Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Harvey Girl Costumes

Last spring the new Grand Canyon Dinner Theater commissioned me to make 12 Harvey Girl costumes for their waitstaff!  The long black dresses had fabulous "mutton-chop" sleeves and were so much fun to make!

I also did some of the alterations to the cast costumes so head on up to the Grand Canyon and catch the show!

Recent Wedding Gown Alterations

It has been a very busy fall!  I am just getting to show off some of the beautiful gowns I have been altering!  Here are a few of my favorites:

This is the JCrew Rosabelle gown.  I love the buttons up the back and the sweet flowers on the shoulders.  The bride wanted a nice smooth back on the dress but she wanted the support of a bra so I modified a Victoria's Secret bra and sewed it in to the front of the dress!  No bra lines!  I also hemmed the dress, took in the sides and brought up the shoulders.  Such a pretty dress!
 Photo from JCrew

This is the Rowan dress by Jenny Yoo.  It is such a beautiful silk chiffon sheath!  The dress has a very unusual train with two panels the run down the back and are open on either side.  It was a challenge to get the bustle to look right!  I did a modified French bustle to keep the nice long lines of the dress by picking up the train underneath.  The two panels wear lifted up either side and tucked in on themselves to maintain that beautiful column sillhouette.
 Photo from Jenny Yoo

Always something beautiful to work on! 
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Custom Garters!

I have made a couple cute garters this wedding season that I thought I would share!  This first one I made using lace from the bride's mother's dress!  So sweet!

For this one I reused fabric cut from the hem of one of the bridesmaid's dresses, I love the horseshoe charm!

Garters are such a sweet and sexy way to incorporate small details into your wedding!
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Custom Wedding Gown (with beadwork from India!)

Melinda brought in a lovely skirt and top from India that she wanted to wear at her wedding, however the pieces didn't fit very well and the fabric was very delicate.  We decided to create a custom gown using the beadwork from the originals.  I appliqued the trim to the neckline and skirt bottom and we used the original shawl to create a shear drape over the skirt!  What a one-of-a-kind wedding gown! 

Photos by Tom Brownold Photography

Melinda was so much fun!  We really had a fabulous time creating her amazing wedding dress!
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Eco-friendly Custom Wedding Dress

Last winter Sasha commissioned me for an unusual project.  She wanted to create her wedding dress using the fabric from some vintage lace curtains that hung in her mother's childhood bedroom!  She also wanted to use natural fibers in the other parts of the dress.  I sourced some vintage silk haibotai for the lining and we used a hemp/silk blend for the fabric behind the lace.  The top fabric was beautiful silk chiffon to lend a light floating quality to the dress.  I couldn't be happier with the result!  So beautiful!

Photo by Michelle Koechle Photography

Photo by Michelle Koechle Photography

Photo by Michelle Koechle Photography

Photo by Michelle Koechle Photography

Photos by Michelle Koechle Photography.

Thank you, Sasha!  It was so much fun creating your dream dress!
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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Why buy custom clothing?

So lately I have been following the fabulously interesting Elizabeth Cline after the release of her new book Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion. I love her philosophy (all backed by facts) of buying fewer, better made garments.

Let me share a few of the facts about American clothes consumption (all courtesy of Elizabeth)
  • Clothing was once entirely handsewn and custom made, either in the home or by a dressmaker or tailor.
  • When the garment industry moved offshore in the 1980s and 1990s true mass-manufactured clothing as we understand it today occurred, with single styles produced in the tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, and sometimes millions of pieces
  • In 1902, a ready-made knockoff of a French dress started at $25 ($621.50 in today’s dollars) at Marshall Field’s. This meant that the average American woman owned an average of nine outfits.
  • Today ready made clothing can be purchased for less than $5, and the average American buys over 60 pieces of new clothing per year.
  • We now only make 3% of our apparel in the United States, down from 90% in 1955
  • Only a shocking 15 to 20 percent of clothing donations are resold in U.S. thrift shops, and Americans only keep 21 percent of the clothing we buy each year. 
  • Which all adds up to the horrifying fact that textiles account for over five percent of municipal solid waste.

What is a fashion concious person to do?

Elizabeth advises "if consumers would commit to buying less and investing in fewer pieces that we truly love, we'd have wardrobes that were far more flattering and fullfilling."  The fashion industry has us all conviced that we can't afford more expensive well-made clothes but how many of those cheap trendy garments sit in a closet unworn?

One way to escape from your cheap stuffed closet is to have a garment custom made!  Maybe you have a favorite pair of slacks that are falling apart or a dress that fits but the fabric is cheap, I can fashion new clothing using an existing garment, a pattern, or an idea!  And because I care about every item I make, it will be beautiful, long-lasting, and the perfect fit.

