Wednesday, September 13, 2017

My Custom Chloe Prusa Dress - Fripperies and Final Fittings

Shop for Gewgaws and Fripperies – 5-23-17
I met up with Chloe at Bead World in Market Square – kicking myself for not bringing my camera! 

She had a swatch of the blue dress fabric and we were looking for beads to randomly sew on the dress. I mean, not totally random (that would be weird), but when Chloe tried to explain, I said, “This is the part where I trust you. This is the art.” 

I looked at some lovely beads (real stone, sodalite, I believe) that she’d picked out, then we started browsing through the selection. We have a lot of BLUE, so we were thinking of starting to bring in an accent colour. The sodalite beads had a strong creamy, almost a brown accent in them, so when we looked at the blue with browny iridescent glass beads we were both, “YES.” Some more tiny deep indigo seed beads and we were set there. Can’t wait to see what she does with them.
These are the sodalite stone beads, used to attach the sleeves to the dress
We went over to Chintz & Co. again to look for a lining fabric, and for an accent fabric (a pattern??) for under the hi-lo detachable peplum (with pockets!). I spotted a gorgeous bronze-y/creamy coffee-ish shiny fabric (ended up being $3.99/meter!) for the lining. It looked beautiful with the beads and the blue dress fabric. 

We did first impressions of the patterned fabrics we thought would work with it, and settled on a rich silk with embroidered flowers and leaves, very Art Nouveau. Much more expensive ($149/meter) but gorgeous and all the beads and colours looked beautiful with it. It’s a mossy green background, and the flowers have the coffeeish/bronze tone, and bits of the dress’s bright blue. So exciting! 

Second Fitting – 6-20-17
So a bit of a delay on things due to Chloe’s sewing machine (both of them!) breaking down, but now she’s back on track and the end is in sight. Time for a fitting!
On the mannequin

The dress is looking amazing – the stone beads are going to be the element functioning like a button for removing the sleeves. She lined the inside of the bell sleeve ruffles with the lovely silk damask that we picked out on our last trip to Chintz, and ooh! The peplum/skirt ruffle is done! 
I am a goofball - but check out that sleeve lining!

Chloe checking the hem

Peplum ON!

It’s got a wonderful swooshy weight to it, and the damask lines it as well. Chloe created a pass-through for the waistband so that it can be tied nice and smoothly in the back. And – love this! – it’s got pockets in it! You know I love my pockets.
OMG, peplum with pockets!

I loved her whiteboard with all the lists of things to do (all neatly ticked off as she works though them) – my little organized heart sings!

She checked the sleeve opening (too tight? Nope) and the hips – we need to loosen those up a bit so that I can do things like, oh…sit down!

She’s getting the zipper in, and working on the finishing details, but it’s getting closer! 

Last Fitting – 7-4-17
Today, I went to Chloe’s for the last fitting of my dress – just futzing with things like making sure I can sit in it and that it’s not too snug (I don’t mind a little snug). We were fast, and Chloe says she’s got a few things (“SECRET”!) to do still, so next time I get it, it will be boxed up. I said last time that I didn’t need a box.

“You’re getting a box!” Chloe shut that down right away, ha ha! She wants to present it to me all nice and special. I love that! No pictures this time, but I’ll be doing lots of them once I get it! 


  1. Sheila, it's so you! That photo with the sleeves completely sold me on the dress. It's stunning, Chloe did such a good job! I can't wait to see it finished!

  2. Incredible structure----the peplum!!!!!! Is it weird I want it to be shorter? Am I a leg girl??? Lolol!!

    1. Lol! I picked a length that looks good on my height - I promise I will wear heels!

  3. Oh wow, the sleeve, the peplum and the surprise fabric underneath !!!! What a fabulous creation.
    I hope she calls it the "Sheila dress" and makes it part of her collection :)

  4. Wow, the dress is amazing. I love the contrast fabric and the structure--and the fit is perfection. It has been fun to watch it under construction.

    1. It was amazing to have it custom fit. I love all the little pieces of it.

  5. LOVE the dress so far. And the process. :) Agree with Lorena about naming the dress and making it part of her collection!

  6. Just yummy fabulous. What a birthday this will be. And you will definitely be the Belle of the ball.

  7. Replies
    1. Thanks, Sue - I thought you would appreciate this, as a sewist (sewer + artist).

  8. I love sodalite and think they are the perfect stones for the dress! I think the lining is divine, and adore the peplum and sleeve detail. What a fabulous project Sheila, I am so enjoying seeing this dress being made. It is happening very quickly too, and yes to the pockets!

    1. Thanks, Elle! They were the perfect starting point to pull the dress together. It seems like a quick process, but it took over 4 months!

  9. I love these posts. Thank you for documenting this experience! You and Chloe are clearly a good teamup.

    That blue is such a spectacular color for you. Yayyyyyy!

    Happy 50th in advance. From where I sit at 53, this is a marvelous decade.

  10. Oh my goodness, Chloe is doing a wonderful job, isn't she!

    Anna x


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