Monday, December 6, 2010

Christy's Photos

Okay, I really really love this dress.  Of course I do.... because it has texture, which is my current obsession.  It helps that Christy is so cool.  She is a road biker, adventurer, meaning she does some crazy races that no sane person would think about, and has such a great attitude.    

 I love these type of photos.  It is all about the walking shots.  Am I the only one who feels this way?

A few details on this one.  The flowers are made of organza and dupioni silk.  I drew up a few flowers, had them digitized, and the local embroidery place produced them.  After a lot of cutting and a fair amount of fray check, they were ready to put onto the dress.  

Gowns are a study of evolution.  In this case, after seeing the bridals, I wanted to put more flowers on the gown.  Christy was happy to oblige.  So thankfully I got a second chance to make it better.  Thanks Christy.  

I really hesitate about describing the brides.  It is hard not to talk about them.  Christy is so happy and so up beat.  She really lives life fully, as noted in this photo.  That is a characteristic I value.   

I do love a dress that makes me happy.  Nothing like a whole lot of flowers to do that. 


Sunday, November 21, 2010


Here we go.  It is cold and dreary out there.  I think Scott is out plowing.  It is November 21st. 

I feel like we cheated the system because of the really beautiful and warm days right before the onset of bad weather.  On one of those unseasonably warm days, I hiked.  I took a 5 hour hike through some areas that must have feet of snow now.  It was beautiful, quite, peaceful, and a great work out.  I love to feel sore after an adventure.  Jack and Earl accompanied me and were great company.  They are the black and yellow dots in the picture.  That hike can keep me going for this winter season.  Just the thought that I get to do that again, meaning, hike unencumbered by snow, makes me happy.  So bring it on, I can do it.  A bit of snow is nothing.... or maybe not.  It really is coming down out there.  Sigh. 

What do you do to make it through this snowy time?  Silly that I am asking a question on this blog.  It isn't normal for me.  It will be embarrassing when there will be nothing in the comment section.  Hint hint.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

JCrew Jewelry

This dress is going to be so cool!  The idea is to have a heavily beaded neckline on some to die for Italian silk satin.  So in my little world of making it hard, I thought we would be going through all of the antique stores in Utah finding some great things.  It would take weeks, but would be worth it. 

The genius Bride, Heidi, thought of JCrew jewerly.  This is where I am hitting my head against a wall because it is such a great idea.... and perfect for the look we want.  So here are a few pictures of the necklaces I will be taking apart.  Of course we will add some other jewels besides these, but this will take up the bulk. 

A few words about this fabric.  Really good silk will almost squeak when you squeeze it on the roll like this.  I know that description sounds weird, but when you are in a quality fabric store, try it.  You will then understand.  This stuff is almost edible, it is so beautiful.  It also does a puckering of sorts.  I always think of certain paintings when I work with silk satin.  It is the real thing.  Dang, this stuff is insane.  Look at the different colors you see in just this silly snap shot.  I see lavender, cream, silk white, grey, blue, and peach.  Just try to get a poly satin to do that.  Just try. 

I need to just devote a blog to all of the virtues of silk.  Just to warn you, I could get carried away.  So when it comes up, just skip it.... unless you are a seamstress and have the same obsession. 

Here are the two necklaces.  Are they not just perfect!!  Great job Heidi.  I am looking forward to seeing how it all turns out. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Should I blog about this?

I really hesitate to post about this only because I know what "real" creative giants are doing out there, and by comparison, this project is just silly. 

Here is the story.  I really really want to change up our living room area.  It has seen better days.  So I decided to start small, or rather, cheap.  I tackled a wall.  You would think this would be a couple of days project.  Oh, no.  Not me.  I can't justify doing something frivolous until all work is off the table.  So I have been whittling away at this one since June or there abouts. 

The start.  I went to our local second hand store.  Utah people know it as D.I.  I lucked out and found a huge selection of once loved frames.  This put me out about 20 dollars and I gained 12 frames.  I brought them home, discarded the glass and miscellaneous art found within, and took a trip to Home Depot with leaves in hand.  I tried and tried to get the color right.  I settled on a color I felt like I could live with it.  It is a nice frog green..... bright frog green.... like Kermit. 

Next, I used this beautiful vintage linen as a backdrop inside the frames.  I call it vintage because it was from my Dad's wife's mom's collection, who has wonderful taste.  (whew, I can't even follow that connection)   Because I am a sucker for a good linen, I thought it would be perfect.  It is neutral, so I will get to change out what I put on the frames from time to time. 

