Tag Archives: dress

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MAMI AFRIKA

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I’ve worked with Wawi Amasha for a few years, and now she’s starting to get really serious about her clothing design. These looks are all hers, but I sewed them for a gallery opening this past weekend. They were presented under the name Mami Afrika.

Wawi dresses, made by Julianne

Sewer, designer, tech designer.Wawi dresses, made by JulianneOf course I made my purple miimii dress, as well as the blue halter dress on Inobe. Wawi is on the left. Wawi dresses, made by Julianne

Wawi was showing her paintings at Hamilton Gallery in Santa Monica, and it was a fun party! In our gallery was the artwork, models wearing dresses, wine of course, and African drummers who inspired some fancy dancing.

A neighboring gallery was also hosting an opening, where there was more wine, plus vodka, couscous, gift bags, and a hyper little German man who began our conversations with “I like the look you’re experimenting with on your outfit,” because that’s what you say in Santa Monica. I don’t remember your name, but you were kinda crazy, but also fun.

Wawi dresses, made by Julianne

The fabrics were collected on Wawi’s recent trip to Kenya, and the patterns were drafted by Inobe Nicole, who also made the fabulous geometric necklaces.

I made ten pieces for the show in 4 days, and eventually developed a rhythm for the layout and construction. Sample patterns rarely come with instructions, so it’s up to be to figure out a smooth and efficient technique.   Wawi dresses, made by JuliannePrint matching! The finishing on this sleeveless jacket includes french seams, bias bound, double turned hem, and folding seams under.

Wawi dresses, made by Julianne Wawi dresses, made by Julianne

This purple skirt was my favorite piece, and that amethyst necklace Inobe made is insane!  IMG_2349

Mami Afrika designs, made by Julianne

This dress was another personal favorite.

Wawi dresses, made by Julianne

It was a week of marathon sewing, but the team was very pleased at the outcome. I’ll be doing more work with Wawi soon (like tomorrow!).

Thanks to Sam / Docta Sez for the additional photos!

 

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ZIGZAG DRESS

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I made this dress for my birthday this year, and it was perfect for my bayou birthday party.

yellow zigzag dress, made by Julianne

The dress had to be lined, and since the seams would have been slightly visible through the white areas of the print, I felt like interlining was the only option. Well, sewing two layers of swishy fabric together while keeping the print centered and the grainlines even can be a pain in the ass. In the end it turned out well, but it was a process to get there.

It’s a very basic shift (or sheath) dress. Easy to make, versatile to wear, and simple design lines that allow the fabric to take center stage. I have a few fabulous fabrics that have been patiently waiting in my sewing cabinet, and I think this new pattern will match perfectly.

yellow zigzag dress, made by Julianne

I bought the yellow printed rayon as soon as it came in the door at Fabric Planet Downtown for $3/yd. The dress is lined with a blush pink rayon, which also came via Fabric Planet (from the Venice store, and was the same price). The invisible zipper and TIffany blue lycra I used for the binding were rummaged from my fabric cabinet. Total dress cost: $12

yellow zigzag dress, made by Julianne

I just love the bright lemon yellow! The crisp chevrons are actually composed of tiny triangles. This print is hitting all my buttons.

I didn’t really think about how prone to wrinkles the finished garment would be. Not that I generally look freshly pressed, but I do like to show off my clothes to their best advantage. I must admit, I’m a little disappointed that despite the care I put into constructing the dress, it will always look a little sloppy.

yellow zigzag dress, made by Julianne

Although I’ve only worn the dress once before, the fabric is starting to pill at the underarms. It’s certainly not a disaster, just another disappointment to overcome. This dress may not have the longevity that I was looking forward to as I began to put it together.

yellow zigzag dress, made by julianne

I drafted the basic shift pattern with a muslin (and 2 sleeves with different cap heights!), and the meticulous fitting on the muslin isn’t quite obvious in the shifty doubled rayon. Oh well, I think that attention will pay off in other iterations of the design.

yellow zigzag dress, made by Julianne yellow zigzag dress, made by Julianne
And yes, I am on Instagram now.
 

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MATMOS DRESS

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Finally able to start unclogging the backlog of posts. Mardi Gras costume will be coming soon!

