Friday, March 23, 2012

Gold Lame Ballgown

Slowly I'm getting caught up on the custom orders that I still have left to finish (before I can begin working on my ready-made stock for the shop...)

The latest one was this: a gold lame ballgown in 1860s style. Originally inspired by the Phantom of the Opera dress made last year. This dress is now on it's merry way across the ocean to Germany....

Fitted, boned, bodice with puffed sleeves. Separate full gathered skirt.

The client requested a slight train in the back.

I've never done eyelets with metallic thread before.
 That was quite interesting - but it did cooperate surprisingly well!

I had never worked with lame fabric before. I liked the end result, but was a bit frustrated during construction as you have to be so careful to use a cool iron or else it will melt, smooth, and shrink.....also you have to baby it when gathering to keep the raveling at bay until the seam is secured and covered.

I couldn't help but be reminded of Grace Kelly's gold lame gown
 for the masked ball in the movie 'To Catch a Theif'.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Texas Skies

Pictures taken within the last few days.
Now tell me Texas isn't blessed with the most vast and beautiful skies?

It's amazing to me how, even in such a thouroughly messed up and corrupted world as ours, so much of God's created beauty shines through, if we will just take the time to see it.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Final Update on the Museum dress...

Just posted the final pictures of the Museum of the Confederacy dress as well as one of the entire display. Go to the original post to read the whole (now complete) story...

New Camera!

Got a new camera this week! Our old camera got dropped and messed up not too long ago, so I thought it would be a good time to go ahead and purchase a camera like I have been talking about getting for a while....After doing a little (a very little) research on Amazon, I decided to get the  Nikon D3100.
It sounded exactly like what I wanted - easy to use, excellent quality pictures, the capabablity for some bigger lenses eventually, and HD video!
So far I have been very pleased with all of it - it's exciting to have a camera of my own for the first time, and I am hoping to become a better photographer. I know there is lots for me to learn...
My brother also talked me into buying a separate lens, the - Nikkor 70-300 mm Telephoto lens. I can't wait to use this at upcoming reenactments for far-away battle pictures!

A few pictures taken so far....

I'm loving the clearness of the pictures and the capability for different points of focus.

The view across our beautifully green wheatfield

Sweet smelling wildflowers...I like being able to blur the background for effect! :)

This may not seem like a very epic picture - but it's sort of a big deal to was taken in our kitchen at night which has terrible lighting for photography. Our old camera always blurred the pictures terribly when I was trying to take pics of yummies in the kitchen. But now.....don't have to worry about that! yeah! (those are sweet potato pies, by the by....) That was one of the reasons the D3100 sounded so appealing to me - the high range of ISO settings for low-light situations. Because our house just doesn't have good lighting most of the day.

Texas has the most beautiful skies!

Do you have any photography tips? What sort of camera do you prefer?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Update Pictures on the Museum Dress....

Just recieved some pictures of the Museum of the Confederacy dress in progress being covered and painted! Go to the updated post to see!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Museum of the Confederacy Dress

In February I was contacted by a company about doing a dress comission for a display to be housed in the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, VA. Even though the request was a little unusual, I was beyond excited! The museum is somewhere I have wanted to visit for a long time.
The above dress picture whas what I was given to reproduce.
Slightly modified fan front bodice with a waistband, v-neck, bishop sleeves, pleated trim, and a box pleated skirt. The material really didn't matter, as it wasn't going to be seen (I'll explain...) So we chose a wool for the right drape, and for the sturdiness so it would stand up well to the treatment.

The below pictures is the type of treatment the dress will recieve for display: covered with resin that is let to harden, then painted white. The dress will be on a mannequin representing a mother sending her son off to war.

The dress was mostly machine sewn, as the treatment would obsure any tiny details such as handsewing, and I also didn't take time to match up the plaid pattern, since it wasn't going to be seen. I have to say it was a little strange working on a dress that 'wasn't actually going to be seen', but covered over with resin and paint....

I really did enjoy the project, as I always love doing 1860s era dresses - especially ones with a specific inspiration picture. Hopefully I will get to see pictures of the display when it is finished!

UPDATE! 3/15/12
 Just got some pictures of the dress/figure in progress - being covered, painted and posed.
Pictures of the finished work to come...

UPDATE 3/19/12


Also, a picture of the entire display! I love it.....

UPDATE 6/12:

Well, there has been a slight change discovered. This dress is not displayed at the museum in Richmond, VA as I had thought.

When my friend Rebecca and her family were traveling through Virginia on vacation in June, they did some searching and found the dress and its display at the Museum of the Confederacy at Appamatox!

You can see more pictures on the Museum's website here, and be sure to watch the informational video linked on the front page - the dress is featured twice!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

SAICFF Trip 2012

Our trip to San Antonio at the end of February was fast-paced but fun! We went down for the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival and for the Filmmakers Academy. The Academy was for 3 days at the beginning of the week - and it was fantastic. We got to hear so many wonderful speakers, including Doug Phillips, Geoff Bodkin, John Fornof, Kirk Cameron, Stephen Kendrick, and many others!
Even if I never get into film-making, all the thought-provoking lectures were completely worth it in terms of perspective and worldview. I came away very inspired to be alert and active for Christ in all areas of my life (including what films we allow into our homes). Click here to see pictures from the Academy. We also got to meet so many fun and like-minded people from all over the country!

I also enjoyed getting to see several blogging friends - Ashley, Gabrielle, Michaela, and Anna!

The Alamo.

Getting to spend a week in San Antonio was so much fun. It is such a beautiful city with all the old architecture, the fun little shops, historic downtown, and of course the Riverwalk!

A San Antonio Rose! :)

Aspen and Desarae on the Riverwalk
A tall stone church spire, and inside the Alamo courtyard.

During the time we were there, it was the anniversary of the first days of the seige of the Alamo. There were groups of reenactors who were talking to the crowds and even 'firing' a canon down the street!

Me, Mom, and Aspen on our way to the Alamo plaza to take the kids to see their favorite toy soldier shop.

The little ones enjoy a resting place on the riverside.

Right next to house where we were staying was Mission San Juan, with buildings dating from the 18th and 19th centuries.

A charming little stone house with built in garden beds!

The gatehouse reminded me of something from a medieval castle!

During the lunch breaks for the Academy and Festival, we enjoyed exploring the Riverwalk.

So many lovely vignettes!

A riverside cafe.
Lovely staircases

An adorably old-fashioned shop

We stopped to get an ice cream treat at a shop in the historic Menger Hotel,
just across the street from the Alamo.
(Wearing my blue hearts skirt from eShakti.)

All dressed up for the final night of the Festival!



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