Formals & More

Archive for June 2010

Well, it doesn’t look like much yet; as a matter of fact, when my husband walked into my sewing room and saw it, he had some unpleasant words about it. I told him that it just a muslin at this point, and you must use your creative imagination. Take away the wrinkles, the seam allowances, replace the fabric you see with a lovely soft silky drapey  ivory silk charmuese, then over lay the skirt with a crisp white lace. Pearl and crystal beaded buttons at the pleats that sit low on the left side of the skirt.  A layer of stiff tulle under the slight mermaid skirt to dd a bit of poof. And cross the back of the back of the shoulders and hanging down the low back – a double row of pearls and crystals.

My inspiration for this gown came from a vintage cocktail dress I am altering for one of my brides.  similar in that it has a silk bodice and a lace skirt. But that is where the similarities end. I want to have it ready for a bridal show I am doing the first weekend in August. Tuesday I will run up to Gail K Fabrics and pick up the silk charmuese. I have the lace (a bolt I purchased on wholesale last year) and a lining (extra in the stash). I will see if they have any really special buttons, also. While I am there I will need to get fabric for a drum majorette outfit I m doing, also. 

What did I ever do with myself before I had this sewing business?

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Sweet Miss Beverly came to me through the Bridal shoppe that I work with doing alterations. She had been unable to find a dress to wear to her sons upcoming wedding in July, and was quite distraught. Everything she saw was for taller, thinner, prettier, more feminine, younger, healthier women. She knew exactly what she wanted, but was unable to find it. Instead of the traditional MOB dress, she actually wanted a blouse and skirt. It had to be fresh and pretty, but not too frilly. Loose and comfortable, but still cover her from neck to wrist. Miss Beverly had spent many years of her youth in the sun with no more on her poor skin but baby oil and iodine. Now her skin has taken on the patina of dry leather. As soft and yet as thick as  well-worn saddle. She has spots of varying sizes and color on her arms, legs, neck and torso. So she wanted a pretty dress that would cover up her ‘shame’ (as she put it) and make her feel beautiful and young again.

We spent several hours together, going over what she wanted, fabrics, designs, patterns, details, measurements, ect. Then I got to work. We had just one fitting of the muslin I made, and, finally, today, after 14 hours of sewing, 7 hours of embroidery and hand beading, and several hours of hand sewing all the details, we had our final fitting.

Sweet Miss Beverly

She cried when she saw it. Just stood there and cried.

Now, it’s not my style; I don’t particularly care for some parts of it. But on Sweet Miss Beverly, it is perfection. It is done in a Spring Green organza over 2 layers of poly lining in the same color. The sleeves were kept sheer with a small ruffle at the hem, to go with the large ruffled flower on her left shoulder (which you can’t really see). Also, at the left side of the bodice, is the beaded applique I made for her. I wish it showed up better, because this MAKES the outfit! It really is very pretty. The band at the bottom of the blouse also has embroidery all the way around but without the beading. It is pretty and youthful, and Miss Beverly cried. What more can I ask?

Miss EmmaGrace finally had her kittens about a week ago. I would have posted about it sooner, but life got in the way. Then over the weekend I crashed. Physically, that is. Slept most of the weekend away, which is extremely out of character for me.

Anyway, EmmaGrace had 4 sweet babies, starting at 4 a.m. and finishing up about 6 a.m. All went well, and she is being a wonderful mommy.

Here they are at about 5 days – already starting to get round and fuzzy! Eyes still closed, still very wobbly and almost always asleep!

 The babies are 11 days old now, and they all have their eyes open, to different degrees. Ears are still folded over, but show signs of coming up!  Two of the kittens look like Emma, in that they are black with white markings. The other two are gray & black striped with small bits of white markings. Already they area growing round and fat. So soft and sweet. Initially she had them in her box, but within a few hours she had moved them under the bed. Not a big deal since she had them on a towel,  just under my side of the bed. But Sunday she decided to move them further under the bed to where I couldn’t reach them. Is it because she knows they are getting more mobile? Or is it because they have had 2 large furry visitors the last couple days? Our 2 big hairy noisy  german sheperds discovered the babies a few days after they were born; and though I tried to keep them out,  this morning I discovered they had found their way in and not only were they getting up close and personal with the kittens, but it seemed as though EmmaGrace was fine with it. Until she moved them.

11 days old

I was  finally able to get a hold of them and stuff blankets under the bed to keep her from moving them into the land of forgotten dustbunnies. They seem to grow every day, getting more alert, more playful, more awake! I love to touch theirn soft fur, but try to restrain myself, as I don’t know if I really should be touching them so much. But they seem to recognize my voice and try to crawl towards me when they hear me. Giving them up to new homes will not be easy. I am already in love.

I know I’ve not been posting at all lately . . . .   Just when I really expected things to slow down a bit in the bridal business, they pick up speed again.  I’ve been getting consistent orders for custom-made dresses! Mostly Mother-of-the-Bride, and a couple of Bridesmaids, and one flower-girl.  So, between dress construction and alterations, I’ve been very busy.  Tomorrow I will be delivering the one of the bridesmaid dresses. It’s really a very simple dress, made of a lovely lavender slinky fabric. V-halter with empire waist and draped criss-cross back, knee-length. I am planning to take pictures of my client in it tomorrow to post. Her problem was in finding a  dress to fit her very well endowed chest.   I m also working on a Mother-of-the-Bride dress that is going to be so pretty. I guess it is technically a grandmother of the bride dress. A very clean bright shade of lime green organza. It is a top and skirt, made to her own design, with the added embellishment of embroidery done in silver, and some beading –

beaded embroidery for Beverly

The color in the picture really doesn’t do it justice.  And I am very pleased with how the beading turned out. There will also be some structured flower embellishment. I m waiting on a couple of zippers I ordered to show up, to finish it.

On another note – I have decided to put more work into my social life. In the last month I have gone out with friends about 4-5 times! I have neglected my friends horribly in the last months, and plan to do much better in the future. This is yet another reason I have not been posting much (at all).

And on yet another note – we have babies! Kittens that is! My sweet EmmaGrace finally had 4 sweet babies early Tuesday morning. She and the babies are all doing very well. They are all ft and healthy, and she is proving to be a wonderful loving mommy. I will post pics as soon as I can get them out from under the bed, where she seems to think they need to be. She actually did have them in her box, and probably would have  left them there had I not decided that the towelling in the box needed to be changed. When she saw what I was doing, she immediately moved them under the bed. They are on a clean towel, and they are right next to the edge of the bed, where I can see and even touch them. Yes, she allows me to touch them. She is very proud of them, and often during the day, she comes to find me, brings me to the bedroom, and seems to want me to just watch her as she nurses them. I’ve never had a pet who seems to need and love me like EmmaGrace does. It is very enduring, and causes me to wonder how some people cannot find comfort in animals. EmmaGrace is showing me how unconditional her love is, and that animals do indeed feel love. I don’t know what else it could be. Devotion? Maybe.  But I choose to call it love. Unconditional love. And trust. That she allows me to touch her precious babies when they are minutes old, that is trust. I will post pics as soon as I can!

 In the meantime, I will be upstairs, sewing.


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