taking something old... making something new.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

dress design for shabby apple dresses

I am taking a little break from making wedding dresses now to submit my entry for the Shabby Apple Dare to Design contest. Shabby Apple dresses are perfect for those of us who want to wear a modest, elegant dress without having to mess with wearing a camisole or sweater over it!This contest is an awesome opportunity given to those of us who have not had the chance to follow our dreams! Each designer submits her design idea on her personal blog and the great people at Shabby Apple review them and choose their 15 favorites. They post those finalists on the Shabby Apple blog where the readers get to vote for their favorites. The winning design will be part of the Shabby Apple line. Pretty exciting, I must say!

My design is something that I think could work really for any season depending on the fabric and styling choice. This is actually an adaptation of an idea I've been toying with for a cotton wedding dress I would like to make. My inspiration? I live in Seattle and it is Salmon Run season which is quite an exciting time. The female salmon swims upstream to the place where she was born to lay her own eggs. It is an arduous journey and spectacular to watch. Salmon are a truly beautiful bright orange fish and make the rivers come alive. I have incorporated this into my design with the bright pop of color and the herringbone pattern created by the bias cut stripe down the front of the dress. I love the classic black with yellow piping, but think that the dress would also be gorgeous in a spring floral print and contrasting stripe. I imagine that fabrics would range from knits to lightweight cottons. Since the skirt is cut on the bias, it will provide a beautiful drape for whatever fabric you would choose. I imagine that the florals would be bright and cheery with a vintage feel. I am in love with Heather Bailey's fabrics and that is the sort that I picture for the floral version of this dress. (Here are a few that I love)

it always looks better in person

I wish I had better photography skills because I don't feel like these pictures do this fabric or dress the justice that it deserves! I think part of my problem is the lighting in the room--even with my spotlight umbrellas everything turns out pretty dark. I know if I could adjust my camera manually I wouldn't have this problem! Anyway, today I finished the bodice and attached it to the skirt and I absolutely love the combination! Originally I feared there would be too much going on with the lace and the busyness of the skirt, but it is actually a great combination. Once I get the bodice lined it should have more structure and not look as droopy as it does on my dress form. At this point, I'm working on the zipper. I put it in once but realized that it was a bit big on me still, so I took the zipper out to take it in a little. I am contemplating making a beaded/flowered belt for the waistband to give it a little more umph. With the contrasting fabric I want it to have a more eclectic feeling. Overall, I'm excited about where this dress is going and think that it may end up being my favorite.

The skirt is a perfect length for me. It lands just below the knees at the most flattering part of the leg. It is so nice to not have to alter that part of the dress. Come to think of it, those boots in the picture behind the dress may look really cute with it :) I do dream of having square dancing at my reception!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

cutting $300 lace

Yes, you read that right. I spent $300 on this lace when I went to NYC. I fell in love with it and bought a yard for my future wedding dress. I don't regret buying it, but it's taken me a long time to want to make the first cut--considering that every cut was worth about $50... figured it was time I took the plunge!

After making sure that my patterns were just right, I cut the pieces out of lace, keeping the edge in tact so I can use it for the edge of the neckline. The tricky part of this lace is that it is beaded with every bead sewn on individually. Before I can sew the seams, I had to cut off all the beads that would be part of the seam. Talk about tedious work!

So far, I have the bodice yokes attached to the front and back bodice pieces. I love how it looks so far. Unfortunately, that's as far as I got today... I'm hoping that life will slow down for me a bit so I can get back to sewing more.