Featured Dress- Nicole

Nicole’s dress was my very favorite. mostly because it is more than one dress! It is actually two dresses in one. Nicole and her mom came to me to see if I would be interested in some custom work that could go into my portfolio since they knew I had just graduated and was looking to start doing some side work. We had a couple of consultations and I drew up some sketches. The mom wanted to see if there was a way to use parts of her wedding dress for Nicole’s dress, but Nicole also wanted it to be very new and unique to her tastes. Challenge accepted. We changed things up sooo much during the process. we went from a zippered back to a lace up back, we made the lace overdress completely detachable from the gold underdress, we added pearls and swarovski crystals to add some bling, and I used 3 different types of lace which I had to hand dye to get them all the same color. This dress took more time than I have ever spent on any one project my entire life, but it was soo gorgeous in the end that I didn’t even mind (seriously though, over 100 hours of hand sewing with heirloom lace cause there ain’t no way after hand dying it and carefully taking it off of vintage dresses that I was going to let my machine possibly ruin it, plus with all the placement of it the machine was ineffective anyway) not to mention the time spent patternmaking, carefully cutting and sewing, and even several hours just sketching and planning. It was such a stunner on her and on the runway though. img_1353img_1356

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NIcole actually injured her foot days before the fashion show but luckily my wonderful photographer friend Krista was able to step in and wear it for the show! 12828938_681093912033215_6674577883025192781_o

photo cred: mommyandkumquat.com

you know you have good friends when they are willing to wear a dress and get photographed like a zillion times for you,when you know they prefer to be behind the scenes as much as you do!

Photographer Krista Sperry Photography

Flowers by Pam’s floral design

Model Nicole Russon

 

Featured Dress- Emily

Emily is just amazing! She is the nicest, most motivational person I know! Seriously, she helped encourage me the whole way through and make sure I was sticking to my schedule! She also came with me to the pre-fashion show cocktail party which was soo great because I don’t even know how to party anymore. Mingling with important people, and walking in high heels is way more stressful to me than sewing a bunch of dresses. For reals, I thought I was going to trip in my shoes all night but they were just soo pretty. Emily killed it on the runway both at the cocktail party and the show.img_1301img_1308

Also, she managed to show off the amazing train the whole time. yeah, she rocks.20160220_162744

Long worn

For slow fashion October, this week’s theme is long worn. How can we make the most use out of the clothes that we already have?

Today I will tell you about my favorite pair of jeans. These babies have lasted me about 7 years now. I bought them before college and the stretch and slight distressing was awesome. Of course that slight distressing turned into major distressing more quickly than I had hoped. I am pretty rough on jeans in general and these ones were showing it. But I LOVED them, giant knee rips and all.268931_10150237068533128_5910068_n267480_10150237070098128_1077018_n

these were from a fun little shoot with a friend after a summer fighting an autoimmune illness I was finally feeling more myself again and we celebrated by taking these pictures. Of course in my beloved jeans.

After I got married my husband got tired of the giant holes and told me to retire my beloved pair of jeans. I hid them in the closet and came up with plans to refashion them so I could wear them again. I came up with a brilliant plan! I sewed lace into the knee holes so it would be all pretty and kind of put together! except… the skinny jeans made any sort of maneuvering impossible with my sewing machine, so I hand sewed them, and promptly ripped the stitches in the first few wears. I hid them back in the closet for close to a year. I still couldn’t give up that perfect stretch and comfort level that these jeans possessed.

Then I got pregnant and no longer cared how holey any clothing was as long as I could get it to work with my growing belly. Jeans that stretched so well in the bum were a perfect thing to wear! I used them with rubber bands, I used them with a belly band, and I used them for this extremely classy Christmas picture 😉img_20141130_192017img_20141130_191716-smile

this was about 4 weeks before baby chubs was born. This was our Christmas card picture. So much class.

This pair of jeans I was able to wear again days after giving birth. Made me feel so good to fit back into some sort of jeans. Then, this summer I realized I was seriously lacking in the shorts department, so I took the plunge and turned them into knee length cutoffs, cutting them right above the giant knee holes. I have worn these jeans hundreds of times. They are still being worn on any day that is warm enough. It is rare that you find such a magnificent pair and hope I can keep them for several years to come.img_20150118_164011

see? Chubs was like a week old… and apparently super upset, but I am wearing those jeans for the zillionth time!20160823_16204020160823_154007

and finally they have come to be used as the ultimate mom shorts. Still comfortable, still make my butt look good, and still to be worn maybe a hundred more times. Also, in case you were wondering I got them at Pacsun on sale, bullhead denim skinnies. I haven’t found any that fit quite the same from there since though.

I have owned 3 pairs of jeans that have lasted like this and I loved the fit and feel of. I have also owned 20+ pairs that I did not love nearly as much. I have found that thrift stores often have better jeans and since they are slightly worn, you can tell how they will continue to wear. Also, they sell denim patches that you can iron on in places that are getting too worn, so they can live to see another day without an embarrassing tear. I hope you all are able to find that one pair of jeans that just fits better than all the others and makes you feel dang good! What is your favorite piece of clothing? What has lasted the longest, and did you do anything to make it last longer?

