Member Since: 12/22/2011
It really is difficult -- these are all exceptional entries! I ultimately voted for skill with lace (a passion of mine), mixed with mother love, and attention to the wearer's special performance needs.
Oh! I love the neckline and the little faux openings at the end of the sleeves. Isn't it wonderful to be able to have a unique party dress -- it's almost a work of art. Hand stitching the zipper is the way to go on a special dress like this one.
Congratulations -- I'd have to agree with you that this project was a success! Your client must have felt very special in this little number.
Thanks for the detail about the manipulation of the fabric grain -- I only wish you could have included photos of the back and other details.
Thanks for the info about the lining materials and your hand-stitching most seams and thereby not needing to remove all those sequins. The zipper finishing must have been very laborious! What did you use to make your muslin?
What exquisite detail went into this dance costume! I wish I could see more of the detail of quilting the tutu into its incredible shape. I hope the dancer enjoyed wearing your creation as much as I enjoy seeing it!
It must be especially challenging sewing for a person who is in essence an athlete. Are your costumes used in multiple seasons and do they need alteration to fit other dancers? Or are they created for only one dancer and performance?
I hope your dance costume and special occasion dress business does well -- you deserve it!
A most beautiful creation!
I can only imagine what fun it was to pick out all the different fabrics, trims, etc. that went into this beautiful gown. Thanks for the link to your blog with the video. In the photos, the skirt does not look very full -- maybe it's the Empire waist, or your long legs. But I can see from the video that your movements were certainly not hampered by the skirt's cut.
After having recently read "Persuasion," I appreciate all the details that went into making this an exceptional period gown.
I can see all the mother-love and pride you put into this gown. So important to build in all the features, such as the gussets, that make it functional for performances! I enjoyed the details about using coffee-dyed bias to cover the lace arm seams. And I think your "problem" with not being able to get your first choice for skirt lining actually worked out in your daughter's favor -- so much nicer to sit on cotton when you're under the lights! Love the changes you mnade to the Vogue pattern. Looks great on both of you!
Incredible! This gown is indeed a tour de force. I'd love to see more detail about the construction of the lace "fabric" from appliques. Do you have a blog where we can see your project?
I have seen photos of couture garments (I think the one I have in mind was a DIOR dress) where the clipped seam was hand overcast. The stitches finished every inch of the seam edges, including the clipped portion. It looked beautiful -- and this was a garment that was lined in addition. Maybe chiffon unravels easily? I think I would tend to do the same, especially on an unlined garment where the seam edges would get a lot of wear.
Wow -- this brought back memories. My troup leader had us do echo stitching as a way to learn to handle a sewing machine. This was centuries ago in 4-H. I remember being in tears over mine! I like the idea of adding stitching to a deep hem to embellish and add weight and stiffness. I look forward to trying this on cotton.
Any special tips for a scalloped hem? It might be just too cute. Maybe I'll save for a slightly different hem on a straight skirt -- when I don't want anything that's overly eyecatching.
You did a beautiful job. So much planning -- from the mulsin-making to your considered choice of underlining color. It all paid off in a great way.
By the way, the fit is wonderful -- I don't see any gaping at the neckline (front or back).
Whether you win or not (I hope you do), you should be very proud of your work.
You have set the bar mighty high for custom made prom gowns! I love the unique design and admire all the hard work, lovingly done,that went into this amazing gown. So many beautiful touches -- I think the shaped bottom border of the bodice is my favorite feature.
I hope your granddaughter preserves this treasure!
This is a great technique -- so elegant!
Just one question for Professor King (I have never worked with silk 4-ply crepe -- I don't think I've ever HANDLED it before)
Q: Would you consider underlining this fabric? If not, why?
I'm learning every day -- thanks so much for sharing your knowledge with us.
I always look forward to Professor King's articles and posts. He's most generous passing on his vast knowledge and I appreciate how he frequently uses real women with real (as opposed to "model") bodies!
This DVD series will come in especially handy this year as:
1) A new wardrobe is needed after a 20-lb weight change
2) Coping with an over-60 body is a special challenge -- we all know that the pattern companies do not cater to this demographic!
