Archive for January, 2009


Night Fire

nightfire5Once upon a time, I promised that I would share more details about the creation of my mother in law’s ballroom dance costumes. Recently, my husband and I shot several photos of both dresses to include in my portfolio (the photos I previously had taken were on the dress form only and failed to show several of the details I wanted to display), and also to list on my website, as my mother in law has asked me to resell both dresses for her.

nightfire2This is the dress we custom designed for her to wear for a Latin style ballroom dance performance. The body of the dress is made from red Slinky, and the skirt is several layers of red and purple chiffon fabric. To accomodate her full figure, my mother in law and I designed the dress with a flattering ruched bodice, plus sized sewn-in bra cups, and a faux dropped backline with a flesh toned fabric panel so she was free to wear a bra with this dress as needed. The built in body suit has a modest “boy short” cut rather than the typical brief or bikini cut. The dress is decorated with roughly 15 gross of Swarovski rhinestones in size 20ss Jet, Garnet, Siam and Crystal AB. Strings of rhinestones (which are detachable) adorn the faux bare back. The overall effect was very flattering on her, and sexy while still more modest than many Latin style ballroom dance costumes.

nightfire4The dress was designed for a specific event that my mother in law and her husband planned to perform in. Unfortunately, they had to cancel their participation as he was called away to work unexpectedly. And, since my mother in law has done an incredible job getting into shape (way to go!) the gown no longer fits her. So, custom designed though it is, the dress is going to be listed for sale never having been danced in. If you have any interest in purchasing this dress, check my website at soon when additional details will be posted, or send me an email.



In Loving Memory

Recently, a client visited Seamstress Karen’s shop with a custom sewing request. Her husband’s grandfather passed away earlier this year, and she wanted to have purses made from all his old neckties (an inspiration she’d found on TV). Karen told me that in the past she would have turned down a request of this nature – preferring the more straightforward work of alterations. Instead, she called me to ask if I would be interested in taking on the work.

I made up just a couple of purses at first so our client could take a look. She was extremely pleased, and requested enough purses to give one to each of her female family members, so that everyone would have a memento of Grandpa.

There was a large collection of ties to work with, and the bulk order freed me up to made creative use of the fabric. I tried my best to match colors and patterns that complimented each other (and avoid combinations that clashed), and to make use of every bit of the tie. Some of the large ends went together to make quilted fronts for several purses, and others made flaps to close the purses. Long lengths of fabric made up the straps and, again, were quilted together for fronts and backs of the purses. I stitched the smaller ends of the ties together side by side and used them to embellish the upper edge of a few purses as well.

The result was a colorful set of unique gifts that are both functional and a beautiful tribute to a much loved family member. I really enjoyed the opportunity to work on such a meaningful project!


January 2009
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