These picture frames sat on my wall for a while and I asked any willing person what they would do with it.  My vision was to pin old school drawings of flora and fauna on them.  Couldn't find the perfect ones, so instead, found a great book on Van Gogh at a second hand book store.  This is where it gets sketchy.  Is it morally wrong to rip out pictures and put them on your wall?  Some people don't understand how I can cut into fabric.  That is no big thing.  I struggled to cut into this book.  Am I breaking any codes of conduct?  Hope not. 

I got over it quickly when I saw how great the colors of his amazing paintings went with my Kermit green frames.  I should have used one of his paintings to color match my paint.  It would have saved me a lot of time mixing. 

So the butterflies found at a craft store are the part that makes me happy when I walk by.  I know it is fall and everyone is getting out the leaves and pumpkins.  Those things depress me.  At this time of year I need to be reminded that spring will come again.  I am justified in feeling this way.  The snow can be taller than the boys, snow non stop for days on end.... and stay til May.  Butterflies are how I protest winter.  Or rather, butterflies are how I keep the inside of my house bright while it is so cold out there. 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sarah in San Francisco

Look, a post about a bride.  What a surprise.  This is Sarah.  She was married so long ago, but I am finally posting about her.  I want to say she was married last summer.  Yes, I think that is right.  Talk about the sweetest person to work with..... yes, I say that a lot.  I mean it each time. 

Sarah worked (past tense, because I don't know what she is up to as of late), in Washington DC.  I can't get over the success of these brides.  It makes me question what I am doing with my life.  Anyway, that is beside the point.  Some dresses give me a hard time, some don't.  This was a pleasant dress with lots of pleating.  These pleats didn't keep me up at night, like some tend to do.  So it was lots of fun. 

I am hoping the best for these two.  I also wish the best for Sarah's mom and dad.  They really made a great impression on me.  It is cute to see a bride interact with her parents... especially if dad is along for the ride.  It is a sweet thing to see. 

Do you love the photography?  I sure do.  Oh, and I just peaked at her blog.  Beautiful!  This is Marielle Hayes.  She is a San Francisco photographer.  Check her out at  I get so excited when a photographer captures the details of the dress.  I know it doesn't matter.... except to the dress maker.  I think they took a day of fun and photos in the city.  I wish it was something they did back in the day, when I got married.  No, that was so very long ago and we didn't do smart things like that.  Something about not seeing the bride in her wedding dress until the wedding day.  Hum, I wonder if I would have cared? Nope, it would have been a chance to wear the dress another time.   

Make sure you see the last few shots.  They are my favorite.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Quick view of Lauren and Crismon

Okay, I saw that Lindsey of  posted a thumbnail of Lauren and Crismon's wedding.  It always makes my day to see images of dresses I have done.  Especially when they come from a photographer that is so talented!
Just a few words about Lauren and her mom, Julie.  They couldn't have been more lovely.  They are both classic and beautiful women.  They worked well together while remaining individuals.  That is the challenge in this world of mothers and brides.  I was happily surprised at the direction the dress went.  I love a dress that I wasn't expecting at the start. 

I can't wait to show you the wedding in full.  Lauren's mom, Julie, is an exceptionally talented florist.  Oh, that word doesn't do her justice.  She is a.... designer of flowers and other beautiful things.  You can see her work at  She did the wedding for Caitlin about a year ago.  So of course I was thrilled to work with her and her daughter on this dress.  

I know this sounds trite, but I appreciate and love my job because I get to work with such great women.  To be a part of this event for so many people is quite phenomenal.  Every dress and every bride surprises me in some way or another.  I feel so fortunate to be a "gown maker".

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Unexpected Vacation

Today I feel grateful.  I have been walking around in a bit of a euphoric state. 

 I have been reveling in my two cute kids,
my best friend, who luckily, is also my husband,
the beautiful place that we get to live,
my family,
my husband's family,
my wonderful job that makes me so happy,
and sunlight. 

