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  • Denise Shardlow

Something Blue or how to take a perfectly lovely dress up a few notches.


Jasmine came to me with a dress she loved. It was a luscious royal blue iridescent Silk Dupioni that fit her perfectly. Her mother made it for her with much skill and love, but as much as she treasured the dress, she wanted to take it up a few notches for a destination wedding. We talked about the possibilities, but, as I always say; "It all depends on the fabric. That will decide what we will do in the end." I go to my online fabric sources first since I typically come up empty at Brick 'n Mortar stores (which are, sadly, few and far between anymore.) I can always order swatches, plus it saves time, money and gas. I presented her with several suggestions, but I always put my personal favorite on the top of the list. Fortunately, this sequined lace on a navy mesh was her favorite too!

What I liked about working with Jasmine, was that she did not over think it and went with her gut instinct. When it was time for her to pick up the finished piece, she showed up with photographer Mike Ragusa who took terrific product shots for me and stunning portrait shots of Jasmine. (The 3 portrait shots at the end will take you to Mike's website so you can appreciate more of his work.) Scroll down to see the photos where I go into more detail on the design and construction process. During the fitting process, Jasmine said, "I think we took it up a lot more than just a few notches. I hope I don't out shine the bride!" She also said, "This is a dress worthy of the Academy Awards!" As always, see you next Fashion Friday and please fell free to comment below and share with friends.

denise

The detailing of the fabric dictated what we were going to do. The sheer mesh base allowed the iridescence of the Silk Dupioni to shine through, while the over-the-top lace beading danced over the existing dress.

The scalloped edging was utilized for the waist band and the hem.

PS: It was pretty chilly that morning so I gave her one of my faux fur Capelets to wear on shoulders in between shots.

Here's a lovely detail of the waist. Since the fabric was sheer, everything was sewn with French Seams and there's an invisible zipper in the back seam.

The original dress had a full skirt so I cut the lace in an A-line and added a slight train that could easily be bustled. Since our main concern was that the scalloped edging laid perfectly around the waistline, the edging at the hem was added last. We carefully cut around the lovely detailing and hand stitched with bead work around the entire hem.

Another detail you may not know about working with beaded fabric: You have to remove the beading close to the seam line and hand sew the beads back in place once the French seam is set. I'm still finding lovely blue beads and sequins on my studio and my boutique floors (The boutique is where do most of my cutting. Although I have a perfectly good cutting table in my work studio, I still prefer cutting on the floor)

I surprised Jasmine with little wrist bag. Her shoes were pewter and she was having a hard time finding a bag, so I whipped up a little draw string purse in a silver Silk Dupioni that I just so happened to have lying around. (One of the many reasons why I hate throwing out my fabric scraps;

you never know when they'll be useful!)

Then I gave her little bag it's very own skirt in the sequined mesh.

What a lovely portrait of Jasmine. This really shows off Mike Ragusa's skill and talent as a Portrait Photographer. MikeRagusaPhotography.com


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It's been said....

“There's more to clothing than just adornment.

It does more than merely change

how the world perceives us.

It changes how we perceive ourselves.”
 

― Jacqueline Carey, Naamah's Kiss

​"One should either be a work of art,

or wear a work of art"
 

― Oscar Wilde

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