Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Charlotte Ballet--2016 Nutcracker Costume pics......FINALLY!!!


This is a cute pic. Just realized that both sets of costumes are in this one. More costume pics below


Here are the Charlotte Ballet Nutcracker costumes I made for last month's performance. What's odd is last month was December but it feels like it was so long ago. I was VERY proud to have this opportunity and honor. You may recall my first foray into ballet costume work occurred when I did the 2015 Kansas City Ballet Nutcracker--Party Girl dresses. So I was pretty happy to do ballet costume work for a 2nd year in a row.  I have TREMENDOUS gratitude for the talented Holly Hynes, the costume designer for the opportunity. She's wonderful to work with.
Here she is in this commercial detailing the inspiration for this year's ballet. I had the privileged of seeing the show when it came to Charleston, SC and the costumes were DIVINE!!!! I think I drooled all through the show LOL!!!





Here are the lovely drawings done by Holly Hynes. I anticipated having other big projects around that time so I picked the simpler kids costumes---one's I knew I could accommodate in my schedule.

The China corp girl's costume consisted of a boatneck top in crepe back orange satin (crepe side up) and a snake applique on the front that wrapped around over the shoulder to the back with a snakehead with ruby red eyes.


The Ukrainian Girls who performed the GoPak dance--- Their blouses were authentic and ordered from the Ukraine. I created the custom belt made out of pink satin and their circle skirts made from midweight green polyester. Later  it was decide for the skirts to be lengthened and I added a Ukrainian type 2" wide ribbon to the bottom.


You can see the Ukrainian Girl's costume in this commercial at 0:34-0:38s in


Here's backstage pics of both sets of costumes. The China Corp girls---sorry I don't have a pic of the back with the snake head and garnet eyes. I made 8 tops and 8 pants.


....and the Ukrainian Girls. I made the 4 skirts and 4 belts.






Here is the video detailing all of my work! If I sound crazy it's because I was sleep deprived! LOLLLLL




So if you rewind things a bit you may recall that I traveled to Charlotte, NC in October to do the initial fittings. I posted some of these on my Instagram acct back then. Here I am in the Charlotte Ballet work room! It's huge! The candy cane costumes are to the left. So much eye-candy!

Fitting the China corp girls. I made the top in muslin--various sizes close to their measurements. We then pin fit them. We also did the same for the pants. Except the pants were already cut out in the final fashion fabric. I had to take in a few to account for the fittings. 


We also fit the Ukrainian girl outfits too. We adjusted the skirt by dropping the hem. I then later added trim to it to create a longer skirt per the designers instructions. Also, notice the belt prototype is in muslin. Wanted the designer to approve the design before I made the real thing.

Here's the final belt up close. It has pleating detail in the middle and a faux knot/sash in the front. It was made out of a really pretty shiny slubbed pink satin.

Anyhow LOVED this project!!! And I loved the final results!!!!

 Last but not least I want to dedicate this post to my favorite gal Lucky who lost her battle to cancer (leg tumor) 2 weeks ago. She was originally my Dad's dog but since his passing and other circumstances I received her a year ago. At the ripe "young" age of 16 she brought our family so much joy. She was so quiet---rarely barked but just always such a sweet presence.  She was my "road dog" for sure---always hanging in my sewing studio for every project. She's witnessed the highs and lows and always snuggled near me for support and to keep my feet warm on the cold days. I miss her dearly...boy do I miss her! Love you forever Lucky! Enjoy hanging out in Heaven with Dad :)


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Custom Wedding Work: A Bridal Gown (2 Piece) and 3 Bridesmaids Dresses


