My favorite creation during my time on AGT (Australia's Got Talent) was this custom made tails coat for the legendary Tommy Franklin! That man is an absolute delight and so full of energy and love. I was so proud to see him on TV wearing my creation.
The idea for the jacket was Tommy's and my favorite boss in the world Tim Chappel assigned me the task of making it. Tim gave me a sketch and a budget and a day later this was the result.
On Sunday, August 11th I participated in the third installment of ALPHAMAMA's '13 Trips'. Now... in the past I've been known for taking my sewing into nightclubs and parties but never before have I set up my sewing machine, iron and mannequin in a club!
In two hours I transformed this drab, oversized, men's suit jacket (see the picture below), into a tailored, 'technicolour dream coat' inspired halter dress. It was sooooo much fun doing Revamped LIVE and I can't wait to do more of these events.
This week's Revamped D.I.Y ended up being a special treat for myself! I love hand beading and I've been doing it for years. I even do a bit of hand beading work for sensational Aussie designer Rachel Gilbert.
I was updating my Winter wardrobe this week and came across this cool shirt at Zara. It was baggy and silky and had these cool shoulder pads which were exposed on the outside of the shoulders. Well I couldn't leave it just plain now could I, and I happened to have all of the crystals and beads I needed at home! This Revamp didn't cost me a cent!
Something you may know about me is that I love crystals! If my sewing machine is having an off day, I sit my rose quartz crystal on it, have a break and when I get back to work, my machine is sewing like a dream (seriously, this has happened)!
I was very excited to find in my box of beaded treasures, a rose quartz bracelet which was falling apart. What a find! Along with the rose quartz beads, I've included Swarovski crystals, fake pearls, silver seed beads, large sparkly glass beads from a necklace, and some plastic stars and other shapes which I found in a container of gems I got from Spotlight.
I don't mind combining the good quality, expensive beads with some cheaper ones. As long as they're not too 'plasticky' I'll throw some in there. This keeps the cost down (which makes clients happy), and also takes some of the weight out. The expensive beads are often a bit heavier and can really weigh a garment down! I also like using stars. I'm such a sucker for stars! I'll never grow out of them.
I love my new shirt. It's nice to know the healing energy of the crystals are sitting on my shoulders!
I find that when I wear my own creations lots of people smile at me and talk to me about what I'm wearing. It's a wonderful way to make news friends and share with people what I do! If you're inspired to do some hand beading grab a needle and thread and put your favorite movie of TV show on! It's a great way to be still and calm. It's like meditating!
* Just be sure to start and finish your threads off securely, and when you wash your beaded items it's probably best to dry clean or hand wash.
As always, please share your creations with our Revamped community! Post your pics on the Facebook page and inspire others with your ideas :D
The detail of the bodice has been inspired by a fabric construction technique called chenille. More commonly seen in towels and jumpers, you can create your very own, exciting, colourful version of chenille.
I love to play around with this technique, experimenting with layers of various fabrics, colours and textures.
A simple way to make Chenille is by layering fabric (practice with three), stitching diagonal lines across the grain, and then cut in-between the lines.
Have you experimented with creating your own chenille fabrics? I'd love to see your designs. As always, you can upload them onto our Facebook page and inspire the Revamped Fashion community!
This week's Revamped transformation is one of my favorites!
My client is an exciting, young, musical talent who is on the verge of exploding to international stardom and success!
The brief was:
- Design an edgy, glamorous gown for a photo shoot.
- The theme is glamor, with an urban, street feel.
- Inspiration from early 90's Versace Supermodels.
- Create a train which has layers to be detached.
Naomi Campbell in this Gianni Versace masterpiece!
Breathing new life into a simple formal dress is a passion of mine. It fires me up inside! It's like the dress was intended for a great party, and I have the ability to set that dress free so it can experience the BEST party ever!!!
A formal dress can be a excellent canvas, as often these gowns have a great fitting bodice, and lots of fabric and layering in the skirt. This particular dress had fantastic layers of taffeta and organza in the skirt, fantastic fabrics to drape and create drama and volume!
There are three elements to this gown:
- The Bodice
- The Skirt
- The Train
Next week I'm going to look at the bodice and break down a fabric layering technique called chenille.
On Saturday, March 9th, I had the absolute pleasure of attending the wedding of my good friends Laura and Bryan. This wedding was extra special for me as the bride's dress was my very first Revamped Bridal gown!
