Client: Wendy Peterson,
CEO, ICP Publishing
Campaign Manager, Basheer Jones
All about town organizer, project manager, etc. this chic is busy!!!!
The Assignment:: fashion redux: bridesmaid’s dress from a time long ago
“Hey, I have a project for you.” Was the call that came in from Wendy. Usually, ‘project’ equates to a just that. A project. Not exactly making a new garment, per se, but clothes are involved and sewing is involved, nonetheless. And since I’m a fashion designer and I sew, the project will eventually belong to me.
Wendy needed a stylish number to receive an award for “Entrepreneur of The Year” at The Girl on Fire Awards.
When the dress arrived, after an examination, my words:
“Who wore this?” The dress was HUGE. It even had a few pieces added to make it even larger. She explained it was from a wedding she was in while she was pregnant.
Yes, this is a project.
“I just want something simple”. She said. “A strapless dress to my knee, you know”
Hmmmm….this red fabric was calling me and ‘simple’ was the last thing I was thinking.
“Okay, what do you like about this dress?” I always ask first in order to get a feel for the clients taste and know up front what I can delete or add to the final design.
“The color and….this-”
She pointed to the beaded detail around the pleated sash…the most bridesmaidey part of the dress.
“Okay, but that sash is going bye, bye.”
I pulled out my sketch pad came up with a design that both fit her request and added my flair as a designer.
Since the design was strapless, the dress would remain strapless, but I wanted to use all the fabric that came from the fullness of the bridesmaids dress. Hence, the added touch of a back neck extension and long train in the back.
We scheduled the next fitting and she was on her way.
The Approach: Deconstruct to reconstruct
Since the dress was so much larger than the client, I knew the best way to attack this project was to completely take the dress apart. So- with seam ripper in hand….a few clips here and there, the once bridesmaids dress lay on my table in pieces.
Usually, when the piece is so much larger, I deem it easier to take it apart and recut the design using the pieces for an overall better fit. The mundane task of approaching the design through altering was to me, time consuming and difficult to maneuver through linings, boning, zipper, etc.
The first fitting went well and Wendy was satisfied with the progress….and surprised.
The once floor length full dress became a shorter, more fitted version of itself and it grew a piece in the back and a tail.
The fit was a little off in the back, but I’m trained to remain calm in these situations….
Not showing alarm, I discovered why the pieces were added to the sides of the original dress and since I don’t throw away ANYTHING during until the project is complete, I remembered those pieces. After a few more tailored seams added, the pieces served as a guideline for the dress’ transformation.
As I competed the dress for the final fitting and pickup, my mind still wondered about that damn pearl piece. Then…it hit me.
Before I knew it, I was clipping that once belt and working with its positioning to now become a decorative neckline…adding some print and texture.
“I love it.”
As Wendy saw the dress waiting for her on my mannequin in the store. Her final fitting called for a few minor adjustments, but overall, it looked great.
Her exact words: “Drue, You’re amazing!”
My clients challenge me regularly. They believe in me with that, ‘Drue can do anything’ attitude. With that approach, scissors and my sewing machine, sometimes I can.
Thanks Wendy for yet another challenge and your support.
Until the next ‘project’,