Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The belt . . .

So for this dress (client is still a secret!), I was originally asked to consider versatility as an inspiration--reversible, separates, etc.  When I was originally designing the dress, I kept sketching more complicated designs with pleats and reverse applique or gathered details, but it just did not feel right.  As I know the client extremely well, I knew that the dresses that look the most beautiful on her are the ones that are simple and classic and let her shine on her own.  I decided to create a simple strapless dress with a circle skirt on it.  She has an amazing figure so I wanted something that would show that off but that would still flutter when she walked.  I wanted a lot of movement in the dress.  As the inspiration for the dress was Spain, flamenco dancers were abounding in my mind, but I wanted to create the movement of ruffles without having ruffles.  Ruffles just don't come into mind when I think of this client (unless she was going to a 1980's party).  I let the skirt hang on the dressform for a little over 2 weeks so it could hang out and really let the bias do its thing.

I thought that I could then bring in versatility through the belt options.  I decided to do 2 different sides for the belt that could be flipped around for different looks.  The simplest side is pomegranate silk satin with black lace trim.  The other side is orchid purple silk satin covered in black point d'esprit  with black lace applique at Center back.  I've scattered gold spangles over the point d'esprit and re-embroidered the black lace applique with an outline of gold thread.  I hope she likes it!

This is the dress laying on my work table with the belt across it.  I'll upload photos of the dress on the dressform after I hem it this afternoon.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Lining is Done!

So today I'm actually finishing up the body of the dress, but I haven't taken photos of it yet (soon, soon!).  Here's some photos of the finished lining bodice. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Progress on the Sangria Crocus Dress

Today I'm working on the embroidery of the 2nd bust cup.  For inspiration, I am enjoying a nice glass of red wine from the La Mancha area of Spain (I just thought it was appropriate!).

Here are some photos of the finished embroidered bust cup set into the lining:

Here are some photos of the skirt falling out on the dressform:

 I was trying different width of ribbon to see what width I'd like to do the belt.  This ribbon is 3".  I think 2 1/2" is the right width as this feels slightly too wide to me.  
Note:  This bodice is NOT the final bodice.  I am re-cutting the front bodice as I did not like the ease on this one.  The neckline and pattern are the same though.  Please remember the seam allowance is still on the top edge so the actual neckline will be 1/2" lower than you see now once it is sewn to lining.

Here are some photos of the skirt lining.  I edged the hem with some black lace trim that I had bought a number of years ago in New York.  

Friday, November 4, 2011

Sangria Crocuses

My latest project is a secret client.  It is inspired by Spain.  When I think about Spain, the first images in my mind are Paella, Sangria, Moorish tiles and the Alhambra.

Motifs:  Originally, I wanted to use a Moorish inspired design, however as I continued sketching that direction just did not feel "right" for this project.  I decided to change the motif and use crocus flowers for this project.  Saffron is the stamens of the Saffron Crocus, and saffron is used in many Spanish dishes, especially Paella. 

Crocuses mean "happiness and cheerfulness" and they are the first sign of Spring to me as they are the first thing to bloom in my yard.  When I see the tiny flowers popping up in my front yard, I know the warmth of summer is around the corner! 

 Saffron Crocus.  
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 Image showing the petals and stamens being separated.  The stamen is the saffron spice that you can use in cooking.  This photo is actually showing the process in Afghanistan, but I thought it was really beautiful.  
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Different types of crocuses.
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Colors:  I was given the constraint that the dominate color be black, but I wanted to use Sangria-inspired jewel tones as the accents and for the embroidery.  I thought about red wine, apples, lemons, oranges, grapes.  

Embroidery in Process:  Because I was using a mix of colors, I also wanted to use a mix of types of crocuses as I did not want the overall embroidery to have a "stripy" feel.  I loved the vein or branch-like movement in some of the other varieties of crocus and I thought it would be lovely to have those textures present.