 I'm proud to finally be able to post pics of the Custom sewn pieces I made for my Lovely Bride Mrs. HB's November 2016 wedding. FYI---I've had the pleasure of knowing this wonderful Lady for a number of year and for a short stint she was my professor in college. We both are marine biologists at heart! I made the bride a beautiful rhinestone encrusted 2 piece ensemble---V Neck, princess seam top with 3/4 sleeves and Fitted skirt and for her lovely Bridesmaids dresses I sewed up an Out of Print Vogue Draped Knit dress. I'll give some pics and details below. Due to time shortage I can't go into too many details but for those of you who follow me on Periscope (10,000 Hours of Sewing) or watch the Tailor and the Dressmaker show on Youtube---well you've heard and seen the scoop. BTW, I'm also on Instagram as VictoriaDBaylor. One final shameless plug is I expanded my business to doing Style Consulting so please swing by to check out my Dressedin10 Instagram too!  Ok, now on to the review...... For the record I NEVER post pattern picks or specific details about my client's custom wedding garments until usually after the wedding. IMP just poor taste to do so.  Anyhow deets below.....


THE LOVELY BRIDE

 -The Bride wanted Indian inspired bridal wear. So for the 2 piece ensemble---I used McCall's 3436 for the skirt and Butterick's 5982 for the top. We skipped the Sari since the beaded fabric was so ornate.  I used Butterick 5982 before for THIS lovely client and knew it would work well and would all great contouring for a larger bust size and the princess seams were to the side of the bust instead of over it. We really didn't want the princess seams to be so obvious.
-This 2 piece had TONS of rhinestones! The pics don't do it justice!
-The fabric was a mesh with rhinestones attached that went from sparse on one end of the selvage to densely packed at the other end which meant it had a border print of crystals.
(photo courtesy from seller's website)

-I've sewn with stones---fabric having them or either sewing my own but this was my first time working with $200/yd fabric (yes that's $200/yd and I had 3 yards). It's the most expensive fabric I've ever worked with so as you can imagine I Had to take extra precautions!  I always think things through before I cut anything. 
-Since the rhinestone fabric was on sheer mesh I had to use another fabric underneath it as a foundation. I opted for a non-stretch ivory dull satin. I would've preferred a stretch satin--which makes it much easier to fit fitted garments but we couldn't find the one we wanted so we went with it.
-Long story short---I did client fitting in muslin to work out fit kinks. Afterwards I was ready to progress toward making both the top and skirt in the final fabric. I discovered the rhinestone mesh due to weight actually stretched vertically so I had to stabilize it. If I didn't stabilize it it would hang longer than the ivory satin skirt underneath. I'd only planned to attach the rhinestone overlay to the ivory foundation skirt at the waistline (basting it and attaching the waistband to it and the ivory skirt) and of course to the zipper section, since there was a center back zipper and to the split---since one was added to facilitate movement in such a fitted skirt. To stabilize the rhinestone mesh I decided to use tulle for it's translucence and stability and had to "invisibly" hand sew the tulle to the rhinestone mesh before I could use the rhinestone mesh/tulle combo to overlay the ivory dull satin---basting together before overlaying pattern and cutting out. I did a ton of hand sewing. I did rows and rows to make sure the mesh wouldn't stretch. And it worked.
-I cut out and sewed the ivory skirt together first. Then I worked on the rhinestone mesh/tulle combo.
-I positioned the dense rhinestone border at the bottom of the skirt and for the hem of the sleeves.  The skirt---for the record---the overlay was actually cut out as a rectangle while the base ivory satin shirt was cut out skirt pattern pieces. A friend advised it was better to keep the lines of the rhinestone  mesh overlay as simple as possible so no side seams were needed. I fit the skirt rhinestone skirt overlay only through sewing up the back seam and contoured the waste by adding a few darts. I actually had to trim the wedge of the dart so it wouldn't be as noticeable in the rhinestone mesh upper skirt. Worked like a charm.
-Of course I added a ivory lining and I forgot to mention that I had to remove rhinestones from all of the seam allowances so I could actually sew them and add some stones back on afterwards to fill in any gaps. As you can imagine this took a little time but wasn't too bad given I didn't have side seams for the mesh overlay! I only de-stoned in the waistband area, zipper area and near the slit.
-Forgot to mention----The lining hem was attached to the ivory skirt hem by machine before I added the rhinestone overly an then the zipper and waistbands were added. The rhinestone mesh hem was turned up and sewn in place by hand using invisible thread.
-

