Two Pieces – Twice the Patience

Spring has arrived, blossoms and bulbs doing their best putting on a show and pollen…yes, that pollen that makes our eyes tear along with unending sneezes. A certain lightness returns in the sparse sunshine days and wasps seek out new places to make their summer nesting…but brides never cease showing up.

This skirt:

Paired with this bustier:

What do we need? How about taking in the bustier along each side of the separating zipper? The nice thing about this job is the fact that the top edge of the bustier is basically straight across so moving the zipper away from center doesn’t cause it to come up short.

You can see the satin ribbon/belt that will be tied over the waistband. I will stitch two thread loops on either side of the center closing to keep the knot from shifting.

Let’s tackle that hem…First remove the 2 inch horsehair braid (see it dangling in the photo) side seam to side seam.

Move it up 4 inches to the new hem line:

The braid is run all the way back to the original side seams level.

When you re-position the same horsehair, you end up with extra as the skirt is narrower the higher up you go. Just fold it under for the next try-on.

Hand baste the lower edge and flip up as it will be sewn later for the next try-on. Leave all the excess fabric to be trimmed later.

Here we are hand basted and guess what? After steaming the skirt to remove all the wrinkles and kinks in the horsehair braid, it ended up being 2 inches too long. Yes, fabrics “grow” after steaming and I think they “grow and relax” after hanging in my sewing room when the calming spa music is playing.

So it was removed and moved up again. They say doing something over and over builds character…I’m sure this did not pertain to Horsehair braid!!!

One thing I notice is that in RTW skirt hooks, they use really cheap ones that do not grip well. You can see the ones I buy on the left with real indentations to grab the other side piece. When I used to alter very high end designer women’s wear…it was the same deal…cheap hooks that don’t hold tight.


On the eye side, there is also a groove for locking into place while the original one on the right is barely bent enough.

Back to the bustier…bust cups are attached and zipper hand basted. What are those tiny loops at the top of the bodice for? Well, some dresses/bustiers have the normal side seam hanging ribbons but this also had 2 ribbons attached at the back princess seams so you can thread them through those little loops and the top will hang upright on a hanger without being at an angle. This comes in handy when the photographer wants to take pre-wedding  photos of your dress hanging in a sunny window…you know those shots!

Like always, I don’t trim off the excess in case the next bride needs it. The zipper is not invisible so I need to get the 2 lapped edges close together.

The bride still have her long fluffy train:

Let’s add a belt!

The belt is hand-tacked along the top edge and I will wrap the whole thing with plastic wrap as the rhinestones will grab and snag the tulle for sure!

With this project finished and out the door, my friend and client Nancy took me out to lunch for by birthday and gave me this darling plant. She wanted to find a pot with a mole on it but this cute hedgehog topped with a variegated thyme herb brings a smile to my face.

Our nice weather has turned back into days of Spring rain and blossoming trees and pollen allergies….ahhh Spring and April showers.

Hoping you all have a great week!


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22 Responses to Two Pieces – Twice the Patience

  1. Donna says:

    A belated happy birthday🎂🎈🍨🎁🌹🤗💕

  2. mrsmole says:

    Oh Donna, you are early….it is Friday, the day for cake! Thank you so much!

  3. jay says:

    Happy Birthday!

  4. Happy Birthday! I hope this year is filled with easy brides and not so challenging alterations! Thanks for sharing the brides and your wonderful alterations with us.

  5. Leiflynn Jeffery says:

    Happy Birthday🎉🎁🎈🎂the little plant pot is so cute.❤️ The grad gown you critiqued for me has 3 of those horsehair hems horizontally! With appliqué that needs shortening 5 inches!! If I can take a good picture will send to you. Thanks again!

  6. raquel from jc says:

    Happy Birthday to you!🎵🎶🎵🎶

  7. Nancy Figur says:

    Happy Birthday! Did you have trouble getting that horsehair braid off the tulle or did you just cut it. I do like what it does to a skirt when used to make flounces. I did a Christening gown from wedding gown conversion on one of these and I had such a hard time getting the tulle away from the braid. The one I did was a mermaid with that kind of skirt and she wanted the flounces to be the babies skirt. Way more dress than baby but she loved it and that is all that matters. I don’t know if you can post pictures on here but if I figure it out I will.

    I get so excited when I see that you made a new post. I enjoy them so much and always learn something.

    • mrsmole says:

      Removing HH braid is a real pain depending on how small the stitches are. You can accidentally snip into the nylon braid and then you have a nasty little snag. I take out each stitch one at a time. You can send photos to me at and I will post them next time, thanks, Nancy.

  8. Nancy Figur says:

    I forgot to ask where you get the better hooks. I have been having the same problem with them not holding and have even had a few bend. I had some that actually had a little springy piece inside to hold the two sides together but can’t find them anymore.

  9. erniek3 says:

    Why a zipper? Why not a busk? That thing is going to fail and it won’t be pretty (and I’m sure it’s a beefy boy, but you know coils fail at the slightest kink). Lizzie at The Vintage Traveler posted a lovely photo of an advertisement for hooks that would not pop. Reliance Hooks and Eyes Made with a hump (emailing link and photo)

  10. Monique says:

    Seems I’m just on time – Happy Birthday, Mrs Mole, with all best wishes for the future,
    PS Thanks for the info on hooks, I hadn’t realized the difference before (just got annoyed if they uncoupled), but know now what to look out for

    • mrsmole says:

      Be careful, Monique…if customers know that you have the best hooks in town…they will drop off many projects for you! Thank you for the birthday wishes!

  11. Such a pretty dress! And a cute potted plant! Happy Birthday to you, sounds like you had a lovely day!

    • mrsmole says:

      It is always a good day having lunch with my friend/client Nancy. You know the type of friend who shares the conversation and the time passes so quickly…that is what it is like with nanny. I am truly blessed.

  12. Tracey P says:

    Happy Birthday! Hope you had a nice day and only nice customers!

  13. OH MY!!!! I had no idea there was a better hook and eye out there! Thanks for this post!!!!!

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