It’s a simple dress, which means it’s versatile and comfortable and fun to wear.

tie-dye matmos dress, made by Julianne

 I used a vintage pattern that I borrowed from Caroline; I traced the pattern and forgot to copy the name or number! Luckily I haven’t seen her since then, so I actually still have the pattern in a very safe place, so eventually I can find out the relevant information.

tie-dye matmos dress, made by Julianne

Now I’m wearing it with a silk charmeuse slip, and I stay pretty warm. Without the slip, it’s been perfect for warmer days in Los Angeles on the bicycle. The short hem will be fun in the summer!

tie-dye matmos dress, made by Julianne

It’s made from a silky, slinky rayon. I also used the fabric for a dress shirt for my husband (which I will iron and photograph in New Orleans). The print reminds me of the Matmos from one of my favorite movies, Barbarella: Queen of the Galaxy.

tie-dye matmos dress, made by Julianne

matmos 2

I finished the seams in the serger. There’s a black invisible zip, which should be 6″ longer, but I had this size in my stash and I can easily get the dress over my shoulders (but the hips are another story).

tie-dye matmos dress, made by Julianne

I’m not sure about the neckline. Maybe I want to do something bold, like an appliqué or contrasting collar? Maybe I want it lower? For now, it’s bound in matching bias tape. I’d love any suggestions!

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CHLOE DRESS

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For months I’ve been waiting to sew my Chloe dress by Victory Patterns, and now it’s finally happened.

These pictures were taken at the Folk Music Festival in Richmond, VA. My husband and I joined my family in that beautiful city to celebrate my cousin’s wedding.

pink Chloe dress, made by Julianne

I immediately loved all the panels, and knew it would be a great canvas for showcasing different prints. The pink floral at the front and back sides was brought from Malaysia, and I already have a pillow made from that cotton. The metallic stripes at the front sides was a vintage cotton from my Grandma’s stash that I dyed fuchsia. The peacock in the back was purchased for this dress at Joann (and matches some of my cloth napkins). The orange and chartreuse silk pieces are left over from my wedding dress.

pink Chloe dress, made by Julianne   The pattern was very easy to construct and fit. I cut a size 10, but wound up tapering to an 8 at the top. Other alterations include: re-drafted sleeve pieces, tapered front panel at collarbone and hips, added back shoulder darts, adjusted for sloping shoulder seam, took in side seams.

pink Chloe dress, made by Julianne pink Chloe dress, made by Julianne

 

The only materials purchased for this dress was the peacock cotton (1yd @ $6) and the digital pattern. Once my muslin was adjusted, the dress was cut and sewn together in about 2-3 hours.

pink Chloe dress, made by Julianne

It’s kinda the perfect dress. The Chloe pattern has simple design lines, is easy to make, and could be customized by fabric choice or pattern variations. Made in these quilting cottons, I can wear it for a bike ride at the beach, then out to dinner or some of the other fancy things I do. I can’t wait to make it again!

 

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SLEEVELESS

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I cut the sleeves off my Galaxy dress!

sleeveless galaxy dress, made by Julianne

I have such a bad habit of cutting my sleeves and shoulders too tight! I like that slim look, but it makes the garment uncomfortable which makes it stay in my closet. Even though I knew that the sleeves weren’t working for me, I was reluctant to remove them. It meant admitting another failure, and there was no going back. But in reality, it was improving the fit of a great dress, like the ol’ caterpillar/butterfly scenario. Lately I’ve been focusing on identifying and removing roadblocks in my life, and small projects like this can really help with momentum for bigger changes.

sleeveless galaxy dress, made by Julianne

The sleeves were nice, but maybe all that cotton candy tie dye was a little overwhelming. Since the neckline of the dress is high, it’s really great to have more skin exposed, and now this dress will be even more wearable.

sleeveless galaxy dress, made by Julianne

I’ve enrolled in Craftsy’s Sew the Perfect Fit class, and eventually I will actually go through the lessons. This will be the first time in my life to have ever taken a formal-ish sewing lesson! Everything I know I picked up from my mom, and years of trial and error. Hopefully there will be properly fitted sleeves in my future! Of course, this will have to wait until after Burning Man. So many plans for September!

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RAINBOW WEDDING DRESS

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You’ve already seen the boots I wore for our wedding at Burning Man 2012, and now here’s more of my outfit.

rainbow Burning Man wedding, Made by Julianne, Photos by Blake Gardner

When we got engaged in 2011, I really had no idea what I wanted my wedding clothes to look like. I’ve never worn white, and we have no traditions to honor, so I was free to wear whatever I wanted! The main idea was to dress as more fabulous versions of ourselves.

