Monday, March 26, 2012

Olivia's prom gown, Part 2: The Fabric

Olivia's Prom Gown will be a series of posts to run all this week.

It was raining in LA the day I flew in- total bummer at that moment, but in hindsight it was great because there was hardly anyone shopping, which means good deals for mama. We actually went back to LA they day I flew back home to pick up a few more fabrics and it was totally sunny and majorly packed. Tip: go when it's raining.

The fabric I used for the bodice is a rayon that I bought at Yellow Bird a few weeks before I decided to use it for Liv. I was going to make another jacket out of it, but when we decided on the structured bodice for the inspiration, I knew I had to go with the rayon. It was totally perfect because it was structural and thick, but also really shiny- perfect for a gown. You'll see a picture of the fabric later on when I post more about the construction.

So, all that was left to buy was the sequins for the skirt and lining material. The sequins were super hard to find. Liver wanted sequined fabric that wasn't too stretchy (most sequined fabric is sewn on tulle or netting, which can stretch quite a bit) so that you never saw the fabric underneath the sequins when it was worn. We wanted heavy, dense sequined fabric, much like this dress (also on my Inspire board):

Gorge porge, right? Looking at this dress, I think the fabric we got is exactly the same.

The one store we found tried to sell us a whole bolt of fabric (around 15 yards) for $38 a yard....WAY OVER PRICED. He kept going on and on about what good quality it was, and I was really considering getting that fabric since we had been walking around all day with no luck. I wanted a whole bolt because, well, I love sequins and you never know when you'll need some good gold sequined fabric, am I right?

My mom was the smart one and cut the deal off just as I was about to give in. I am forever grateful for that. She says that she was inspired to say no and keep looking.... so my mom. nerd nerd nerd.

Believe it or not, the very next store we found this lone, untouched bolt of the perfect sequins. It was $14 a yard, but we got the whole 14 yard bolt for $210. SHABANG!!!!!!!!!! This is the fabric:

It reeks of gold, doesn't it? I love it. And it looks amazing on liver's cute body. 

Liver and I with the bolt, protected from the rain. We were pretty excited about our find.

We made it to Mecca at Journal Fabrics on ninth street. I feel that this place had the best prices and best selection of fabrics over all. And their male workers were very flirty. But the fabric is to die for. 

At journal, chatting with the flirty men.
We found the gold silk charmeuse for the lining at Journal, but I picked up a few more spoils:

For $7 a yard, this great purple cotton with lace border. I love it! I got a cotton lining for it for only $2 a yard!

A gorgeous sequined lace with 3D roses ($12/yard!!!!) I'd love to make a wedding dress out of this, but I'm thinking of cutting out the motifs and appliqueing them on navy or black charmeuse. 

Around town at the other stores (there are hundreds), I picked up a lot more. Here are some of my favorites:

Umm, hello gorgeous. This is a muted gold sequined pattern on black netting. it is hand done and reminds me of Alexander McQueen a lot.  I bought 5 yards for $120... The guy tried to sell it to me for $48. But then he called me "JLo" and we made a deal. 

This is the exact fabric we bought for Liv, but a soft pink. It calls me: "Make a pencil skirt!"

I bought this lace for my evening gown in my bridal class. It was pricey ($24/yard) but I needed it. And it was the best price I could really find for heavy beaded lace.

Gorgeous grey silk faille and purple silk organza. I want to layer the silk organza over the grey to make a dress. 

Umm... how amazeballs is this butterfly print silk charmeuse????? SEVEN DOLLARS A YARD! I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!! I could eat it! The silk chiffon looks boring, but I always need it. 

 Super cool organza: the warp yarn is red and the weft is green, making it shimmer when it moves. It's polyester, but I had to buy it. $3 a yard.. hello. 

Navy blue lace. For a pencil skirt, of course. Love to death. 

So, as you can see, I went a little nuts. But I actually think LA's district is better than New York's. it's certainly much cheaper. I'm lucky I have a husband who supports my passions so much- I basically had no budget. My mom chipped in a lot too. Forever grateful. 

I can't wait for this crazy time at school to be over so I can start sewing for myself with this great fabric! 

Tune in tomorrow for Part 3: The Muslin

Click here for Part 1: The Inspiration

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