Why am I acting like this?  Well, I finished the last dress of the busy busy busy season.  The last two and a half years have been a bit overwhelming.  I like overwhelming, but maybe not for that long.  I finished Amanda's dress and shipped it off to San Francisco.  Right after that I opened up a package from Amanda.  It had a bunch of "silly bands" for the kids.  I always get sentimental when anyone gives something to our kids.  It also had an invitation for her wedding.  Earlier, she had said that we should come out.  I thought that wouldn't happen and didn't think anything of it.  BUT the combination of the dress being off, which always fills me with a great sense of relief, the invitation, finding out my kids are out of school for fall break, and the promise of a road trip to San Francisco, it seemed to make sense.  Spontaneous sense. 

So we made plans and went.  It was a perfect vacation.  We dragged the kids all over the place and they were truly happy and enthralled.  We stayed in one of the old hotels in down town.  Loved it.  There is nothing like a good San Francisco hotel.  We did all of the touristy things.  Just walking down the street is an experience for the kids. 

Slade danced to the street musicians.  Hank finally got to ride on a cable car.  We walked and walked.  Even hailing a taxi was exciting.  Of course we went out to Alcatraz.  It was a beautiful time.  I am thinking this is the perfect time to tour with kids.  They were eager to see and do everything!   

At the end of the short vacation in San Francisco, we headed out to the rolling hills of California.  Amanda and Paul's wedding was at Taber Ranch, it was quaint and quite stunning.  We enjoyed a beautiful ceremony given by their friend.  Just the ceremony was worth it.  It was funny and touching.  Perfect.  Then there was the great dinner and the chance to talk to so many of their friends.  Everyone was so friendly and welcoming to us.... the "dressmaker" and her family.  I think we were all overwhelmed by the whole thing.  We couldn't get over how wonderful everyone was to us. 

I will post more of the wedding later, once I have photo's to go with it.  These look like they were taken by paparazzi from a very distant place.  That heightens the mystery of what it was all about and what the dress looked like.  I was just taking it all in, so I forgot to take out our camera.   

I am just grateful.  I feel lucky to work with people during such a significant time in their lives.  I love that I get to create, be pushed to do more, and to grow and learn.  But it is most rewarding to meet and work with people on the project of a wedding gown.   

Oh, and it doesn't hurt to go on a road trip or two. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Chelsea's Bridal Photographer

I just discovered who took the wonderful pictures of Chelsea.  Her name is Natalie Norton.  She is Chelsea's sister in law.  I peeked into her blog.  Just the most intimate photos.  Just a beautiful blog.  You all should take a look.  Pretty heart felt and she really expresses herself well. 

So I am short on words.  I have been reading someone's blog.  That always shuts me up pretty well. 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Chelsey with Balloons

I SO enjoyed working on Chelsey's dress.  We used the most beautiful cotton organdy polka dot.  I loved it so much, I blogged about it. 

The dress took a few turns and ended up being the small waist and big skirt variety.  It suited her well.  I am sad that you can't see the fabric and ruching that makes the dress... but C'est la vie!  These images are beautiful and she looks great, don't you think?  This is why I don't post photo's I have taken at the time of the fittings.  A bride always looks so incredible under the influence of a great photographer.  I can never do a person justice with my lack of photographic intelligence. 

I just love the balloon shot.  So, so, clean and fresh.  Yes, weird words to describe.  Maybe it is getting late for me to be blogging.  I wish Chelsey the best.  She is one who deserves everything wonderful. 

Oh, I can't find the photographers name.  Dang, I will get that info out tomorrow. 

Just as a side note.  All of my boys and I had such a great day today.  It is hot like it should be August, not October.  That makes me happy.  I got to go on a long jog, which in itself, can make my day.  But we also splashed in some water, visited with friends, ate good food, and danced in the light of a flashlight (the little boys did that).  

Hope you have a wonderful day. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Amanda update

So last weekend was a whirlwind of sewing, fittings, and lots of talk of Mad Men.  Amanda and her mom, Viena were in again for more dressmaking.  The out of town bride is so intense for me, and I love it.  It does take a few days to recover from it.   

These women have lived such different lives than me, so it makes for great conversation.  But most of all, they have the best attitudes.  I love a person that can live so happily and appreciate the moment they are living.  Boy, I sound corny, but you should hear them.  This is why I love this job.  I get to work with people during a happy and exciting time in their lives.  Pretty cool. 

Because of all of the talk of Mad Men, I think Amanda embodied Joan's spirit.  She isn't built like Joan, (is anyone?) but she has the attitude.  I am a strong believer that the bride has the power to make the dress much better just through wearing it well.  Amanda will do that. 