3) Although I have gotten pretty good at altering skirts, it's time to move on -- I certainly could use the help fitting dress bodices!
PLEASE pick me!
Keeping fingers (and toes) crossed . . .
I think this might make a nice neckline trim -- in black organza -- for an LBD.
I appreciate these articles that illustrate the many fine crafts that go into modern and antique home dec and clothing. It's always a revelation. I hope that such work continues. I wish I could afford something graced with this beautiful embroidery!
I have to admit that this "extra" leaves me nonplussed. I expected a little more explanation. Maybe I'm having a stupid attack, but I'd like more detail for finishes 2 & 3.
Although I'm not sure this would be a good look for me (short, pear-shaped, but like to emphasize my waist), the edge finishes could be useful for other projects -- IF I could understand what was done!
WOW! I have a couple of Claire B. Shaeffer's books and have learned a tremendous amount from them.
This particular book would be a super addition to my learning resources now that I am sewing for my daughter's professional wardrobe. I feel pretty competent sewing various skirts for Stephanie's summer internship -- her first experience in a "real" office environment. But I would not think of tackling a jacket or suit with my current skill level. How I wish I could create those types of garments as well! I think this book could help me immensely.
Can you imagine starting a business career with some couture quality garments? It would be a wonderful thing to be able to do this for my daughter.
Thanks for this contents!
Thank you for the clear instructions. What sold me was the "before" and "after" photos as the end with the organza under the lace. What a difference!
I look forward to using this technique.
I don't follow the show and usually don't read about it, but I'm glad that I saw this post.
It's quite depressing, isn't it? I mean, that designers who were given an challenge that highlighted the older age of their clients could not handle it. Oh, maybe it was they didn't have TIME to get their heads around the figure challenges. MAYBE the clients wanted something that no way would look flattering on them (wishful thinking, like when I buy a bathing suit).
Thank goodness I can sew for myself! We need an inspired designer who LOVES and HONORS her/his mom and grandma so much that she wants to make all women in that age group look wonderful. I would say that we need designers of a "certain age" -- but have you seen Carolina Herrera's Spring 2013 designs!? If that orange number with sheer lace top and "solid" skirt is any indication, NO WAY!
Let's face it, many designers design for the young because it is more FUN -- and while we (50s and 60s) have more $$$, THEY are willing to spend more of theirs on clothes than we are. We are a niche market.
I have sewed in small apartments too, although now I have a home. I can't believe it took us so many years to come up with this solution. I formerely cut out fabric on a cutting board placed on my queen size bed. Talk about an aching back! The kitchen table was a possibility, but mine's too small.
My husband gave me a pair of saw horses and a partial sheet of masonite. The saw horses can be made any height you need. You can disassemble this at any time. If needed, you can even break down the saw horses, if you use the new clamps sold for this purpose (I think Stanley tool makes them).
My masonite is small enough not to need bracing below (I'm not sure of the dimensions: maybe 3X4 ft). I place my cutting board/rotary mat on top of this and can cut standing up without pain. I also sometimes use it as a basting station, although I need to sit on a stool with a back instead of a chair.
Hi - I clicked the "Order your package bundle now" link above and it brought me to the Craftsy site and a listing of their sewing classes that are apparently part of the offer. I found a class listed that I'd like to take.
HOWEVER, I have the same question as others before me: will the subscription extend my current one?????
Thanks in advance for your response (judging from the time the question was originally asked, it does not look like the response will be "quick").
Thank you! This is a wonderful idea for the shoulder-deficient (like me). I think I understand the order of the "sandwich" - thanks everyone for the comments that went before mine.
Does anyone know where to find Dritz raglan shoulder pads? I used to buy 1/4" or 3/8" size at Jo-Ann Fabrics to use in blouses, but not available for the past year. Like the "bull nose" model here, they wrapped the end of the shoulder.
Thanks in advance for any assistance with locating these or similar products.
This past weekend I took an inventory of fall wardrobe because of weight loss. 1 RTW skirt "fit" at the hips, but when I turned sideways, the seam pulled to the back at hip level, just like this illustration!
Now, I know that I really can't fix this item; the seam allowances are only about 1/4 in. But it's great to know how to make an adjustment on my pattern.
