Shop-Worn Repairs

This dress is from David’s and quite a bargain right now.

Here it is on my bride with bust pads pinned in.

It had been tried on by many other brides and there are some damaged areas but first the shoulders are pinned up. You can see her right shoulder needs more taking up. Most of us have a low shoulder and it shows up on formal clothes.

The loops are not elastic like on most gowns so they take longer to fasten:

The train will need bustling up. See the clamps, I hate clamps!

Testing a three-point bustle:

Brides love pockets. I ask them what do they put in there and it is always, “my phone, of course”. Do they silence it for the ceremony at least?


The dainty beaded belt will be worn with the organza bow in the back.











If you can imagine the damage done when brides jam their arms into those dainty sleeves, here is proof of what you are buying. I used my snips to show the width of the hole.

All of the red hand basting on the edges is holding the lining to the wrong side. It will be hand-tacked with white thread and small stitches to make a nice smooth edge.

The missing teardrop shape:

The other armhole was damaged as well. My little finger fits inside the hole in the organza lining.
















Looks like the other side doesn’t it?

Nope, it is way worse with the missing seam allowances. All the edges were brought back into position and hand sewn so no one would know what was there before.









After the second fitting, the bride wants even more taken up at the shoulders.

Almost done…needing 5 bustle points, safety pinned into position:

The final back photo with lace covered buttons and loops. All the folds are even and angled down for a flattering look mirroring the top edge of the bodice lining.














Back to the veggie garden…Mr. Mole is emptying our 3 compost bins and tumbler into his new raised bed for all our squash. The caged bed is filled with strawberries.

The raised bed in the background is filled with leeks and onions and broccoli and califlower. The other bed is filled with tomatoes, peppers and bush beans.

Last year, I took my amaryllis bulb outside after it failed to bloom a second year indoors. It was in a plastic pot all winter and I forgot about it. Then when clearing pots and plants this Spring…look what I found blooming under a bush? Of course, it got rescued and is now indoors to enjoy. Who knew a bulb could be so hardy?

With half our state vaccinated, things may open up soon and restaurants can seat more than the 25% they are doing now. Schools are closed now for the summer after only having students back a few months in a real classroom.

One result of the year-long quarantine is prices of services and items. My hairdresser wrote to me to say she is back and instead of charging $75, her rate has gone up to $130. A fancy restaurant in town that normally would charge $29-39 for a meal is now charging $49. So, we the public have to make decisions. I myself will continue to color and cut my hair at home for $7 a month instead.

Happy sewing and wishing you all a super Father’s Day and first day of Summer next week!




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

16 Responses to Shop-Worn Repairs

  1. Char McAulay says:

    You do such beautiful, amazing work. I really look forward to your posts. Char


  2. srra says:

    I rarely leave comments but I wanted to tell you that I always look forward to your posts and to see how you do your magic!

  3. Char says:

    I love your blog! I’m amazed at how you can transform a wreck into a thing of beauty. I’m always glad to see your new posts.

  4. That is one of the prettiest dresses you have shown in a while and your magic makes it even better. Your garden is looking great!

    • mrsmole says:

      The salesgirl told my bride that she herself wore that dress for her wedding and it certainly is flattering! The garden is just starting…now to keep up with the weeds!

  5. erniek3 says:

    This is a modest alteration, of a very flattering dress. So used to something much more involved with a lot ….uh …. less fabric on top.

    The barber who cut my hair had ‘retired’ (at 40) prepandemic as he just could not make more money to support his family (his wife also works, but the grandparents could no longer do child care) with the same amount of hours in the day, and just could not jack prices up any more than he already had. So I had a little head start on retraining myself to cut my own hair, with a little help from the barber. People want to be paid what they are worth. There’s going to be heartache all over. Some businesses will not come back, and some will adapt or make a new model. There’s a lot of turnover in the nonprofit offices I know; burnt out and frustrated folks just can’t make any more rabbits pop out of any more hats.

    Bridal alterations seem much more peaceful right about now.

    • mrsmole says:

      So many shops in our town are now vacant and signs all over wanting to hire at $15+ an hour. The stores that are still open cannot get workers at $15 an hour, even the post office is begging for helpers at $18+ an hour. What I didn’t mention was our plumber who charged $89 an hour before Covid, now charges $149. I checked around town when our water heater was acting funny and needed a $10 part and other plumbers are charging $189 an hour. In a way it can seem as though we are being punished for being loyal customers.

      • CHERYL DESIGNS says:

        😦 I have a problem with the… WHATEVER PEOPLE WILL BE FORCED TO PAY…mentality 😦 If I had that mentality I could raise my rates almost DOUBLE because seamstresses in my area are retiring and/or dying 😦 I am NOT going to do that. I am content with my pricing at this time. If you had to pay a couple of hundred dollars for a water heater REPAIR, you are probably better off to just install a NEW water heater? FUNNY πŸ™‚ I said the SAME thing about the pockets in bridal and bridesmaid gowns πŸ™‚ Are you girls ANSWERING your PHONES at the altar? It is CRAZY busy here with brides and their parties this year !!!! My USUAL is 32-36 every year along with proms, dances and street wear. I have STOPPED doing ANY street wear. I already have 40 brides on my calendar and of course some of the Aug through Dec brides haven’t contacted me yet πŸ™‚ YOUNGER people NEED to learn how to sew πŸ™‚ I will be 64 July 1st and I WILL retire someday in the future πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  6. shoes15 says:

    Same thing happened with my amaryllis! Fun surprise when I usually just get to see them at Christmas!

  7. Dara says:

    Thank God, HE put people on Earth with your skills and patience!

  8. Annette says:

    Every time I read your blog I’m absolutely in awe of your skill in making magic for so many brides. Once again, I’m coming to you for advice. I’m doing the alterations for my friend’s daughter on a Stella York dress with straps of glass bugle beads (thankfully there’s a good foundation for the beads). The edge of the bodice edges have the same beading. When the bride came for her first fitting, she was concerned about the “itchiness” of the beads. I thought this could be improved by tacking velvet ribbon to the underside of the strap and bodice edges but am wondering if you have any other suggestions? Thank you so kindly.

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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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