Vision of a Winter Snow Princess

If you had to choose a wedding dress and you had a large mature bust would you select a rhinestone encrusted nightgown with NO BONING and sheer panels all around and a front “V” opening down to your waist??? Maybe?

My next bride tried on every dress in our valley and then drove 5 hours north to order this dress and ask for a rush delivery from the manufacturer.

The website photos show the unlined version of the dress so I was thinking…Sweet Jesus…I have a second-time-around bride going to wear this down the aisle…this will not be a good look!

Meet the Lunella wedding gown:

 

She says that her whole goal was to shock the guests and make them think she was a fairy snow princess for her Christmas wedding date. With that deep “V” in the front revealing everything and those extra long heavily embellished sheer sleeves it is not the dress to feel comfortable in for a long night of dancing and feasting. I told her that she should be careful when dancing as she could damage her partner’s eyes with flying rhinestones.

Let’s start at the top:

The shoulder seams will be taken up along with the top darts in the sleeve caps. Being this sheer, there is no chance to wear any undergarments for support or modesty. The weight of all the glued-on rhinestones is unbelievable! Weighing in at 10 pounds,  this dress has NO boning or interfacing and surely was meant for a tall, thin flat-chested bride as shown on the website with a gold tiara.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, the long back closure is just a series of tiny elastic loops which can stretch thus causing the dress to loosen as she moves or sits. Did you notice that there is nothing behind the loops so the bride’s skin may be revealed as the loops stretch? Nice.

Since the sleeves have a top end dart, they can be taken in along with the shoulder seams at the same time. In this photo you can see I have had to take them in twice. The red thread line is the final stitching line.

The sleeves will be shortened 2 inches.

When the elastic has been removed, you can see the bell shape of the sleeve…shorter in front and extra long in back. In the website photo it looks all regal and romantic…in real life, think about the weight of the sleeves as the bride dances all night long.

At the first fitting, the bride was pleased with all of her cleavage being on show but her best friend told her that no one wanted to see all of that and asked if I could make a modesty patch from the lining that would be cut off the hem.

 

Here is that section hand basted with red thread.

The inside of the new insert:

The insert is machine sewn along the front edge of the “V” and hand tacked to the front lining layer:

Being basically a beaded nightgown, I added some boning sections under the new really thick and stiff bust pads. When the bride ordered her dress from far away, the salon salesperson told her that the seamstress would be adding lots of wires to help hold her into the dress and lift her breasts.

Really? Yes, really. So it was obvious that 8 boning strips were needed.

    

After paying over $2500 for all this heavy fabric, the bride wants the hem/train cut to the floor level like the 2 layers of satin and lining have been done. With the satin and lining hand basted, I attached a safety pin through all layers to show what will be cut off. Striking, no?

The good-bye train:

The side section:

The front:

What about the sleeves? Just folding under the new hem line, I see that there is no great way to work around the rhinestones, never mind inserting clear elastic  and topstitching by machine.

The original hem with elastic was un-beaded so I decided to cut that off and use it as a tube filled with new clear elastic. Once the strip would be removed, I would have no idea what was the front section or the back so I placed a safety pin in the front.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once removed, the plain strip is pressed and ready for clear elastic.

 

 

 

Here is the first side of elastic. I removed the safety pin and added some thread to denote the front.

Using the original elastic as a guide, you can see that it was tied in many knots to make a nasty clump with a circumference of 8 inches.

Once the strips were made, they were pinned to the green thread line and hand basted with white thread. The red and green thread will be removed.

The underarm junction to be dealt with after the next try-on when the elastic will be pulled tight to the bride’s wrist.

Machine stitching is not that easy with so many beads in the way!

Trimming away the excess:

Ready to flip all this to the inside:

On the second fitting, the bride wanted the dress to fit even tighter for more support so once again pinning out the side seams and marking the boning positions. Yes, the under-bust trim will be involved but I’m not removing it, just stitching it into the new seam. Pins denote the boning positions.

