Monday, June 3, 2013

Recital Dress

I had my first-ever ukulele performance yesterday! It was for the Beacon Music Factory student recital. I performed Folsom Prison Blues and Ain't Misbehavin' and don't think I embarrassed myself too much. Of course, the most important thing for a performance (besides practicing) is your outfit!

I made a super special ombre dress that required hand dyeing and hours and hours of sewing tulle strips to muslin.

I started with 5 yards of white tulle that has tiny flocked polka dots. I divided it into sections and dyed it in a bucket in my bath tub. I started with Aqua dye, and took the pieces out at varying intervals. As time went on, I added Midnight Blue and then Kelly Green dye.

I cut all the dyed pieces into strips and then sewing it, overlapping the strips, onto a dress cut out of bleached muslin (the skirt is a half circle skirt, the bodice is the Cambie dress--with the upper back bodice chopped off, and the straps are just rectangles that are gathered).








It was very meditative and satisfying to sew and fun to wear.





Hey, I also have a bunch of new fabrics in the shop! I found a bunch of amazing retro-style prints that I think you'll all love for your summer sewing. I hope you enjoy them!



79 comments:

  1. Beautiful dress! All of the dyeing was totally worth it! Congrats on your ukelele debut!

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  2. amazing!!! i love it! i am guessing the white tulle is cotton?

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  3. stunning! what a fabulous dress and technique.

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  4. Super pretty! This dress is gorgeous and was definitely worth all the dyeing and sewing and meditating :)

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  5. I love the dress, and it goes so well with your hair! Aghhh if only my hair wasn't henna-ed I'd be seriously tempted to go pink!

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  6. Oh. My. God.

    All that work! Was totally worth it! It's fabulous!

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  7. Whoa! This is GORGEOUS! I LOVE your color choice and the fact that each layer was lovingly stitched in place makes this dress so special. It's really lovely.

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  8. great dress -
    every bit of work was worth it!
    reeeeeally pretty and so YOU.

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  9. As an ardent ukulele student, I'm waiting for the recital video! My current practice piece is Dream a Little Dream, but I'm adding Folsom to my repertoire : ) PS: that dress is to dye for... get what I did there? DYE?

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  10. Did you change thread color as you attached the tulle?

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  11. Wow! I've been reading this blog for over a year now, and this is the first time I've just HAD to comment--that dress is absolutely amazing!

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  12. The effect is stunning - a perfect dress for your first performance!

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  13. Love the dress! Also, it reminds me of Mena's (the Sew Weekly) pink ombre dress where she dyed and sewed all the pink eyelet lace to make her dress. I love the colors on yours!

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  14. WOW, I am completely mesmerised by this dress. The hours of dyeing and stitching really paid off, it is stunning.

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  15. WOW!!! The dress is absolutely gorgeous! It looks like all that hard word DEFINITELY paid off. Maybe one day I'll have the gumption to try something like that!

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  16. That looks fab. What a lovely technique and well worth the effort to create such a unique piece.

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  17. Wow! This is a perfect summer dress. I'm sure it took ages to sew on all that tulle, but it was definitely worth it!

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  18. This dress must be one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. Seriously in awe of your patience right now.

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  19. Such a great dress, and the fact that you play the uke just makes me like you even more.

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  20. Amazing dress! So did you also sing for your recital? I'm dying to see some video!

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    1. Yes, I sang too! Jeff has video, perhaps I will post it if I can get up the nerve . . .

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  21. Beautiful job! So much effort but it was well worth it. It's just gorgeous!

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  22. so beautiful and so clever! Did you use different coloured threads throughout the dress? for each of the layers?

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    1. Nope, I used white for all of the layers--it blended into the white base layer!

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  23. Gorgeous!! your hard work certainly paid off and I think the spotted variety of tulle really makes the dress!
    Glad to hear your performance went well too!

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  24. The dress turned out lovely. Inspiration for future projects for sure!!!

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  25. wow, i'm seriously impressed! so much effort, but it turned out beautifully!

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  26. Did you record your recital? I'd love to see you play! I've always wanted to learn. Oh, and WOW that dress is insanely beautiful!! I love the way the straps widen at the back, that's such a pretty effect. You're amazing, as always :)

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  27. Wow wow wow! I love the ombre effect - feeling very inspired to try this myself one day!

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  28. Your dress turned out lovely! I really love the fabric manipulation I sure the photos don't even do it justice! keep strumming!

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  29. That dress is amazing! Also, I know what a Pinkie Pie fan you are. So I thought of you when I saw this: http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/f3bd/ It's a Pinkie Pie coffee mug! :)

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  30. Your dress is so beautiful, and you can tell how much work went into its construction! Definitely an inspirational piece.

