Friday, July 31, 2015

Feature Friday: An Intern's Firsthand Experience Working with Beads

There has been a lot of bead work going on in the Studio lately! One of our interns, JJ, has been working diligently on two wedding dresses with beads galore! Working with beads is a difficult task that requires a lot of patience and concentration. Today's "Feature Friday" is an interview with JJ about her experience working with them.

1. You've been doing the beading for two different wedding gowns. Can you describe them and their beading design?

JJ: One is completely encrusted with pearls, crystals and rhinestones. It's replacing the beads after an alteration so I just had to pack them all in and even build them up on each other at some points. The other gown I got to help design the layout of has beads scattered across the front and up the train as well. I like the second one myself.

2. What are the biggest challenges you've faced working on beading? What did you learn about it that you never knew before?

JJ: The most challenging for me was making sure to go through one layer of the dress. If you go through more than one, it can pucker the fabric and ruin the look of the dress. I've learned how truly time consuming it is, but it's important to take your time so you're not having to go back and fix things.

3. Are there types of beads that are easier to work with than others? What are some tips you'd give stitchers working on beading?

JJ: I don't know I would say any are easier. They all have their own challenges. My main tip would be to take your time and be very patient! Look at it from different angles and distances. You are so close to it when you're working on it, it's really important to step back every one in a while.

4. Do you have any suggestions for brides-to-be shopping for their dress? (i.e. Things they should consider for alterations, etc.)

JJ: Know that it is going to need be to altered, just accept this. If it's a second hand, changes are it already has been. It's almost always easier to take something in rather than letting it out. Beads are pretty but they can be costly - you can probably tell the quality of the bead work by simply touching the beads - you don't want them to be loose or wiggly.

5. Is there anything else you'd like to add?

JJ: Pick your gown for yourself, and only yourself. It's your day. You want to look beatuiful and still be comfortable. Pick what makes YOU happy. (This is really just a personal opinion). :)

Friday, July 24, 2015

Feature Friday: Dress Waistlines

Bridal season is still going here at the Studio and we've seen several different gown styles! I thought I'd continue talking about dresses in today's Feature Friday as well, focusing on waistlines.

Whether a bridal gown, or a special occasion dress, here are different waist styles to consider when shopping!

Basque Waist
This waistline features a "U" or "V" shape.
This particular dress is made for a Quinceanera.

Dropped Waist
This dress features a waist line below the natural waist at the mid hip.
This particular dress is a great everyday style.

Empire Waist
This style has a raised waistline that sits just below the bust, 
from which the rest of the dress flows down to the hem. 
The Empire Waistline is used in all types of dresses.

Natural Waist
This style waist line hits at the natural waist, 
the indentation between the hips and the rib-cage.

Princess Waist
Also known as the "no waist," it features an  A-line silhouette 
with vertical seams down the front.

Which waistline style do you prefer?

Friday, July 17, 2015

Feature Friday: Types of Vintage Dresses

Today's Feature Friday dives into vintage fashion, particularly dresses and their different styles.

The A-Line

Form fitting around the chest with a cinched waist and flared out skirt, usually ends at the knee.


The top half resembles a men's button-down shirt and the bottom is a dress. The bottom can be A-Line or Shift style.

Not form fitting. The flare begins at or just below the chest. The fabric is often pleated. 

Also not form fitting. No flare. The style is straight and box, usually ending at the knee.

Form fitting around the chest, waist, and hips. There is no flare, the bottom falls straight and narrow from the hips. They are usually sleeveless with a high neck.

Form fitting around the chest, waist, hips, and knees. It narrows toward the bottom ending at the knees or mid-calf. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Feature Friday: Mood Rings

Today's Feature Friday focuses on Mood Rings - that cool piece of jewelry that contained a stone that changed color depending on your mood. Some people believed in them, some didn't think they worked. What did you think?

The Mood Ring was invented by a jeweler named Marvin Wernick in the late 1960’s. Wernick discovered the process when he went on an emergency call with a friend who happened to be a doctor. The doctor used a strip of thermotropic material on a young boy’s forehead to check his temperature which gave Wernick the idea for the mood ring.

Even though the technical discovery of the mood ring was by Wernick, credit is most often given to Joshua Reynolds for what became one of the biggest fads of the 1970’s. Reynolds was the first to popularize the rings in 1975 and even though they were a fad in the 70’s, they continually resurface for periods of time throughout the years.
The ring consisted of a liquid crystal thermometer in a quartz or glass stone that changed color depending on the temperature of the finger of the wearer.

When a person’s body temperature increases the temperature of the liquid crystal increases, and takes on a different molecular structure at every temperature. Each molecular structure reflects or absorbs different wavelengths which are responsible for the color change in mood rings. The color of the ring actually changes because of body temperature, not because of mood.

When the liquid crystal was calibrated with body temperature, it was also calibrated for color. Average body temperature displays a blue/green or teal color on the mood ring. The following is a list of all the colors and there corresponding moods, starting with the coldest temperature:

Black: depressed or down, really cold outside or a damaged ring
Brown/Gray: anxious or nervous
Yellow/Amber: tense and excited
Green/Teal: average day and average body temperature
Blue: calm and relaxed
Violet/Purple: happy or passionate

The rings initially sold for $45 in a "silvery setting" or $250 for gold.

They were short lived in the 70's and mostly worn by young girls. However, they did make mention in pop culture including a Peanut's comic strip where Peppermint Patty gets so angry at Charlie Brown that her mood ring explodes.

The Mood Ring re-emerged in the 1990's and this time came in different styles, not just the traditional oval stone. Some were bands, heart shaped, triangular and so on.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Feature Friday: Crocs

Do you remember how popular these shoes were when they first came out?

I had never heard of them until I slowly started seeing every other man, woman, and child wearing them. Did I ever become one of those people? Nope. They just never really got my attention.

Either way, today's "Feature Friday" will focus on the history of Crocs and how they became so popular!

The idea of Crocs was created by three friends on a boating trip one day in 2002.

All Crocs shoes are made with Croslite™, a closed-cell resin that gives each pair of shoes its soft, comfortable, lightweight, non-marking and odor-resistant qualities.

Their first debut was at a boating show in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Many people weren't impressed by the look of the shoe but needless to say, all pairs sold out by the end of the day!

In 2003, they introduced a separate line called "The Nile" which was geared towards women.

The friends opened their first mall kiosk in 2004 and today, have more then 400 stores around the world.

And what about the alligator logo? They actually didn't have one until a few years later! The alligator, named Duke, was introduced in 2005.

As the brand's popularity continued to rise, the company created a charity called, SolesUnited, now known as Crocs Cares. Since 2008, more than 3,000,000 pairs of shoes are donated to children and families around the world.

In 2010, the company expanded their style of shoes to flip flops and sneakers and today they also have boat shoes, loafers, boots, and slip on shoes that change colors called "chameleon."

So do/did you own a pair of crocs? What color? What style? Share your comments!