American Sewing Expo, Novi Michigan...
8am Friday morning the challenge was issued:
I was the 4th to choose, and immediately knew that I wanted Saturday Night Fever.
Rules: All supplies (fabrics, trims, embellishments) have to be purchased at the expo. No patterns from home, but some basic patterns may be provided, and you may bring a pattern drafting book.
Deadline: 3pm Saturday (16 hours)
1st place Prize: Baby Lock "Symphony" sewing machine (2nd and 3rd places won different Baby Lock models).
Vogue 8882 (view E) and McCalls 6741 to create my look. I left the waistband off the skirt, used just the bodice of the dress, and altered the neckline to create a sheer halter piece.
With the limited budget, I couldn't do the entire dress in the ombre, nor did I want to. I chose to use the ombre on the sides, with the darker print in the center front and back. Since the design had to be "fashion forward" (something currently fashionable, not 70s costume), I decided to not made a dress, but separate the two pieces with a bare midriff. I used Selena Gomez as my inspiration of a current music artist that could be wearing this look. I made up a story about her remixing the greatest hits of the 70s and that she wanted this look to help promote the upcoming release of her album. As silly as it might sound, it really did help me focus on the right design details to keep it current.
After working from 8am until 7pm, I was able to walk away from "Day 1" with my skirt done, and most of my bodice done. I still needed to tackle the stretch mesh and the embellishment.
"Day 2" was a shorter and busier day, with sewing from 8am until 3pm, then hair & makeup for the models, judging, photography, and the runway show at 6pm. Just a little crazy, no big deal...
We were provided with wonderful professional dress forms, with made the process of designing the bodice lines and halter so much easier. Having never worked with stretch mesh before, it was rather stressful, but with time ticking, you have no other choice but to just dive in!
As much as my dress sparkled, I needed it to stand out in a "big way" according to the challenge, so I went on the search for "bling". I wanted big bling, and lucked out with a vendor selling lots of different sparkles and trims.
I removed all the stones from the backing, and re-applied them to the mesh halter in a random placement. Our mentor described it as a "shattered disco ball" look, and I loved it. I used a glue stick to hold them temporarily while I stitched them all in place. It was about 2 hours of hand-sewing and the most arduous task of the design.
At 1:30 Saturday afternoon, I stepped away from the dress form thrilled with the final product and excited to see it on my model!Rhonda Buss was also competing and made the most AMAZING rock and roll bad-ass leather look that would make KISS proud. Job well done, Rhonda! I had a wonderful Friday night with 5 super awesome "internet sewing friends" filled with laughter and sewing talk. I met and chatted with other sweet ladies that read this blog, and are now counted among my widening circle of "internet sewing friends" that are quickly becoming "real life friends".
I wish I had more pictures of all the other looks made my the other 11 designers, but I'll be honest... I was really just focused on my design. Here are a few from the runway show...
|"KISS" (3rd Place)|
|"Jimi Hendrix" (2nd Place)|
|"Elvis" (1st Place)|
3 yards of metallic ombre: $60
2 yards of metallic brocade: $20
1/2 yard of stretch mesh: $5
2 yards of black elastic: $2
2 sets of large beveled crystals: $10
1 yard of gold trim (model's hair): $2
Total Spent: $99 (and change)
Having an amazing sewing/designing experience: PRICELESS
*The local news came out and spend most of Friday with us, and aired a short story about the challenge in the early evening. Here's the link to the video, if you're interested.