Tag Archives: flowers

A dress for prom

promflowersOne of the things I’ve always told me kids is that when it comes to costuming and dresses, I’m more than happy to make whatever they can dream up. So, this senior prom, my daughter and I collaborated on her dress, mostly I listened to what -exactly- she wanted and then did the sewing.

vogue pattern 8849She wanted a peplum built into the dress, based on a dress she’d fallen for on Pinterest. It’s easier for me to start with a patten and modify from there so we found this Vogue 8849 pattern to be the closest version of what she wanted. We both fell in love with the burgundy satin but ended up sewing it inside out because we liked the flat (matte) look to the fabric better than the shiny side.

prom dress fabric and pattern

A big adjustment we had to make was on the sleeves. She wanted a try small cap sleeve, not found in the pattern, so using the available sleeve pattern piece, we shortened it up with pencil right on the pattern piece and went from there.
dress bodiceThe sleeve turned out just the size she was picturing. Note: when modifying a pattern don’t forget about seam allowances. (I had to make the sleeves multiple times to get it right.) Also, we easily changed the neckline with a chalk line when cutting. We didn’t want the V in the front to dip down enough to show the corset she was wearing (the corset seemed a bit higher in the front) and she definitely wanted the snug, smooth look of a corseted foundation.
small peplumThe upper peplum, I changed the pattern to make it two entire peplum pieces sewn together, turned right side out and pressed. For both peplums. The fabric felt so lightweight I thought the weight of two layers of satin might help the way the whole thing hung.
photo 2Ahh, the trusty dress form, indispensable at moments and in dressmaking projects like this one. Especially when modifying or making up patterns. Remember, it’s always better to measure it all out before sewing… and avoid picking out seams later.

extending a peplumThe lower peplum was a bit tricky. The pattern called for a knee length peplum and I needed one that went to the floor. Here you can see my chalk lines as I puzzled it out. The main idea was to follow the curve of the pattern and make the inside of the curve extend the number of inches from the knee to the floor. Better a bit too long than too short when drawing and then cutting.

dress with peplum

Because I was extending the dress to the floor, there needed to be some extra fabric at the bottom of the skirt or a slit, so she could walk more than a few inches at a time.  As you can see in the picture, I left the sides open, my plan was to add a triangle shaped extension on each side. I wanted to keep the skirt straight in the front and flowy, hopefully extending the peplum in a train sort of way toward the back.

dress with peplum, backThe peplum turned out just right  in length and flowiness, the first time around (yay!) Then, I just followed the pattern instructions on sewing the peplums into the skirt and then to the bodice.

embellishmentsShe wanted gold embroidered embellishments for the dress. Luckily, we found ourselves in downtown LA’s fashion district for spring break and had a great selection to choose from, at great prices too. Here, we’re pinning and trying to figure out placement.
making the dressYou can see where she got the idea for gold embroidered details (below), we followed what we saw from the Pinterest picture but had to make up the front.
inspirationI think you’ll probably agree, the dress looks much better on the girl than on the dress form- it fits like a glove!  I think she tried it on for me (with corset) no fewer than 10 times. If you’ve got the body readily available- try on a dress as much as possible in the sewing process for the best fit.

prom dress front peplumYou can see the triangles to add width at the bottom in this picture. Perhaps not the best looking part of the dress but very secondary (visually) and she didn’t complain about not being able to walk so we’ll call it good.
prom dress back peplumView from the back and without her very high heels. The length was just perfectly about an inch off the floor with shoes on, and not in a grassy field.
promflowers

The very talented Julia Smith Floral did the flowers -*swoon*-. The bouquet was to indulge ourselves for photo ops, and not necessarily to take to the dance. The bouquet was lilacs, ranululus, magnolias, roses and in the most gorgeous array of colors to stand out and highlight the dress. It smelled very nice too.ranunculus corsagecrown braid with apple blossomsThe braid crown was woven with apple blossoms and small ranululus, to cover the end of the braid, and look awesome. A crown braid looks good but always better with flowers.

