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Inspired by Threads Contest

Inspired By Threads: Issue 64 ~ Ribbonwork Flowers/In Detail

1920's gown I *think* was on the back cover of Threads issue #64 "Up Close". 

I no longer own a copy of the issue from 1996, so I'm pulling this from my memory. 

The dress, as well as the accompanying article "Ribbonwork Flowers" was the inspiration for my Senior Prom Bodice I made when I was 17 years old.

In 1996, when I was 17 years old, I was inspired by Threads Issue #64 to make my Senior Prom dress.  The issue featured an article and an “In Detail” back cover image on Ribbonwork Flowers.  At the time, I was apprenticing for a very talented Costume Designer in Houston, TX, and I utilized almost every technique I was eagerly learning:  I drafted my own bodice pattern based on 18th century fit and design.  (My fav. time period) The body is made in black watermarked bengaline.  Each bodice piece is flatlined and boned with Ridgeline boning set into channels.  I created my own piping/facing from blush pink bridal satin.  All the flowers I made carefully by hand according to the Threads article.  The bodice laces up the back with brass grommets, and was worn with a matching skirt, made from Folkwear pattern #216 Schoolmistress Skirt, and black Victorian Boots.

This past summer, I visited my Mom in Houston (I live in CA now) and found that this bodice had been lovingly saved and kept safe all these years.  It filled with so much emotion to see it again.

I made this bodice when I was a girl, with dreams of getting out of Texas and becoming a costume designer or a museum curator.   Now, I am a 32 year old woman, with a Fashion Design degree, and a Technical Designer by trade.  It has been a long road, but I am still studying fashion history and making costumes every spare moment I have…. don’t give up on your dreams EVER!  They give you hope in your darkest moments.  For me, sewing is not just a creative hobby, but a livelihood as well.  As my old Costume Designer boss used to say “As long as you know how to sew, you will always be able to eat.”  Good advice.  Thank you, Bonnie Ambrose, for everything.

-Kathleen in Oakland

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  1. Complexnatural | | #1

    Kathleen, thank you for your inspiring message. Sending you much love and ight on your journey.

  2. Complexnatural | | #2

    Kathleen, thank you for your inspiring message. Sending you much love and ight on your journey.

  3. User avater
    BarbaraHewitt | | #3

    Kathleen, thank you so much for posting your dress and story. I loved both. If you added an addition of 10+ more years to your age, my story could be yours. I agree, never give up the path that The Lord purposed for you and continue to build on the skills that you have practiced.

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