The making of a dress - overview

When I was a young bride and planning my wedding, I wanted my dress to be really spectacular.  I had big plans and even bigger dreams - but I had to do it all on a very tight budget.  So I took inventory of what I had to work with.  Sewing skills - check, money - some, imagination - check, determination - double check!

Here is the result:

I designed my own gown based off the skills I was learning while earning my fashion design degree.  I took elements that were important to me in what I wanted in a gown and combined them.  I used my pattern drafting skills to create the pattern but there are a number of patterns on the market that can be altered into the style that suits you.  The biggest mistake I made was not giving myself enough time to feel calm in the process.  I think that is important.  You don't want any negative energy in the planning of your wedding.

So, am I recommending that a bride take on the extra job of creating her own bridal gown on top of everything else she has to do,  well - yes!  If you are even thinking that this is an option for you, and your wedding is well enough in the future,  it is atleast worth the time to research this option. In these tutorials I will be encouraging you to go out into the bridal shops and try dresses on to see what fits and flatters you best.  If, in the process you meet up with your dream dress - congratulations!  There are beautiful dresses available to purchase out there - you may even want to buy an already made gown and change things up a bit. Whatever you choose, I hope my advice can be found helpful.  You can save a lot of money and be extremely proud of the result. 

As complicated as making a bridal gown seems and admittedly can be, the whole process can be broken down and completed in steps.  Give yourself plenty of time and enjoy the journey.  You are gauranteed that no one else will ever have a dress like yours!


Studio Deborah: A hat story

Studio Deborah: A hat story

A hat story

A few years ago I was given a large box of old hats. These were very cool and spanned through the 40's, 50's, and 60's.   Some were in good condition, others needed a little love, and what intrigued me the most was that many were in various stages of completion.

Whoever owned these hats previously not only loved to collect them but enjoyed making them as well.  I felt quite sentimental going through it all, noticing where pins were still left in and fabric was draped, waiting to be finished at a later time and never was.  This is the kind of thing that really pulls on my heart strings. 

unfinished hats

 I've enjoyed having the opportunity to examine these hats, but felt that they would be better served if they were shared with others.  So, given the opportunity to have some fun with my millinery skills, I've been fixing them up, refinishing, and making them available to purchase through my Etsy store. 

I will continue to post pictures as more hats are finished.



I've decided to share a picture of a gown I did as a custom piece for a beautiful bride.  This was a ballgown done in silk satin with a removeable train.  I created a custom embroidery and beadwork design for this gown.  It is truly one-of-a-kind.


Clown Hair and Sour Apples get married!

There's nothing like a wedding to cheer up a gloomy time of year.  Ok, so I'm talking about plying up 2 already bright singles into one very fun and exciting yarn - but whatever!  I've had so much fun with it over the last couple of days.  Here is the progression...
Here are some of my batts waiting to be spun.  Clockwise from top left they are
Sour Apples, Clown Hair, Koolaid Blue, and Blue Lagoon.


Clown hair being spun on my Lendrum
single treadle on the largest whorl.

The plying in action.  My daughter made a sign that says
"two spinny friends"

The final result!  A lumpy bumpy yarn with lots of color and texture.  I love it!


Oh yummy, yummy batts... how I love you!

Here is a fun little bunch of batts that I processed in 2010.  I am currently working on spinning them all in an attempt to destash my wool and have more lovely yarn to make more lovely garments.  The addiction keeps growing........


A new year to be inspired

I have big plans for 2011... A new year is always very exciting and full of possibilities.  But, for those times when the creativity starts to muddle, here are some ideas to get the ideas flowing once again.

For anyone who wants to be inspired on a totally new level, I strongly encourage you to check out the Montana World of Wearable Art website.  If you are feeling in a design slump, the creations presented in this show will certainly perk you right up.  http://www.worldofwearableart.com/

I am working on a project for this year's show but since it is still bubbling in my brain, I will keep the details hush hush for now.

In my lace research I have come across a great website, not only for lace but a great deal of textiles.  Be sure to check this one out, if only for the color combinations.


Here's hoping that 2011 is inspiring and productive for us all!