Formals & More

The “Pearls & Lace” gown (official name) is almost finished. All that remains is the draped beading cross the back. Maybe this weekend . . .  I will show a couple bits and pieces, but until I have it done, that is all you get!

OK  – that’s it for now! Keep checking back – should have more pics up soon!

I will say that I LOVE this dress! Very light weight, feminine, elegant. Everything a bridal gown should be. Pearls & Lace . . .

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I made good progress today on the dress. I worked on the sleeves; got them attached, but still need to complete the pleats and lace edges as well as the buttons. I got the skirt made and attached, as well as the lining and the tulle at the bottom. Here, however, is my dilemma. Note the difference in the following pictures. In the first set, there are 3 buttons spread out over the 5 pleats on the skirt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here I have the same 5 pleats with 5 buttons. I can’t decide which I like better. Opinions are appreciated!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A view of the back (please ignore the bra strap; it’s only there to give my flat-chested Ms Molly some much needed cleavage). Also, keep in mind that Ms Molly apparently has scholeosis, therefore most clothing seems to hang slightly crooked on her. I really must get her to a doctor.

 And the front view. I may need a little more tulle for fluff. Opinions?

Still have to put in the zipper, add the lace trim at the hem and sleeves, and I may do some beading at the waist to match the beading that will drape across the upper back.

All in all, it was a productive day!

I got the dress cut out last Tuesday evening. Took about 3 -4 hours and a sore back. I didn’t have a chance to work on it til early Thursday a.m.   I was leaving Thursday for a trip over the holiday weekend to St Louis with my husband, and I woke up about 4:00 a.m thinking about how I really needed to altleast get started on the dress. So,  at 5a.m., I finally got up and went upstairs to get some sewing done. Ofcourse, the dogs and Emma Grace all thought that because I was up, surely it must be time to eat. I made them wait. They weren’t very happy with me. But I got the bodice put together by 7:00 a.m. I meant to include a pic of the back of the bodice, but it didn’t turn out AT ALL! Will try to get another to post later. It is a lowered scooped back. Love this fabric – ivory silk charmuese – yum!

bodice front

I also got the lace sleeves cut out, but didn’t get them sewn together until this afternoon.

lace sleeve

 Here is the sleeve pinned to the bodice, one pleat and lace trim pinned on.

Here, I’ve put 2 pleats in it ( I think this looks better), and I slipped the button trim on.

Here is a closer view. I do think I will shorten the under-part of the sleeve. I think it just looks a little ‘bottom – heavy’. 

A close -up of the gorgeous buttons I found! The small ones are for the sleeves, the larger ones will go on the pleats on the skirt.

Will keep you posted!

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.

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?

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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