Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My Top 10 Christobal Balenciaga Favorites From 1950

Since I am in the middle of another big batch of outfits, I am taking a break to share my favorite fashions by Christobal Balenciaga.

 This jacket is stunning!  I was able to see it with my own eyes a few years ago in San Francisco.

Sandra Stillwell created a version of this jacket for her "Golden Gate Glamour" convention in 2011. The jacket was part of a huge collection of  separates called the "Cristobal Collection".  It is reversible, with a black side. I need to play around with this jacket more.

I love this look.

 Sandra Stillwell also included this green wrap and red velvet hat in her "Cristobal Collection"
Photo by Lori Richards

I am running out of words to describe all these wonderful outfits.

This gown was also recreated for the 2011 convention.  I wish I had had the $$$$$ to buy it and the doll.

Balenciaga was having a big puffy sleeve moment in 1950 because I found three designs with them.

I love them too.

If I could find the right fabric, I would love to make this gown.  It would probably have to be custom made. I really need to learn how to use the embroidery part of my sewing machine.


The bodice detail in this dress is beautiful.

 And of course there is this design.  I just finished a batch of these suits earlier this year.  What a job!

Friday, March 14, 2014

My Patriotic Modes Royale Collection

I know it isn't exactly the right time of the year to be posting these photos, but I just recently did this photo shoot and I didn't want to wait until July to blog about them.  Know myself, I will probably be distracted doing something else by that time.

These three outfits were inspired by Modes Royale patterns from the 50's.  My lovely blond beauties from left to right are:  Distant Venus restyled by me, Blue Avenue, and Suited For Fur restyled by Kathy Johnson.

Independent Miss

This outfit is adorable!  It was on my "to do" list, but when I saw Sandra Stillwell's version at last Summer's "Every Day Is a Holiday" I snatched one up for myself.  It is from Spring 1950.

I love that there is a photo and a drawing of this dress in the catalog.

The ensemble included the dress, belt, hat, gloves, and jewelry.  The shoes were borrowed from a different Sandra Stillwell outfit.

Liberty Belle

OK, I just made up the name of this outfit.  I never name my clothes, but since the other two outfits have names I needed one for mine.
This is from the Spring/Summer 1952 catalog.

The bow on the dress is pulled through a buttonhole on the jacket.

I made a large batch of these back in 2009.  It has been one of my most popular outfits ever.  I still get request from time to time to make more of them.  It is also the first pattern I created to sell.  I now have 24 patterns in my collection.


Sandra offered this outfit as a pre-order at last Summer's convention.  I knew I needed it to complete my collection.

This design is from 1950 also.

I love that Sandra changed the jacket to navy and added the navy straw hat.

This outfit included the dress, jacket, hat, gloves, belt, shoes and jewelry.

 Hopefully by Summer I will take more photos of my other red, white, blue outfits together.

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Balenciaga Collection

I just finished my very last batch ever of the Balenciaga suit with peplum style!  This time I made it in plum jacquard.

 I decided to photograph all three suits together before I shipped off all the plum suits.

I really need to learn how to photograph the JAMIEshow Genes without washing out their faces. Have I mentioned before that photography is not my favorite thing?

The hat is a pin from Jo Ann Fabrics.  I need to stock up on these.  They are fabulous! 

There are a lot of awesome possibilities for turning pins into high fashion doll hats.  I bought these two "hats" at Hobby Lobby

I love this new backdrop!

This morning I was excited to find this photo of a 1954 Balenciaga design on Pinterest.  I have more of the jacquard that I used for the other three suits in a dark red.  I will be making this suit out of the jacquard in the future.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Balenciaga Suit with Cape

When I first saw this outfit, I knew it was one that I wanted to make.  I started working on it last year, and took a few outfits to sell at the "Every Days a Holiday" convention in August.

Balenciaga 1950

 One of my favorite photos ever.

This photo shows the detail of this suit and cape very well.  I love this fabric, I have no idea what kind of fabric this is, though I am guessing it is silk (according to the book this photo came from, it is figured satin).  There is no way I was going to find this beautiful fabric in the stores around here.

This was my first attempt.  I used a jacquard that gave me a nice texture.

Figuring out how the front of the jacket looked under the cape was a challenge.  The collar is centered, but then the buttons go asymmetrical.

I had to guesstimate, and this is what I came up with.

I wasn't completely happy about how my first capes turned out, so I redesigned it.  I probably made 10 or more capes out of muslin to finally get something that looked more like the real design.

For the first cape, I made a fringe-like trim because there was no way I was going to make all those tassels by hand.

Here is the final version of the cape.  I was able to make several pleats in it like the real cape.  I still don't feel like it is perfect, but sometimes one has to accept that not everything can be replicated exactly in miniature.  There is always the issue of bulk, and getting the little lapels and collar to fold over the pleats in the cape was a challenge.

The most time consuming thing about this cape is the miniature tassels.  One morning I woke up obsessing about how to make miniature tassels.  I grabbed my phone on my nightstand and Googled "How to Make Miniature Tassels" and a miracle happened!  I found a blog and a link to buy Judee's TasselMaker!  I jumped out of bed and ordered myself one.  I was able to make 6 tassels at a time and after I got the hang of it, they were not that hard to make.  

I lightened this photo to show the details better.  Each cape has 27-29 tassels, and I made 9 capes.  You do the math, and yes I do know I am nuts.

The other recent purchase that I am excited about is this column.  I have wanted a column for a long time.  I found this one at Hobby Lobby.  It is very large, so I am pretending that she is doing a photo session at a building with massive columns.

To purchase this pattern click here.