Monday, September 9, 2013

Custom Made: 1920s Inpired Petal Dress

A couple of days before I left for Savannah I was working on finishing this dress.  This is the second, custom made garment that was auctioned off at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art's Fundraiser Gala.  As I met with the 2nd woman to go over what she wanted, she told me that she was looking for something with a nod to the 1920s/30s.  She's getting married in October and the theme of her wedding is based from that era, and she was hoping on possibly wearing this as a reception dress.  So of course my mind immediately went to the gorgeous petal technique that I saw on the dress that Daisy was wearing in her opening scene of The Great Gatsby.  I fell in love with that technique right away on screen, and I had been wanting try my own spin on it for a while now. 
I drafted the pattern according to the woman's measurements.  The dress is made from chiffon and the lining from satin.  The lining is a completely separate dress from the overlay.  I find that whenever I make a dress from chiffon it's nice to have the option to choose between different colored slips. 

Every seam on the dress is finished off by either using a french seam, or by hand sewing the seams shut.  Chiffon tends to fray easily after a couple of wears and if all the seams are closed the garment will last much longer.  Each petal was hand cut and the edges on all the petals had to be slightly melted using a cigarette lighter to keep them from fraying.  After all the petal edges were sealed I started pinning and hand sewing each petal individually to the dress.  Many hours of hand sewing went into this dress, but it was such a fun dress to work on!  I'd like to play around with embellishing different garments with petals as well.     
All photos take by myself

I just ordered a new sewing machine the other day for my apartment here in Savannah.  It should be arriving tomorrow which I'm extremely excited about.  I'm partnering with a local boutique from Fort Wayne that's going to be selling my garments when I come back home on break.  I'm hoping in my free time to spend as much time as I can sewing between classes.

Also as a side note - I've put new photo prints for sale in my Etsy shop!  I'll be adding new clothes as well within the next week or two.  I have a whole week before classes start so I'm hoping to focus more time into my Etsy shop this week. 
  
I hope your Monday is wonderful and much more to come this week! 

28 comments:

  1. This is absolutely gorgeous. You always do such beautiful work. I can't wait to see what you learn in school!

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  2. I just found your blog and am so impressed with your work. Beautiful attention to detail.

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  3. This is just fabulous. Everything you make is beautiful!

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  4. Oh wow! That dress is amazing! I wish I was as talented as you!
    http://www.closet-fashionista.com

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  5. This is stunning, Esther :) you are amazing! :)

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  6. I just watched Gatsby for the first time two days ago, and totally took movie stills of that dress on my computer. I could hardly pay attention to what was going on, the dress was so beautiful! It was so inspiring, and your take on the petal idea is gorgeous.

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  7. This is so lovely! I love the idea of a simple reception dress-- this will be perfect!

    Hope you're settling into your new place nicely. I still remember the day I left home (also Indiana, at age 18) for southern California... I couldn't believe I had done it, but I'm so glad I did!

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  8. What a beautiful dress. There are not enough words to describe it. Girl, you have sewing skills! It is flawless, to say the least. The design is so so wonderful. All that hand sewing but the outcome makes it worth it. One question please, you said that you finished the petals with a cigarette lighter, can you tell me the trick to not letting it looked burnt. I would have never guessed that it was done using that technique.

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  9. This is gorgeous! Your work is so inspiring! Have you ever looked at "The Party Dress Book" by Mary Adams? It showed me some of the amazing color possibilities of chiffon, and her journey to being a dressmaker was inspiring, too. Maybe you would like it.

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  10. This is so beautiful, Esther! You're inspiring me to get sewing some trickier things so that maybe I'll be able to make my own prom dress at the end of the year :)

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  11. Gosh that is just gorgeous! Such a beautiful rendition of Daisy's dress.

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  12. Oh my gosh, I love how delicate that chiffon is! And in some of those photos it seemed to take on more than one color. I also love your idea to sell photos in your shop!

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  13. Esther!! I'm the Fox that emailed you a while back! You may have noticed that because I mean, how many Foxes do most people know? Anyway, you have done it again!! You amaze me with your talent every single time!! I cannot wait to see where you go with sewing in college and I wish you all the best!
    Always,
    Fox Carlson
    foxesart.blogspot.com

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  14. you constantly make me feel like i am not achieving enough for my age :p its always so enjoyable to see your new posts, good luck with moving, and starting a new course! big steps :)

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  15. the distance exterior photos are gorgeous but don't do the dress justice: must look at closeups. amazing/incredible/delicious. thank you.

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  16. You are one talented girl! I love this dress and the amount of work you put into it. Beautiful job! You are an inspiration.

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  17. Your dress is amazing! So delicate... I also loved Daisy's dress from the moment I saw it :)

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  18. Oh God it's so beautiful it hurts my eyes!

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  19. The dress and the photographs are gorgeous!

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  20. Wow.. All I can say is you are amazing talented. That dress is gorgeous!

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  21. its beautiful! I cant wait to buy your designs one day :D

    Hayley xx
    www.addictionstoshopping.blogspot.com

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  22. Dear Esther,
    you are such an inspiration! There is something about your artistic expression that transcends age and matter. You make me think of tinkerbell in real world or the cheshire cat; the autumn mist smelling of spring flowers...
    Keep up sending those vibes!
    Greetings from Croatia!

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  23. What an amazingly talented woman you are, Esther! Your creations are truly one-of-a-kind, meticulously implemented and beautifully conceived. I cannot wait to follow you along as you continue your artistic journey. I also wanted to share one tip with you. If your fabric melts like the chiffon you used for this garment, you can use a wood burning tool on it. Unlike a cigarette lighter, it will allow you more flexibility and precision.

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    Replies
    1. Aw thank you so much for your kind words! Also, wow that tip is absolutely brilliant! I will definitely be trying that out soon, thank you!

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  24. ♥OMG♥
    ♥ IT SOO PRETTY♥
    This dress remind me of the mermaid fishtail and it so cute!!
    YOU ROCK at DESIGN!!!!
    WHOOOOOO~
    :D

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  25. I found your blog through Lookbook and I really love your designs. It's so nice to find some one near my age who sews haha
    ;-) You've been a great inspiration *-* I especially love your prom dress! Very beautiful!

    Also, I read another one of your recent post where you post a picture of a skirt, I laughed when I reached the part where you talked about how you used the invisible zipper for the first time and didn't know you had to use a zipper foot because I remember I did that too! :-) I totally didn't know that and used a normal presser foot and in the end I almost couldn't zip it... .__.

    And this dress it's just so pretttttyyyyyy, the seams, the petals and the layers!! *0* I actually started using french seams to finish chiffon and organza only recently after seeing your post on the prom dress tbh XD Though I really hate finishing off the curving parts haha. Oh well but they give a nice and clean finished touch to the dress so yeah... So erm I'm kinda babbling haha but thanks anyway your posts are inspiring and helpful! *-* Also the petals may I ask how did you make them not fray? I tried melting the chiffon before but it became kinda wrinkly so do you have some tips...? well thanks in advanced! :-)

    Also, I you were to check out my blog I would be very happy ^U^!<3
    icieice.wordpress.com

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