Well, we’re back from vacation — we had a splendid time, but it’s nice to be back too. And we haven’t been wasting any time — today we got four custom orders out the door. That’s right — four!
First: the Marie dress, from the Nutcracker:
We also put some elastic onto a pair of purchased black ballet slippers, so they’d look just like the ones in the picture.
Next, here’s the finished Hydrangea dress. It’s even more enchanting in person — I can’t help but think of cultured English gardens, gothic architecture, and (oddly enough) 18th century embroidery patterns!
This next dress (“Sunshine Polka”) was an absolute delight to work on. Funky, vintage-esque styling, with an awesome fabric. What’s not to love?
We also worked up a last-minute matching headband:
Last, but not least, was this nautical-inspired sundress. Nothing says, “I love the Sea” quite like navy and white, and from there, adding the tiny, detailed anchor charm was a no-brainer.
Whew! I think four dresses in one day is a record for custom orders! Next up: … you guessed it, the fall line! =D
So if this isn’t impressive, I don’t know what is…
This dress gets its name from the many, tiny pieces of fabric that start at the waist and then spiral outwards, gradually growing into wide panels at the base of the skirt. I want to say that he actually used real silk ribbons (very wide ones) for this dress… but don’t quote me on that one.
Here’s a closer look at the panels (this time from the side); I love how they criss-cross.
James was purportedly the only American to work in the true haute-couture tradition — he personally draped and stitched every dress he sold! His meticulous perfectionism and love for structure meant he turned out dresses that were rather like sculptures, not just beautiful ballgowns. His “Ribbon” (the Met Museum has several variations) is a stunning example of his craftsmanship.
want to see more Charles James drama? Try looking up “Swan”….!
This dress is actually nearly done, but we’re just waiting on some tights and slippers to complete the look:
I mean, how much fun is it to make the dress from the Nutcracker? And get to play with miles of velvet ribbon in the process?
This dress is also coming along nicely:
I spent several hours the other day, making up little ribbon rosettes to sew on the shoulders. Here’s a quick shot (from the back):
Now that I’ve got the skirt and the waistband on, it’s disastrously cute. Can’t wait to show you all more finished photos!
We’ll be on holiday next week, but we’ll have a few scheduled posts and will be back and sewing before you know it…