Friday, September 28, 2007

I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman

Well, here they are, finally. Photos of the new digs!

I just have to give props to Girl Power! This space used to be a gym, complete with rubberized floors and red painted walls. Stephanie, Rikki, Melisa, Kelly and I ripped up the floor, painted, and installed new flooring all in three days to prepare for a busy Saturday with clients. (Okay, we did have some of our menfolk over here with trucks to haul garbage out and move furniture in. And we thank you for that! But all the remodeling was done by women!)

I guess my DIY days aren't over, especially now that I work with a whole team of people that are like me in that respect! I even hung all my own shelves and racks. (No, I didn't use a level, but who can tell?)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Devil in a blue dress

You may remember from my very first post that I made my prom dress in high school. Well, I recently moved and was going through some old photo albums, when lo and behold- a prom photo appeared! And since my high school reunion is in two weeks (Go 1997 DHS Mustangs!), it just seems like a good time to post it. (Identities have been concealed to protect the innocent.)

So as I was looking at this, I remembered that not only did I make my dress, but I made my handbag as well. I also did my own hair and makeup and manicure. My date wore his band tux (hee hee) and drove his parents' car.

Not that it's all that fantastic, but it got me thinking. I do a lot of alterations for prom dresses these days, and I see the kind of money these girls (or rather, their parents!) are spending on prom. And it blows me away! I guess I've always been a DIY type of gal.

Anyway, it's a lesson for you ladies out there- a fun evening can be had for less than $200 if you are resourceful!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Come on, come on, let's work together

So the question I get more than any other is, "Do you watch Project Runway?" Or some variation thereof. Well, sorry to disappoint, but no I do not watch it! Not because it's not interesting or entertaining, but because it is both those things, so much so that I will get sucked in and neglect all other tasks that I have to do.

Anyway, the reason I mention it is because you may have noticed that the designers have these nice big worktables at their disposal. If you've ever done any kind of sewing, you know how important it is to have adequate space for pattern layouts, pinning, cutting, pressing, etc.

Well, while I was working from home I simply did not have the room for an appropriate table, so I made do by moving all the furniture to the perimeter of the room and spreading everything out on the floor. (Don't try and say you've never done it; I know you have!) Needless to say, it was hell on my knees and not too efficient. But now, thanks to my wonderful (and handy) better half, I have an awesome work surface in my new studio! And how lucky was I to have his dad and his son at work for me too? In 110 degree heat, no less. Thanks, men!

Since I was minimal help at best, I took photos of the process instead:

I especially like the center photo- no construction project is complete without a little arguing over the best way to do something!

A little foam and cotton padding later, and here's the final product!

I'm just so excited about this, you don't even know! Well, maybe you do, since I just devoted a whole post to it. I guess I also want everyone to know how awesome my guy is and how much he helps me with my biz. He's behind the scenes, but he's always there. I think all of us small business owners owe our SOs a big thanks for all the support they give us every day; we couldn't do it without you.

Thank you for everything you do for me honey; I love you!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Looking so long at these pictures of you

Don't you just love The Cure? And I don't just mean the band. We are still fighting cancer, and thanks to foundations like Susan G. Komen for the Cure, advances are being made. But not without your help! I participated in the Race for the Cure a couple years ago, and it was so inspiring to see all the survivors and loved ones out there to raise money for breast cancer research. Cicely and Liene reminded me about this upcoming event, and also reminded me how cancer has touched my own family. We love you Donna!

There are so many ways to get involved; visit the Race for the Cure website to find out more.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Any way you want it, that's the way you need it

Miss W and I were lucky to squeeze in a fitting before we both started our busy weekends! A couple minor adjustments needed to perfect the fit of the bodice, but other than that, we're in good shape. We also explored some different options for the lace. Previously, we had thought we wanted a wide band of lace beneath the bust and a narrower band at the waistline. However, when Miss W tried the dress on, the consensus was that the wide band was a little overwhelming. So we opted to use a narrower band under the bust instead, and I think it's perfect. The next decision to make is whether to include the lace at the waist. We had planned to do so, but that's the beauty of having a custom gown made- details like this can be changed and refined throughout the process. Here are the two options, side-by-side:

One thought was that the lace along the bottom of the ruching gave the dress a more finished look. However, there was still the concern that it might be a little too much going on. So Miss W is going to think it over and probably come by the studio again soon with reinforcements (read: mom, sister, etc.) to get some more opinions.

What is your opinion? Stay tuned for Miss W's decision!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Takin' care of business

I'm ba-aack!

Wow, it has been a crazy few weeks. I'm very excited about the new studio (pix coming soon). I'm also excited to be back on track with my clients. I'm sure they are as well!

This includes Miss W, of course. So far this week I have been able to get a lot done on her dress- it is actually starting to resemble the sketch! I had cut out all the fabric pieces before my move, so they've really just been sitting patiently, waiting for me to attend to them. Sadly, I neglected to take photos of said pieces before stitching them together, so you'll just have to use your imagination.

Yesterday I started working on the ruching in the bodice. I do this by hand so I can arrange every pleat to my liking. Then I pin the bejesus out of it and hand stitch it all in place.

Once that's done, I press the ruching lightly, so that it stays nice and smooth, conforming to the shape of the bodice. After Miss W tries the gown on again, I'll probably stitch it in a few more spots and give it another pressing, just to make sure everything stays where it's supposed to.

I think this is going to look pretty cool once it's done; it even looks good with pins in it!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Movin' on up

And now for the BIG NEWS. Wow, nothing adds drama like the caps lock, huh?

I am so excited to announce that Jewel Couture has moved into a commercial space! After almost four years of working from home, I have taken the plunge. I have moved into a new studio at Two Be Wed in Tempe. You may be familiar with TBW- you can meet various talented and dedicated wedding professionals there to help plan your wedding. Well before, it was just an awesome place where I could meet clients for design meetings. Now, I've actually moved my operations there, so you can stop by and see the process for yourself!

I'm really psyched about this and hope it helps take my company to the next level. I would love visitors- stop by and see me sometime! I plan on being there during weekdays and by appointment on evenings and Saturdays.

I should be back to my normal schedule by Monday, so be on the lookout for more posts!