Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Givenchy Dot Dress

When I first saw this fashion while archiving photos that I like from the l'Officiel magazines, I knew it was going to become an obsession.  A dress made out of two different sized dots!  What's not to love?  It also looked very Audrey Hepburn to me, even though I have never seen a photo of her wearing a dress like this.  This is not surprising though, because this is a Hubert Givenchy design circa 1955.  Givenchy was Audrey's favorite designer.

I also found this photo in the same magazine and it became a mission to find the fabrics and figure out how to make that skirt.  My ideal would have been crisp silk dotted taffetas made by the same manufacturer.  Of course that was impossible, so I ended up using two different cotton fabrics made by two different companies.
Oh and by the way, doesn't the model look like Audrey Hepburn?
This is what I came up with.
I tried to make the skirt look like the original, but it was hard for me to tell how it was made exactly in the photo.  In my first attempt I made a princess line bodice and extend the center front of the bodice the length of the dress.  When I attached the full skirt to the center front panel it just looked wrong.  After several attempts, I decided to make a separate underskirt and have the full overskirt open in the front to show the underskirt.
I then attempted to recreate the two photos.
This is how I actually took the photo, I flipped it later.

My model is the JAMIEshow J'Adore Gene doll.  One of these days I will get around to writing a post about these fabulous dolls.  I love the wig caps and the "gloves" no more oven mitts!

J'Adore and Trent

Can you tell I J'Adore her?

This is White Orchid in a red wig cap restyled by me. 

The blue Delft-like print dress is the same bodice as the Givenchy dot dress with a regular skirt.

Hat is borrowed from this ensemble.

This backdrop makes it look like she is on a Mediterranean holiday.

I have had a lot of problems with the lighting while photographing my JAMIEshow Genes.  They are made of resin, and literally glow on their own.  Adding light while photographing them was washing them out.  In these photos I didn't use any extra lighting and I am happier with the results.  I still need to work on my photography though.

I added extra light to this photo of Poppy Parker, and I am not exactly happy with the results.

These dresses look great on the 16" Fashion Teen Poppy Parkers.

I made a different bodice to fit the Tonner sized dolls.
To buy this pattern click here.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My Top 10 Jacques Fath Favorites From 1950

I have five favorite designers:  Dior, Balenciaga, Balmain, Givenchy, and Fath.  I wanted to share a few favorite fashions by Jacques Fath from 1950.

I have been obsessed with the magazine L'Officiel and L'Art et la Mode  since 2008.  I am in the process of archiving the fashions that I love from 1947- 1962.  This is taking me forever, because I might have not liked how I archived them originally and might of had to start over.  That is how I roll and it is really annoying.

Most of these pictures didn't have the designers names on the photo.  I added them to help me keep track of them.

Here are my top 10 favorites in no particular order.  I want to make all of these designs for Gene and friends.


I wish there was a photo of what the top of this dress looks like.

 Love the collar of this suit!

 I love the collars on this suit and the next suit.

 Love the flowers on the bodice and cuffs.


 I love finding the sketch and the photo of the same outfit.

 The next three outfits have the same fur collar, I must really like it.


I am almost ready to post about my newest pattern, hopefully later this week.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

I Feel Like a Proud Mama Part 2!

I have some more photos of my patterns made up by two of my awesome customers to share with you.  I love seeing these!

First I have Style 115- Betty Draper's  "Mad Men" red print dress.   This dress was made by Linda Gallegos.

Photo by Linda Gallegos
 I love her choice of fabric.  I wish I could have found fabric like this when I was making this dress.  Linda says it is a soft lawn print.  I think it looks a lot like the fabric in my inspiration picture.
Photo by Linda Gallegos
Her model is Tonner's Tres Jolie Sydney.  I love this doll and wish I had one.  She is still a very popular Sydney, and is hard to find.

Photo by Linda Gallegos
Photo by Linda Gallegos
Awesome job Linda!

Photo by Linda Gallegos

Next I would like to share Style 107 Grace Kelly's "Rear Window" green suit by Suzanne Hall.