-The top had it's own challenge. The garment styles/silhouettes were EASY---just a crop top and a pencil skirt but once you factored in the rhinestone fabric overlay that's when a bit more thought, skill and engineering was required.
-For the top I cut the 4 pieces out in the same ivory satin and rhinestone mesh fabric separately. This time I didn't need to use the ivory tulle to stabilize the mesh pieces since they would not be hanging freely but would be attached directly to each bodice piece. I did my usual baste in the seam allowance to attach both the rhinestone mesh overlay fabric onto the ivory satin fabric underneath. After hand basting and attaching the two I had to remove all of the rhinestones in the seam allowance. I removed ALOT of stones. Fortunately they came off pretty easily and each was sorta sewn and tacked individually so releasing one rhinestone didn't make 40 fall off. Thank God!
-All pieces were sewn together, lining pieces all sewn together too and everything attached.
-A long zipper was added to the top back.
-As mentioned earlier the heavier stone border was used for the bottom of the sleeves which gave a cool affect. The rest of the top I used the part of the rhinestone mesh with fewer stones. The lovely bride wanted a gradual increase of stones from top to bottom.
For the record---the top and skirt are VERY heavy from all the stones. Was kinda cool though---reminded me of chain mail LOL!

BRIDESMAIDS
3 Bridesmaids. Dress draping details a little hard to see from the pic


- 2 out of the 3 bridesmaids---I used OOP Vogue pattern 1341
-You can see the draping detail of the bodice that continues all over.



-I call these the origami dresses---the pattern consisted of oddly shaped 3 pieces that had tons of pleating and tucks. I didn't even look like a dress until the very last stitch.  This dress requires precise markings. My heat erase pens came in super handy. I color coded my markings (did a periscope video on that a few months back) to make it easier to see which pleat and tuck marks belonged to which.
-Not a difficult dress to sew just one you want to pay close attention to.
-There's no real place to do alterations since it didn't even have side seam. One of the most unusual dresses I've ever sewn but the results were stunning.
-I did sample dress and had bridesmaids try on. Then I made it in a beautiful creamy textured medium weight knit---I think it was a double knit. It had lots of stretch but the thickness helped carry the pleats and tucks well.
-With stretch factor was able to go down in size for each bridesmaid but I had to add 10" of length to the dress and slip---it was originally short. BTW, this dress comes with the slip pattern which is instrumental in order for the dress to take shape and helps form the front drape.
-I love the low asymmetrical cut neckline. This dress reminded me a bit of the Statue of Liberty's

All in All I'm delighted about how the Bride's and 3 Bridesmaids dresses turned out. The lovely Bride , Mrs. HB and her bridesmaids were such sweethearts! I was really honored to do the job! I learned tons in this project and added a few new tools and knowledge to my sewing tool kit. It's always great to be learning and growing and using the skills you've acquired. Ok, next up I'll show you the Charlotte Ballet costumes I made........

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

I got the BEST gift for Christmas!!!!

Let me just say it's the BEST gift because it's one that's been on my list for a few years. Actually it was on my list so long I forgot about it---you know one of those gotta have items hanging out in the back of your mind. Only recently I remembered and began an actively search for it. I'm been on "organizational rampage"---purging, streamlining and organizing my home and businesses. Anyhow it's a hard item to track down for cheap or used. Not too many out there and they come available once every blue moon. Ok, I guess I should stop talking in code. You already probably guessed it from the pictures. I finally got a HUGE file cabinet to keep all of my patterns in!!!!!