A success, I say! So fun to work with my daughter on this project and puzzle through all the challenges and thrills of dressmaking, hairdo, makeup and flowers of the whole essential high school event that is prom. A special thanks to Jordan (her prom date) for cheerfully indulging our photo snapping and letting us take about 456 pictures of the two of you!

Spring 2013 Beehive Bazaar wrap up

Here’s a recap of the Beehive Bazaar an amazing 5 day handmade and craft event that just wrapped up here in Utah. A sampling of goods and the folks that created them…
Beehive Bazaar goods may 2013From top left: 1)The location, The Shops at Riverwoods in Provo Utah, with beautiful Mount Timpanogos in the background. 2) Whimsimobilia– clay and felt goods. 3) Wendy and Peter– prints and hair pretties & My Rusted Roots recycled metal decor. 4) Monster art by Andrew Ballstaedt.

Beehive Bazaar 2013 goods1) Beaded necklaces by Mineral and Matter. 2) Art by Caitlin Connolly. 3) Hand painted nesting dolls and house by Handmade by Kaarina. 4) Letterpress card by Ink Run Press.

Spring 2013 beehivebazaar1) Concrete planter edged in gold leaf by Moss and Paper Mache cat by Her Art From the Attic. 2) Art by Jethro Gillespie. 3) Clipboard by Vintage Fern. 4) Doorstop by 4) Fox hand towel by Vintage Fern.

UT artists Spring 2013Artists: 1) J Kirk Richards. 2) Jann Marie Nielsen. 3) Cassandra Barney. 4) Fidalis Buehler. 5) Andrew Ballstaedt. 6) Brian Kershisnik.

the house that lars built spring 2013 beehive bazaar
Paper flowers, large and small by The House That Lars Built.

goods from Spring 2013 1) Fresh flowers by @Marko1221 (on instagram). 2) Engraved Cutting Board by Alexis Mattox Designs. 3) Felt Ball hot pads by Wacky Woolies. 4)Clay Buttons by Whimsimobilia. 5) Art by Fiona Barney (@barneys_world on instagram).

handmade goods, various artists1) Lilac watercolor by Birds of AshMae. 2) Yarn and Pom Pom wreath by Evie Ivy Overstreet. 3) Vinyl Scripture bag by Vinylicious. 4) Beaded earrings by Voulez.

bringing geraniums in for the winter

This pot full of geraniums has been brighten up my front porch all summer and fall and I’m not ready to say goodbye to colorful flowers even though the first frost is upon us. It’s my tradition to haul the geraniums inside for long, snowy winter here in the Utah mountains- this is an easy enough task with a few simple guidelines and a couple of tricks.

20121008-095451.jpgI split my four geranium plants from the giant outdoor container into their own personal pot, each small enough to sit on the window sill. Geraniums are very forgiving and don’t mind being moved too much, they should handle the upheaval well. With a small spade, dig out a good sized root ball (at least the size of a very large grapefruit) and place it into the new pot, adding extra potting soil as needed and packing it all down.

20121008-095510.jpgThe trick to keeping geraniums blooming while indoors is placing them in a very sunny place, with direct sunlight. If they don’t have at least 4 hours of direct sunlight they will act like any other houseplant- be green but not blooming. Also, to keep the plant from getting leggy (increasing in size but not necessarily looking very good) you must pinch off the new growth leaves (the light colored tiny leaves pictured above). This goes against all of my gardening/mothering instincts but it must be done to keep the plants fairly compact and forces the plant to put all of its energy into produce flowers, not getting bigger.

20121008-095530.jpgPinch back the flowers as they begin to wilt and die to encourage new flower growth.  Water with miracle gro or other plant food every time you water- regular water isn’t enough. Water about every 4 days or whenever the soil look and feels dry.

As the snow piles up, and the cold wind blows in January and February, you can cuddle up near the sunny window full of flowers with a cup of tea and soak in the bright, cheerful colors. Flowering geraniums in the dead of winter always help chase away the seasonal blues and look forward to the return of warmer days.