Archive for the 'Bonnie’s Gold Dress' Category


Gold dress in action!

I finished Bonnie’s gold gown just in time, the night before she wore in to a Late Night Brass performance at a charity event. Photos are up on the Late Night Brass website now!


We’ll get some posed shots of Bonnie in the dress soon.


Sneak Peek

The gold dress is nearly finished. My recent lack of blogging means I have completely failed to communicate just how much time and energy and thought and (I hope you’ll agree) talent have gone into this. I have, at this point, probably spent about a hundred hours working on this dress, over the course of nearly two months. I’ve put my other clients on hold for the past couple of weeks as I rushed to get the gown – originally intended for December, and now intended for two November gigs as well – completed in time. My fabulous husband has been a saint, picking up my slack around the house. And fall TV back at last has kept my mind occupied while my hands have stitched, and stitched, and stitched.

Here are a few details to whet your appetites for pics of the finished gown.

gold-gown-hemlineThe skirt and hemline. Look at the way this crepe backed satin drapes. Gorgeous! Bonnie and I shopped for the fabric together and once we saw this there was no going back. It’s perfect for what she’d wanted! And a flattering shade on her to boot. Incidentally, the stitching at the hemline is not so very visible in real life, but it’s sort of reflecting in the flash in this photo.

gold-invisible-zipperThe back closes with an invisible zipper, which is installed *correctly* on this dress thanks in no small part to my seamstress friend, Karen, who let me use her industrial machine which has an invisible zipper foot (and of which I’m desperately envious!) and gave me some guidance to be sure I got it in straight, even, and truly invisible. See how beautifully the zipper pull matches the fabric? That would be because I dyed it. That’s right, this dress includes a custom dyed zipper. I’m just that obsessive these days.

THIS is the source of my madness, the reason this gown has taken so many weeks with so many late nights. The beads. All the beads. Hundreds of them. Hand stitched, one by one. By one. By one. Row after row. Bead after bead after bead. It’s been my thrill and my torment all at once. As the deadline has loomed closer and closer I’ve taken the beads with me everywhere. I beaded on the sofa watching TV. I beaded at my desk at work. I beaded at the playground where I sat on a bench while my daughter played. I beaded while walking home from said playground. I confess, I actually did stitch a quick couple of beads down at a red light. The built in bra was finished a month ago. The fabric for the dress didn’t even get cut until this past Monday (that’s right, four days ago). EVERYTHING in between has been beadwork.


And, just for kicks, here’s my cutie modeling one of the bodice insets, right after I finished beading it (so, halfway through all the beadwork).

I’m down to a few short hours of hand stitching to complete the dress. I drop it off to Bonnie on my way in to work in the morning, and she wears it tomorrow night! Down to the wire indeed, but this one has been well worth the extra time.


P.S. Carrie, you’re welcome. šŸ™‚


The return of Aunt Bonnie!

This post is long, long overdue. I started the draft weeks ago and much has transpired since then, but since I haven’t yet taken photos of my progress I’ll start at the beginning.

Aunt Bonnie asked me to make her another dress. You all remember Aunt Bonnie, right? My stunning, talented, and delightful aunt who sings for Tampa Bay’s Horn Band, Late Night Brass? She asked me to make her a gown for their performance at the Christmas party of one of the large law firms here in Tampa. It’s one of the most formal gigs they’ll perform this year. The men will all wear tuxes with gold bow ties. And Bonnie as the lone gal on stage thought a gold gown was in order.

We started talking about her gold dress back in May, contemplating what pattern might workand what detail work would make the gown really POP. We settled onĀ Vogue 3830, and, with the great advance planning, Bonnie was able to snag the pattern on sale back in June(?). We bought our fabric in July. And now it’s November and things are nearing completion (though I haven’t spent all of the past 3 1/2 months working on this dress; much of that time was spent sewing bras and other fun stuff).

Here’s the pattern envelope for Vogue 3830. For a change, we’re actually making the dress as the pattern intended (for the most part anyway), in View B. The empire waist is a great look for Bonnie, and theĀ cut of this dress over all is very much her style. The back (below) cuts away except for a narrow band,Ā so it’s a bit showier than the other dresses we’ve made, which is very much in keeping with the formal nature of this event.

Now the big busted seamstress in me looks at a stunning but narrow-strapped gown like this and thinks “we need to add some support.” And since I was merrily sewing up bra after bra while we were planning this, and since that band across the back even looks reminiscent of a bra, I suggested we sew a bra right into the dress, custom sized to fit the dress dimensions, custom dyed to match, and far more supportive than the dress on its own would be.

Bonnie agreed, and I got to put my bra-cloning skills to work again, making a draft bra (the stunning purple shown below) cloned from one of her well-fittingĀ favorites. I wanted to be sure I had the fit of the bra right before making the gold bra, because, unlike several bras I’ve posted here before with contrasting black elastics and trims, the gold bra would have custom dyed-to-match gold elastics. And I didn’t want to dye twice. So here’s the original and test bras:

And that brings you up to speed with my progress as of about a month ago.

In the time since then, Bonnie has learned that Late Night Brass will play two formal charity balls this November, which pushed our time frame up from the first week of December to this coming Saturday. And also in that time, I have learned how very, very, very time consuming beadwork is. The endless sewing has kept me busy andĀ I blame my enthusiasm as a seamstress for my slacking as a blogger. But photos, descriptions of my process, and many more posts will follow soon!

I hope. šŸ™‚

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