Hand basted side seams:

Trying to machine stitch without hitting those beads using a zipper foot.

Let’s not forget to take in the satin lining. Since it is not attached to the netted beaded layer, the excess can be folded inside and eventually hand stitched down to remain soft without a ridge. The final two strips of boning will be attached along the new folded edge.

Train removed front and back and front insert and sleeves shortened…almost ready for the big day which I was told will be from 2 pm to midnight. Most brides tell me that their wedding preparation…hair, nails and professional make-up starts at 9 am so total up the hours…15 hours to be the star of the show and 10 of those hours wearing the same dress and shoes.

With Christmas excitement over, just had to share a small job that came in. Remember the flag covered gi? Well, just before the January competition, an eagle patch had to be attached in a way that it could not be ripped off or the tips of the feathers dislodged. First, I stitched a straight stitch all around and then went back and did a tiny zigzag over every edge…that bird is never going to fly away now!

Best wishes to everyone for a healthy and happy 2020!

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43 Responses to Vision of a Winter Snow Princess

  1. Elizabeth Harber says:

    I haven’t commented in a while, but enjoy every post so much. Your techniques are helpful and practical. Thank you!

  2. Trish Brown says:

    Another masterful example of your skill and patience, Mrs Mole.
    I can’t believe she could look at a dress which was designed for a tall thin willowy woman and think ‘ yep, that will look perfect on me!’ The delusion of some people about their body shape is breathtaking (as we both know only too well!).
    It would have been a nightmare to drag around that weight of material all that time. I hope her entrance was dramatic enough to make all that work worthwhile. 😏

  3. Donna says:

    I hope you charge a lot

  4. JLC of Perth says:

    That dress looks awful — truly unflattering. I hope her new husband will like it.
    It reminds me of that old saying about mutton dressed as lamb.

    • mrsmole says:

      You wonder what the designers were thinking…yes, brides will want to expose their boobs and drag around a heavy dress on their special day and pay twice the regular cost of a dress?

    • Patricia says:

      I do not find the dress flattering on her at all. What a bad choice. You did a wonderful job making her presentable in an unflattering dress.

  5. Angela says:

    IMO, that dress is just not flattering on anyone… but you have worked wonders on it!

  6. upsew says:

    o my – she is very lucky to have you do the alterations (as well as an honest friend). you got the best out of the dress and the modesty panel and boning really make the better fit for her, especially seeing the before and after photos for the back of the dress, still also reeling and the original price of the dress….. dont know why some brides just dont go for a full dress maker service and have a hand made gown from the get go! Wishing you the very best for the coming year

  7. ceci says:

    In her situation I would hav gone with a nice crepe suit, or maybe a mat satin. HOWEVER, I was expecting something much more dire than your end product; there are certainly some interesting emotional dynamics at work in a desire to shock and horrify one’s wedding guests. It would be great to have the rest of the story.

    ceci

  8. Kim says:

    Thank goodness for the friend. We really don’t need to see all that! 😂

  9. mrsmole says:

    Yes, 50 year old boobs do need more support and coverage!!!

  10. Susie says:

    What a shame that she didn’t have someone to shop with her who could help her find a dress that flatters her figure, instead of picking the absolute worst style for her shape. I was expecting something much worse than the final product. You managed to make a silk purse out of that sow’s ear. Can’t imagine how “shocking” it would have been without the boning and the modesty panel.

  11. Jane Fisher Urbach says:

    How could she choose such a naked dress for a wedding in front of a room full of guests. They would have not known where to look without your modest insertions. Great job.

    • mrsmole says:

      I wonder what brides think when they look back on their photos in 30 years…”damn, I was hot” or “what was I thinking?” At least this dress was more modest and fitting well to flatter her.

  12. Mary says:

    As a “mature bride”, she must realize some of her has gone “south”, never to return “north”! She needs shoulder pads!! And of course, impossible with this dress. She would have been better off with no sleeves at all and the gathered “straps” higher up toward her neck to de-emphasize her sloped shoulders. After reading so many of your sewing adventures, I do not regret, for one single moment, getting out of the bridal business! God bless you!

