Heather's Fine Couture Sewing Blog

Heather's Fine Couture designs and creates custom costumes of all types, specicalizing in ballet costumes.
This blog is intended to share my thoughts, inspiration, and progress on my past, current, and future projects.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Two tutus and a pilgrimage.....

Alright, it's been quite awhile since my last blog post.  So it's time!  I have completed two of the three tutus for Sunking Dance Camps.  I will be doing the third one when I return from dance camp, I thank the director for giving me an extension on that last one. 

This is the pink tutu I made for the dance camp.  It has a softer, droopier shape to the skirt, and the bodice has 12 pieces.  I used bengaline for the bodice and basque, with sequin appliques and venice lace for decoration. This tutu as well as the next will fit about 6 different-sized people.  It has to be multi-sized because of the many bodies it will need to fit. 

This tutu has a fluffier appearance to the skirt.  I kept this design much more simple.  The gold lace was hand-dyed, as well as the black lace that overlays the burgundy accents.  (In fact this is the same lace I used on the auto show dress.)  I made this from black and burgundy bengaline, and the bodice has 8 pieces. 

So the pilgrimage part of this blog....

I am packing up my car and driving to Richmond, Virginia for dance camp this year.  I have never driven that far ever, and I just really want the experience.  Plus it would be nice to avoid the whole airport thing, and be able to take as much stuff as I can fit into my car!  And another cool thing is I will get to see a good friend in DC along the way.  And of course, it will be awesome to have a car there.

Hopefully, it won't take me nearly as long to write the next blog....  And hopefully I don't leave the tutus at home.....

Friday, February 18, 2011

Progress, progress!

I have made a lot of progress on the Alice costumes.  Unfortunately it has been slowed a bit due to illnesses recently.  I am hoping to take advantage of the weekend and get a lot of work done. 

The Queen of Hearts costume is nearly complete.  It just needs a collar, zipper, hem, and more embellishment.  I found perfect shoes to complete the outfit.  My main inspiration for this was the Elizabethan era.  Obviously it is not true to the period, but I wanted to give the impression of a very fussy, very extravagant queen.  I really want it to be over the top and gaudy.
The red fabric is a velvet-flocked taffeta, and the black is begaline
Bodice with embellishment
Original Queen rendering


Perfect Shoes!

 This one is my Alice costume.  I wanted it to be very whimsical and young looking.  I have a very large square dance dress skirt underneath to hold it out.  The challenge will be turning in all that fabric.   The darker blue fabric is begaline, and the lighter blue is a crinkled light weight satin.  This picture does not show the embellishment, but this costumes has been completed.

Original rendering

I have recently begun constuction on the White Rabbit costume.  This will be a long bell-shaped tutu with the bodice pictured below.  The tutu is in the early stages of sewing all the layers of tulle on.  I am not sure what I am doing with the embellishment yet.....
The White Rabbit tutu in progress

White Rabbit Bodice

So that is where I'm at now.  I feel somewhat confident timewise with my workload at this point.  We just can't get sick anymore!!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Queen of Hearts....

The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts....

Major progress has begun on the Alice in Wonderland costumes.  So far I have fit three of them, and the Queen of Hearts is nearly ready for construction.  The fabrics have all been selected for the most part, and I just feel like I am moving along.

Of course that being said, it just seems as though when I am comfortable with my workload, something else comes along.  I will be constructing two classical tutus and a romantic tutu for Sunking Dance.  I am happy to do it, and I think I can get it all done.  There may be some late nights in the future.....

Monday, January 17, 2011

North American International Auto Show Charity Preview Night 2011

What a magical evening Friday night was!  I have never experienced anything quite like that before.  It was like being a part of something very exclusive.  Our evening began with a trip to downtown Detroit, and finding the hotel for the pre-reception for the software company, Oracle.  The streets of downtown Detroit make almost a wagon wheel, which can be confusing.  We arrived at the Westin Book Cadillac hotel and had to drive up 9 levels of a narrow parking structure.  Seeing the architecture as we went around and around was fascinating.  On one side was an abandoned apartment building, many of the windows boarded up, while the opposite side had these beautiful columns with uplights highlighting the scrolls on top. 

The hotel where the preshow reception and dinner took place was built in the 1920's.  I imagined the restaurant to be one of those "speakeasy" type places with bootlegged booze and gals in flapper dresses.

At about 5:45 we took a shuttle to the Auto Show venue, which is the Cobo Center.  My husband, Dan, has visited the show in the past, but only with the general public.  I have never been, and I was so glad for the opportunity. 

Walking into the show was like walking into broad daylight.  There are bright lights everywhere, highlighting the cars.  The floor is tiled with large white glass squares, and there are flashing lights and screens an all the walls.  It's overwhelming and so impressive.  The cars all look amazing.  It made even the most undesireable cars look like you wanted to buy them.

I loved seeing all the people dressed up, and walking among them.  There were large tables packed with full champagne glasses, and a table full of unopened bottles behind the servers.  It seemed like everyone had a glass in their their hand.  (Except for us, of course).

I didn't recognize anyone famous, but I also don't know what all of our local politicians look like.  :)

We wandered around for a couple of hours, admiring all the cars, and Dan going back to look at the Black Ops Jeep several times.  We then waited and took the shuttle back to the hotel for a late 9:30 dinner.

Dinner was amazing, we had salads for the first course, Dan had salmon, and I had mushroom ravioli for the second course.  Dessert was the best!  Dan had homemade sorbet in three different flavors, and I had some of the best cheesecake ever.

All in all, it was simply wonderful.  I would go again in a heartbeat.  :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It's done!

The Auto Show dress is all done!  It just needs some steam and a party.  There will be plenty more pictures coming soon!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Auto Show dress!

Here it is with the skirt attached!

Now onto the fun part; adding lace and beads!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

North American International Auto Show 2010 Charity Preview Dress

Here it is, the bodice of my dress!  It's finally starting to form into something tangible.  I started the skirt as well today, but it wasn't enough to post a picture.  I am so excited to go, I have never been.  It's quite the A-lister event from what I hear.  At least I will have a dress unlike anyone else's, LOL.

The pattern for this bodice was quite a challenge, as I am I fairly petite.  I had to really tweak the upper part to make it look proper on my body.  I have also added some "boob-age" to make it look better on me.  Look for more pictures soon!