I'm SOOOOO ecstatic. I had what I like to call a "God Wink" moment---you know those moments where you know it's more than a coincidence and that God really blessed you. It just so happen I was out of town for Christmas vacay and had been perusing my local FB sales groups. I was actually trying to find a mattress for my daughters bed but was scouting for file cabinet too. I'd been doing so fervently over the last couple of months and had resigned myself to the idea that I was just going to have to purchase one brand new for the tune of around $300 or so. Not idea for me but I was willing to save up for it. I needed to get my sewing studio extra organized and having one spot to keep my patterns would free up space in my studio since I had patterns stashed in several places and that was sorta becoming a nuisance. I have about 500+ patterns---after a downsize last year and I was eager to get them organized. To make a long story short I couldn't believe my eyes when I ran across a local woman selling two, not one but two Hon lateral file cabinets for the cheap price of $225. I literally did a double take. Not only were these professional grade file cabinets but they retail at $400+ each and she was practically giving them away. I noticed the post was made 18 hours previously and I was nervous someone had already bought them. I sent her an inbox message and waited twirling my thumbs. She got back with me the next day, saying they were available and that she would hold them for me until I made it back in town. I was so appreciative. THANK GOD! He's so SWEET!  Just what I needed!!! The lady was so sweet we ended up striking up a conversation and she asked me what I did for a living. When I told her I was a professional sewer and what I needed the file cabinets for she giggled. Turns out she's an artist and sews and she'd bought the file cabinets for the same reason------to store sewing patterns. What are the odds???? Never a coincidence when God gets involved LOLLLLL! And turns out they're so big I only need one file cabinet so if someone would like to purchase the other just let me know. It's definitely for sale!

Ok, here are the pics. Forgive poor cell phone quality! However, the excitement is REAL LOLLLL!

 The cabinet is about 3 ft wide, 19" deep and 65" tall. It's almost as tall as me. I had planned to put this outside of my sewing room but it ended up being too big for the space. I had to place right outside kitchen door in garage. My Hubby assured me they'd be fine and the humid south wouldn't destroy them or destroy the file cabinet. I hope not. I'll be honest, I had a bit of separation anxiety knowing all 400+ of my kids   wouldn't be in the house LOLLLLLL. I'm cool now!

5 glorious shelves!!!

 Feels like I'm looking through patterns at the fabric store LOLLL!

 More Smiles......

 Still very happy......LOL


 Each drawer can hold 5 rows of patterns and bought 45-50 each row! That's 225-250 each drawer! I put in all my patterns and still have space! I don't amass patterns as fast as I used to. I'm more discriminate now. Has to be something unique to make me buy.

 Top shelf pulls out and I keep my Vogues here. Not even full. The other 4 compartments are drawers that pull out.

 Big View. That's alot of patterns per drawer which is what I love. They are all in one place and I won't forget what I have now. I can just thumb through and see. I've already categorized them (dresses, special occasion, pants, etc) which makes things so much easier.


See all drawers aren't full yet!

Back in the day you may recall I used the binder and brown envelope system. 

I'd separate the pattern content---file outer envelope in binder sheet protector in binder for easy viewing and place pattern pieces and guide sheet in separate mini brown envelopes. Well I'm doing away with that system now  since I have the file cabinet so in my free time I'll be reuniting the envelopes with their contents. Maybe I can pay my kid to do this LOL! Anyhow, I'm delighted to have my patterns in one place! Well I'm off to finish organizing my studio and house. FYI---I have a few posts to get in before Jan so be on the lookout for a new post every day or so! I have Ballet costumes and Wedding garments to show--I finally have some pictures to share!!! YAYYYYY! Happy Sewing!!!

