Thursday, November 18, 2010

What's a dirndl?

I have to admit when I heard that term I had to google it.  As it happens to be, I knew what it was, just not by it's proper name and so do you. That's right, those adorable little Bavarian outfits that everyone wears to Oktoberfest  or Wurstfest. 

These two sweet girls needed dirndls for their outing.  I have to admit that after spending six months working on an all white dress this was a welcome reprieve.  Don't get me wrong I like building wedding dresses.  But the side effect is you go snow blind.  I find working on something fun, creative, and colorful is the perfect remedy.

This was just what the doctor ordered. Respectively, the girls wanted brown/pink and brown/turquoise outfits.  The first picture that popped into my head was chocolate cupcakes.  All decked out in fancy wrappers with white frosting and matching colored sprinkles.  The older sister wanted something girly, so I went with a pink gingham, trimmed with pink ric-rac and flowery ribbon.  The apron pocket had a pink, felt, blanket stitched, heart with flowers embroidered on it.  The younger sister was less specific, other than her chosen colors being brown and turquoise. I chose to go with a brown speckled,  light aqua fabric and trimmed  everything with a purple heart ribbon, mini brown ric-rac and large teal ric-rac.  For some reason, this color combination always reminds me of owls, so I found this adorable owl applique for the pocket.  As it turned out, this matched her style perfectly.
Thank you Holland Fabric House

According to the girls they were the belles of the ball, or um, lasses of the fest.

For all of you now thinking, I need a dirndl. Remember, just like the flowers Hawaiian girls wear in their hair, the apron ties tell your status.  Tied on the left, you're married. Tied on the right, you're single. Tied in the back, you're a widow.

Thanks, girls, for having me build these for you. It was a real pleasure.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dresses that still reside in the ether.

Every artist understands the feeling when you're just about
asleep and an idea comes careening in out of nowhere.  In order not to forget by morning, you sketch it down as quickly as possible.

These are a few of those dream scape wanderers.

This one is called Angelica.  I planned on making it so that the train detaches for after the ceremony. I wanted it clean, elegant and showing off a beautiful back.  I really imagined it on a girl who was very beautiful and wanted a dress to wear, not a dress that would wear her.

Meet Elexis.  I'm not shy of beading, embroidery, and lace. On the right dress, for the right girl it's great. I find I enjoy making the design of the dress say something all by itself.  Just like it takes a bold girl to wear a dress that is not traditional. It was designed to be made of alternating satins in chevrons.

Introducing Katey.  This is a truly unique dress.  Sweet. Like summer afternoons, lemonade and porch swings. Or maybe it just makes me think of the South in general.
The under skirt is to be out of lifted organdy.  The butterfly wings will be beaded and sequined in their entirety. Maybe a pink or soft green sash at the waist.  I've thought it would be fun to make it tea length as well. Perhaps with the organdy puffed and peaking out from under the bottom.

This is Pi'lar.  I love bustled backs.  They have a very romantic look to them.  I placed it with a modern looking top and skirt to balance out the time warp.  I've thought it may be fun for the more adventuresome bride to make the bodice of boned lace with opaque cups.  So, how about it, are you the daring type?

The last one that has made it to a sketch is Vivian.  I wanted to make a dress that would be comfortable to wear, look classy and still have a feature that was unique to itself.  I designed the lace to pull back for the detachable train.

I like trains. But I love to dance.  So I tend to favor train alternatives or detachable trains.

There are still other dresses that live as wispy thoughts on the edge of my dreams. When I trap them on paper I'll put them up to be seen. Like butterflies in picture frames.

If you like my work, please leave comments, and feel free
to contact me.  I would love to make something unique
for your wedding day.

Please see my shop at for
information on payment, shipping and creation time frames.

Special Thanks to Zack for turning my weird scribblings into viewable sketches.  Your patience is appreciated.


Photos courtesy of Ken Cox Photography.
This is one of my custom made dresses.  It is modeled
 after an image of Gene Harlow, well, Gwen Stefani, in Aviator.  Even the bouquet came from that image.

