Enjoying the chill in the air and dreaming up designs in velvet and wool.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Moving Pictures

I had a lovely surprise when I checked Facebook this morning - White Dress Media just posted a lovely video chock-full of the gorgeous fun we had at the Atlanta NotWedding a couple of weeks ago. (My hands are even in it for a couple of brief seconds, ironing the dress and fastening Tinika's sash on her...*grin*) I hope you enjoy!

The NotWedding // Atlanta, 2012 from White Dress Media on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The NotWedding Dress Fitting

Friends, it's been a whirlwind over the last few weeks - a fun cyclone of traveling, not sleeping much, and sewing, sewing, sewing. I had the fantastic opportunity to attend the "rehearsal dinner" for the Atlanta NotWedding three weeks ago, and took down with me the then-incomplete gown to do some fitting on Tinika, the gorgeous model who would be wearing it for the event.

Besides looking stunning and being incredibly warm, funny, and down-to-earth,
Tinika is a professional model and is used to people having to be all up in her personal space - 

which is always nice when you're in a tiny bathroom trying to fit a dress skeleton on
someone you just met! We had a blast.

Sarah Esther was in there with us, snapping away with her camera, and so unobtrusive
that I nearly forgot she was even present. That's a great thing in a photographer,
by the way. I highly recommend her.

Tinika had taken careful measurements ahead of time, so there wasn't a lot to be corrected; but as a roommate of mine once said, "The female body is a topographical nightmare" - and there are always in-person adjustments that need to be made, especially for a dress with transparent construction like I was planning. This fine muslin underdress was to be the basis for the overdress that I completed back in Chattanooga over the next couple of weeks, and so I needed it to fit perfectly so that I could make everything else fit to it.

This is the unfinished blouse that goes on top of the underdress; and here is where the fitting proved to be vitally important. Tinika has scoliosis - a curve in her spine that isn't obvious from her measurements, but does impact the symmetry of her back. I was able to alter the blouse so that it wouldn't gape or sit askew when she wears it. 

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand...I can't let you go without a sneak peek at how the gown turned out. More on this later! Many many thanks to Sarah Esther Photography for the use of these stellar images.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Working on the NotWedding Dress(es), Part Two

Just sticking my head in here for a second to show you all some of the pretty pretty things sitting around my sewing area...and my living room...and...yeah, these projects have taken over the whole house by this point. It's a good thing that I love looking at lace, linen, and silk!

This is a bit of the dress for the Orlando NotWedding - a pewter dupioni sash (with handmade anemones) against a top of ivory lace overlaid on blush satin.

And this is some of the detail on the Atlanta NotWedding flower girl's dress - tiny pintucks on the bodice and a self-fabric applique on each little sleeve.

 I've been doing TONS of French seam work. It makes a lovely finish, but is rather time consuming to do. If you're not familiar with the technique, it basically involves sewing a seam with the raw edges facing OUT (so they show on the outside of the garment), and then trimming the edges very very close to the seam (as shown below), and then turning it inside-out and pressing the seam line and then sewing it again so that all those raw edges are enclosed. Capisce? Don't worry if it doesn't make any sense...it still makes my brain do somersaults every time I do it.

And then there is the fun of dyeing fabrics. This is for the pink sash belonging to the Atlanta dress. Unfortunately, I measured something incorrectly after the test piece, and the whole yardage of what I was going to use turned out rather brighter than I wanted it. I have a backup plan. This will be what I'm doing last minute before I head down to Atlanta on Wednesday.

Clockwise from left: Big pot of dyeing fabric, bottle of Synthrapol, bag of dye activator (soda ash substitute), pot of fiber-reactive dye powder. This is so much fun to do, especially since you have to stir the dyeing fabric for about 45 minutes straight. I watched a lot of music videos. Taking suggestions for the next time I have a dye job.

...so...be on the lookout for the lovely professional photos of the lovely finished projects in just a few days! I'll keep you posted. Have a wonderful week, friends.

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