June 24, 2013


In March, I was lucky enough to do 2 dresses for a contestant in the Miss Teen Colorado Pageant.  The "locals" portion of the pageant was in April, and she WON the title of "Miss Parker Outstanding Teen"!  How very exciting for her (and for me)!

There were 2 dresses that needed me.  Dress #1 was for her Talent competition.  She danced!  And she wanted something flow-y and retro-looking.

Her mother found this original dress at this source, but they had none in stock to purchase - so of course I got the call to custom-make it for her daughter.

Note the ruching details and underbust/ shoulder strap.  

And the beautiful chiffon ruching.

We got to work taking measurements and ordering fabric.

I always make custom garments in a muslin first.  I just use extra random fabric for this - this was 80s home decor fabric - ugly I know! - but it didn't matter because it's just the pattern lines and fit that I need to get right - BEFORE  I cut into the real fabric!

When fit and design lines are correct, I cut into the black satin underskirt, lining, and chiffon overskirt.  This skirt was definitely not gathered - to keep the waist nice and slim - I made circular skirt pieces - 6 of each layer.  Nice and full for dancing!

A few fittings later, the bodice (minus the long underbust shoulder strap) and all ruching layers are pinned in place.  Hem is tentatively marked and relaxing so the  bias grain can do it's thing.  

Final fitting:  making sure everything is in place, securing last-minute ruching, she even did some practice dance moves - it's great - just what she wanted!

On pickup day, we try on more time and check one  more detail - I want to  make sure she  is 100% happy before she takes this baby home - and we adjust the strap one more tiny time.

Perfection?  Good enough for Miss Teen Colorado, I would say  :)

(Note: Her mother told me she was too nervous to take pictures during her dance, but she will send me the photographer's pics, so I will hopefully get those up and posted soon!)

Dress #2 was her evening gown.  Her mother had ordered it online and it came too big (better than too small!) so I altered it to fit perfectly.

The neck strap was too long, so it needed to be shortened, that was easy enough.  Also, it needed a good hem.  I did a narrow rolled hem and left a slight train in the back, evening gown style.  But the bodice was also too large in the bust area so that would require me taking it in, BUT do you see the back?  Cool details but tricky to access the side seams with all those horizontal strap pieces.  Luckily it was a side-zip, so most was taken care of by bringing that seam in.  The rest was done by hand.  

Here is the zipper side seam taken apart - more ruching details on this dress, too.  

Here she is, in all her pageant glory!  Congrats!

She will next compete at the state level of the pageant, at the end of June, in downtown Denver.  I am sure she will do wonderfully!  (Stay tuned...)

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