Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Just a quick post, it might be a while when I can work on this project. I just got a rush order for a dress, this will take me away from this project for a while.

I had done the inderlining . It is made out of netting and horsehair at the hem with some more up the skirt. The dress taking the shape I had in mind.

The dress will be made with of the following layers:

1. Fashion fabric: Beaded Silk Organza
2. Unterlining: Illusion Tulle [this is to soften the look of all the netting supporting the dress]
3. Inderlining: Netting, with horsehair
4. Lining: Lining fabric; skirt, with netting ruffles, bodice, two layers both cut on lining and interfacing. I use a light interfacing for the layer that would be facing the body, a heavier one for the outer layer.
5. Boning: will be on sewn on the inner facing of the bodice.

Here is a pic of the inderlining with the lining, I have not sew the upper part just yet, this would be sew with the other two layers [organza and tulle].

Pic shows the pattern with beading design draw on it.

Monday, February 23, 2009


I’m done sewing the netting to the skirt lining, Thank God! I thought I was doing to drown on netting and horsehair!

After sewing the two ruffles the pattern calls for, it was not enough fullnesss. Back to the cutting table it was, good thing I have a lot of netting and horsehair.

I cut another ruffle, making a total of 52yds of both, netting and horsehair.

I like using the horsehair to hem netting, not only does it makes the netting stiff at the hem making it move way from the body giving it movement, and protecting the legs. Try hemming a long full dress the next time you make one and notice the different when you move on the dress.

It would be a good idea to use it also on long beaded dresse with a train, the horsehair would keep the train from getting in between the legs [Remember Ms. America on Miss Universe contest, 07 and 08!!! They both folded down when the train got caught on there heels]

Horsehair comes in different widths. The most popular comes are 3”, 2 ½” and 2”.

I used 3” for this dress.

You could see this hemming on the garment as well. I had seeing Silk chiffon dresses hemmed with a ¼” that was on Carolina Herrera dress.

John Galliano, is using this technique for the Dior Haute Couture dresses.
Here are some samples [I got these pics from the Oscar site]

Changing the subject, did you see the dress that Miley Cyrus wore for the red carpet? It is a Zuhair Murad.

I saw the dress on the Couture Fashion show [fashion Channel, yeah I wish I was there in person] When I saw the fashion show I knew I had seeing that dress before. Last night after getting a better view of the dress, I was sure I had seeing it.

It was one of the dresses made by Christian Dior for his collection in 1949.

That goes to show, even Haute Couturiers get inspire by each other!
The next, is making the Toilet, doing some style changes, marking the placement of the beading, and transferring everything to the fabric.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Finally, after going back and forth with different designs, I came up with one that I like. Originally I was planning on making the dress on silk Duchesse satin. I was not pleased with the designs that I would come up with, and the Beading [the beading being the inspiration].
The sketch shows what FINALLY came up with. The dress would be made on Silk organza.
The organza will have an allover beading getting smaller as it goes down on the dress.

The pattern for the dress would be base on Vogue pattern # 2717 . The pattern was changed. The Vogue dress is less full at the hem; I want my dress to be bigger. I had to make some alterations on the pattern as well; I found the center front piece to be too big, with out shape. I use the foundation pattern and cut the lining skirt out of the lining patterns [these are the same as the Vogue dress pattern, but shorter]

Here is a pic of the bodice foundation on the mannequin with the lining skirt pin to it. You could see even on the skirt how much more fabric there is on the front piece.

I still have to sew the boning on the foundation and the netting to the lining skirt. I had hemmed the skirt… note that I had hem it with ½” horsehair.

I like doing the hem this way to keep the skirt away from the body, the legs in particular.

You’d see more of this as I go along.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I had promised Paco , I would give some info about the stores in Miami. He had asked me after the “Valentino” dress was done about the fabric.
It did take me a while to get info about where get “goods” and “findings”. Coming from NYC, where EVERYTHING is in the Garment Center, I was looking for an area like it here in South Florida. Miami has a “Garment Center”, but it is were you would go to buy wholesale clothing and shoes, it is not a place where you would find things that you would need if you are making close yourself or have a business. I did find a place there were some items can be bought; Pattern paper, threats, sewing machine foot (industrial machines). But that was it.

200 N.E. 30TH ST.
MIAMI, FL. 33137
305 573-3033
The first store I came to know was ISA COUTURE’S . Isa migrated from Cuba in the early 60’s. The story is that she stared selling remnants from her car, going home to home. I see thing went very well for her, she has half a block with two buildings. The biggest is where you’d find Silks, Laces and woolens.

Silk prints and solids are on the first floor by the entrance, you’d also see some beaded fabrics that are display through out the store, also some notions.

On the second floor you could find the Beaded fabrics and lace collection, this is the evening fabric area. At the other side of the second floor you’d fine all kinds of wools, including a large Boucle collection, Brocades etc. Still yet another large room with Men’s suiting fabrics.

Isa’s Couture , being the first luxury fabric store that I found in Miami, is that one that I had make use the most here is a list of the fabrics:

Cavalli Silk Charmeuse Printed Panel
This dress was made for party that was held in Israel. I use 5 panels to make this dress. I wanted the print to run through out the dress. It took me a bit of time to plan the cutting of the bodice; I wanted the dark part and less busy part of the print to be at the waist, given the illusion of a smaller waist line. Notice how the pearls run down from her upper part of the bodice, down the midriff into the skirt. It looks easy, but this is not an even print.