    • mrsmole says:

      The challenges just keep coming and we surely don’t get to pick our brides or dresses. For Winter brides I wish they all wanted bolero lace jackets to cover up for the ceremony. For this dress, the sleeves did not need to be bejeweled for the added weight.

  13. Lesley says:

    OMG!!! Who does this?! Seems the bride is not wanting to admit or acknowledge that she is no longer a young, fit, 20-something. That’s sad. Thank God her best friend was able to speak up and say something so she didn’t make a complete fool out of herself at her wedding!
    And, WOW, Mrs.Mole, YOU work MIRACLE’S!!! I am impressed with your talent, skill and ability to work with such delusional clients!

    • mrsmole says:

      Maybe we have to lay the blame on the clever salesgirl who told her without trying on the tiny sample dress, that all would be fine to order in her size? There is a lot of pressure in salons. One independent salon in my town threatens the brides that if they don’t commit to buying their dresses off the rack today, they say the dress will not be available the next day. Frantic brides don’t know what to do.

  14. loracstada@Q.com says:

    The gi is amazing, impressive to wear for someone who has worked hard to earn it.

    The bride did not tell herself the truth about her dress choice, and apparently no one else did either. You did excellent work on what must have been an embarrassing task.

    • mrsmole says:

      It worked out well with using the satin hem for the insert and trimming so much of the train away to reduce bulk and weight of the skirt. Sales staff put so much pressure on brides to commit to the sale! It is the same with dresses with scalloped lace hems. Poor brides are never told that hemming scallops can take another 3-5 hours of labor.

  15. Lindsy says:

    In my opinion, you pulled it off. I don’t think she looks horrible. She doesn’t look thin, because she is mature, but she is dressed like a fairy princess, which is what she wanted. She looks like herself with sparkles, which is okay with me and surely with the groom. You ( and her friend) made it work. A beautiful job. You are the fairy godmother!

  16. mrsmole says:

    No one knows what went into the dress to make it flatter her. From the outside, see will look as serene as possible knowing everything is being snugged up, tucked up and holding. As the dress moves, she actually tinkles with the sound of all those rhinestones hitting against each other. You could turn off the lights and hear her coming for a dramatic entrance!

  17. maryfunt says:

    Another wonderful save on a positively hideous dress. Good call on the modesty front. At least she was willing to listen to a friend as no one wanted the full view. What a job navigating between all those crystals!!! Happy New Year.

  18. Ann says:

    Egad! You definitely made a silk purse out of a sow’s ear this time. I can’t help but wonder what her husband would have thought. Mine would have been horrified at me sharing all my boobage and skin so publicly. Lucky for him no way would I be comfortable with it either.

  19. Laura says:

    Happy New Year. May 2020 bring you sane brides (one can always hope.) Amazes me that brides are all about themselves and showing off rather than making a commitment to another person. That this bride wanted to shock everyone with her titties showing – wonder how the marriage is going to be.

  20. Rena says:

    Oh my! She didn’t look nearly as bad as I expected from the front. Fabulous job in a make it work moment! For future reference, those stones will likely come off if you press it. They are hot melt for sure so a little heat and you can just flake them off. I’ve done this with many pageant gowns to get stones out of the seam lines. Our culture has become so in love with casual and stretch garments, we can’t figure out how to dress up!!! Bet I could sell blinged up white yoga pants as wedding attire and women would buy them 😀

    • mrsmole says:

      Oh Rena…you have hit on a super idea!!!! Blinged out white yoga pants!!! When my gals complain about the boning being too tight or waists being tight, I always tell them, “This is not yoga wear!” But Rena may be able to help you!!! Ha ha

  21. wedreamaloud says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your creations

  22. tiny seamster says:

    You are patient. You are an artist. I would have told the girl to find a dress in a pattern catalog and learn how to sew.

  23. Pingback: Short Waist Challenge | fit for a queen

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