Goodbye to the 80’s

Did anyone forget the 80’s MIL gown??? Want to see the final steps?

The final fitting reveals that the front lower skirt has a few points/scallops touching the ground so they will be altered/raised up from the upper seam.

Also the side seams do not match so that section of the lower skirt will be raised up to match. The satin layer will be narrow hemmed.

The right side seam wrinkles need some boning and the shoulder seams will be taken in too as the bride has a low right shoulder. Final safety pinned bustle in place.



















The back lace yoke is pinned back unto the back bodice to be sewn by hand.

The front lace yoke is pinned into place and the front darts are deepened. The bride asked me to remove every sequin on the front and back lace yoke…and save every one. So I did in this bag:    

The bride wants the side seams tighter before adding the armhole binding and boning.

I used covered plastic boning stitched on the side seam allowances.

Then a strip if bias silk is added to the armholes, trimmed and flipped to the inside and hand stitched down.

What is left??? Another satin bias strip to cover the front neckline seams and back seams.

Toss in some push-up bust pads:

The 5 point bustle up close:


Side view of the pinned bustle:

















Final front view and the bride swears that she will wear tight underpants the day of the wedding!

Did I ever mention that I was asked to tighten EVERY single silk flower on the dress as they were all loose and dangling by one thread? I lost count after 100!

And so dear readers, after spending almost one year in my sewing room and endless fittings…the dress is done, transformed into something clean and modern and just what the family wanted. A hard lesson to learn for me…never take on such a project again!

Here is what I found this morning in my backyard:

The weather service claims that more snow is on the way…I hope so as our daytime temps are already causing this beautiful scene to melt away.



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

33 Responses to Goodbye to the 80’s

  1. shoes15 says:

    Wow – what a lot of work. I am in awe of your skills.

    When I was a bride (19 years ago, but who’s counting) I was advised after I picked out and ordered my dress to buy the lingerie and hose I intended to wear with the dress so that I would have it for every fitting. I went to a specialty lingerie shop and was fitted for a bustier and matching undies and bought hose too. I did as I was told – wore them to every fitting. One time I forgot to bring them and just wore the bra and undies I had on with no hose. I was astonished at how different the bodice fit. I made another appointment to do the fitting with the special lingerie, and the bodice looked great.

    Do brides ever have it together enough to wear the same special lingerie to every fitting?

  2. mrsmole says:

    Most brides wear their tight underwear when they realize the tight dress looks way better with a little help. They also realize that tight under pants keep them from slouching and their posture improves.They really just forget to bring the shoes but always remember them for the final fitting. My first wedding was 48 years ago but times were different then and so was underwear…ha ha!

  3. eleshia123 says:

    I was wondering about how this dress turned out, especially since the first impressions of the dress and the family were so worrying! I hope despite all the pressure the bride is getting from her in-laws and other family, that she truly is getting the final say in the things that are important to her. The dress is unrecognisable from the one which she originally brought you, you have done an incredible job!!

  4. Donna says:

    Wow. Another amazingly difficult task done by the amazing you.

    • mrsmole says:

      Hopefully I can decline any future remakes from brides who want this heirloom look. Who wants a project that lasts longer than a pregnancy? Ha ha Thanks, Donna!

  5. Mary says:

    Amazing Mrs. Mole! Glad we got to see the end result. I spewed coffee when I read the tight underpants line (first thing I noticed), but I hope you added nude or even white is a must—unless those panties are a statement unto themselves! (My wedding was 42 years ago and my “gown” was an off white “Indian cotton”dress that cost me $67.00. The store owner told me I couldn’t wear “that” for a wedding dress. I did (and still stand by my choice). Many years later, we were at a “pick your decade costume” New Year’s Eve party,,,and there dancing past us was a young woman wearing the same dress! Still makes us chuckle.)
    I hope you miss out on the “polar vortex” we’ve been suffering with the past 72 years..okay it’s only been a few weeks but feels like years. We’re about to get yet another dump of snow up here (8 to 12 inches——will it never end?)