Slow Fashion October

I have decided to participate in slow fashion October and this past weeks theme was introductions.

I got interested in slow fashion when I was studying at BYU. I was in a class where we started to barely scrape the surface of environmental impacts of making clothes, and talked a little bit about just how much waste there is in the industry and by the consumers (each consumer throws away an average of 35 pounds of clothing per year). I was fascinated and started to dig in and research things more closely. There is just a ton of information out there. I started to make some changes in my own lifestyle so that my consumption patterns were lessened. I stopped impulse shopping, which was a blessing for both the environment and my wallet. I took sewing more seriously and either refashioned or sewed a lot of my own clothes. If there was just a little thing wrong with clothes I had bought I would actually fix them. I got rid of A LOT of my clothing and I still have loads. I stopped buying cheap clothing that wouldn’t last. In the past year, everything that I have bought has been worn at least 30 times, and I have loved the clothes. I spent a little extra, but that little extra made the difference between 1-5 wears to 30+ wears. Also because I was buying less clothing, it actually ended up costing less overall. All I bought in fact was maybe up to 7 shirts and 1 pair of jeans, 2 pairs of shoes, and some socks. I did however get a lot of hand me downs, so that really made it easier to not go out and buy so much.20160524_174441

This was one of my tshirt buys cause if I am honest I basically only wear t-shirts and jeans or yoga pants, since my pre-baby silk and dryclean only clothing gets destroyed during a normal day with a toddler running about.

My plan for this October is to thrift or refashion all of our clothing for Halloween and our Christmas card. Try to learn more about where to source sustainable materials for an at-home sewer, as well as learning a new natural dying technique if I manage to find the time. I also plan to make a few pieces of clothing using my fabric stash, I always try to use my fabric in such a way that there is very little to no waste. One last thing I plan to do is scour the thrift stores in the area for some gently used toddler clothing as my little one has been having another growth spurt and really ought to go up a size in pants and shirts as most of his clothing has been turning into floods and belly shirts haha. 20160930_174718

see? his pants are all short. He is just growing up too fast!

Are you interested in slow fashion? Is there anything that you would like to learn more about in regards to it? How to thrift shop effectively, or how to fix buttons or zippers to make your clothes last longer? Let me know in the comments!

Featured Dress- Ashlyn

Ashlyn’s dress was one of my favorites! The whole dress was pieced together with scraps I had from a previous dress I had made. Not my favorite fabric to work with, but with a little work I got it to behave right and she looked gorgeous. what I loved about it though was the draped back! I used a vintage necklace and repurposed it for the back of this dress and it was just so fun!

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note that this was actually our second fitting for this dress so that whole back was cleaned up nice and fit better for the show haha trying to fit in a photoshoot over a week before the show meant I was very close to being done but not quite there on some of it.img_1280img_1288

I also found that brooch in an antique store in sugarhouse near Salt Lake

Ashlyn and her sister have a blog called Savvy Soles and are beautiful inside and out! So glad I could work with them!

Featured Dress- Sarah

Sarah’s dress I made using a brocade that I fell in love with and bought in New York, and the side panels were made with scraps from another dress I had been working on. I always try to maximize the use of scraps so that I don’t have as much waste. I am still careful to use the grainline that I want, but I plan it out, measuring what I have so I know what I can use. img_1257

This was probably the simplest dress of the 5 in the show, but it had such a classic elegance, and Sarah just makes it look amazing. Sarah and her sister Ashlyn have a blog called Savvy Soles. Both of them are just a dream to work with, and are genuinely amazing people! img_1258img_1272

Dress by Clever Couture Designs

Flowers by Pam’s Floral Design

Photography by Krista  Sperry Photography

Model Sarah Canevari

Featured dress- Hannah

For Utah fashion week this past February, I knew for sure that I wanted to reuse this material that makes up the top of the dress. I had found a very 80’s looking mother of the bride type outfit. It had this fun top under a matching jacket with shoulder pads and a long beige straight skirt. It also had A LOT of sequins and little beads that came across as a little cheaper so I got rid of all of those. Instead I added some swarovskis to give it just that little extra sparkle. I also was sooo excited that I was able to turn it into a lace up back. It just really modernized the print and gave it some good contrast. Also, we weren’t able to get a fitting in before this photo shoot so it made it more flexible in sizing so that I didn’t have to worry if it would fit or not. (It’s a really great idea to get a lace up back if you would like not to worry if you gain or lose a little weight before your big day, I have turned tons of dresses that were originally zippered into lace up backs)img_1201

Also I seriously have some very gorgeous friends!! I have used Hannah in two fashion shows now! She is a dancer and model and literally looks amazing in every single photo. img_1198

I feel like you can really see the swarovski’s sparkle in this one!

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The Jewelry was from a fantastic antique shop I frequent near Salt Lake City

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The lace medallions I had left over from another wedding dress

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This is from while I was creating the back, lace up backs are my absolute favorite!

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The finished backs of all the dresses. I love them all so much!

Dresses by Clever Couture Designs

Flowers by Pam’s floral design

Photography by Krista Sperry Photography

Models: Hannah Carver, Ashlyn Reilly, Sarah Canevari, Emily Ashby, and Nicole Russon