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February 28, 2013

Valencia

The Valencia dress is fun and sensual. The split flutter sleeves highlight your arms. The cinched, wrapped waist draws attention to your figure. The asymmetrical hem creates a whimsical frame for your legs. This would be a great dress for dancing. Because I am a dancer at heart, I love the flirtatiousness and simple beauty of this dress. Honestly, it makes me smile, when I put it on.

Have you tried a wrap dress yet? Most stylists recommend wrap dresses. Wrap dresses accentuate the feminine figure and help to create the illusion of an hourglass figure, if one does not exist. If you have an hourglass figure, you should have several wrap dresses to make sure you are highlighting your waist.

I used Vogue 7898 and a lovely black jersey with a flocked velvet print to create my dress. I love this design! I would like to have at least one more dress like my Valencia. I'll look for a vibrant or rich color for my next version.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 26, 2013

Aislynn: Elegance in Ivory

First, I must say that I adore the Aislynn dress. I think it is perfect for me. It is modern, feminine, and sophisticated. I feel lovely when I wear it.

I love the fabric and the pattern (McCall's 6612) I used as my starting point for this dress. The fabric is a soft, ivory sweater knit that is of medium weight and slight stretch. It has a nice amount of body to it and drapes over my figure nicely. I think the creamy ivory color complements my complexion, as well.

I think sweater dresses should be close-fitting, but not tight. Because sweater knits have their own bulkiness or weight to them, it is important that they do not add unattractive bulges to one's figure. I like wearing the Aislynn with a belt to highlight my smaller waist. I think this accentuates the feminine allure of the dress.

When I wear this dress, I certainly feel alluring and elegant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 28, 2012

Esmeralda

Esmeralda, Esmeralda....

 

 

 

I do adore this dress. The story of this dress actually starts several years ago. My beloved friend traveled to India, and when she returned she gave me a beautiful, emerald silk sari. I loved it, but I knew I couldn't actually wear it as a sari. At first, I thought I would use it all for a porcelain doll- perhaps an Indian lady. Then, I decided I really wanted to wear this delectable silk myself. I began to wonder what sort of dress or top would make the best use of this material. I finally decided that a sundress with a surplice bodice and a slim, flowing skirt would work best.

 

 

I adapted a pattern for a camisole top (Simplicity 3956) into my dress pattern. The original pattern has a lot of ease in the waist and hips. I removed much of the ease in order to get a closer, more streamlined fit. Because I have an hourglass figure, I must make sure empire-waist silhouettes fit closely at my waist and hips. This is the most flattering fit for my figure.

 

 

Here is a detail shot of the fabric before I cut it.

 

This sari has two narrow borders running along the main part of the fabric. I used the narrow border as the border of my skirt and as the back side of my tie.

The broad, black border is gorgeous. Initially, I was going to use this as a midriff. Ultimately, I used a narrow band as my tie. I have saved the rest (along with the remaining green portion) for other projects

This silk has a soft, delicate drape. It is perfect for warm days. I love the way the design catches the sunlight. I almost feel like I am draped in tiny jewels.

 

 

 

I was very pleased with how this dress turned out. I felt regal and beautiful wearing it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 10, 2012

The Lady in Gray

I love wearing gray. It is one of my favorite colors in my wardrobe. I love charcoal, silver, and pale gray. I think of gray as a sophisticated color, like black or white, which are also part of my wardrobe's color palette.

When I found this Vogue DKNY pattern, I was thrilled to find a wool fabric in charcoal. I thought I would be able to create a chic and comfortable dress. I was right.

 

I love my new dress. I adore the pleats on the bodice and waistline. I also love the way the dress drapes my figure. This is a wonderful addition to my Winter wardrobe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A little while ago, I found this lovely slate gray lace in the fabric store. The moment I saw it, I knew I wanted to design a sleeveless blouse. I was inspired by the dress materials and designs used in the 1920's. To keep the design airy and feminine, I decided to line the lace with black chiffon.

The Esme Blouse

 

 

 

I love the lightness and feminine lines of this blouse.

 

I love the fact I was able to create a lovely and fun blouse from chiffon, lace, and velvet ribbon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

October 14, 2011

Cherry Blossoms in Autumn

Many stylists recommend wrap dresses to accentuate your waist. After completing my Yoshino Blossoms dress, I can definitely see the benefits of the wrap design. Now, I am planning to make several wrap dresses from various patterns, using as many complimentary prints and solid fabrics I can get.

I used Simplicity 0494 to create this dress. The design is a different interpretation of the traditional wrap dress. Instead of wrapping the entire front of the dress across your body, you wrap the bodice around your waist. I love this design element!

