Wednesday, February 27, 2013

New Semi-Formal Dresses & Bridal Expo Recap

Wow, is it the end of February already?
I hardly remember January . . . probably because I was working like crazy. Designing, sewing, and photographing new dresses, mostly!

You see, I was an exhibitor at the Warsaw Premier Bridal Expo on February 3rd. The Warsaw area, where I live, is fairly small, so there are not too many ways to advertise to brides-to-be. The Expo is the perfect place to meet most of my local target market! 

My goal was to have a large supply of dresses & bridal accessories on display at the Expo. And I did! 

Not only did I have lots of dresses displayed, I also had models!!! My mother, sister, and 2 friends came to help me out :) It was so nice to have others to help my exhausted self talk to excited brides.

Speaking of exhausted, back to those dresses ;)

The plan was to make sample dresses with fabric from my stash, left over from previous projects. I made several and barely made a dent in the fabric, so be on the lookout for more!

I designed about 8 dresses, and sewed 5 of them. Then I had a full Saturday of photographing the new dresses, as well as some older ones which needed new photos.

New Dresses:

Sweetheart Dress with Lace V-Neck Overlay

This dress design started off as a super-complicated mash of purple and white. As I sewed, it evolved into a much more simple & elegant little number, with a purple, strapless, sweetheart bodice overlaid with white lace in a V-neck design.

I think this dress is so sweet :) 
I want to make this one again, maybe with a pencil skirt or circle skirt.

Listing HERE
Vintage-Inspired, Side-Pleated Dress
I LOVE one-shoulder dresses! So slimming and sexy, yet modest.
Adding even more slimming goodness: side pleats and a pencil skirt. Add to that the gathered strap, and it's a vintage-inspired beauty that I drool over.

I can hardly wait to make this design in a less-dressy fabric, so I can wear it to a wedding :)

Listing HERE

Short Gathered-Bodice Dress

I love the tea- and floor-length versions of this dress, so I had to make a knee-length one!

The gathered front of the bodice is so cute! And isn't that skirt prefect for twirling? This would be great as a bridesmaid dress, or a sundress in cotton.

Listing HERE
Short Double-Gathered-Bodice Wedding Dress

I also have a floor-length version of this one--quite possibly my favorite of the formal dresses I've worn. The top gathering is adorable, and the waist gathering is sooo slimming! 

Instead of contrasting colors, I made this one in bridal satin and lace. Perfect as a short wedding gown or reception dress!

Listing HERE


Wedding Dress "Amber"

Listing HERE

Wedding Dress "Faith"

Listing HERE

Grecian Dress

Listing HERE

Yoke Neck Dress

Listing HERE

Sweetheart Dress with Straps

Listing HERE

Little Black Dress

Listing HERE

Halter Neck Dress with Flounces

Listing HERE

Pleated Sundress with Pockets

Listing HERE

Great for maternity, too!

Gathered Neck Sun Dress

Listing HERE

P.S. My new Spring/Summer Collection is in the works! I hope you like it as much as I do!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

13 for 2013 January Update

Remember my 13 Goals for 2013? Here's an update on how I worked toward them in January :)
(Italics are the goals, bolds are my comments)

Build myself as a Designer:

1. Design something new every week in January (for Spring), March (for Summer), June (for Fall), and September (for Winter). I want to produce those designs the following month, as a seasonal clothing collection.

I posted 4 designs, though perhaps not all in January ;)

Design #1: Vintage-inspired jacket
Design #2: Frilly blouse
Design #3: 3/4-sleeve-length fitted shirt
Design #4: Loose, long shirt

2. Launch Collections:
     - Spring Collection in February or March (2-3 pieces).
     - Summer Collection in April or May.
     - Fall Collection in July or August.
     - Winter Collection in October or November.
     - Bridal & Prom Collection in September or October.

Some of the designs from January will become my Spring Collection! 

Do you, dear reader, have a preference on which ones make it in? I always appreciate opinions!