I don't get many brides like her.  Dena came to me with the picture of a dress she tried on. She liked the way it fit, but there were things about it that she just didn't like. During our discussion she brought up that the wedding would be formal and in an old Hollywood style.

Of course old Hollywood is one my favorite subjects. The dresses were to die for, the women were stunning and their accessories were priceless.  Not to mention the dramatic acting.  In case you couldn't see, I faux  swooned.

To make a long story short.  We took the image of the dress she liked and started mixing in other details that caught her fancy as well. And...voila!

In the folds of the drape that crosses over the hip and spills into the train are little clusters of swarovski
crystals and glass beads. Up close it looks like frost
collected in those little crannies.

In preparing to have pre-wedding photos taken of the dress, I asked if she would mind wearing the jewelery and headpiece I had made to go with it.  As I introduced each piece she requested to where them for her wedding instead.

The earrings are swarovski chandelier drops, big and dramatic like the ladies used to wear on the big screen.

And I topped it all off with a feather headpiece in a wire birdcage veil style.  Being such a modern girl, I simply couldn't put Russian veiling on her.

To tie everything together I used the little comb in her hair and the clasp at the back of the back of the neck to design the applique that went on the back of her dress.

If you like my work, please leave comments, and feel free
to contact me.  I would love to make something unique
for your wedding day.

Please see my shop at for
information on payment, shipping and creation time frames.

Thank you Dena you are awesome.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

She is a nymph from Greek mythology who kept Odysseus as prisoner on an island.  Nice curves, a little sparkle, and a sweet  sachet.  I wonder if that's all it took for Calypso to keep him there.  How do you plan to captivate your groom on your wedding day?

Thinking just that is what lead me to build this dress.  Body hugging curves, some shiny beading and an eye catching silhouette is what I came up with.  Granted the hugging part was better before my girl lost ten pounds.  Yey! After all it was ten pounds.

Now when I picture a nymph that lives on an island I also think mermaid.

So I gave it an impressive train that is the length of the dress itself.

I saw this a few days ago and thought it would be fitting for a mythical bride of the sea. Complete with sparkle.

While this tiara is not one of mine, I also make all of my accessories.  Maybe I could make something similar for you.

candle, flute, rings, comb, garland, place cards, boutonnieres

As a mermaid or stranded islander you'd probably send your invites via glass bottle and make all your wedding items from things you could find there along the beach.

If you like my work, please leave comments, and feel free to contact me. I would love to make something unique for your wedding day.

Please see my shop at  for information on payment, shipping and creation time frames.



 Are you in the mood for a party?
record bowl, fairy wings, small peacock feather fascinator, white mask, cufflinks, large fascinator, black mask, record boutoonier, coasters
 This Mardi Gras inspired gown might just be the touch you need to liven things up.

There is no cumbersome train to slow you down when it's time to dance the night away. Instead you have a curtain of beads that shake and sway with every motion. The whole dress is covered from straps to hem  in glass beads forming the image of a diamond pattern on it's surface.

To show off my dress I wanted something flirty and festive. Being a free spirit I chose a mask to model the dress with.  There is something alluring to a mask that a veil can't match.
                                                                           And FUN.

If you like my work please leave comments, and feel free to contact me. I would love to make something unique for your wedding.

Please see my shop for payment shipping and creation time frames.


I love beach weddings.  The ocean and sky are your cathedral and in place of organ music you have rolling waves. Even with very little, they always look ethereal.
This dress is perfect for a beach wedding.  Its little sleeves will flutter with every breeze.  While the front is fairly simple it allows for either a bouquet of exotic flowers or an amazing lei. It's comfortable, light, and airy.
I find myself always looking to subvert tradition. On this dress, I opted to forgo a train and went with  an abstract orchid with delicate tendrils trailing down. The flower has tiny glass beads for freckles.

 Had I the time before the photo shoot for this dress, I would have loved to make these to go with it. 

If you like my work, please leave comments, and feel free to contact me.  I would love make something unique for your wedding, whether a dress or footcandy.

Please see my shop for information on payment, shipping and creation time frame.