Saturday, September 23, 2023

Gold Brocade Evening Coat and Dress

 Gold silk brocade evening coat and deep rose strapless silk taffeta dress modelled by my new favorite doll, Zita.  I added some faux fur cuffs in a nod to Barbie Evening Splendor.  The bodice is the same one that I created for the previous turquoise party dress.  But the weight of both of these fabrics demanded a straighter silhouette.  But I love this bodice with a straight skirt as well. The belt on the dress is embroidered with beads, pearls and a rhinestone.  Outfit is available for $145 plus $6 shipping in the US.  Email me at if interested.  

This coat isn't a replica of any specific vintage garment but after I made it and while I was travelling down one of my rabbit holes on the internet researching Ann Lowe, I discovered this picture of Ann Lowe posing with a miniature replica that she created of Lady Bird Johnson's inauguration outfit and noticed the similarities.  Though not exactly miniature as the dolls were 48", the whole collection is still fun to see.  You can look at all of them here.
Most people don't know that Ann Lowe was the designer of Jackie Kennedy's iconic wedding gown because she never got the credit (or the money) she deserved.  She was a brilliant couture designer who created stunning gowns for many of society's wealthy elites while navigating the obstacles put in her path in the era of segregation and Jim Crow.  
The dress required 35 yards of silk taffeta, 20 of which were used for all the bias strips for the swags and the large rosettes.  Yet she was only paid $500 for this dress.  To make matters worse, 10 days before the wedding, a water pipe burst in Lowe's studio ruining the dress as well as several of the bridesmaid dresses.  They all had to be recreated in an incredibly short period of time.  Ultimately Lowe lost thousands of dollars on this job.  That might have been worth is if she had been credited as the designer in the press but she wasn't.  The Ladies' Homes Journal referred to her as "a colored woman dressmaker, not the haute couture".  No one could blame her for being insulted.  

Leslie Morris Replica Dress for Gene

 Leslie Morris was a designer for Bergdorf-Goodman in the 1950's and 60's.  This dress of teal silk tissue taffeta is based on a sketch of the design.  Dress is fully lined in a lighter blue silk habotai and closes with snaps in the back.  I added a cute little figure eight hat adorned with a bow.  The hat is wired to fit different hairstyles.  Available for $100 plus $6 shipping in the US.  Email me at if interested.  

Monday, August 21, 2023

Vintage Party Dress Repro for Gene

SOLD Sometimes I luck out and find fabrics in my various stashes that match each other.  This turquoise fabric is a very light tissue weight silk taffeta and I wish I could remember where I got it.  The matching tulle was left over from the days when I made Barbie clothes for my niece who is now 24.  I thought the bodice of the dress in the inspiration pic was so pretty I wanted to try to replicate it.  The lining of the bodice is a basic 4-dart bodice.  Then I did a lot of dart manipulation to get the pattern for the actual bodice.  I did a muslin of this one and did a lot more tweaking before ending up with this.  The skirt was cut a full 30" (and the tulle overskirt even longer) and lined with tulle so I could get it all gathered into that tiny waist.  The dress closes with snaps in the back.  Available for $100 plus $6 shipping in the US.  


Saturday, August 12, 2023

OOAK Silk Taffeta Evening Glamour

 I added a Zita Charles doll to my collection and her original outfit was similar in color to this silk taffeta gown that I created for her to model.  This is my own original pattern.  It has a train in the back adorned with a large bow.  The belt is hand embellished with a rhinestone, silver delica beads, and pearls. The entire gown in lined in light gray silk/cotton to minimize the risk of staining.  Back snap closure.  The gown and belt are available for $140 plus $6 shipping in the US.  Please email me at if interested.  


Sunday, July 30, 2023

Invasion of the Body Snatchers Repro Dress

SOLD  I've watched the 1953 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers eleventy billion times and never paid attention to this dress that Becky wore at the beginning of the film.  But the last time I watched it I became obsessed with it.  I had the perfect tiny gingham shirting fabric from Stonemountain Fabrics and proceeded to work on a pattern. 

I thought the bust ruffles in miniature would be too much but I had some tiny trim from Minidolls that I hand stitched on the bodice and I think it does good job of giving the illusion of ruffles without the bulk.  I think Becky's bag is awfully cute too and that's on my to-try list so, for the time being, Gene is modelling the dress with a bag from my stash.  

The dress and bolero are available for $120 plus $6 shipping in the US.  Email me at if interested.  

Saturday, July 29, 2023

1940's Wedding Dress Repro

 Months ago I agreed to make a reproduction of a client's mother's 1940's wedding dress.  I even completed a muslin of it before being sidelined.  Now that I'm feeling almost human again, I finished it a week ago.  Thank you for your patience, Margaret!  The original dress was likely rayon but we agreed to use a silk charmeuse instead.  The scalloped neckline was suggested using a small trim.   

Now that I have all my required sewing done, I'll be trying out some of the new patterns I've drawn in the last few months.  Drafting patterns was something I could still do on days when I could barely get off the couch.  I keep a wooden lap desk, rulers, mechanical pencils and a roll of exam table paper nearby.  And erasers.  Lots of erasers.  😄  There are at least a dozen new designs.  I made one up this week and will try to get pics done tomorrow.  It's so cute!  And sci-fi related.  I'll explain tomorrow.  

This is a pic of the original dress.  


Where have I been?

 It's a long story but, in short, after being diagnosed with Crohn's Disease over 40 years ago, I finally had to have an ileostomy on April 13.  If you don't know what that is--and many people don't--Google it.  I won't go into the gory details here. 😒 Before I had the surgery I had agreed to make up some samples of Madame Gres designs for Sandra Stillwell's Peaches and Panache event in June because the lady at her factory in Korea who usually does it was off....having surgery.  I got two prototypes done before April 13. 


My mistake was thinking that I would bounce right back like I did after my last three surgeries, forgetting that I was a lot younger then.  I ended up being readmitted to the hospital a week after my first discharge due to dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and kidneys not working right. After I got out again, my blood pressure was still too low and my heart rate too high so my doctor and I agreed that I needed in home IV hydration.  After her nurse spent hours on the phone unsuccessfully trying to find someone to do it, I had to take matters into my own hands and hire a private company, Mid-Michigan RevIVe and Restore, paying for it out of my pocket.  They were wonderful.  After eight days I was feeling better.  Then someone brought me a stomach flu bug.  After a day and night of vomiting and diarrhea, I was back to square one.  R&R came to the rescue again and kept me out of the hospital again.  Five more days of IVs followed.  But when I subtract what it would have cost me to board my dogs, the cost seems much less painful.  So it took a couple of months for my blood pressure to get over 100 and my heart rate to get under 100.  But I still had to get those two samples made from Sandra's fabrics in time for the convention.  I was only able to manage a couple of hours a day at the sewing machine but I completed these in the nick of time.  

 Sandra liked the green prototype of the dress so she bought that one.  I still have the red velvet coat if anyone is interested.  There were some changes made to it for the final version.  I won't be reproducing any of these.  If they are available, they will be listed on Sandra's website.  These are the photos of the Madame Gres originals.  Did I get close?