Recently I was given a project by a friend of mine who runs a vintage boutique. She had a client who needed a whimsical outfit for a charity ball event the first week of December. She started with a basic black dress and added a wine colored polyester organza over-skirt but didn’t know what to do next to jazz it up. Here is the before photo:It looked a little “sad” with it’s little skinny waistband and big front bow screaming “I’m a fairy princess for Halloween” and did nothing for the dress underneath that had a high-waisted panel thus adding another horizontal line to the mix.
The next step was to convince the client she needed 2 things: A 4 inch waistband made out of black satin to highlight her tiny waist and cover the existing panel on the dress while getting rid of the bow and adding more layers of organza to bulk out the look. Using more layers would change the blandness of the wine color and give it some lift and life.
I went to JoAnn’s (the only fabric store in town for apparel) and bought 6 colors of organza, some with those little metal sparkles glued unto the right side and then we tested to see what colors would enhance the original. Once we put the blue sparkly one under it was a sure winner. Since the client wanted more poof I used a double layer, one gathered tightly by hand and the other pleated like the outer skirt to lay flatter under the new waistband. Since this new fabric is not machine needle friendly aka “needle buster” the choice to hand gather and hand pleat was the obvious choice with only the final stitching to the waistband being done by machine.
The new 4 inch wide waistband was interfaced and attached and the opening relocated to the center back of the dress for easy access to keep the front section smooth.
The final result is this:The client is thrilled and loves the new iridescence of the under skirts and sparkles and the width of the waistband really highlights her waist and perks up the duller finish of the black dress.
Now this Cinderella is ready to go to the ball and raise money for Cancer research…my job is done.
Next week continues with more clients wanting the perfect pants pattern and more samples for the independent fabric store in the nearby town so no rest for the wicked.
Today is filled with preparing for short stay house guests but the main meal will be in a restaurant…Hooray!
May your Thanksgiving be filled with joy and good health and a few people who think you are neat…Lord knows we all need them!