When we last left our blogspace, we were awaiting the Return of the Toile. (Ok, yeah, I’d said that there was to be stuff posted in between. The Universe had other plans. We were in the middle of selling the house we’d recently moved out of. Selling a house is one of those Life Events takes up all the available time around it, but now it’s done. There are angels singing as I type this.)

ANYWAY, Jen sent back her fitted muslin and we’ve been getting busy turning it into her own individualized dress pattern. This is how we can fit clients who live miles and miles away. Oh, the cleverness of us.

Here’s a photo of the toile all assembled , to give you an idea of where all of this starts. Of course, the ‘Rose’ dress will look SO VERY GORGEOUS when it’s done. But here is where most Great Works begin: a mock-up:

Full view of Conscious Elegance toile (made eco-friendly through use of reclaimed bedsheets) for Jen's 'Rose' dress.


You might notice safety pins and marks and stuff on the dress if you look closely. This is because Jen was awesome and fit her toile before she sent it back. If you’re curious how exactly one does that, have a how-to video:



I made that one a while ago, to help out our clients in the fitting process. It’s a lot easier than sending an exhausting description and a bazillion photo attachments in an email, which is what I used to do. We grow.

Of course we can’t make a dress pattern unless we cut the toile apart again. But we make sure to mark all of the pertinent tucks and tweaks before we do. That blue pen is a great tool. It’s not permanent; the marks will disappear with water but won’t fade until they get wet. I wish I knew what ingredients went into that ink:

Marking our toile at places it was pinned and tucked.


Meanwhile, we need to get the dress fabric ready. Since Jen fell in love with the unbleached hempsilk and preferred it to the reclaimed raw silk, we consult the bolt. Because we really do make the dresses completely from start to finish in our studio:

Bolt of eco-friendly hempsilk in Conscious Elegance's studio. We call it 'ivory' because that's the natural unbleached color.


Fabric unrolled, we’ll add the pattern pieces. You really didn’t need to see a picture of us cutting the pieces apart, right?

Toile pieces are laid onto the Rose design pattern, then all is laid onto the unbleached hempsilk fabric, ready to be cut.

The dark yellow bedsheets are laid on top of the actual pattern that we created for the ‘Rose’ design, which happens to be white. We’ve learned that fitting the mock-up can get confusing to folks when there’s all that extra stuff there. We want to make the experience as easy and enjoyable as possible. Also, it keeps the postage costs down; a full mock-up dress would be big and heavy. Money is a resource too.

And with that, we’ll come back in a bit for the next installment…


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