 Photo By Suzanne Hall

Yes my friends, that is a 12" Grace Kelly doll wearing a suit made from my pattern.  I have not gotten around to making patterns for the 12" dolls yet, but Suzanne did.  This is so cool!

Photo By Suzanne Hall
Suzanne emailed me how she did this.
Aug 8
Hi Diane,
I have finally finished the Rear Window green suit and it came out really well. I have attached photos of my Grace Kelly Barbie wearing it.
I found that if I shrunk the pattern to 83% that roughly fits Barbie slightly on the big side which leaves room for adjustments. I had to do several adjustments as Barbie is longer in the torso, larger in the waist and flatter chested than your 16inch dolls. Being flatter chested worked well as the jacket sits really nicely. I couldn’t figure out the pattern for the hat at all, so I followed my nose on that one. But it all worked well.
Knowing what I know now, if I ever made another one I wouldn’t line the sleeves of the jacket as on the smaller doll it makes everything just too small to work with.
I have now started on the To Catch A Thief beach outfit. That is a pretty one so I am looking forward to finishing it.
Kind regards,

 Photo By Suzanne Hall
I admire people who sew for the Barbie sized dolls.  I don't like doing it.  I do own all the Grace Kelly dolls that Mattel produced a few years ago, but I haven't sewn for them yet.  
 Photo By Suzanne Hall

 Photo By Suzanne Hall
 Photo By Suzanne Hall
 Photo By Suzanne Hall
 Photo By Suzanne Hall
 Photo By Suzanne Hall
Photo By Suzanne Hall

Bravo Suzanne!
I would love to see more photos of outfits made with my patterns.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Suit With Peplum Part 2

This is View B of my latest pattern- Style 122

I made this suit out of black wool with velboa faux fur.  I originally made this suit to sell at my first Gene convention in 2008.
Here is the original.
When I first started making patterns of my designs, this suit was on the list of outfits to make into patterns to sell.  One day I realized that it is the same design as the Balenciaga peplumed suit except for the sleeves.  So I decided to add a view B to the pattern.
This suit was inspired by a tiny black and white photo in a fashion history book.  If I can successfully scan the photo I will add it to this post later.
I can't remember where I found the idea to add the pom-pom to the beret because that was like five years ago, but I like the way it sits on her head without pins.
I may be selling my original 2008 suit in the future.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Balenciaga Suit With Peplum

I am finally getting around to posting about this suit. 

When I first started sewing for Gene ten years ago, I found this photo in a fashion history library book.  This is a 1951 Balenciaga design.  I fell in love with it and decided to make it.
Here is my first attempt back in 2004.
It turned out well, but I felt like the sleeve ruffles lacked the poof that they needed.  I only made two back then, one I sold and one I kept for myself.

Earlier this year, I was playing around with some flower pins that I had found in a craft store.  I thought they made great looking hats.  I remembered how much I love this suit so I decided to remake this suit to sell and then sell the pattern.
I love the texture of the fabric in this suit.  When I found some jacquard in several different colors at the fabric store, I knew it was "meant to be".
It is a challenge to find fabric that has small scaled designs on them.  I think this fabric works well for this suit.
When I found this hat pin at the craft store, I decided to use the teal jacquard for this suit.
I was able to make 5 suits out of a yard of fabric.  I took them to Sandra Stillwell's "Every Days a Holiday" convention and they sold out.  I had many request for more so I bought more teal jacquard and ordered more feather "hats".  I ended up making 10 more suits.  I used stiff tulle in the sleeve ruffles to give them the poof that they needed.
I don't recommend making 10 suits at the same time.  I decided that I have selective ADD, because it was hard for me to stick to my project.
Here is my attempt at recreating this pose.

My model is the JAMIEshow J'Adore Gene.  I now have 3 JS resin Genes at my house.  I love them, they are beautiful, but I am having a hard time photographing them.  I use to have a big problem with my dolls photographing too dark.  Now I have the opposite problem.  Their skin is so light and translucent, that they literally glow.  I feel like their faces get overexposed in my photos.  I need to work on this, but I would rather be sewing than taking pictures.
The teal suits are sold out, but I am planning on making this suit in plum and black at a later date.
The pattern to make this suit is also available here.