter sounds very talented!

  6. fabrickated says:

    Glorious story. And she looks terrific. What a nice story.

  7. upsew says:

    lovely story and the fit of the dress is beautiful, and the brides own deportment is so elegant – the dress sits beautifully, and those cherries were a thoughtful gift. Very true about sewing skills being overlooked. I was teaching sewing a few years ago in a community sewing room and the first night I covered basic hand sewing with the other intention of showing its a way to replace a zip if you dont have a machine. One girl in her 20s never sewed – which was fine, as not everyone does, but she was also fixated with every stitch ‘why is this on smaller’ ‘ this is not going in a straight line’….. and so on – I had to explain why, I also was trying to assure here that she has to do it for a while to establish the rhythm ….it was a bit surreal and I think she viewed sewing and something she could do (which is true) and it must be easy as it is has been associated with semi-skilled and manual labour and the cheap price of clothes….. As a by the way – she ended up getting there in the end and was a whizz on the sewing machine!

    • mrsmole says:

      Lovely to know that a novice would take to sewing and succeed! Every sewer should have to work in a factory for one day to get an idea of the skill that operators have to have to survive!!!

  8. Helen Marshall says:

    After a rather trying day it was SO GOOD to read a heart-warming post and see the beautiful work you did. Many thanks! If you see the bride again send her good wishes from Australia for a long and happy marriage.

  9. Kim says:

    A lovely dress, and a lovely story. I hope they are very happy in their lives together.
    Halloween is very different in the uk. We didn’t get any little horrors last night! However the crew at last nights yoga class were a bit weird 😱

    • mrsmole says:

      I remember my first Halloween in Southport. I found a pumpkin and carved it and put a candle inside and placed it on my front porch hoping that when Mr. Mole drove home from work, he would see it from the driveway….but alas, someone came by and stole it. I learned my lesson.

  10. Taja says:

    A lovely story to go with a lovely bride. She has wonderful posture, allowing the gown to drape nicely. Not sure what the measurements of the Chinese fit models are, but they seem to be quite different than most American women. Even the extremely thin brides! Of course, that assumes the gowns were cut and sewn correctly, which can be in doubt based on some of construction photos you have provided.

    Patience? Goodness! Sewing requires a lot of patience. Multiply that by at least 4 for seamstresses who do alterations. Double for dealing with the garment and double for dealing with the client!

    Love the article from Mr. Mole. As others have noted, fine motor skills have not been developed consistently during the past two decades or so.

    I have been teaching the last three of our youngest generation cutting and sewing basics. Two are boys and were reluctant recruits until… You guessed it! Sewing machine time! lol They all live in different states, so they were taught individually. Final project for the boys was a pillow cover as a gift for their mothers. The young lady made summer pajamas for herself, in addition to the pillow cover for her mother. I have no expectations that any of them will sew in the future, but they understand the basics of design and construction and can handle emergency repairs. ☺

    Please thank Mr. Mole for the links to the Spitelfields series. 👏 I bookmarked it and am reading older articles as time permits.

    • mrsmole says:

      Even if the boys don’t continue sewing, the skills you’ve taught them such as measuring and accurate cutting will also come into play of they do woodworking or any DIY projects. Some men sew later in life when they retire and some of the best quilt teachers and designers are men.They look at a project from a Math point of view.

  11. Theresa says:

    Oh Skittles and Starburst! You are an A lister for sure! 😉

  12. sewruth says:

    Sometimes the stories behind the dresses are more interesting than the dresses….

  13. mrsmole says:

    Wish I could include more of the backstory from my brides but I should be concentrating on the dresses and seams….ha ha!

  14. wedreamaloud says:

    wow it’s a long time to wait… beautiful story, every bride deserve your magical dress

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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