Whew! The past 4 weeks have been an absolute whirlwind! Countless hours of designing, draping, cutting, stitching, pressing, and fittings all led up to this moment and I have to say, all the hard work was totally worth it. The biggest learning curve for me was learning to sew and fit for others. Over the past two years I’ve gotten quite skilled at fitting on my own body, but with 7 different models, all with different measurements and body types, learning to fit their curves was a totally new experience.
Madalynne Flannigan, lingerie designer, blogger and sewist extraordinaire, (and my new studio-mate), was kind enough to come back stage and take some gorgeous pictures.
The show was held at Made Institute. I’m a student there in their Designer Development Program (which has been incredible to my growth and development). And was included as part of the lineup for Philly Fashion Week.
The sun was setting as we were setting up for the show which made for some terrific ambiance.
My incredible husband, Alex, who I literally couldn’t do any of this without. Sitting with his Mom and Aunt before the show starts.
My awesome parents who totally believe in this dream of mine (and my father has become my unofficial fashion correspondent, calling me with weekly updates in all things plus-size fashion, including lamenting that my designs are better than what Beyonce was wearing in her most recent outing, HAHA).
My gorgeous models! Hair and makeup done. Almost showtime!
Oddly enough I wasn’t nervous before the show (which was a TOTAL surprise). I was in work mode, checking over the garments, making sure they were wrinkle free, adding pins where need be. My only regret was I actually didn’t get to SEE the show. Being backstage I had to peek out and listen for the crowds reaction. Each picture I’ve hunted down from the press has been a gift.
Here we go!
Look number 1: red floral wrap-style dress with princess seamed bodice and flounce sleeves. Photo credit Brandon Wyche (@wychestudios)
Look #2: Bamboo rayon knit top with flounce sleeves in silk (and silk tie back). Geo print cotton twill wide-leg pant. Photo credit Brandon Wyche (@wychestudios)
Look 3: Black washed silk wrap style dress with button cuff sleeve and slightly gathered sleeve cap (my personal favorite on both the construction details and resulting finished garment). Photo credit Brandon Wyche (@wychestudios)
Look 4: Magenta/ Fuchsia washed silk wrap style top with flounce sleeve (we styled it to show the lace bra). Washed silk joggers. Photo credit Brandon Wyche (@wychestudios)
Look 5: Hammered silk cowl neck tank with floral silk joggers and leather waistband detail. Photo credit Brandon Wyche (@wychestudios)
Look 6: Silver crop top with wide leg pant in ivory velveteen. Photo credit Hafees Phil Byard.
And Look 7: Custom gown in floral silk print with silk goddets. Photo credit Brandon Wyche (@wychestudios)
Without a doubt my most challenging piece. I draped this dress on dress form which started as a vintage size 20 (today’s size 10). I brought the form up to about a size 14. I didn’t yet know who my model would be when I started this gown. As soon as I met Melonee, featured above, I knew she would be wearing it. This dress was altered 3 times (and I mean a TOTAL deconstruction of the dress) to get the fit near-perfect. I also added an old long line bra to the front of the bodice by cutting it at the side seam then inserting it between the fashion fabric and the lining, stitching it into the dress’ side seam. The entire process of constructing this gown is a post for another day!
Photo credit Frank Siegel Photography
These models totally rocked it! From left to right (I’ll use their IG handles so you can find them!) Tori @curvykissi, Leanne @leanne_j_mangano, Sue @sueplusmodel_, Amanda @fieryfiesty, Nadine @modelnayrich, Jayde @jadaspada and Melonee @mmmmelonee
I literally could not have done this show without these women and their professional, poise and strut. Thank you!!
And of course the night wouldn’t be complete without a celebratory selfie. WE DID IT!!!!
Don’t worry I did take a day off yesterday and went to the beach to relax, take some deep breaths and got in a little self-care. But to be honest, when you absolutely love what you do (and I DO !) it really doesn’t feel like “work”. Each day I am full of energy, running with a million and one ideas with the excitement and passion to TRY and tackle each and every one of them.
Over the next several weeks I’ll be adding additional ready-to-wear items to the Alice Alexander site, hiring stitchers and meeting with clients, as well as developing sewing patterns and more for Well Sewn Style. Stay tuned!
Happy sewing and styling,