About Me

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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!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Little Treasures

Here is the Christening outfit made from that beautiful gown! (see post on November 16, 2014).
Satin, lace and trim all from the wedding gown. The sole button from the gown was used to secure the neck in the back. Trim at waistline came from trim under the bust line. All I added were 2 hooks, a snap and the ribbon at the jacket neckline.

Satin trim on jacket is from the lacing on the back of the wedding gown.
Beaded trim on jacket front was originally around armholes on gown.

Lace Jacket
Inset at bust of gown was hand stitched to top of bonnet
Beaded trim at neckline

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Don't keep your wedding gown in a box!

You love your wedding gown. Whether it took hours, months, or the better part of a year to pick it out, you LOVE it. So when the big day is over, what now? The more popular thing to do is to have it professionally cleaned and preserved. This means it is tightly wrapped and put in a box, and wrapped again for a nice tight seal. That's what I did, and indeed, many brides do today.

Today, I was brought such a gown, in a neatly, and air tight sealed box. And what a beautiful gown it is. Satin underneath with lace overlay over the entire gown.

The request is one that is gaining popularity - to make a Christening outfit out of the once worn gown. Yes it was sealed, yes the baby is a girl, so I asked, as I had done before, "are you sure? what if when she is all grown up, she may want to wear your gown?" to which I was answered "yes, I'm sure!" Her only request was to make it gender neutral, not too frilly, because she wants it to be a family heirloom to be enjoyed by all.

So, I am happy to say, I am welcoming this request to make a gown, bonnet and jacket for this sweet baby girl to wear in just 3 weeks! "Use my creativity" she said....undoubtedly I will..

Friday, November 14, 2014

A busy season?

Fabric selection for client's custom dress

It used to be that I was the busiest in Prom, dance recital and spring/summer Bridal "seasons" from March through July mostly. The Fall is usually the time of year I catch my breath, maybe even do some sewing for myself (a rarity indeed!). The phone doesn't ring at all. Not the case this year. I have had so many phone calls and emails for alterations, Fall weddings, custom work, and questions about future work, I just am amazed! I recently went away, and as soon as I turned my phone on after touching down at Logan, I had a text and a voicemail from 2 people needing alterations. One was a return client. Some have found me on the internet via my website or Facebook page, others are word of mouth, or are return clients. For the referrals and returning clients, I thank you! That is how I built my business before I even used the internet and stands true to still being my best advertisement.
Side gussets added to 2 dresses
Custom curtains inspired by photo on left

Facebook, my website, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram have allowed me, in the past few years, to post current updates, photos of my work and people have written recommendations on my "wall" for others to see as well...which has really given me a boost! So follow me on Twitter (and retweet my tweets!), LinkedIn and Instagram, and "like" Fashions by Tamara on Facebook!

The internet has proven to be a valuable tool for getting Fashions by Tamara on the North Shore map!
Thank you all for supporting me, spreading the word and keeping me busy!

Heirloom veil used to make one of a kind garter

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Custom this, custom that

Lately I've received requests for many custom items: copying a favorite dress - and making summer, fall, and winter variations of it, custom curtains inspired by a picture in a magazine, good fitting jeans that can't be found anymore - I have made a pattern from and will  make her 2-3 pair, and now, finally, a request for a custom wedding gown!!

We have emailed and talked on the phone, and have set up a time to meet and discuss. I can't wait to meet this excited bride-to-be!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

I never thought I'd get married!

That's what Diana said when she came to me for her bridal alterations. When she walked through my door, stunning lace gown in hand, with a separate satin underlining, she said "I never thought I'd get married." This she said a few times during  her fitting. Now, in front of me was this very pretty woman, long curly hair, great personality, telling me that she never thought she'd get married.

Of course the curiosity got to me and I asked  "So what happened?", knowing it could be a very personal question, but feeling that by saying that over and over, that there was something she wanted to share with me. She said "I met the most amazing person". So the excited bride-to-be then talked about how she was overwhelmed with all the planning - finding a dress, mailing invitations, etc,etc,etc...They were getting married only months after meeting.

Feeling her excitement and some anxiety, I assured her that her dress would be ready in plenty of time, and that I would help her with a special embellishment she wanted. I also said to her "just imagine all those brides that plan their wedding 2 years in advance and stress that entire time. Look at you! You are getting it done in a much shorter time!" She smiled, agreed and at the end of her fitting, was more relaxed, knowing her dress was in good hands.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Local Businesses Connect!

It's all who you know. It's all who you're connected to. This is true in many ways. Business travels by word of mouth more than any advertising campaign! So, if you have a business in the Melrose or Greater Boston area, read on...

Wow, the social media network has really taken off! The latest  (in my networking anyway!) is Alignable. This is an avenue where local businesses can connect, set up advertising campaigns, post a promotion, share ideas. You can connect with EVERYONE on Alignable, or hand pick who you want to be connected to. I do a little of both. I have connected with others in my profession - or at least those that will compliment mine - and have also accepted invitations from others outside the scope.

So if you are wondering what is this "Alignable" media and how can it work for you - click on the link below and connect with me. Set up your profile if you haven't yet, and see how it can help your business in the local community.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The National Suit Drive benefits at-risk men transitioning into the workforce. Donate your gently used professional attire and give a man the chance to transform his life. Click on the link below for more information on how you can help!

National Suit Drive

Sunday, July 6, 2014

New Summer Dress!

Elaine had a favorite summer dress (the grey one) and wanted another just like it. So I patterned the dress and bought swatches for her to choose from. Here is the result! She is very happy with her new summer dress! 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July!

Hope you are all enjoying the Nation's holiday!

Remember, now is a great time to go through your wardrobe and consider redesigning some of those articles you just can't part with but may be a "tad" out of style! Look at your Fall wardrobe and see what needs to be taken in/let out, hemmed, zipper fixed, etc...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

2nd time around!

Cute as a button! Great use of big sister's communion dress. A few sizes too big, but with shortening of the straps and taking in at the sides, this dress has a new life and can be worn again!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Time to dance!

Most studios have their dance costumes in, and many will need alterations, embellishments, or repair. On these dresses, I was asked to add the pink satin fabric to the sleeves and the hem, as well as fit them to each girl - whatever your need, be sure to keep me in mind!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Friday, January 10, 2014

Make 2014 your year to shine!

2014 will bring lots of good things to many people. I am sure of that.

If it's your year to shine, you want to make an impression that will be everlasting. Let me be part of your success! Whether it's a formal event, a wedding, something old you want to turn into something new, or just some new drapes to spice up your livingroom, let me create something special just for you and see how great it will make you feel!

2014 - bring it on!