Thursday, August 15, 2013

Custom Made - Hand Printed Dress

Each year in the spring the Fort Wayne Museum of Art hosts an annual fundraiser called the ARTrageous Gala.  This year they asked if I would be willing to be a part of the even by auctioning off my time for a custom made cocktail dress that night in March.  The FWMoA has helped me so much through hosting the regional Scholastic competition throughout the years that of course I said yes!  It was such pleasure and honor that they even thought of me, and I was so glad to be a part of it that night.  
For the custom dress - I first drafted the pattern using the woman's measurements.  After the first pattern was drafted I made a mock up dress to make sure the fit was correct.  I had to make some small adjustments in the shoulders, but other than that the fit was fine.  Once the adjustments were made to the pattern I started the construction on the real dress.   I wanted to keep the design of the actual dress pretty simple, because there's so much work that went into the print.  The pattern on the fabric was all hand drawn using fine point Sharpies.  I lost track of how much time went into the doodling, but I'm sure it was over 15 hours of just doodling.

And to answer the question that I know many of you are probably thinking - yes the dress is for the most part water resistant.  I did a test with water and it was fine as long as there was no aggressive scrubbing (when I did scrub it just faded a little).  Since the dress is made from linen it will have to be dry cleaned anyway, so fading should not be a problem.
The dress is fully lined with an invisible zipper in the back of the dress.  There is a placket of hand covered buttons over the zipper to create a little vintage element - but without actually having up button up the whole dress.   
All photos taken by myself

There was a slight bidding war that night and I was asked in the middle of it if I could make two custom dresses instead of one.  The other dress is incredibly detailed so it's taking more time than I initially thought, but I'm planning on finishing it before I leave for school which is in 3 weeks now.  If I go by the plan, photos of that dress should be up soon!  

In non-sewing news - my sister was home visiting last week and it was so incredible to see her again!  It was a lot of fun and we took a few photo shoots, which I'm hoping to post soon.  In the mean time, here are some of our instagram pictures from the week. 
I hope your August has been nothing but spectacular so far!  I'm hoping to finish a few more posts before I go to Savannah, so more should be up soon! 

24 comments:

  1. the dress is absolutely beautiful, you are so very creative ! ! ! !

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  2. You amaze me time after time! Love this Doodle Dress :-)

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  3. Wow, it's so pretty and detailed!

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  4. Amazing. I will certainly buy clothing from your line ;)

    Hayley xx
    www.addictionstoshopping.blogspot.com

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  5. So cool! You and your sister are too cute! My sis is also named Ruth, but she is younger ;)

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  6. I have no words. Esther this is AMAZING. Seriously how on earth are you only 18? And how are you not some famous designer already? Andd how is it possible to have so much talent all in one family? My mind is blown Esther, you truly are amazing.

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  7. That dress is super-cool! I love the print and, of course, everything is exquisite. I'm visiting family in southwest MI right now, so I think of you when I go into Wal-Mart and see that they actually have FABRIC there (unlike where I live). It's awesome. I love where I live, but whenever I visit here, I'm reminded how truly awesome the Midwest is. Can't wait to see pictures of the other dress, too. You're a bona-fide couture designer! I'm so glad I discovered your blog when you are starting out--can't wait to see all you bring to the world in the future!

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  8. Wow and Amazing aren't very original especially since most of your comments include those words...but WOW, that dress is AMAZING. I am in awe of your patience and skill. I hope your future in fashion is bright and profitable.

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  9. So exciting to see a new project up! I love the swirls you drew! I would never have thought of drawing on fabric to make my own design. Congrats on the bidding war, that's very flattering!

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  10. Thanks for sharing...
    I like the pattern,it is so beautiful..

    Green

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  11. I just stumbled across your blog recently and was totally impressed. When this dress came up in my reader my jaw dropped! It is absolutely beautiful!

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  12. Wow, this is so cool! I love the Sharpie embellishment! Great job, girl!

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  13. The dress is so beautiful, and you and your sister together are lovely ^^

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  14. Your dress is absolutely stunning! You made such a good job of the print :)

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  15. I’m speechless... So amazing!

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  16. As always you did an amazing work! No words!

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  17. That dress is amazing, I can't believe that print is all drawn on with sharpies, what a fabulous idea!

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  18. ESTHER! You blow my mind. This is such a mind boggling beautiful dress - it's intended wearer is so very lucky. Love love love the Sharpie doodles! Can't wait to see what you start making in fashion school...

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  19. Hi, Esther. I just saw some info. on Spoonflower about a designer grant for people interested in textile design. I'm not sure if it's a perfect fit for you or not, but I thought of you right away since it's for students. Here is the page I read it on: http://blog.spoonflower.com/2013/08/spoonflowers-emerging-designer-grant.html

    Just in case you are interested...

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  20. WOW! What an amazing piece of art that dress is! You make such great pieces, I'm always looking forward to see what you will do next.

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  21. Great blog!
    When you get a chance, stop over at my blog where I’m having a huge back to school giveaway. You can win a cute polka dot tote, essie nail polish, make up, and so much more!
    Back to School GIVEAWAY

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  22. great skills, i totally love blue,

    http://flightvintage.blogspot.com

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  23. Ooohhh great
    Very informative article with pictures...
    Thanks
    Pakistani Fashion Clothing

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