Thanks, Kenneth, for this wonderful explanation. I wish you had also included a "before" photo so we could see your initial diagnosis.
Once I was a size 10 petite who needed only to shorten the shoulder seam and widen the hips. Now I need to make many age-related and posture-related changes for a curve at the upper back, lowered bust point, and high curved abdomen. Thanks for addressing these issues in your tutorials. You help me in my quest for a distinctive wardrobe that FITS!
It is my dream to one day take a live course with you on the East coast. Maybe after my DD graduates college. Oh well, they say a pleasure deferred is that much sweeter.
Louise has such a wonderful straight-forward teaching style! Owning this DVD set would certainly help me get back into a higher level of sewing -- keeping fingers crossed!
JDtailor -- your response is very interesting and gives me hope that somewhere I can find some expert.
Do you really go shopping with customers looking for items for their professional wardrobes/special event wear?
I have gone through some websites of local ASG members (Mass.) and have found 1 who mentions development of slopers as one of her services, along with customer evening/wedding gowns. I don't remember too much about the educational backgrounds of these people.
Girls! I thought I was the only one with this problem.
Things fit relatively well when I was in 20s & 30s, even 40s.
Now at age 60, I'm learning how to adjust for a 34DD. But there are so many other points where a mature figure differs from those young things! The stomach might be fuller, but I think it's also higher. The shoulders come forward and the back curves to the front too. This kyphosis, including the forward jutting of the neck, makes one look "short-waisted" in the front. That's a lot of adjustment alread -- and I haven't even begun on my stomach!
What happened to HALF SIZES? I can remember my grandmother shopping in the half size department of Lord & Taylor and I know the pattern companies also had half size patterns. Does anyone know of those patterns really addressed the needs of mature women who have 50+ years of gravity working on her and 30+ years of bra straps cutting into the shoulders? My granny didn't sew, so I don't know.
I'd love to start a movement to pressure the pattern companies to bring this size class back for us!
Other than that, if I can't learn on my own to alter patterns, my fall back is to have a dressmaker develop a set of basic skirt and bodice patterns for me. My younger sister has the opposite problem: 4'10" and less than 100 lb. Absolutely everything she buys (size 00 or whatever) must be taken in by the tailor. I'm sure there are some garments that just cannot be taken in and look good!
Courage girls! There must be an answer for us!
ArtsySharon is very observant about seeking grants -- I think this works in the USA too (our tax dollars misspent!).
I truly believe that dark colors make objects appears smaller and like user1123429 I use mostly dark colors on my big bottom. However, I won't use stripes of ANY kind - not vertical, nor horizontal, nor diagonal. Any kind of stripe only accentuates my rounded figure in a way I find unappealing. I learned long ago that curvy women should stay away from pinstripes!
I'm with Sandysewin -- who can think of fall clothes in July?
I did glance at the envelope backs of both 1784 and the Cynthia Rowley pattern. Am I seeing a trend? In both there are no lengths for the tops/jacket. That's something I'd really like to see and I think it is usually included in a jacket or top pattern. Perhaps they didn't have the space on the envelope?
I'm still working on the muslin for a summer dress - my first project this summer.
Thanks for the super-clear instructions. You mention that the hot knife will result in non-fraying seam allowances. Do you also get that benefit on fabrics other than lame, such as chiffon or organza?
Your techniques make my sewing more fun!
Sorry, everyone, but I think I have orange overload already! Haven’t we seen this color out in ready-to-wear way too long? I’m probably a spoil sport because I don’t care for most oranges (although tangerine is probably one of the more attractive ones) and ESPECIALLY do not care for it in office apparel, which is most of what I sew.
If that’s what they’re going to try to sell this year, I’ll be working off the stash! (Finally, I can justify the stash to the hubby – HaHa! He doesn’t like orange either.)
Thanks for the beautiful memories, Kathis.
My mom knitted me a burgundy Chanel-style suit when I was a young married in the 70s.
I STILL HAVE IT – even though the skirt no longer fits. It’s a testament to my mom’s love and patience. I never had the talent for knitting but I’m very thankful that mom taught me to sew – many good memories of Christmas projects past.
No Christmas project for me this year – I’m still finishing drapes for newly-painted living room.
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