I immediately loved this dress when I put it on. I enjoyed its sophisticated prettiness.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

June 21, 2011

Gentle Like Morning Light

Last week, I put the final stitches into the Madelen dress. The Madelen is a delightful and elegant dress. It reminds me of soft sunlight on a Summer morning. I love the modern and feminine silhouette, the ribbon sash, and the lightness of the fabric.

The Madelen dress is a princess-seamed dress with a square neckline and flared, knee-length skirt (McCall's 5232). I created this dress from a lovely creamy yellow georgette with a lilac floral print.

I accessorized the dress with beige, peep-toe pumps, a baroque pearl necklace, and pearl earrings. When the day cooled, I wore an ivory lace shawl.

I loved wearing this dress. It does remind me of a gentle ray of sunshine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Just living is not enough... One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”

-Hans Christian Anderson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

May 21, 2011

Stepping Out in Black and White

I made another knit dress based on Simplicity 2580. I found a gorgeous and black and white floral knit with a modern edge. The floral pattern was disrupted by "static-like" graphic lines.  I love floral prints, and I loved the modern interpretation of this one.

I made a sleeveless, cowl-neck, knee-length dress from the pattern. Although I could have taken in the side seams for tight fit, I decided to leave in a little ease. I wanted the dress to skim and flatter my figure.

I am quite pleased with the results. I love my new dress. I hope you like it, too.

 

 

 

 

I would love to get a nice large, black sun hat to wear with this dress to brunch. Champagne, anyone?

 

May 08, 2011

Dancing in the Sunlight

Today,  I made my daughter an adorable cotton sundress that reminds me of rainbow sherbet. This dress is simple and delightful.

The main part of the dress is made from an ombre-dyed cotton and the straps are made from lime green ribbon.

 

 

girl dancing on shore
 Enjoying her dance in the sunlight

I encourage you to dance in the sunlight, whenever possible. And, when you feel the rain or hear thunder, you should dance, as well.


March 27, 2011

New Dresses Are So Much Fun

I love to wear dresses.  I love wearing custom-made dresses even more than wearing ready-to-wear dresses. I suppose I like the idea of wearing something that was made especially for me. 

Last week, I finished the hem on my first knit dress. For years, I had avoided making garments out of knit fabrics. I was afraid of the stretchiness of knits. I know this may seem odd because I work with "difficult" fabrics regularly. After all, my favorite fabrics are chiffon, silk, satin, and velvet. This year, I decided to try something new.  I am so happy I decided to try a knit and not just a solid color knit; I dove head first and made a dress from a print fabric.

I love it! The dress is fun and casual. It is perfect for Spring and Summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 26, 2011

A Daily Dose of Luxury

Last weekend, I sewed the final stitches in a custom-made dressing gown. As I tied the knot on my final stitch, I smiled with satisfaction. This dressing gown was beautiful and luxurious; and, this splendid garment was made for me.

Custom clothes are a luxury that few ladies get to enjoy. I am grateful that I shall get to enjoy this treasure every day.

my brocade dressing gownMy custom dressing gown is made from black brocade that is embroidered with black Asian motifs. I adore the silkiness and weight of the brocade. It is simply gorgeous.

 

I don't know how many women take the time to wrap themselves in something luxurious everyday. Whether you enjoy the feel of soft, fluffy cotton or the smoothness of silk, I think it is important to begin and end your day wrapped in a beautiful dressing gown. 

 

 

 

A few luxuries in life are a good thing.

 

 

 

 

 

December 29, 2010

The Starlight Gown

Several weeks ago, I met with a young lady and her mother to discuss the creation of a custom semi-formal gown. During our first consultation, we discussed her favorite colors, her general dress ideas, and the event. While we talked, I sketched. Shortly, after the sketch was completed, we began to look for fabric. We found a delightful dusky blue organza sprinkled with silver confetti. I combined this with a light blue satin, white lace, and cornflower blue velvet ribbon, creating a palette that evoked purity, elegance, and youth.

In the following picture, you can see some of the details of the Starlight.

  

The Starlight gown features a princess seam bodice, a lace-embellished midriff, and a full knee-length skirt that flatters a young lady's figure.

  Annie at her final appointment

When my client gazed at herself in the mirror, she turned slowly, watching her skirts flutter and twinkle in the light. Then, she exclaimed that she felt like a princess. I love the idea that she felt like a princess. It was the perfect gown for her to wear to a Winter semi-formal.

 

January 22, 2010

Winter Blossom, a Christmas gown

I had a lot of fun creating Tallia's gown for Christmas, 2009. I wanted to make a dress that was timeless, innocent, and luxurious.

Winter Blossom is a tea-length, full-circle gown of cream shantung with an embroidered organza overlay and puffed organza sleeves.  The waist is encircled with a wide, gold sash, which has been tied in a generous bow and pinned with a satin ivory rose.

