Friday, June 25, 2010

Sewing Classes...

In case any of you didn't know, we teach sewing classes to lots of little girls. In fact, we have 25 students right now! Most of them have been taking them since we first started in January. They have come a long way- from never having run a sewing machine before to sewing there own dresses! It sure is encouraging to see all the girls progress, especially since they are so excited about it and now being able to make gifts for all their friends and family. I look forward everyday to seeing their bright faces pop into my shop, urging to find out what they are going to learn next.

Who knows? Maybe some of those girls will work for us someday... but even if they don't, they are learning a good skill.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Smocking Part 2...

Well, here is the finished product of our smocking. We spent late into the night Friday, as well as Saturday late night to get it finished. One of us would do two rows, then the other one do two. It works great when you have a partner working with you!

I can't wait to finish the dress- So I will work late into the night tonight also!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Our First Smocking Project - Part 1

Last night Victoria and I decided to get out our new smocking pleater and pleat some fabric to do smocking on. It was quite an adventure! first you have to cut out the piece of material, roll it on a dowel (nice and tight) and then start feeding it through the pleater. The needles poke through the fabric every 1/2 inch which creates the pleating. Then we began to embroider our design over the pleats (which is what smocking is). The nice thing about smocking is that you can use what ever embroidery pattern you want for anything you want to make (you can even make up you own design!) Well, we found a design we wanted from an amazing magazine call "Sew Beautiful". Here is the link to their website.

On this project we will walk you step by step on our smocking design! Hope you enjoy!!!
Above is a close up of us pleating the material. You use 10 spools of thread (one color for every needle) It helps to have two people, so you don't knot the threads and it stay nice and neat!

This picture (above) is the cable stitch. This is the most basic, most commonly used stitch in smocking. The look of the cable depends on whether your thread is above or below your needle. (don't understand it? it may be a little confusing but if you want you can always ask for help!)
The stitch that creates the "v's" is called the trellis. You use the same concept as the cable stitch but you gradually walk up the pleats, then back down.
Here's what we have so far. I'll post more pictures as we progress.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Kindergarten Graduation...

We just signed up a new little girl in sewing classes. Her name is Emma, she is 6 years old and is very sweet! Her kindergarten graduation was on Thursday, which she wanted a special dress for. But...she didn't want to make it herself- she wanted us to make it for her (how sweet that was). So we racked our

brains and came up with this special little dress....

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Off to Mexico....Flower Girl Dresses

A few months ago we did a job for a bride. Her wedding was in Mexico so she wanted dresses that looked like cute little mexican girls for her flower girls. Well, she found us! We created four custom Mexican dresses with the color theme of her wedding and on the tags we put each girl's name so they would be extra special. To give credit where credit is due... we originally designed these dresses for a friend- she helped us come up with the design (Aren't they just adorable! Thanks Tricia!)
You can purchase a Mexican dress at our website:

We just got to see pictures from her wedding and they are amazing!!! Thanks to Theresa Valls from Altura Studio. You can visit her blog at

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Deadline is Here...

Today was the final day for Joann's Prom Dress contest. It was a struggle to get them done- but we did it... now we await the date of July 2, to see if we are a finalist, if we are then August 27th we will find out if we win any prize.

We would love to hear your feedback on the dresses!

Friday, June 11, 2010

My Prom Dress Inspiration...

I finally got far enough on my dress to show you pictures of it... I know I should have been documenting the entire process of making it, but I forgot about it- so here it is now. When I first heard about the Joann's prom dress contest I had an inspiration to make a Ginger Rogers style dress- (I absolutely love her dresses)... I have always wanted to make a dress in her style and now I finally got my chance too! Well I searched for days for a pattern in that 30's style but in the end I was hopeless... nothing could be found. What was I to do? After asking people and thinking, I finally got an idea- I would find a pattern that was fitted on top and had a slight flare to it at the bottom... no matter how it looked I was determined any dress can be made from a base pattern, so I found this one- - I know it doesn't look anything like my finished product- and that is the splendor of being able to vary and change patterns! Then a friend of mine gave me the idea for the sleeves and neck ruffle from this pattern- - It was vintage looking, beautiful, and altogether the perfect fit for my dress! Then I got the idea to do beadwork on the top- and that is where I am at now... beading till all hours of the night until I have it just right!

I hope you like it!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Aprons...Aprons...and more Aprons!

You might wonder why we are sewing up so many aprons at the moment? Well, it started with one of our sweet little students in sewing classes. Her mom loves to cook and is also a chocolatier, therefore she also loves aprons so her daughter decided to sew one for her as a surprise. Her mom loved the apron so much she couldn't resist buying one for a few of her friends! She went to the fabric store to pick out material and ended up buying enough fabric for five aprons! (it was great! We love when customers get side tracked in the fabric store because that means more business for us!) Today was the day to create all these beautiful aprons. We got our assembly line together and cranked them out! It was lots of fun and it's nice to have them all completed.

Here is a link to where you can purchase the pattern we used!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Twoo, Twoo...It's time for owls

We recently got a job making an owl costume. Little children are going to wear this costume to help teach about owls. When coming into this job I didn't think it was going to be very exciting (you know how some things can be, you just want to get them done and get paid...) well, that's what I thought of this one at first. Then I started on the project. It was so much fun I just kept wanting to work on it. For the eyes I bought a costume mask and hot glued feathers around it. The headpiece is just a headband with felt covering it and feathers over the felt. Today I did all of the felt feathers on the body. I think because it was crafty I really enjoyed it!

Let me know if you ever want to make and owl costume - I can give you some good pointers!

I loved working on the mask - it looks so real!!!

Here is a Victorian Style Costume I am making for an 8th grader's graduation. This is her special dress. It is a lot of fun to work with nice materials like dupioni silk. It makes things much easier.
The skirt is made from dupioni silk.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Prom dresses for a contest

Lately Victoria and I have been working on some prom dresses for a contest. They have taken a lot of work and time but they are very exciting to do. Victoria was my model for the dress as I altered the pick-ups a bit.

She didn't enjoy it very much, but since it was for a good cause she decided to let me use her.