This dress took two bridal gowns, over sixty cut pattern pieces, and eighty-one hours of sewing (over fifty of those were sewn by hand).
Laura was referred to me after she posted on Facebook "I have my mum's wedding dress and my grandmother's wedding dress, and I need someone to make my wedding dress from them. Anyone know someone who can do that?"
Sounds like a match made in heaven to me!
1950's on the left, 1980's on the right.
Laura's grandmother had kept her beautiful, hand-made gown in perfect condition since the 1950's. The flat lace design was divine and the dress had beautiful frilly petticoats and a night slip to go with it.
Laura's mother's dress was a classic gown from the 1980's. It had a beautiful long train with detailed lace designs and scolloped edges. I knew this dress (and it's beautiful edging) would be ideal to create the train. There were lots of flowers on the bottom with beautiful vines that crept up.
This shot shows the blending of the laces.
The brief for the dress was:
Laura had been collecting inspiration pictures for a couple of months, so when it was time to sit down and design her dream dress we had a lot of fun!
When designing Laura's dress I needed to take into account the materials I had to work with. I actually managed to create Laura's dress and under skirt using about 97% materials from her mother's and grandmother's dresses. The only new things I needed to purchase were the metal boning for the corset, some calico which I used inside the bodice, a ribbon I used as the band for the petticoat, sewing threads, and some hooks and eyes. Everything else was revamped!
A great shot of the petticoat.
The many hours of hand sewing were spent on combining the two laces. Laura's grandmother's dress was ivory and Laura's mother's dress was white, so it was important to seamlessly combine the two. I spent many hours, carefully trimming around the flowers and vines of the white dress and hand stitching them, flat onto the ivory lace. I'm so pleased I took the time to do this because, as you can see in many of the pictures, the white flowers seem to pop-out (in an iridescent way) in certain light.
The final touch of the dress was the petticoat. I created the can-can style skirt with the frill on the inside. The frills added the drama Laura was looking for, in a non-bulky way.
The petticoat is a great piece on it's own and it was created from the beautiful frills and lace I found on the undergarments from Laura's grandmother's dress.
The 'Bridal Jump'!
Laura and Bryan had such a wonderful day and I'm so happy for them! It was wonderful to see Laura looking so comfortable and carefree all day! The dress came up a treat in the 'Bridal Jump' (yes they had a jumping castle at their reception)! No restrictions at all.
Congratulations Laura and Bryan and thank you so very much for this amazing opportunity!
If you would like to have a Revamped Couture Creation for your special day (or if you know someone else who would like one), please don't hesitate to contact me and we can start planning. Bridal, formal, cocktail or other special occasions. I would love to create a special piece just for you!
Now here are some more pictures from that special day. Enjoy!
Welcome to my first Revamped Fashion D.I.Y. Online session! This is a segment I will be featuring weekly, to help get you in the Revamping groove even if you can't make it to one of my workshops.
This week's example of Revamped Fashion is a simple and effective method I've used to breathe life into a much loved high school formal dress.
Before, in it's original form.
My client brought this dress to me because she loved the colour and hoped I could somehow make it cool again. Now, my client happens to be one super hot babe who gets on stage and sings like an angel and plays guitar like Slash, so it was quite appropriate for me to transform this dress into a hot little number, worthy of being put on public display!
I decided that because the top of this dress was still very current (it has fabulous cut-outs), it would be a crime not to use it, so to modernize this wonder I simply chopped off the skirt! I left enough of the skirt (approximately 3cm) attached to the top, to double fold under to create a neat and tidy edge, and I hand stitched this fold in place into the lining.
Because my client is no longer 16, the back of the top didn't quite meet (I would say a fabulous growth spirt of cleavage would be to blame for that!), so I removed the previously placed buttons and replaced them with some rouleau* loops I had made from the remainder of the skirt.
Now the top has a new lace-up back!
*To create rouleau for the loops and the lace-up cord, cut a 3cm wide strip of fabric on the bias, fold in half and stitch. Because this fabric is stretchy its ideal to use a short stitch which has a very slight zig-zag. Use a rouleau turner to turn the cord in the right way.
I am a freelance designer and stylist who creates avant-garde fashion and costume. I specialize in custom making costumes for musicians, physical theatre, and dance companies. I love what I do and I love to share my passion and teach others :D