So I had at least some insight into what she might like; she is also a very original kind of person - very unique and very genuine - with a big happy beautiful smile!
This dress was commissioned by her future mother-in-law. So to start the process, my first questions to her were about size and colors and lots of info about how far to go with the bling, how subtle to be, etc.
fter I found out the size (medium), which of course I had none in stock, so I started looking around during my shopping trips for a few choices. I ended up with four very different dresses to choose from. I then invited the 'commissioner' over to like and decide on one of these or to send me back out looking for more choices. Luckily, the choice came down between the one on the left, a Patagonia mid-length dress with thin straps and a built-in shelf bra - and made out of a wonderful blue organic cotton and recycled spandex...a nice quality dress. The other dress we looked strongly at was the lavender - a shorter length, with a cut-out neckline and short sleeves with super swishy 'wings'. The other two didn't make the cut, which is okay, they will make awesome dresses for someone else down the line. I let the 'commissioner' take her time in deciding, looking at the pros and cons of each dress, and she decided the blue would be the best choice for the recipient. And so the first part of the process was complete.
From here, all of the creative choices regarding the dress and its embellishments were left solely to me. As luck would have it, I could find nothing from my deep, vast closet of 'raw materials' that was a good match for this dress, its color or its cut. Luckily I knew of a thrift store that had a couple of racks of Indian tunics, saris, pants, etc.- I found a couple of possibilities and brought them home to see if they would work with the dress. I looked at them against the dress, both inside under indoor lights and outside in the daylight. These first two pics are of a lovely woven floral blue woven into copper with copper bling. It just didn't match like I had hoped it would. The color would have worked, it just wouldn't really improve the dress or give it the look I was starting to envision. The warm-toned copper just wasn't complimentary to the cold tone of the blue of the dress.
I did the same 'testing' with the second outfit I purchased, this one was a tunic and pants with 'bell bottom' embellishments It was very different material from the first, stiffer and more formal, lots more 'bling'. Where the first used copper this used silver, which went much better with the cold-toned blue of the dress. You can see the embroidery and beadwork, sequins, and the fabricin the left-hand picture is from the 'bell bottom' of one of the pants legs. I could see that this was going to be a good match for the dress, keeping the proper tone and giving some lovely bling with some body to it as well.
Out came the scissors....that point of seemingly no return....and then the pins. As I started pinning the bodice trim for the front neckline, I could see that I had chosen well...the first 'puzzle piece' was fitting just right!! Yes, I was excited! It is a good and very special feeling when your vision starts to become a tangible thing. So I pinned and unpinned and repinned - until I had it just the way I wanted, or maybe I should be honest....I had it just the way IT wanted to be. I removed the dress from the dress form and hit the sewing machine!
Lovely, like it was meant to go on this dress...getting excited...what to do next?
Well, the back seemed lonely...so I thought I might add a little bit of decoration there....
I used the pieces that I cut off of the piece that I had just put on the front of the dress. Perfect...I wend below the 'bra bottom' seam so that the embellishments would be a little lower on the back, where the back starts to taper into the waistline. It seemed like a good place for a little shine.
Now, this all looked really nice, but still a bit plain. I got down on my hands and knees and pinned one of the 'bell bottom' pieces to the side of the dress, thinking that I would put one on each side at the bottom hem. The thing was, it just looked too big, took away from the neckline, and even when I made it smaller, it still seemed like it wasn't going to hang right. I had to walk away for a little while and consider what I wanted for the dress...what would be the finishing touches, pulling the dress together.
I think it came out very well. The 'commissioner' was very pleased, and everyone who knew the recipient felt that she was going to seriously LOVE it!! Music to my ears!!!
I hope you enjoyed this installment of my blog. I'll be back soon....every day, every piece is a new adventure! Keep the positive, the peaceful, the happiness....or maybe not keep it...share it!