One of the Favors

Let’s start with the Mara Hoffman Rehearsal dinner dress:

Interesting how the ArtDeco style is reflected in this and her wedding dress.




This dress is 100% silk and beaded with bronze bugle beads and gold and silver metallic thread and  some weird fuzzy pink threads. The beads look a little precarious up close and indeed they are.



The weight of all this embellishment on thin silk chiffon is not the dress to be dancing in so good thing all she will be doing is eating.

All I had to do with this rehearsal dress was repair the French shoulder seams and even up the hems of the silk and the linings and re-attach some loose beads and once the steamer had done it’s job…it looked like a new dress with no wrinkles. Then we move unto the wedding dress that I previewed last week.

Chic nostalgia bridal wedding dress at the seaside with a perfect model:

As I shared before, the previous seamstress thought winding the straps with pearls would be just the ticket to making it fit better and taking up the straps at least 3 inches would not impact the rest of the dress…wrong!

Once the lame/useless pearls were removed, it fit better and looked like it should. But we still have wrinkles under the bust as it was too high on her body.

Again, the previous seamstress decided to take in the center back zipper and didn’t think it was too important to match the chevrons. Are we getting to see a pattern here??? There is also a wedge of excess fabric above the first chevron.

Once she moved the zipper over and didn’t trim any of the excess fabric away, she also forgot to add the hook and eye at the top of the zipper…no one will notice right?








Before I added 3 inches to the straps, another solution would have been to attach the strip that was cut off the hem to the lining to make an additional layer to cover her feet. To say the bride was desperate is an understatement! Here she has pulled the top layer up to check the pinned-on strip.

Here is a close-up of the strip that was cut off…can you see all the red felt marker? Insane! It is a fine line between sewing and crafting and someone stepped over it by using the wrong tools.

Close-up of the basted new section:














Here is the final try-on and the bride is so happy but I still need to take up 1/2 inch on the shoulders.

Can you see the wad of fabric at the top of the zipper? There is no way I was going to go in there and start messing with it as it now sits on her waist well enough. You can see the final 1/4 inch pinning on the shoulders. This is the last photo I have of this very grateful bride.















Every so often Mr. Mole and I talk about what we can do when we retire…my idea is to eat Jaffa Cakes like I did when I lived 8 years in the UK. They don’t have them here in the US grocery stores so he surprised me this week with my very own imported box of deliciousness!

This week, while watching our birds through the kitchen window, I noticed that for about 5 minutes, these two gold finches didn’t move at all. It was like something had frozen them in time and no other birds came in for a landing. It was spooky! Yes, that is a giant sunflower and all the bottom leaves have been stripped by the birds.

Until next time and more favored garments….happy sewing everyone and many thanks for all your comforting comments last week!!!

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23 Responses to One of the Favors

  1. Laura says:

    That bride has the figure for that dress. Your magic worked for her!!!!

  2. I wonder if the person who bodged the dress before you got it was a friend or relative? Maybe landed with something beyond their abilities…not good anyway!

    • mrsmole says:

      I don’t know who worked on/butchered this dress as it was done at a sewing center that other seamstresses can use as a rent-a-space. There are no guidelines or regulations on what people can call themselves or what they charge or even if their work is good or bad. I have seen some scary stuff and had to fix a lot of their mistakes.

  3. Donna says:

    Yes you worked your magic as always. Beautiful. What is in a Jaffa cake?

  4. erniek3 says:

    I shudder to think of all the terrible alterations i used to make in vintage clothes, and how much better I am at it – mostly due to your kind instruction on this blog. Red marker, no. But almost as bad. My skimpy seam allowances hurt my soul just to think of them.

    It’s a rare day to find a vintage beaded flapper era dress, as they were made to self-destruct (I honestly believe the height of flapperdom would be to shimmy the beads right off. I should have asked my grandmother about this).

    Jaffa cakes! My niece blew our minds by bringing meter-long boxes home to the states from Tesco several years ago for Christmas. They became a ‘thing’ again courtesy of Dr Who/Matt Smith era and, of all things. Minecraft. Somewhere I have my Jaffa Cakes tshirt. Or maybe my son made off with it to take to college. Best eaten wearing a fez.

  5. Kim says:

    Both gorgeous dresses, and she is going to appreciate your efforts in making them perfect. I wonder if the red one was a market that should have vanished? Trying to be forgiving of red one on an alteration here.
    Jaffa cakes are rather wonderful! Time spent eating them is never wasted 😁

    • Kim says:

      Darn auto correct. I really should re read my comments.
      That should read ‘ red pen was a marker ‘ . 😠

      • mrsmole says:

        Well Kim, it is not one that disappears with steam or time…ha ha. When you get that phone call that says, “Help someone butchered my dress”, you just know you have to help!

  6. ceci says:

    Now I want Jaffa cakes and a flapper dress. Both equally non-useful in my life, I’m afraid.


  7. Ellen says:

    Maybe there a hawk or other predator nearby the bird feeder so the finches stayed very still… ?

    • mrsmole says:

      That’s right, Ellen, we are abound with hawks like the one last week and with hawks in the air and neighborhood cats on the ground…it is a wonder we have birds at all. The front yard is full of dove feathers too…but that is why God makes so many doves! We have a Dove Deli!

  8. Nancy Figur says:

    As usual, you did a great job!

  9. maryfunt says:

    Don’t you just love fixing the botch jobs by others! Looks great after your repairs.

  10. Zuzanna says:

    Hello readers, Mrs Mole suggested I asked you all my question: I was wondering whether anyone could recommend a trusted seamstress in the Philadelphia area for wedding dress alterations (taking in the bodice and possibly a bustle on horsehair trim tulle). Seeing all things that could go wrong that Mrs Mole then magically fixes makes me really nervous to simply trust the first person with 4 stars on Yelp.

  11. Kai Jones says:

    I’ve never had Jaffa Cakes, but I have had Lu Pim’s Orange cookies, and they seem very similar and are widely available at US grocery stores or on Amazon.

  12. Beth Conkwright says:

    You can get the Jaffa Cakes on Amazon. I know everything here at the British Store is very expensive. I always look on Amazon now. They carry a lot of British products.

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