Don't spend more on your clothes, just spend better!  Save that money from all those Target shopping sprees and buy something that will be worth wearing for years to come!

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

New custom dress design!

I am really excited to make this custom dress! It will be so elegant and whimsical. You may recognize the inspiration from several Rivini designs, but I am making this from scratch!

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Custom Bridal Jewelry!

Looking for the perfect jewelry to compliment your bridal gown? Hoping to find unique gifts for your bridemaids? Shelley Claude of Claude Contemporary Beaded Jewelry can make the perfect custom jewlery for your wedding! We have some of her unique creations on display at the studio or you can view and purchase some designs on her website Claude Contemporary Beaded Jewelry

We will be hosting a jewelry party for Shelley so you can meet the artist, view and purchase her designs in person, or order your own custom designs! Stop by the studio on Heritage Square on August 17 between 5:30-7:30 and enjoy some wine and cheese!

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Short and Sweet: A casual wedding dress

I just finished this cute little custom  wedding dress! The bride wanted a short strapless dress made from cotton sateen that she can wear again in the future.  Oh and she wanted pockets, that was a priority! I started with a Cynthia Steffe Design for Vogue Patterns as the base.  I liked the vintage feel of the pattern (and it has pockets!) and the dress features a sweetheart neckline and fun pleats in the skirt.

After fitting the muslin and the basic dress pattern, I added ruching to the bust and a ruched waistband.  I love the verticle ruching on the back above the waistband!  The dress features a built-in corset and waiststay for the ultimate comfort in a strapless dress!  No slipping or tugging!  Also check out the cute peekaboo lace along the bodice and at the bottom of the skirt!

I am finally catching up on my June work, so look for more fun posts coming up!

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Friday, June 22, 2012

On Vacation!

Well after an extremely busy spring and early summer wedding season, I am taking a much needed vacation to Jazz Fest in Vancouver, B.C.! I will be out of the country from June 21 to July 2. I am looking forward to recharging for more weddings! If you need last minute alterations, please call my assistant, Rachel, at (928) 679-0808. She can schedule July appointments as well! Thanks for letting me work on your special dresses June Brides!

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The modest bride

Last fall I had a lovely bride, Rebecca, ask me to add sleeves to her strapless dress.  There are so many strapless dresses on the market but this style doesn't suit everyone!  Adding sleeves or straps is a nice way to customize a strapless dress.  Then you can have the dress of your dreams without compromising on comfort or modesty!  Rebecca's dress came with a little bolero jacket so it was fairly simple to add sleeves to her dress.  However there are lots of ways to add sleeves or straps, even if your dress doesn't come with a jacket!  Additional lace, taffeta, or satin fabric can be purchased to match the dress.  Don't limit your options!

 Photos by Kimber Hansen Photography

Rebecca also shared a nice thought about her alterations: "I had bought a backless, sleeveless, trained wedding dress that came with a not-so-flattering jacket for my outdoor, November wedding in hopes of finding a seamstress to change it to my liking.  Anne's Alterations did just that.  Anne converted the jacket into a cap sleeved top sewn into the dress and removed the train.  Anne turned my bargain dress into an elegant outdoor wedding dress!"

Thanks for sharing, Rebecca!  I love seeing photos of my work in action!
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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Flower girl

Ok, so this dress wasn't for a wedding, but it could have been!  Jamelle Kelly of Cameron + Kelly Studios commissioned me to make a dress for her little girl.  She picked the cutest fabric!  I based the design of the dress on The Party Dress by The Cottage Home.  Because the pattern is only designed for up to size 5, I used measurements to resize the dress up to about a size 8.  I also added cap sleeves and removed the band of contrasting fabric at the bottom.  I think it came out great!

Now I am dreaming of making flower girl about in silk dupioni...!

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Custom Dresses!

The year is starting out great and I am working on several really fun custom dresses!  Below are the drawings for two different dresses I will be designing and making over the next few months!
Here is the front for the first dress.  Originally the bride wanted a cocktail length dress in lace to reflect her fun casual take on life.  But after thinking about her wedding a little more, she decided she wanted a long dress for the "wow" factor during the ceremony.  We came up with a removable satin underskirt that will provide the elegance she wants during the ceremony but that can be taken off for the reception so she can dance and have fun!  I designed my own wedding dress in a similar way so I could remove the train and dance!

This dress will also be a real treat to work on!  This bride has some lace from a family heirloom that she wants to incorporate into the dress.  She is also looking for a floating/airy ethereal feeling.  This dress will have a sheer silk chiffon overlay on top of the lace to soften the lines of the dress.  We are having fun sourcing eco-friendly fabrics like peace silks, vintage silks, and recycled tulle to make this dress!

What does your dream dress look like?
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