I don’t have her ok to post the clients face, thats why I cut it off the pic.

This is an Ungaro Silk Print Georgette. This dress went to Russia, and she was very happy with it, she told me every one asked about it ... She was happy to give me the ok to post her pic,but asked to make sure she looked good...

Another Cavalli, this is a "Just Cavalli" fabric. It is Silk Printed Georgette.

Here is one of my "Sexy" designs. The client order this dress for her son's first birthday party.
I found out there is a Russian tradition where the first birthday party is a grant event. And it was, I was there, I Had a blast, danced, eat … no much drinking, I was driving.

823 S.W. 37TH AVE.
MIAMI, FL. 33135
305 448-0028
My other favorite store is Rex Fabrics
Rex Fabrics
Rex has the latest Haute Couture fabrics from Paris. If you are looking to make an Haute Couture gown form Valentino, Elie Saab, or Armani Prive... you need to come to Rex.

I could not take pics, Ricky the owner, is not in town [maybe he is in Paris getting the latest fabrics] and I need is ok to do so. Neve the less here are some pic from some of the things I had work on. Not good pic I took then before I had the blog. I try to take pics of my work, in case there is a problem later on, I have as reference.
Versace pink double silk charmeuse, beaded lace
Valentino Haute Courte fall 2007

This is a pic of the Valentino Green beaded fabric as I was working on the dress.

The dress finished.

MIAMI, FL. 33132
305 3713840
I like doing my shopping early, that way I get it out of the way and don’t have to deal with all the commotion that happens at some stores. With that bit of info out of the way... I’d tell you about P&S notions, or as it is call here “La casa de las viejas” (the old Ladies home). This is a store that I make sure I’m early on it. Fist you have the parking problem, this store is in down town Miami were parking is a nightmare [ I was there today early this morning to get pics, but no luck finding parking, I didn’t think I would have a problem thinking I was there early]
The other reason for me to make sure I’m early at the store, it gets busy.

This is a great store to get Buttons, beads, pearls rhinestones, and now they carry some fabrics as well

Next time you come to Miami, give yourself some time to go to some of these stores.

Friday, February 13, 2009


The beading sample for the Wedding dress is almost done. I’m satisfied with the beading; but not with the bias strips, I don’t think I like them as much. I might play with it a bit more to see if I will use them at all.

Here is a pic of the appliqué petal on the flower.
To make the appliqué petals, after they were embroidered the petals were glue on the back to give them body. After the glue had dried, the petals were cut out and the edge sewn to a very fine wire.

The petals were appliquéd on top of the already beaded flower. This gave me the 3-dimensional “Feel” that I was looking for. I’m very glad to see how it came out.

After seeing the beading and knowing that I’m satisfied with it, I think I will go ahead and start working on the dress.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Embroidery, specially beaded work had always fascinated it me. My early memories of it are from the gowns and costumes that were paraded on carnivals and Patriot’s Saints feasts. I still have some pictures of some of those dresses, from the time I was part of the Saint Joseph feast. I was dress as a sultan, that year the theme as the Middle-east.
I never formally took classes on beading or embroidery, but it was easy for me to pick it up once I found, or my mother found someone that new now to do it.

My mother found a lady that taught “Telar” beading or “Tambour Beading”. I saw her do it a couple of times, and realized that it was just like crocheting but with a fabric in between.
I was familiar with crocheting, my mother was an expert. [I still have some of her work]. She would crochet a table cloth in a night; she was fast… really fast.

Being familiar with the chain stitch [crochet] I knew it would be easy for me to get the hand of tambour beading, just need it the tambour needle, and practice.

Here are some pics of one of my early designs. I’m lucky I still have it; I was still practicing and playing with different beads and sequins.

I took a pic of the back, to give you an idea of how it looks. When you are working on a frame with tambour embroidery, most of the work is done on the wrong side of the fabric; this makes it and ideal method for working on velvets and other fabrics with a difficult surface

This is a beaded work done for sample dress I made in NYC. The dress was part of the “Empire dress” collection; the ribbon was beaded, not in velvet as the E.D. It was made out of silk organza with the “white on white” beaded work and the bow were in the front, not the back as on the Empire Dress.

The Bow knot

Testing the design and bead

the Empire dress

Details of beaded bodice
Today it is easier for anyone with a computer and the internet to learn or get ideas of how Tambour beading is done.

On my research I found these videos and blog that show in details how the tambour embroidery is done.

This is a great blog. Virginie shows lots a beautiful work and how to’s

This video shows the needle’s movement.

“La Maison Lesage” in Paris…

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


After few weeks of resting, I stared working on a beaded sample that I might use for a wedding dress.
I knew I wanted to use all white and clear bead, sequins and purls. The idea was a white on white embroidery.

After some research [on the net and some of my embroidery design collection] I came up with this sketch.

I trace the sketch to silk organza, got my frame out and went to work.

While making the sampler I realized I did not like the design. It was not giving me the “feeling” I was looking for… back to the drawing table I went. When I was happy with the drawing, I took it over to the frame and with a dressmaker pencil I traced it over the old design.

Here is a pic of the work in progress on the frame.

The little petals that are free standing on the side are going to be cut-out and appliqué over some of the flowers.
This pic shows the embroidery almost done, I like the way it is coming out.

So far I have used;
Sequins- white and iridescent white size 2mm
Bugle beads-white and iridescent white size 2
Seed beads- white
Rhinestones- Square sew on Crystal Swarovski


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