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  31. Omg amazing! I've wanted to make an ombré dress ever since I saw an ombré lace one on the sew weekly. This has just reignited that need. Also the more cambie dresses I see the more I realise I need that pattern.

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  32. That is SO creative and imaginative - stunning! You clever lady, you.

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  33. Congrats on a successful performance! I still remember how nervous I used to get before a piano solo!
    Love the dress....beautiful!

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  34. Gorgeous! I love how you dyed it yourself! Smart idea!

    And how cute are you, with the ukulele!! <3

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  35. This would be wonderful as a wedding dress... I love aqua/teal, and I want everything about this dress.

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  36. Wow, what a creative dress. So glad you showed a bit about the process and detailed pictures.

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  37. This is a beautiful dress! I'll definitely keep this technique in mind for the future.

    And, as a fire-engine-Red-head, I love your pink hair.

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  38. Love this! I have been coveting the ombre dress thing for some time.

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  39. So pretty! This is a technique I've always wanted to try. It's great to see it actually carried out!

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  40. You look so pretty, that dress is amazing! I am constantly impressed with how much effort and creativity you put into your sewing - very inspiring. Congrats on your first recital!

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  41. Oh my God! This dress is absolutely beautiful!!

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  42. ohmygosh! gorgeousgorgeousgorgeous!!! i cant say it enough! GORGEOUS!
    and wtg on recital :D

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  43. I wish I could follow blogs better, but having a 1-year old and working part time limits my online time. :)

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  44. Oh! I love the idea of dyeing and attaching strips of tulle! Fabulous dress!

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  45. Such a pretty dress. You look perfect.

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  46. cannot believe the creativity and beauty in this dress. Although a new(ish) reader, I think this dress is my favorite thus far!

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  47. Wow!! That's just beautiful!!

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  48. Gorgeous and such fun! Question: how will you wash this?

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    1. Oh, this is definitely a dry clean only dress! It's not an everyday dress, so I don't mind having to dry clean it.

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  49. I'm astounded - what dedication! It really paid off, that dress is a knock out.

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  50. How lovely!

    I did get the Cambie dress pattern and it's been an absolute disaster to make (I think my inexperience is showing). The bodice fit great, so I thought I'd do a circle skirt with horsehair.

    So my question, when I'm drafting a circle skirt, should I draft to the measurements of the waistband and then attach? No gathering needed?

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    1. Yep, you draft the skirt to the measurement of the piece you're sewing it into. (it's ok if it's *slightly* bigger or smaller since you can ease one into the other and adjust side seams, etc.)

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  51. Wow, that dress is stunning! So worth the effort.

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  52. Eep! That fabric with the bows on it is just adorable!!

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  53. Oh my1 The dress is lovely! What a clever idea to dye the strips in different colours in stead of dip dyeing the whole piece.

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  54. Wowzers, so beautiful. Usually the most time consuming are the prettiest news I make. Love it, love e colors. Congrats on your first performance. Btw: I have a new sewing blog, would u take the time to check it out and my new pages. Would love to meet more sewers in the blogosphere community, maybe meet in person one day! Thanks!

    Reyna
    www.MySewingHabit.blogspot.com
    FB.com/MySewngHabit
    Tweet @MySewingHabit
    Instagram: @ReynaLay

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  55. Love the dress! And I'm smiling because your treatment with the sheer sleeves/upper back is pretty much exactly what I did with my Cambie-bodiced wedding dress, only with lace. So now I can say I'm thinking like you for my sewing, which is not a bad thing!

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  56. That dress is so adorable! I heart it! And your cat is also a real star!

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  57. I love your ombre dress; gonna steal that someday. And I love the fabric I just received - everyone needs a giant black and red daisy print in their wardrobe! Thanks. :-)

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  58. I am publishing book in http://www.myinkbooks.com need any recent books or publish contract us freely. I am looking to electronic publishers, publisher, ebook, pub etc.

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  59. Your dress is incredible Gertie! Love it :)

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  60. Ok- In the pictures from far away, I thought the fabric wasn't taking the dye or something...I am so glad you showed the up close pictures of the layering you did. BEAUTIFUL. I am in love with this. You should feel really proud of this one. ( I am sure you are, but if I took the time to do that, I would probably wear it for a week straight!)

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  61. Pretty please give us a tutorial for how you did the dying! I love it so much and it is so pretty and can be used for so many projects!

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  62. It's a very lovely dress. Thanks for sharing this useful information with us. I am so glad you showed the up close pictures of the layering you did.

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  63. Wow, this dress is gorgeous! Well worth the effort.

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  64. What a special dress! Congrats on your recital :)

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  65. Its a work of art !!! absolutely love ur dress !!! what an inspiration to all sewing addicts!!

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  66. Beautiful! All of your creations make me want to learn to sew something other than quilts.

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Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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