Here it is — our Latin ballroom dress, the “Rose.”
This isn’t quite finished — with only 14 gross stones on it so far (yes, I did write “only”), it still has a few gross to go…but this thing included two techniques I’ve never used before:
1. Scraping. What I call “scraping” probably has a more elegant term, but it involved carefully cutting open the braform, scraping the excess pushup padding away, and then hand sewing it back together. I could have used a standard braform, but amazingly enough I stumbled upon this particular one, which happened to be made out of the exact — and I mean exact — bolt end fabric that I also stumbled upon 11 months prior on a trip to the garment district in Los Angeles. It’s no secret that many of the fabric sellers there are really just unloading bolt ends that they picked up from various garment manufacturers nearby, so I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that I somehow managed to find both the bolt end and the braform, already covered in this exact fabric, twisted and boned and underwires and EVERYTHING, already done. So of course I was willing to spend the few hours it took to carefully scrape away the excess padding. Totally worth it.
2. One fitting only. Not my ideal situation, but it worked. Fortunately this dress belongs to someone who could easily have been the model for one of my mannequins, because their measurements were practically identical. So Marie the headless mannequin, as she is affectionately called around here, accompanied me to Los Angeles to make finishing and stoning the dress easier. Such a nice traveling companion she was, didn’t ask for potty breaks or beg for food, though it would have been nice in LA traffic to have been able to use her for the carpool lanes.
So here she is, almost finished: