About Me

My photo
Melrose, MA, United States
Hi there, and thanks for visiting my Blog! How did I get started? Well, when I was pretty young, my mom taught me all the basics of sewing. It seemed to come natural to me, and by the time I was in middle school, I began to make lots of my own clothes. I did some sewing for people I knew, (including my mom!)and then bought my first sewing machine in 1986 when I decided that I would make my own wedding gown! I live in Melrose, MA with my husband and our 3 boys. When expecting our first, I started to make dolls, just in case I had a girl. I continued making and selling them as they were fun to make and customize for a special girl. I work out of my home and have had the great experience of making gowns, home fashions, dolls and doing many alterations over the years. My work has been largely word of mouth, with very little advertising. I think you will find my work unique and would like to create something special just for you!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tying the Knot

So I've decided to make a leap and advertise in the "The Knot"! It's an online wedding website geared to brides and everything they could possibly need for their special day. My ad goes "live" on December 25th! I thought I'd broaden my advertising base and reach specifically to the bridal market. No doubt I have had success with people seeing my blog, facebook page and my website, but thought I'd try this for a short term, low cost commitment. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mirror assumes its post

It's been a busy summer in my kitchen. Oh sure, the usual get togethers with family and friends, the bustle of kids coming and going, but also fittings, fittings and more fittings! I usually would keep this mirror on hand in my sewing area and bring it up to the kitchen (where the fittings take place) so the person can view how the garment is pinned and weather they like it or if changes are needed. But since its' been such a busy summer for alterations, I never took it out of the kitchen! So, I think it's earned it's post as a permanent fixture.
This red dress for a teenage girl caught my eye and I thought it would be just the thing for this blog. The perfect length, a bright color to catch your eye, and all pinned and ready to sew. So here you are.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Welcoming Reception

Some of the swatches I bought at Zimmans

And more swatches!!!

Skirt color will be Gold, and Meridian Teak
 (brown) is the color for the table top
Removable decorative top piece (optional).
              This is how it will look                      

A few weeks ago I received a phone call from someone asking me to make custom tablecloths for a conference/reception room. We exchanged a few emails and then met to discuss what the employer wanted and I was shown designs of what had already been presented as models, but were not considered acceptable. I accepted the task of providing what I thought would best incorporate color, style and elegance to the room. After taking pictures and considering all the elements in the room - pictures, woodwork, carpet design, textured walls - I decided on solid colors, rather than a print. The room was too busy already. Since there would be 13 tables in all, one being a stand alone, I also presented an accent cloth for that table, so it would stand out from the rest. These pictures show some swatches I purchased at Zimmans. After getting home and reviewing the prints with the photos I took of the conference room area , the only one I have considered is the top right paisley print, as the accent piece. I decided the rest weren't a good fit for the room and saw some other special order fabrics in solid colors, that I thought would be more appropriate. 

Pictures from conference room

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Editing a neckline

Finished dress
Original dress - plain neckline

Close-up of finished neckline

I was recently asked to change the neckline on this lace dress to a squared neckline. This was no ordinary dress, it was going to be someone's wedding dress, so it needed to be special. The bride-to-be showed me a picture of a style she liked on the internet while she was at my house, and we discussed how I would create it. I squared off the front and the back and used a satin trim. The end result was exactly what she wanted and the expression on her face with the final fitting said it all. She looked beautiful!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Refashioning a wedding gown

removed lace neckline and lace from top
I was contacted about 4 weeks ago from a bride wanting to use her mom's wedding dress, but wanting to make it her own style. When she brought it to me she also brought her ideas of the look she desires. Here are pictures of the gown before any alterations. She wants to remove the sleeves, the train and all the ornamentation above the bust and have an open back. I will make a new bodice with fabric from the train, using the lace and beading from the original top, and add wide straps that will cross in the back.

original lace neckline

lace from top, to be used on new bodice

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wedding showers!

Recently (within the past month!) I have done alterations to a wedding gown, 2 attendants dresses, a mother of the groom dress, a bridesmaid gown, am currently changing the neckline on a wedding dress, and have just been contracted to make a custom wedding gown. When it rains it pours...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A mother's gift

     Here is the result of my previous post. An Heirloom Christening gown and bonnet made from the mother's wedding gown

I was able to incorporate almost every part of the bridal gown.  In addition to the beautiful satin, the gown is fully lined, using the lining fabric from the bridal gown; the trim around the neck and continuing all the way down center back, is from the waistline of the wedding gown; the hemline is from the bustline of the bridal gown; and I used 9 buttons, 2 hooks, and the zipper from the wedding gown. The sheer fabric used for the sleeves, the top overlay and the ribbon of the bonnet is from an underlayer of the wedding gown.

Monday, April 23, 2012

From Bride to Baby...

An heirloom christening gown was a request back in November 2011...here is a picture of the gown. The date has been set for June and she just brought me her gown. I was given a picture of what she would like for her daughter's gown. I will incorporate the gown fabric and all of the trim. The trim at the top of the bodice will be used at the hemline of the christening gown...pictures to follow!

Friday, April 20, 2012

It's prom and bridal season!

Pink - Jr prom- hem only, White - Jr prom - remove wide strap, Blue - for a wedding - shortened to knee length.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A seat by the window...

Trim sewn to top and bottom pieces

Foam measures 84"L x 4"H x 19"W
Final installation - beautiful!
A window seat cushion is just one of my latest projects. 84" Foam, yards of fabric, trim, a zipper and thread; all delivered right to my doorstep!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Time to dance!

I have 13 dresses I am working on for a local dance studio. They all need to have the sleeves and length shortened, requiring removing trim on sleeves and hemline (took me 3 hours last night to remove), adding additional trim, replacing original trim and fitting the dresses as well.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Think Summer.....

3 fabrics chosen for dresses

Original dress

Ella's dress

Latest request - a summer dress! I was asked to re-create a favorite dress, and make several of the same. I like doing this because it not only gives me something to work with - the original garment - then I make my own pattern from something I know fits the client well already. I am pleased to work this way, because in the end I know she will LOVE the finished garment and the fit will be perfect! Did I mention this was a long distance request? She is in Arizona and will soon be mailing me her dress and all the fabric. When I am finished, I will send them off to her!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Red Carpet request

I was pleasantly surprised today when I got an email request to make a prom gown. Date: May 18th. I looked at our high school calendar, and our Junior prom is that date, so I assumed it was a Melrose girl contacting me. Of course I thought of all the work I would be getting as a result of this, not only for this year's junior prom, but next year's senior prom! We exchanged several emails about price, style, and she sent me a picture. It was a picture of Kelly Osborne on the Red Carpet in an Amazing Mermaid style black gown, with lots of layers at the bottom .Absolutely stunning. I was very excited about this request! I did tell her I would have to price it as a bridesmaid dress (about $200 higher than a prom gown) because of the detailed style, and she still wanted to proceed (of course, the entire time I'm wondering if she had consulted her mother at all!). On that last email I sent her a link to my webpage which lists my prices......then she sent me an email saying she just realized that I am located in MA....and she is in Texas! Oh my, that presents a problem. I emailed her back with some suggestions on how we could work this out, but am skeptical because I would not be able to do a final fitting on her and I would hate for her to have to receive the dress in the mail, only to have someone else do the final fitting. I don't think we will proceed, but it sure was exciting negotiating and possibly getting to work on such an elaborate prom gown!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Coming Clean

A shower curtain for a friend. Handmade shower curtain. That's my latest project. Actually, the materials had been purchased some time ago. I was with her when she saw the fabric at a local decorating store, and both of us agreed, she had to have it! It was just her style. I've just been waiting for the final design to be decided upon, and the shower rod to be installed. I'm very excited about embarking upon this long awaited venture.

Now, this isn't just any shower curtain. This one is for a palace. After all, your home is your palace, right? This one will be complete with fringe and beads hanging from the attached valance. My deadline is January 28th. I work best with a deadline, so am looking forward to finally moving forward with this!

For additional photos, click on the link below and visit my facebook page for a full album of custom draperies..
Curtains with Fringed Valance