In addition, I plan to make this dress (right) in a fun, spring print!

Expand my Etsy Shop:

3. Have a full page of listings (24) in the Bridal Accessories section(15 more). Preferably by February.

I have about 20 Bridal Accessories made, and they will be in my Etsy shop soon :)

4. Have 20 listings in the Dresses section (7 more) Preferably by May.

Currently, I have 14 listings, though more will be added this week.

5. Have a full page of listings (24) in the Dresses section (4 additional). Preferably by October.

6. Have 8 listings in the Wedding Gowns section (4 more). Preferably by February.

This section has 6 at the moment. Soon it will have 7. I just need one more.

7. Have 50 coffee sleeves in inventory. Preferably by November.

8. Don't buy any cotton fabrics. Use fabric stash to create new items (non-clothing).

Accomplished, so far!

Live Well:

9. Read through the Bible in a year. I've done this before, and it's wonderful! My church is doing it together, so I'm doubly excited!

I'm just about on track, maybe a day behind, and catching up today :)

10. Low-Carb Diet. Intensive for 1-2 months, moderate for the rest of the year.
My husband is pre-diabetic, so we need to regulate his blood sugar naturally.
I want to get good at cooking and baking low-carb. Hopefully we'll both loose weight, too!

We're still going strong! My husband has lost about 5 pounds (and might have lost more if he hadn't cheated with donuts a few times!).

I enjoy eating low-carb food. Lots of protein, lots of dairy, lots of veggies, a little fruit. 

Our favorite meal is pork chops with a cream gravy, made with carrots, celery, onion, and mushrooms, and topped with cherry tomatoes. 
We eat it with a mash turnips & cauliflower, which is a lot like mashed potatoes.
And, for dessert: plain Greek yogurt, sweetener, berries, and whipped cream. Yum!

11. Try 2 new recipes every month. I enjoy this, but I don't do it often enough.

Almond Flour Biscuits are incredible! Fresh from the oven, like soft bread. The next day, like pancakes :)
I played with that recipe by adding cheese & pizza toppings, then dipping them in pizza sauce. Pizza biscuits!

I also made Low-Carb Tortillas. They are flexible, which is nice, but have so many eggs that they turn out more like omelets. Still, it gives us something to add to our taco salads :)

12. Read at least one book each month. This is how I de-stress. Very important!

Even though I was incredibly busy, I read one! "Dragons of the Watch" by Donita K. Paul.
This author is great! Her books are part fantasy, part adventure, free of trash, and have lovely Christian undertones :)
13. Enjoy each month and document with photos. I love nature, changing seasons, holidays! I want to make a point of enjoying them, not just living through them.

Ok, I didn't do this much. Partly because I accidentally left my camera at my mother's house a few weeks ago.

January Design, Parts Three & Four

Goal #1 from my 13 in 2013 list: 
Design something new every week in January (for Spring), March (for Summer), June (for Fall), and September (for Winter). 
Ok, so January got away from me before I posted these, but I did design!

Designs #3 & #4

Fashion Shirts

Recently, designs for shirts have been popping into my head quite often! It's so much fun! Though, I haven't made many shirts, so we'll see if I still enjoy shirts while I'm sewing them ;)

The first shirt has 3/4-length sleeves, a mild scoop neck, and and falls to the hips. This has a waistband, to create and hourglass figure, and is loose enough on the hips to be comfortable.

I plan to make it from knit or woven fabric.
If knit, most of the shirt will be in a solid color, with a thin waistband of a contrasting color.
If woven, it will be of a solid or elegantly printed fabric, with a thin elastic waistband to produce a slimming effect.

The second shirt emphasizes a woman's form, but in a different way from the first. Instead of accenting the waistline, it falls loose from the shoulders/bust and is tighter at the hips. The looseness at the waistline creates the illusion of a small waist :)

This shirt will be made of cotton, silky, or peachskin fabric. How cute would it be in a floral print!
If made of a solid color, it might even have decorations on the collar or bodice.