Category: dress

Recent Wedding Gown Alterations

It has been a very busy fall!  I am just getting to show off some of the beautiful gowns I have been altering!  Here are a few of my favorites:

This is the JCrew Rosabelle gown.  I love the buttons up the back and the sweet flowers on the shoulders.  The bride wanted a nice smooth back on the dress but she wanted the support of a bra so I modified a Victoria’s Secret bra and sewed it in to the front of the dress!  No bra lines!  I also hemmed the dress, took in the sides and brought up the shoulders.  Such a pretty dress!

 Photo from JCrew

This is the Rowan dress by Jenny Yoo.  It is such a beautiful silk chiffon sheath!  The dress has a very unusual train with two panels the run down the back and are open on either side.  It was a challenge to get the bustle to look right!  I did a modified French bustle to keep the nice long lines of the dress by picking up the train underneath.  The two panels wear lifted up either side and tucked in on themselves to maintain that beautiful column sillhouette.

 Photo from Jenny Yoo

Always something beautiful to work on! 
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Eco-friendly Custom Wedding Dress

Last winter Sasha commissioned me for an unusual project.  She wanted to create her wedding dress using the fabric from some vintage lace curtains that hung in her mother’s childhood bedroom!  She also wanted to use natural fibers in the other parts of the dress.  I sourced some vintage silk haibotai for the lining and we used a hemp/silk blend for the fabric behind the lace.  The top fabric was beautiful silk chiffon to lend a light floating quality to the dress.  I couldn’t be happier with the result!  So beautiful!

Photo by Michelle Koechle Photography

Photo by Michelle Koechle Photography

Photo by Michelle Koechle Photography

Photo by Michelle Koechle Photography

Photos by Michelle Koechle Photography.

Thank you, Sasha!  It was so much fun creating your dream dress!

Why buy custom clothing?

So lately I have been following the fabulously interesting Elizabeth Cline after the release of her new book Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion. I love her philosophy (all backed by facts) of buying fewer, better made garments.

Let me share a few of the facts about American clothes consumption (all courtesy of Elizabeth)

  • Clothing was once entirely handsewn and custom made, either in the home or by a dressmaker or tailor.
  • When the garment industry moved offshore in the 1980s and 1990s true mass-manufactured clothing as we understand it today occurred, with single styles produced in the tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, and sometimes millions of pieces
  • In 1902, a ready-made knockoff of a French dress started at $25 ($621.50 in today’s dollars) at Marshall Field’s. This meant that the average American woman owned an average of nine outfits.
  • Today ready made clothing can be purchased for less than $5, and the average American buys over 60 pieces of new clothing per year.
  • We now only make 3% of our apparel in the United States, down from 90% in 1955
  • Only a shocking 15 to 20 percent of clothing donations are resold in U.S. thrift shops, and Americans only keep 21 percent of the clothing we buy each year. 
  • Which all adds up to the horrifying fact that textiles account for over five percent of municipal solid waste.

What is a fashion concious person to do?

Elizabeth advises “if consumers would commit to buying less and investing in fewer pieces that we truly love, we’d have wardrobes that were far more flattering and fullfilling.”  The fashion industry has us all conviced that we can’t afford more expensive well-made clothes but how many of those cheap trendy garments sit in a closet unworn?

One way to escape from your cheap stuffed closet is to have a garment custom made!  Maybe you have a favorite pair of slacks that are falling apart or a dress that fits but the fabric is cheap, I can fashion new clothing using an existing garment, a pattern, or an idea!  And because I care about every item I make, it will be beautiful, long-lasting, and the perfect fit.

Don’t spend more on your clothes, just spend better!  Save that money from all those Target shopping sprees and buy something that will be worth wearing for years to come!

Happy Holidays!

Wow, holiday time already?!  It has been a wonderful and action-packed year for me and Anne’s Alterations. I would like to send out a big thank you to all my clients; it has been a pleasure making your wardrobes better!

 After a sewing-filled year, I am taking a vacation!
Anne’s Alterations will be closed from December 12 – January 2. 
Please contact me by phone or email for appointments in the new year.  Regular studio hours will begin on January 4.

I would like to leave you this year with an image from the new Snow White movie coming out in March 2012.  I am currently working on costuming “Alice in Wonderland” for Flagstaff Junior Academy and I think I have giant outrageous dresses on my mind!  Although this is the Queen, I think it would make an amazing Christmas wedding dress or holiday formal (ok, with a little less bustle)! Wow!

Happy Holidays!  Happy New Year!