Formals & More

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Since changing the name of my business last week, I have decided to also change the location of my blog. I have never liked using wordpress (sorry guys if you are listening) because it is very difficult if not impossible to figure out how to personalize anything here. It seems to be easier over ‘there’ so I am going to give it a try. Unfortunately, I can’t figure out how to move all my posts from here, to over there. Maybe some one out there knows how and can help me??   You can find me here –

See you on the other side!!!!!!


I have been thinking of making a change for some time now. In my business name. I have never really liked the name “Formals & More”. I think I just choose it because I needed to have something, and I couldn’t think of anything else. But, it is time to move beyond it. I get so many calls asking if I do tuxes. No. I do not. I wanted a name that would be professional, but classy and give a personal image, and at the same time not confuse potential clients about what my business is. So what is it? My new business name is  “Elegant Designs by Candice Louise”.  I plan to still use my current logo and probably the same colors. I am having my new business cards redesigned by MOO Cards. I am excited to see what they can come up with. My new website probably won’t be up for atleast a few weeks yet, but in the meantime, I will probably be changing my blog site. Not quite yet, as I simply don’t have time right now to put into it. I will also have to change my e-mail, I guess. I already changed my business liscense. Who knew there were so many things to attend to just to change the name of your business! Exhausting! I will keep you all informed!


I got home yesterday from 4 days away at the American Sewing Guild Convention. I laid down on the couch (as I was exhausted) and slept for 5 hours! Woke up long enough to eat some popcorn, then went straight to bed. Woke up at 8 and really didn’t want to get up. Another hour or 2 of sleep would have been heaven!

Anyway – got there early Thursday morning. I had an all day class that day on Couture Fit. It was like drinking rom a fire hose! I always knew I should have a sloper made, but it never made sense to me why? What was I going to do with it? I can’t believe I have been a seamstress most of my life and didn’t know these things! Now I know why I have trouble fitting myself! So now my challenge is to get a sewing buddy to help fit me. Anyway – this class was exactly what I needed. Lots of extremely useful information. I ended up buying the book – Pattern Making made easy. I am sure I will it all the time. Friday’s class was a waste. It was on embellishment. I took that to mean it was a class on various kinds of ways to embellish clothing; embroidery, ribbon embroidery and flowers, soutache detailing, beading, ect… NOT! It was basically a class on bedazzling. Which is fine if that is what you are into. I’m not. SO it was a waste of time for me. Saturday I had a class on The Business of Dressmaking. A friend of mine taught it, and it wasn’t so much that I learned anything new, but a lot of re-enforcing what I already do know. And the finale – was Sunday’s class on Silk Painting. Lots of fun! Got lots of fun ideas of how to and what to paint. May try it on my dress for ICAS this year . . .

But, I digress . . . back to the title. I had entered 2 of my gowns in the fashion show that was presented on Friday evening. Practice was Thursday, so my daughter, Brittany (my model) and I showed up and joined all the other entrants. At the end of the ‘practice’ the director of the show gave everyone their numbers for placement, and my name was never called. Anxious and a little perturbed, I waited to talk to Loretta Phipps after everyone had left. Apparently she never received my entry. But she assured me that if I could write up the details needed for entrance in to the show, she would find a place for my dresses. So, I went back to my room and started typing. About an hour later, I finally had it ready to e-mail to her. I went to bed assured all was well.

Had to get up early for 7 a.m.breakfast, so just by chance, I thought I would check my e-mail. Lo and behold, there was an e-mail from Loretta. She wasn’t able to open my documents. So, I had to go down to the office center and print them off and get them to her that morning. Thankfully my classes weren’t till after lunch. Long story short – we were in the show. Brittany made a beautiful model for me. She was so funny – while waiting for her turn down the runway, she entertained all the old ladies and myself with her funky dance moves to music only she could hear – in a wedding gown.

Brittany in Pearls & Lace

 Brittany in Feather Fantasy










There were so many beautiful outfits presented at the show. Made me feel small and insignificant! Some of the workmanship in these outfits was simply amazing. SO much time put into them! I guess if I had the time, I would learn all the techniques I saw being used, also, and I, too, would be proud to show them off. Simply amazing.

I got to meet one of my ‘heros’ – Linda Stewart. I sat at a table when I first got there, and there she was!  I recognized her right off, and was just so excited to meet her! A very sweet lady, full of knowledge.

All in all an exhausting weekend,  full of information. Now I am looking forward to my next big weekend  – NYC!!

Well, it’s finally finished – actually it has been done for over a week. My internet has been down, which has been preventing me from posting.

Last Tuesday I brought it to try on my youngest daughter (who will wear it in a Fashion show next week). It fir her perfectly, so all I had to do was measure for the pearl drapes across the back. I’m very pleased with the over all look. Again, please try to see beyond Dolly’s (my dressform) sway-back. Everything hangs a bit crooked on her since her accident.

Pearls and Lace - front view

Here is the front view. I used a champayne colored silk charmuese for the draped bodice and the underskirt. The lace is white, and with the background of champayne silk, it shows up better than if I had used a white underskirt. The slit top sleeves are also of the lace, with small pearl and crystal buttons at the top of the shoulder and at the hem of the sleeve. The hem of the sleeve is also bordered with small white pearls.  At the left side front of the skirt, there are 5 horizontal pleats, detailed with larger pearl and crystal buttons. The raised waist curves downward in the back to the natural waist. It is adorned with a trim which includes several different sizes and colors of pearls. The flared hem is finished with a 2″ lace trim that has a row of small white pearls along the top of the lace. The lining has an attached  crinoline to help the flared hemline to do it’s ‘thing’.

Here you can see the sleeve detail.

Bodice detail.

Pleat and button detail.

Here you can see the lowered back with the pearl drape. The dress is slightly fitted through the hip, but not overly so.

And finally – the pearl drape. I really wanted this to be the focal point of the dress. It took several trial and errors to get the length right and deciding on my pattern, but I am pleased with the way it turned out. It is detatchable on both sides, with a small button that is attached to the inside of the back of the bodice, and the string of pearls has a small button loop on each side.

I am very pleased with this dress. I will show it this weekend at the Flat Creek Bridal Show in Peachtree City, Ga, and again next Friday night at the Fashion show for ASG (AmericanSewing Guild). I will also be showing my Feather Fantasy Gown.

He spends most of his day with the new babies,  just watching, sometimes licking them clean, sometimes trying to get them to move somewhere he feels they should be.

He is never less than gentle, always patient, always loving.

 Emma Grace is comfortable leaving them in his giant gentle paws for hours at a time while she does, well, whatever it is she does – outside. They may hiss at me occasionally, but when Saber is around, they meow and climb all over him. 

This is trust.

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.

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