Posts Tagged ‘strapless’

So, after having the lining done and all the rhinestones attached, it was time to put the two halves together. She also wanted the bustline to have tulle poking out of it, to give interest to the eye at the bustline. I put the tulle between the outer and inner layers and they were sewn together:

tulle at the bustline

After that, it was time to work on the back closure. I really like making lace up backs. I think they are so wonderfully versatile and still so feminine. I mean really?! Who doesn’t the ability to lose or gain 5-10 lbs and NOT have to go out and get a new wardrobe! I think those Renaissance ladies were on to something πŸ˜‰

There are a couple of different options for a lace up back. It can have a modesty panel, so no skin is showing (like the one I made for my customer); or it can be done without one (for the not-so-timid!)

open lace up back

After adding the panel and the cording, then attaching them to the dress, I threaded satin ribbon through the loops and voila! Here it is:

The dress hasn’t been through a final press, and I’ve discovered that mermaid flare at the bottom isn’t poofing enough. Next, Trouble with Tulle….


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Putting rhinestones on a dress. Hmmm, well there are flatbacks, which definitely helps. Flatback crystals, like the name implies have a flat back to sit flush on the fabric, but have a faceted topside – making the crystals look like they’ve been imbedded into the fabric. There are glue-on and sew-on flatbacks. Glue-ons are used most frequently – think BeDazzler; but I didn’t think that would suit my beauty queen customer. What if they start popping off while she’s walking onstage! Or just as bad, what if all those dots of hot glue stiffen up the satin – booo! So I went with the sew-on kind. They one tiny hole in the center vertically. I got some transparent thread, which looks very much like thin fishing line, and an embroidery hoop and began the task at hand (pun intended!):

sewing on rhinestones

Each one has to be handsewn twice, backward and forward, so the thread creates a bracket the rhinestone can’t escape from. Since the design is a starburst, I kept them in a line so I wouldn’t have 200 knots on the backside of the fabric. Several hours later, the starburst was complete. I was quite taken with the finished effect and wouldn’t have a problem working with sew-on flatbacks again in the future.

completed rhinestone starburst

Putting it all together coming soon….

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I’ve been busy. I know, it’s no excuse not to post. Maybe you’ll cut me some slack if I show you what I’ve been up to πŸ™‚ A lovely, young beauty pageant contestant approached me about making her upcoming pageant dress. I thought how exciting it would be to have one of my dresses on stage and quickly agreed. I was given these sketches to create the design:



The dress would be a sweetheart neckline, mermaid style silhouette with tulle at the bottom, lace up back with a modesty panel, and a rhinestone starburst at the waist. Very glamorous, indeed, and a bit of a challenge for me since I’ve not worked with rhinestones before. But I was up for the challenge!

It’s important to start with a good foundation, so I began with the lining:

the bare bones

A good foundation is critical to every strapless garment. If not done correctly, with the proper materials, the dress will fail miserably. What you see here is the part of the dress you don’t usually see. When it’s complete, these inner workings will be concealed between the layers. I’ve used a teal poly lining with medium poly/mesh boning (black strips). This type of boning is flexible enough to let the wearer’s body be the star of the show while still providing support and control, as opposed to stiffer, corset-type boning. You also see the tulle layer here; the lining continues under the tulle so as not to be scratchy on the wearer’s legs when she sits and walks.

Stay tuned…. More photos coming soon πŸ™‚

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Gigi was inspired by a film of the same name made in 1958. She has a beautiful pleated, wrap detail that can be tied in the front or the back. Another Made To Order gown, I have created her in floor length, tea length, with straps, and with embroidery detail. She is a throwback to romance and princess fantasies. Show off the curve of your neck, the slope of the shoulder, and the line of the collarbone. The strapless, sweetheart neckline is fully supported with boning, and the full skirt comes with tulle in a complementary or contrasting color.
Plus Sizes welcome. Available in your color choice; silk, satin, or taffeta; and your choice of length.

This gown is not only an excellent choice for a ball or formal night on a cruise, but can be customized as a wedding gown with a train. Tea length makes Gigi a perfect choice for bridesmaids.

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More progress on the bodice:

bodice lining w/dress hanging loops

sewn bodice with chiffon underneath pinned to lining

flip side, showing the boned lining pinned to bodice

finished bodice with boned lining

Next, sewing and attaching the skirt. Prom’s in 13 days!

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Erica wanted a short ivory ruched chiffon dress for her prom. She emailed me this photo and asked if I could make something similar.

So, with that in mind, I went on a little shopping adventure. There had been a recent article in Vogue Patterns magazine showcasing fabric shops in the metro DC area that have great selections in quality fabrics. My mother still lives in the area, so I decided to take a little visit and check out Curran Fabrics in McLean, VA. What a great little shop filled with beautiful high quality fabrics! I was thrilled to find out there was a sale going on, but it was bittersweet since the shop is going out of business. I found a luxurious ivory silk chiffon that I knew would be perfect. I decided the foundation of the dress would be ivory duchesse satin with a matching lining.

Here are the photos of the beginning of construction:

ruffle strip

satin bodice base

bodice with ruching and ruffle

unlined bodice on Belinda

The first photo shows the ruffle strip before it is attached. Next is the bodice base in duchesse satin; then the unlined bodice with the ruffle attached on the table. And finally, the unlined bodice on Belinda. The next post will show the boned lining attached to the bodice, giving it shape and allowing the ruffle to stand up.

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