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Turquoise Sequin "Sweet 16" Mermaid Gown

Howdy!!!!! The last couple of months have been all about client work. Nonstop client work. 75+ hour/week client work. But I survived YAYYYYY! God kept me sane LOLLLL!  I still have wedding garments to post in addition to Nutcracker ballet costumes---just waiting on photos. But I do have something to finally post. I recently had the honor of creating Ms. K's Sweet 16 gown. She had her celebration this past weekend and her gown received rave reviews. I had so much fun making this one and her and her Mom were the sweetest clients.  Here are some pics I was given and gown details. Apologies I'm guessing the venue was a bit dark. The dress is a vivid turquoise. Pics of fabric below too. She looked so lovely! The dress was very classy and turned out great.  I look forward to making my daughter a special gown for her Sweet 16. Thankfully she's only 9 and I've got plenty of time. Don't want to rush LOLLLLL. Deets below.....




This turquoise sequin spandex was ordered from spandexhouse.com I believe. It was so lovely. Just the right weight and stretch. Very beautiful! A beautiful gown always starts with beautiful fabric!


I used McCalls pattern 7047. I've used it before to create a similar gown. I taped the bodice and skirt together so there would be no waist seam and it would be all one piece.  I did end up whacking this up a little bit to create the mermaid look. Alot of sewers will cut the gown a the knees and make the mermaid piece separately and attach. I flared the pattern to create the effect. She didn't want the dramatic mermaid which technically given the weight of the fabric would be difficult to pull off without some structural support. But here's a pic of my adjustments. You can see the back cutout on far right piece. Ms. K a little athletic so I had to extend her shoulder a bit. I added to bottom with flare as you can see. Only 3 pieces.

I did quick sample to make sure back was ok. My sample was using similar stretch knit I had around the house and didn't include bottom flare but ended at the knees. I always usually do a sample. The actual turquoise sequin fabric was $22/yard so if I'd went ahead and cut the back out too deep and they didn't like it there would be no way to fix. Hence why I always do a sample. Plus it helps me figure out logistical stuff like length and any other changes before making the real thing. We decided she didn't want too dramatic of a train so that initial idea was nixed.  From the sample I made the full gown including flare. Easy to sew together. The back was perfect. I still ended up taking it in a great deal. But that was just a minor tweak. I'm always cautious when making "back out" dresses. The worst thing is a saggy back hole. To prevent I usually end up pulling back shoulder (nearest to neck) up a little bit and sewing it slightly higher than front neck. It helps remove any slack. Even after the fitting there was just a tad bit so I sewed the neck shoulder seams deeper for both front and back.

Aside from that it was easy peasy. I would note that I didn't finish any of the seams. I just folded up and stitched down. I never use my serger to sew anything with sequins. Just doesn't seem like a good idea and I want to avoid any issues with impairing my machine.  Had I wanted to be super fancy I guess I could have used a seam binding but it truly wasn't necessary. The seams were spandex so they won't ravel or fray. Plus the sequins weren't too itchy (I know cuz I tried the gown on myself LOLLLLL) so it was good to go. I have to admit it was fairly heavy. Sequins have a bit of weight to them.

I also contemplated adding 2" horsehair braiding to the hem. I was nervous the gown didn't have enough wow factor with a flat hem but it really did so I'm happy we nixed that idea. I'm always interacting with my client to make sure we add the perfect elements to make their gowns special!


I was EXTREMELY happy with this dress and so was my client. When my clients are happy of course I am. It was a much easier project then my last too which was nice. I LOVE making fancy dresses! Always fun!!!! Let me know what you think about the dress ......and have you been working on any fancy dresses too?