Disclaimer, Amanda will not be wearing the socks on the wedding day, but aren't they a great photo op?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Shelby, stage 1

I had the greatest time working on Shelby's dress.  She chose a beautiful silk satin.  I would say it was the color of butter.  Shelby wanted something more gown than wedding dress.  I love that.  Shelby also came with a new sister-in-law who designs beautiful things.... really really beautiful things.  So I got to be the seamstress on this one and create a dress for Shelby by Shelby and Autumn.  I really enjoyed the collaboration and challenge.  The pictures are of the bodice front and back.  I just counted and there are 24 pieces for just the bodice.  I can't wait to show the whole dress, but am having fun showing pictures of the process.  Seems like I have been doing that lately. 

Each dress makes me question my abilities, especially when I get to work with someone like Autumn.  It really shows how little I know.  It is humbling but also really enlightening.  I love the push in a different direction.  In a way, though, it is a helpless feeling that I will never get where I want to go.  Oh, that reminds me of the song the boys are learning.  They have been learning all of my old U2 songs.  "I still haven't found what I'm looking for."  It seems more appropriate than ever.  It goes to show, you can have a great husband, two beautiful boys, and still have a feeling of not arriving yet.  I think that is what keeps a person going. 

I write this while content and happy about things, just so you know. 
I believe this feeling is the reason I can sew and the reason I love to do it. 
This feeling is why I love to start and finish each dress. 
This feeling is why I get excited knowing the next project will leave me stumped, until, as I wake one morning, the answer is floating in my head. 
 Boy, I love those answers. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Nicky and groom

Cute as a button, don't you think?  Or is it "cute as buttons"? 

I worked on this dress in the summer and got this in an email after the event.  It was great working with Nicky.  She lives in California and came up a couple of times to get the dress done.  She is one of those smart women which seems to be the case with all of my brides.  She is becoming a Doctor and will do amazing things. 

I think you can really see that they had a great time at their wedding.  I love the bride and groom that arrange to have fun on the fateful day.  From this image, you can see that they are happy, calm, and enjoying the moment. 

Oh, did I mention that I wouldn't mind having this dress.  I loved the vintage feel of it, and the lace, and the color of silk underneath.

Friday, August 20, 2010


I am always over preachy about brides finding inspiration in unusual places.  Well, this example is more than perfect.  Amanda, who I will describe soon, wants flowers like succulents on her dress.  Doesn't that just take the cake.  This bride is so on my wave length that she likes the only plant that I will allow in my house.  I am not much for house plants... too much dusting, watering, etc, but I do love a good terracotta pot of succulents.   

Okay, should I start this story.  Plan on it being random and too wordy.  I have a lot to express on this one. 

Amanda and Viena are these great women.  Amanda, the bride, lives in San Fransisco and her mother, Viena, lives in New York City.  You think that is quite remarkable, the fact they inhabit the two best cities in the U.S.  They are as cool as the places they live.  

Here are a few reasons why:  

They were daring enough to come out to Utah to have this random dress maker design a wedding gown.  I have brides come from many places, but they usually have a friend who has worked with me.  She did it without knowing any of my brides.   

When Amanda called me from the Salt Lake Airport, she was so very excited about how beautiful the view was from the airport windows.  That is the kind of enthusiasm that just makes me happy. 

Viena raised Amanda in New York.  When I visit there I see these moms teaching their kids to ride a bike on the sidewalks of Manhattan.  Now I get to chat with these great people who had that experience of New York.

Viena has had been a career woman in Manhattan for many years.  I love the idea of that and have really enjoyed hearing her point of view.

Oh, and did I mention, Viena was "Miss Central America" at one point. 
Who leads that kind of life? 

I want to share all of these great things I have learned about these women but keep deleting because.... well, you just have to be there. 

Well, meet Amanda and Viena.  At the end of the long weekend where I sewed and they got to enjoy a snap shot of Utah, we took them up through camp.  They met the horses. 

I am hoping that the boys start calling them Aunt Amanda and Aunt Viena.

This horse was especially wanting some attention.

Here is just a taste of what is to come for Amanda's dress.  I, as you can tell, am pretty excited about this one.  I don't want to show much because it is just the start of the process and I have learned the more I work on a detail, the better it will be.  I am looking forward to being surprised. 

But really, isn't this just the best flower motif ever.  I love a good desert plant.