Lots of Fluff and Stuff

Looking back over the bridal gowns of 2020, most of them were normal, restrained and could possibly be used or altered to be worn again for different events.

But not this one!!!

This dress is Yocelyn by Wtoo and it is described as:

This wedding dress features a tiered ball gown skirt with horsehair layers, a sweetheart neckline, and the option of a grosgrain ribbon or horsehair belt for the waist.

It reminded me of an upside-down pink cupcake. First look under the top skirt reveals lots of layers all wrinkled from being in a shipping box. Normally I offer to press the dress for free and have it ready for the ceremony…but not this time.

Can you see the layers are all edged with 3 inch wide horsehair braid…lots of wrinkles and tucks that will have to be steamed out with my pressure iron.


Once the top layer is lifted, we try for a bustle configuration…will three be enough? Hold that thought…

With the lower skirts pinned up, the top skirt covers everything…what a relief!

But let’s get busy with the Hi-Steam mini boiler generator iron and smash those wrinkles, folds and tucks shall we…fill the reservoir with one quart of distilled water and wait to produce enough steam to shoot across the room…thank goodness it is a cool winter day and not the middle of summer! As the humidity level in my sewing room rises and beads of sweat from on my top lip and under my chin…I count the layers.

Starting with the lowest layer, the lining and working my way up to the top embroidered layer.

Fifteen layers done and I check the clock…2 hours have passed and I am dripping wet but the dress is wrinkle-free!

Another issue with this dress is the top edge of the bodice…that usual problem of too much dress and not enough boobage…push up pads are installed over the original ones along with the twill tape trick to snug in an inch for each cup. I have placed instructions on how I do this on the home page.


Once the dress is pressed and all the layers have settled down, adding 2 more bustle points gets the back skirt up very evenly all around.

Here are the many layers of netting and tulle holding the skirts out and proud. The tulle layers have been trimmed to just floor level.

Here are the final bustle points with clear buttons and loops to follow. Every button and loop will be backed with smaller backer buttons to hold the weight. What looks airly and light is rarely weightless…to the contrary…these suckers can really weigh a lot!

Every point is sewn through multiple layers of the 15 so the thickness has to be figured in as well.

The final front view is worth all the labor. When the horsehair belt is tied over the grosgrain belt, it will be perfect!

Now all that is left to do is to stuff this puppy into a garment bag…but wait…it will never fit a regular bag will it? We searched around and found this one on Amazon that had 24 inch wide panels on both sides. The dress is being flown 3000 miles to the wedding venue on the East Coast so I hope that someone has a steamer when it gets there!

What about the puzzle making? Yes, I have finished the next one:

Maybe some of you know about the movement of women wearing pearls on Jan 20 to celebrate the inauguation of Kamala Harris. No matter where you live or if you cannot attend the momentous gathering in DC, you can show your support for our new Vice President.

I’ll be digging out my collection of pearls for sure and wearing them with pride in honor of all the women who  have passed and went before me paving the way for equality and justice…Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Shirley Chisolm, Rosa Parks, and Maya Angelou.

Stay safe everyone, wear your mask and social distance….we can beat this Covid with vaccines and common sense!



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15 Responses to Lots of Fluff and Stuff

  1. Donna says:

    Another genius job.

    • mrsmole says:

      Thanks, Donna, I just wanted to get it out the front door on time for her January wedding and also it was taking up a lot of space with the other dresses.

  2. Kat says:

    You are an amazing sewist and a saint! You put up with more shenanigans and impossible alterations than I thought possible. Go forth Saint Mrs. Mole…

    • mrsmole says:

      Oh Kat, I’m sure other professions have the same issues…Lordie, I am so glad I am not a hairdresser and have to see the same cranky ladies every month…at least my brides only come once.

  3. Eleanor says:

    Best wishes for beating COVID-19, unfortunately common sense is not that common after all! We are particularly lucky being in Australia. Take care.

    • mrsmole says:

      Waiting for virus plans and vaccines is like waiting for…Christmas??? If it were left to the general public, I’m sure things would be more organized by now…politicians…as they admit…”I’m no scientist” and try and duck out of doing anything for us.Keeping my mask on and my fingers crossed, Eleanor!

  4. Christine Taylor says:

    Not sure how, but I missed your last post, so I do hope you are feeling better by now, it sounds like a nasty bug/virus. This dress looks lovely, one of my favourites but as usual you have performed your magic and it looks even better. I love reading your posts – you energise and inspire me.

    • mrsmole says:

      No virus here, Christine. I hope I didn’t suggest we were battling any bugs! Being over 70 and less than 80, we see on the priority list for injections…our age group stands at the back of the room until everyone else has been done. It was a princess dress for sure!

  5. Sue in TX says:

    That’s funny – In our land of frou-frou dresses, especially for quincianeras, my daughters have always called these “cupcake dresses” and never in a million years would have worn one.

    • mrsmole says:

      So Sue, how do you imagine they manage using the toilet? Brides forget they will be drinking and having to get in and out of cars and up and down steps in a fluffy dress and heavy too. Did I forget to mention that she also had a beaded veil about 15 feet long? I hope she sends back photos!

  6. Susie says:

    I don’t know how you keep your energy up for these dresses! I am tired just thinking about all that pressing and steaming.
    Great idea for the 20th! I rarely have an excuse to wear pearls anymore. My grandmother gave me hers – I always loved seeing her wear them when I was little.

  7. mrsmole says:

    Pressing for 2 hours and wrestling with all the layers and weight, I do that stuff in the morning and consider it a proper arm workout. Then hanging it up to dry is another challenge as the layers have all expanded and are sticking out away from the lining…it barely got through my sewing room door! Wear you grandmother’s pearls with pride…how special to have them!

  8. susew says:

    The pressing is a huge amount of work and hope you charged accordingly.

    My niece is getting married in 2022 and has already bought her dress online. My 85 year old mother has already been asked to shorten the dress, necessary no matter what, as my niece is under 5′. If my mother is no longer up to it, I’ll probably be asked. Unless it is simple and in cotton or linen I will decline politely . Haven’t seen what the dress looks like. We are guessing it’s fairly simple, knowing her style; we only know there is a lace up back.

  9. Nancy Figur says:

    Seeing you have to press all that horsehair is giving me flashbacks. You did a great job with that bustle. I can’t imagine taming all that fluff. How is she going to fit that on the plane?
    As I have mentioned before – you make them perfect for the bride – I cut them up and turn them in to Christening gowns – so many of the same issues.
    I did a Christening gown from one of those skirts. The original dress was mermaid style with all those horse hair braid ruffles from the knees down. Taming that all into a size six months was crazy. Once I was finished I would press it and the next day the braid would go back to the way it had been stored since the wedding. I don’t have the steam set up you do so I never really tamed it. I don’t think you can put a picture in the comments or I would show you a small version.

    You always amaze me!

  10. JustGail says:

    Fifteen layers of fluffy froth to wrangle?! Wow. I bet it will be fun for those who get to do up the bustle when time comes too. I wonder if a garment that large is carry-on or must be put into the luggage hold.

    I had not heard about wearing pearls today. It’s been so long since I looked in the jewelry drawer I’m not sure I even have any now. They were cheap plastic so no big loss if they did disappear.

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