Drying tears and repairing tears, meet Nora the seamstress for Miss North Carolina

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Nora Bulluck is officially known as the seamstress for the annual Miss North Carolina pageant, but 26 years of service have taught her that the work goes far beyond sewing. (Robert Kinlaw)

Nora Bulluck is officially known as the seamstress for the annual Miss North Carolina pageant, but 26 years of service have taught her that the work goes far beyond sewing. Backstage, Nora is ready to fix broken shoes and busted zippers, but also offer kindness and support to the young women competing.

"I say I like to dry tears and repair tears," Nora said.

She recounted one instance when a reigning Miss North Carolina accidentally ironed a hole into her white skirt just hours before the show began. Nora ran to the store for some white satin and performed her sewing magic, repairing the skirt in time for the stage.
That's just one of many memories Nora has made during her time with the pageant.

Spools of thread fill Nora's workshop.



"One year, I came in and had to reupholster five couches in two days," Nora laughed. "And I was literally onstage, somebody with a flashlight behind me, and I was making the last few stitches while they were singing the National Anthem before the curtain went up!"

Another way she tries to help the contestants smile is with her flamingo rehearsals. Nora has collected flamingo-related items for years. On the last rehearsal day, she dresses in full flamingo gear and brings flamingo glasses for all the young women to wear during the practice.

Nora likes to bring out the flamingo gear on the last rehearsal day of Miss North Carolina.



She said the idea is to eliminate some of the stress and give everyone something to smile about.

Nora learned much of what she knows about sewing at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia, where she worked as a costumer for years. Later, she worked out of her home studio as a full-time seamstress.
When she first began volunteering with Miss North Carolina, Nora was responsible for making all the costumes. That often meant sewing almost nonstop throughout the spring leading up to the show. These days, she does international payroll for a company rather than working full-time as a seamstress. But she looks forward to pageant week every year.

Nora's workshop is filled with flamingo collectibles.


"I've always told my employers, third week of June... my vacation week," she said.

And Nora plans to keep volunteering with the pageant for the foreseeable future.

"The only thing that would take me away from it is my goal to retire and be a scuba princess in the Caribbean," she laughed. "So until that day, I'm there!"

There's still time to vote for your Miss North Carolina People's Choice. Click here to vote and be sure to tune in to ABC11 on June 24th at 7 p.m. to watch the new Miss North Carolina get crowned!

Related Topics:
entertainmentMiss North Carolina
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