First the skirt:

The body of the skirt is a dupioni silk. On the bolt it was gold with a red tone, but once I threw it in the washing machine to get that gorgeous drape it turned into a pumpkin. Go with the flow, right?

rainbow Burning Man wedding, Made by Julianne, photo by Alex Finseth

photo by Alex Finseth

Instead of just one circle, this skirt has 1.5 circles to it. It’s divided into three panels (each a half-circle), with a center seam at the back and pockets in the front/side seams. It has such beautiful fullness when I twirl in it, and is delightfully extravagant. In order to get an even hem, I let the cut skirt hang for about 4 days, and then had my friend Danielle mark the hem line while I stood on a table. I usually try to do this myself, but I was not cutting corners with this outfit!

The waist is an elastic band in modal jersey–comfortable against bare skin, stays up fine without pinching into my belly. And no zippers to break! [The playa dust at Burning Man can be very harsh to fine devices like zippers]

rainbow Burning Man wedding, Made by Julianne, photo by Blake Gardner

photo by Blake Gardner

The stripes at the bottom are finished with a rolled hem on my serger. Most of the fabrics were random remnants, and my favorite band is the gold stripey fabric that matches Jason’s pants.

The mirrored shisha trim is from India. Anticipating the hanging mirrors to not hang for very long, I restitched every single one of them. It was a nice little project that I could pick up for 5 minutes at a time, and it took about 6 weeks of very casual work. And then… the green and blue dyes bled all over the skirt! I actually don’t mind, although I was kinda stressed when I first discovered it.

rainbow Burning Man wedding, Made by Julianne, photo by Alex Finseth

photo by Alex Finseth

It wasn’t really necessary, but I added a silk charmeuse lining. It does feel so fabulous against my skin! Since it isn’t visible, I made the slip as just a single circle. As a wink to traditional bridal white, I added the lacy fringe that can only be seen when I pull up my skirt.

BODICE:

rainbow Burning Man wedding, Made by Julianne, photo by Blake Gardner

photo by Blake Gardner

The original concept for the top was “rainbow bustier,” except it had to be a comfortable bustier! I had to be able to sit, and dance, and breathe all day and all night. The main fabric for the bodice is a metallic lycra, and I don’t mind admitting that I never thought I’d wear lycra at my own wedding. The torso is lined with purple modal jersey, and the bust is lined with black and white striped jersey.

To give some structure to the top I inserted plastic boning, which also prevented the chunky zipper from getting wavy.

rainbow Burning Man wedding, Made by Julianne, photo by Blake GardnerPink Lion cameo!

The bust appliques were all sewn by hand after I completed the basic construction. I pinned each piece while I was wearing it, then stitched them, then pinned on some more. There’s no way to convey how time-consuming this was, but I had so much fun. I worked on this in private, so Jason didn’t see the top until it was mostly complete. Flashy rainbow boobs, I never would have planned on this but it was so perfect and made me so happy!

Burning Man rainbow wedding, made by Julianne Burning Man rainbow wedding, made by Julianne

ACCESSORIES:

rainbow Burning Man wedding, Made by Julianne, Photos by Aleck Gandel Burning Man rainbow wedding, Made by Julianne

I went back and forth on a veil. Traditional bridal white was never a thought, but I like the drama of a gorgeous headpiece. I wound up adapting one of my recycled Mardi Gras necklaces into a headband, adorned with charms I made. The fringe bead is just that: fringe wrapped around a bead! I’ve since worn the headpiece as a necklace, which happens to be irresistible to babies.

Burning Man henna Burning Man henna

Jewelry was simple: glass stud earrings Jason bought me earlier in the year, and a pearl necklace that my grandma gave me (and my lady cousins) for high school graduation. I also had my right hand covered in henna by a lovely lady who was camping next to us (while I was swinging in a hammock sipping juice from a coconut, no less!).

During the parade, I wore a rainbow vest. You can see the front and back in these photos, but I think I’ll do a separate post on it, since I didn’t make it specifically for the wedding.

rainbow wedding dress, Made by Julianne rainbow wedding dress, Made by Julianne

I also wore sparkly silver hotpants, which I have since worn as bikini bottoms. No pictures from the wedding though!

This hasn’t happened yet, but my idea was that I’d be able to wear each component after the wedding. Someone’s got a birthday coming up and might wear her wedding dress to her own party!

rainbow Burning Man wedding, Made by Julianne, Photos by Dan Hamilton

photo by Dan Hamilton

If you’d like to read more and see more pictures from the day, we have a whole post about getting married at Burning Man.

You can also check out pictures of Jason’s groom outfit.

Most of these gorgeous pictures were taken by Blake Gardner and Aleck Gandel – many thanks to these talented photographers as well as all the friends who both captured and contributed to our wonderful day! K Alexander took the pictures in front of the glass wall at the Abita Mystery House.

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