A thought

One thing I didn’t mention in the studio tour was the eccentric decoration we have in our workspace! Just this morning I was in there doing some ironing and I happened to look up at one of the photographs on the wall. It’s a black and white shot of an airplane, probably from the WWII era, although I couldn’t tell you for sure.  Anyway, the paper behind it is beginning to yellow, and it’s in a really neat old frame. It struck me anew this morning, even though I’ve been looking at it (and dusting it) for years. What a great excuse, thought I, to design a dress for an aviatrix! Something very smashingly cute and vintage-y, in grays and greens and creams, complete with a little scarf to blow in the wind.  Maybe a few sequins for pizazz, but more likely with svelte lines and, of course, a dashing little bow…

Look out world, the summer line is coming!


Visit our Studio!

01studiotour-0411After all this talk about our dresses, we decided it was high time we showed you what we’re up to! And what better place to start in our studio? So, welcome to the place that really is the home of Melody Valerie Couture! In the pictures, Samantha and I (Melody) are both wearing the Crimson Bouquet gown—-it’s one of my favorite dresses, and it’s a whole bunch of fun to match!

Let’s begin. And, like all good tours, we will begin at the beginning. Here’s the sewing machine, with me (Melody) standing next to it. (Melinda was photographing it by itself, but it looked so bare and lonely that I decided to pose next to it.)02studiotour-016

If you go to the left of the sewing machine you’ll see the iron. It’s not very glamorous, but it does great work (and our dresses wouldn’t be much to look at without it! Did you know, pressing is just as much an essential part of construction as sewing?)06studiotour-011

Anyway, facing the ironing board and turning over your right shoulder, you see… 03studiotour-013

Samantha being beautiful on the main table in the middle of the room! Well, yes, you see that, but that’s not what I meant. Really what I was getting at is this:05studiotour-006 the bulletin board! As you can see, it’s covered with sketches, lists, beads, buttons, bits of patterns, dress-shaped ornaments, and even a tiny paper airplane! So while it is trying to be functional, it also keeps us all cheerful while we work.

Finally, going to the right of that is the microwave cart, which, needless to say, no longer holds a microwave. Instead, we’ve covered it with sewing supplies! 04studiotour-007And now it’s the sort of place you can easily play ‘I spy’. The cabinet thingy in the back is for sewing notions (snaps, hooks, beeswax, hand needles, extra little scissors and seam rippers, seam gauges, extra pins, and other miscellany). Then you have what Melinda likes to call the “thread spectator stand”, where she keeps all the thread. There’s a lava lamp which we never use hiding behind the fake flowers on the wall, and (my favorite) a plastic vase which we now use to hold pencils. Oh, but we mustn’t forget the pincushion. (We have one of the tomato kind, but this one is way cooler!) You can see it here in the lower left corner of the picture. Basically it’s an old teacup which one of Melinda’s friends turned into a pincushion. She decorated it, glued it to its saucer, and stuck a bunch of fabric-covered foam in the middle. Very clever, and Melinda loves it. (I do too! It’s so cute! And the bit where the pins go in is so squishy. If I were a pin, I’d want to live in a place just like that…) Anyway it’s a clever gift idea, especially if you have a budding seamstress near you who wants something a bit more beautiful than your standard red tomato pincushion.

In the bottom of the microwave cart is where we keep all our completed dresses, wrapped up in tissue paper inside their beautiful boxes. The boxes stack beautifully underneath the main level, and we’ve got a pack of tissue paper down there in the picture too.

And off to the right of the cart is where we keep all the fabric! Melinda puts all the pieces for each dress into a large ziploc bag once she’s cut them out. That way she can have all the pieces ready and together whenever she wants them. (They do have a way of losing themselves, even though our studio is tiny…)studiotour-021

And, because our studio is tiny, that concludes our tour! Thanks for coming along with Samantha and me, and we hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into the inner workings of our business!


The Perfect Box

We’ve been looking for a very long time for the perfect box. We wanted something beautiful, so that you could have an experience as lovely as your dress. No shoving of dresses into padded mailers for us!

Melinda searched hours on the Internet, trying to find a solution that would work with mailing boxes and full-length gowns. At last we found a great candidate. We ordered a sample, and then ordered a hundred. Guess how delighted I was to find this in our studio last night!the boxes have arrived

Of course Melinda and I opened it at once. Here’s what the boxes look like unfolded:boxes-002


And then, once you’ve folded one all up, here’s what it looks like: boxes-0071

As you can see, it’s nearly as tall as me! But that was the idea; this way, we won’t have to fold the floor-length gowns in half during shipping.

One added bonus that most people probably didn’t forsee: you can play boat or car or hotel or almost anything in it, once you’ve started wearing the dress round the clock! Great fun all around!boxes-014

Melinda (who had the camera) caught Samantha and I hamming it up a bit. Oh well!

Anyway, if you know a doll who wants a beautiful dress for Christmas, go pick one out at our Etsy shop (melodyvalerie.etsy.com)! And it will come to you snuggled up in tissue paper, with its care instructions and a bit of lavender—-and all that in the Perfect Box.


For Your Information

Hi! This is Melody. And this is a little update on what’s happening over here at Melody Valerie Couture. We may look rather dormant, but we aren’t! We’re pushing hard to finish all of our dresses before Thanksgiving. So pardon us if you don’t see much selling activity until the end of this month (or the beginning of next). We’re just getting ready for the Christmas shopping season, so as to be able to spread as much joy, cheer, and beautiful clothing as possible!

That said, I’ll definitely keep the blog updated. I’ll interrupt Melinda (my seamstress) from time to time to photograph what she’s working on–I know you’ll love seeing the magic that happens in our studio as much as I do! And wow, is it cool to see three or four copies of the same dress at once! I’ll also post about us, and maybe even do a little virtual tour of our studio.

So, until December you probably won’t see much selling activity. Just keep checking the blog for the latest updates on whatever it is we’re up to, and maybe, if I get creative, we’ll have some fun giveaways or something later on…

See you around!


PS– a quick note about the collection, because it seems to confuse everybody. We have five models this season and we’ll make five copies of each. That means five Joie de Vivre dresses, five Madeleine dresses, five Crimson Bouquet dresses… you get the idea. So if you see a dress you like, you’d better jump on it before we’re sold out! Some of them seem quite popular, and I’ve got a feeling they’ll go fast! ~Melody