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Red Animal Print Peplum Top--Simplicity 1488

Yesterday in between all of my client sewing I received a lovely invite (thanks BLJ) to attend "The Red Shoe" event, a wonderful event put on by a friend as a surprise appreciation for Husband's. Couples. One of the event requirements was to wear a pair of RED SHOES. I have a red pair of Mary Jane's (very demure and unsexy) so I opted to buy some pumps instead. The day of the event I whipped up this top to go with the outfit. I can actually say it was WAY quicker to sew this one up ( less than 1.5 hours)--- way less time to run out and try and find something. It's times like this I greatly appreciated the gift and talent of sewing. I used Simplity Sew Simple 1488--I think I've made this before. It went together FAST! And of course you KNOW how I feel about peplums. They are my WEAKNESS!!!!  I'm starting to think I'm gonna end up with a closet full of them LOL! Anyway I've had this red rayon one way stretch animal print knit in my stash for ages so it was great to put it to use. I LOVE the way the top came out and we had a FANTASTIC time at the event. My Hubby is my #1 fan so it was nice to really show him how much I appreciate him. As an entrepreneur trying to run 3 businesses I can't tell you how taxing & demanding that is at times. But he always supports me and helps me hold things together. It was so nice to celebrate him and other Hubby's at the event!!!





(The honoree! So nice to do something for someone who does so much but asks for so little in return. This guy's my rock and I thank God for him!!!!)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Someone Needs You!!!

 For some reason or another many of us forget this from time to time. Even me! I was recently reminded when I stumbled upon this recent song clip of a man singing on a NY subway platform. The song he belted out was "Unchained Melody" by the Righteous Brothers. This has always been my FAVORITE love song!!! Always!!!




 I'd never found anyone who could touch the Righteous Brother's version until Mike Yung, the gentleman in the video, gave his rendition. This video has taken off over the internet and thousands of people,now fans were so touch by his singing. This video is only 2:20 but it's impact and reach has more than multiplied. On Facebook it's been viewed more than 15 million times. People were so moved, myself included. It's amazing how what may seem like so little has meant so much.

I got to thinking. What if he hadn't sung that day?  What if he never filmed it? Better yet what if he never decided to share his talent with others. What if he thought it was no big deal and wouldn't impact anyone so he kept it to himself? I hope you see where I'm going with this. He had talent and he used it! And it's impact had a rippling effect.  It's no different for you or me. No I can't sing like Mike Yung but I have my own unique talents. I SEW! And that's a Superpower! Believe it or not sewing was something I used to consider not to be so unique or special but I've come to look at things differently. No one can do exactly what I can the way I can. That's not to say no one is more talented. Absolutely not, there's way more talented people out there. But there's only ONE ME and there's only ONE YOU! And it's that uniqueness that sets us apart and validates our importance. Oftentimes even I forget this. I'm glad for the reminder!

So the next time you're tempted to shrug off your talents as unimportant---DON'T! The next time you think your insignificant- DON'T! The next time you think your contribution won't mean much of anything---DON'T!  Don't undermine your gifts or talents! Don't keep that goodness to yourself. You never know who you may influence. Even if you influence one person it's worth it! By being yourself, operating in your God given gifts you have the potential to impact so many! Remember someone needs you! Thanks Mike Yung for the reminder! Keep on singing!

BTW, let's stay connected! I plan to increase my blog postings. But you can find me on Instagram- VictoriaBaylor or TailoredSeamsbyVictoria and I'm on Periscope - 10,000 Hours of Sewing  and of course on Facebook - tenthousandhoursofsewing

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Want to learn about pattern manipulations....check out Dawn over at Duelling Designs!


I've had alot of work going on but I have thoroughly enjoyed catching up on watching Dawn's pattern manipulation lessons over at her Duelling Designs periscope TV channel HERE. I've been studying patternmaking throughout the years and have a load of textbooks on the subject, worked personally with a Draper but I've enjoyed the added bonus of having someone to demonstrate the principals to you via video. She's EXTREMELY knowledgeable and passionate on the subject. It helps that she has a great teaching voice and always gives concise and thorough information. On top of that she's one of the sweetest people on the planet and her and her husband (aka camera man) make a great duo in producing and directing the episodes. So if you haven't checked out Dawn please do. She's got design challenges, hosts The Sewing Blab with Alethia Hudson and a bunch of great sewing related happenings! You can check out her website here http://duellingdesigns.com  Enjoy!


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