The gown was worn with a full petticoat to maximize the volume of the skirt.

Winter Blossom

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May 18, 2009

A Dress for the Father/Daughter Dance

Tallia wore the Selena dress to the Father/Daughter dance in early May. John and Tallia sat for a portrait at the dance, but I haven't received it yet. So, I am posting the snapshot I took before they left for the dance.

the Selena dress

I have written about the Selena dress in the past, but I'll include a brief desciption here.

I made the Selena dress from black organza and satin. I beaded the gown with white Swarovski crystal pearls and added a rich, cranberry satin sash. I think the pearls and the sash add a touch of elegant playfulness to the dress.

I also made Tallia's necklace, called Regina. The Regina necklace is made from a double strand of natural garnet, white Swarovski crystal pearls, and a gold fleur de lys charm.

Tallia does enjoy wearing these custom dresses. Each of these dresses is unique and beautiful. She (and I) always receive compliments.

May 05, 2009

Let's Be Merry: A Gown for a Medieval Feast

Last week, I made a medieval princess's gown for my daughter.

Her gown is a rich, royal purple satin, trimmed in silver. I decorated her long curls with purple flowers and a silver headband.

Tallia was elected as a Princess of the court. She spent the day dancing, eating, and doing medieval crafts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This outfit was a lot of fun to make. Tallia said it was very comfortable, too.

December 28, 2008

Tallia's Christmas Gown

 

I enjoy making dresses for my daughter. I make a few for her every year, and she is excited about every one. One of the dresses that she really loves to receive is her Christmas dress. This year, she requested that the main color be black. She made the same request last year, but I told her no and made a sweet dress in white Chantilly lace. She would have loved the same design in black Chantilly lace, but I feared that would be too mature for a little girl.

We found a delightful black organza that was embellished with black satin bows. I thought that this would be a very cute fabric for a little girl and that it might make a fun party dress.

This princess-seamed dress is made from black bridal satin with a black organza overlay, and features a full skirt. The bolero is made from black organza. To add something extra to this knee-length gown and bolero, I sewed white pearls underneath each satin bow.

christmasgown1.jpg 

To break up the black, I have added a cranberry satin sash.

Tallia looks adorable in the dress. I'll take her portrait later this week.

Most important, she loves the dress. I hope you enjoy it, as well.

 

 

 

December 13, 2008

A Gown for Christmas

Every year, I sew a Christmas gown for my daughter. This year's gown will be her eighth Christmas gown. Sadly, it will not be her tenth, because I started this tradition after she turned two years old.

Earlier this Fall, we discussed this year's gown. Her only request was that the gown be black. I was surprised, and a little concerned. She is 9 years old, not sixteen. I was also a little disappointed, because I had designed a delightful white or off-white gown with cranberry red accents. I guess I wasn't even thinking about dark colors for her this year.

We did find some really nice fabrics in the color of her choice. I tried to convince her to go with another color, when we were browsing through the bolts at the fabric store, but I was unsuccessful. (Funny-I actually found an embroidered off-white organza with dark cranberry-red flowers. I might buy this fabric anyway for a doll project...) I did find a pretty black organza that had small black satin bows on it. I thought that this would bring a lot of cuteness to the outfit. I do always believe that little girls should look like little girls and not copies of teenagers or adults.

Perhaps, it is good that she picked the color. Blue is my favorite color, and I tend to gravitate to it.

First dress: Dark sapphire blue gown with a velvet bodice and taffeta skirt.

Second dress: Red velvet kneee-length dress with a cream ribbon sash

Third dress: white velvet, empire waist gown trimmed in white fur and featuring a silver underskirt

Fourth dress: Light gold satin ball gown

Fifth dress: Dark Garnet red velvet gown (inspired by Italian renaissance) with taffeta brocade underdress

Sixth dress: Light blue silk tea-length gown embroidered with crystals.

Seventh dress: White chantilly lace tea-length gown with a pale silver-blue ribbon sash.

Maybe, next year we'll try a gown in green, purple, or pink...

 

April 22, 2008

A Delightful Dress for Tea

This past weekend I hosted an afternoon tea party for my daughter and her friends. We held the tea at Miramont Castle. All of the young ladies had a wonderful time. The afternoon was filled with poetry and laughter.

As usual, I made a custom gown for my daughter to wear to the tea. This year, she wore a tea-length dress with princess seams, an a-line skirt, and pleated sleeves. The overlay was made from white organza embroidered with black dahlias. Her underdress was a soft white matte satin. I trimmed her dress with black satin ribbon. I placed a white sun bonnet with a black ribbon sash on her head.

Lovely!!!

 Tallia walking in the garden