    • mrsmole says:

      When I tell brides that they never know who is going to wear their dress in the future…you have the perfect story of how fashion can be recycled! Another snowfall this morning, a couple inches so not enough for the neighborhood kids to make snowmen.

  6. maryfunt says:

    You must be beyond thrilled to get this one out of the studio. What an immense amount of work!!! I hope the bride and family appreciate the time and talent that went into this transformation. Stay warm.

  7. Sandi says:

    I am sure they were satisfied and paid you well for all of your work and then so Excited!

  8. Nancy Figur says:

    Amazing job! Did they set a date for the wedding. I am sure you were glad to see that one leave your studio. I cant believe how good it looks.

  9. upsew says:

    wow…amazing…. especially also knowing what it started out as. Its really beautiful and so fine looking. truly you are a miracle worker

  10. raquel from jc says:

    Now the question is: did the bride look happy? You are amazing!

  11. JustGail says:

    If I hadn’t clicked back to see the original (wish I hadn’t, now I have Dallas theme song earworm again), I’d never believe this was the same dress. Ya Done Fantastic!! I hope this marriage lasts longer than it took for you do work the magic on the dress.

  12. Tia Dia says:

    Wow. That is one massive overhaul, and it looks all the better for it! I would be glad to see a project that involved walking out my door, too!

    We’re getting more snow over the next 72 hours, which, contrary to the majority, I love love LOVE! Your backyard looks beautiful. 🙂

    • mrsmole says:

      Do you have bird feeders during the winter? We love watching the variety of birds who only show up for the winter and stuff themselves on sunflower seeds and suet.

      • Tia Dia says:

        I do not have bird feeders, mostly because I refuse to feed squirrels, which are abominably adept at outsmarting any attempts to prevent them from eating what is put out for the birds.

  13. Kim says:

    Take a bow Mrs Mole. And NEVER forget this experience 😂

  14. Amazing!!! Can’t imagine what the bill was for that dress. I’ve got a size 0 womens beaded formal gown to cut down to a child’s 10 in my sewing room. Kind of similar but at least it’s new!!!

  15. erniek3 says:

    Well, the original dress was ‘free’ but I can only imagine what the total price is. I am just hoping the bride is not paying that price over and over again.
    I am all done with shoveling snow this winter. You hear me, Weather? I’m done.

    • mrsmole says:

      Since all of our drinking water comes from snow pack, we love to see a long season of snow falling in the mountains/extinct volcanoes and is also helps with those darn summer forest fires. Luckily we do very little shoveling as the sun does comes out to melt most of it. The price for this dress allows me to have sports massages for a good chunk of the season.

  16. Mem says:

    That looks surprisingly good .Very well done , I just hope the marriage turns out as well as the dress and that MIL has had her swan song . Somehow I doubt it 😏

  17. Cheryl F says:

    I am a seamstress/dressmaker in my early 50s and have been in this business for over 30 years and i have seen it all!I have made bridal gowns,flowergirl outfits,baptism outfits,etc and it is something i enjoy! Over all of the years,i have had a few moms whose daughters were going to be the flowergirl(s) in a wedding bring me white plastic pants[aka-rubberpants] and want me to sew ruffles across the back of them for their daughters to wear under their flowergirl dresses either with or without a diaper under them.I have done this at least a dozen times or so over the years and some of the flowergirls were as old as 14 and 15! I have a very large selection of lace and ruffled lace and the moms pick out the lace and i charge accordingly for the amount of lace and the size of the pair of rubberpants.Some moms have had me sew a white nylon cover over the rubberpants with the ruffles sewn on the back.I have also made white baptism bonnets for the catholic preteen and teen girls to wear with their poofy white baptism dresses for their Easter vigil baptisms.The girls wear the cloth baptism diaper under their dresses and i have sewn the same lace that i put on their bonnets across the back of their rubberpants worn over their diaper,so the bonnet and rubberpants match.Now with Easter three months away,i have several orders for the baptism bonnets and the rubberpants all ready!

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 )

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