The Tailorette

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January 2018



2017 Highlights

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Another year has passed and it still seems like 2016 wasn’t so far away.  So much so that I look back at my project photos from 2016 and wonder if I did them in 2017.  Thankfully, I started labeling my projects by the year so I can get things straight.

Instead of adding photos of everything I did this year, I’m going to review the highlights of certain projects that I relished the most.  Many dresses I made this year were repeat custom orders… I wouldn’t want to bore you with same dresses made in different sizes!  Hopefully that will change this year along with a few other things I hope to improve.

Looking back, I realized that it’s been a whole year since I got my finger stitched up.   My first (hopefully the only) real injury from the sewing room.

Directly following the finger ordeal I moved into a larger space.

And so the work continued to come in and the new space was so much more invigorating to work in.  Below is one of the first orders I Received for 2017.  I never got to posting about this dress, but it’s one of my favorite 1810 dresses I made!


Here I am laying out the sarees to finish drying so they can be made into regency dresses.  Amazingly, it only takes 10 minutes to air dry because they are so lightweight!


A few of my favorite pre-made dresses from this year.


A modern jacket turned into an 1810s spencer jacket.




Custom hemming jobs came and went.


Altering patterns to fit a few ideas I had for the civil war era.


Photographing a few dresses for a friend’s Etsy shop: Vintage Ann


Altering my Sister-in-law’s dress!


Another alteration, except this one is from a standard bridesmaid dress to a maternity style.  For this project, I decided to create my own pregnancy belly on my dress form.  This helped incredibly with the fitting process.

I was so pleased with the outcome and it was such a pleasure working with this customer!



I did have the pleasure of teaching at a local sewing school.  Teaching at Thimble Bees was such a great experience!


And to end the year, I kicked it off with a little creativity. 😉

This past week has been a time of reflecting on the good and shortcomings of the past year.  Instead of thinking how much I didn’t accomplish, I want to think of how I can fix those things this year.  I don’t want to shoot so high in my goals, but think realistically on what can be done by the end of the year.  We’ll see how that goes by the time 2019 comes around!

So here’s to a new year of learning, changing, persevering through new challenges, and trusting the Lord every step of the way.

Happy New Year!

-The Tailorette




December 2017



Juki Industrial Machine

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For the second time this year the studio experiences another decent change.  It’s an overdue transition that I didn’t realize it needed to happen until I took the step to buy a Juki machine.  Surprisingly, it wasn’t as expensive as I anticipated and the stitches are just as good (if not better) than my home machine.

It was pretty difficult to put together, but without my Dad, it wouldn’t be up and operating!


Voila!  Ready to stitch!


Separating my cutting table from my sewing table has improved my work flow incredibly.


One of the biggest challenges is working towards using the higher speed.  I feel like I’m getting the hang of it on the longer stretches, but I don’t want to sacrifice quality over getting things done faster on the detailed work.

Overall, I’m really thankful and I couldn’t be more amazed at how the Lord slowly paves the way for me to move forward in my work.  Definitely looking forward to what this new phase for my business brings my way!

-The Tailorette



October 2017



Abby Elizabeth’s Wedding Dress

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This post is long overdue, not because I’ve procrastinated, but because I lost the photos in the mix of a busy summer.  Thankfully they popped up out of blue this month and I excitedly started to work towards putting a post together.

Abby is my lovely sister-in-law as of August 5th of this past summer.  After going back and forth about a few dresses, she decided on a particular style that really struck her fancy.  However, the dress and topper from BHLDN was way too large.  So I agreed that if she wanted to come visit me for a couple days I’d be willing to do her dress.  It was an excuse to spend some extra fun time before the wedding came around too!

Looking back, I wish I had taken more photos of the process, but I am thankful I at least have these to share.  The dress needed to be taken in a decent amount at the back zipper as well as hemming and adding spaghetti straps to feel more secure.  

Before the dress was altered


Bodice is taken in but not hemmed yet.


Hemming and spaghetti straps are completed.


The topper before it was taken apart and altered


The Topper with the dress before it was taken in.


Alteration almost finished.


Because the closures it came with didn’t stay in place I had to add a row of buttons down the back….





Photo creditsAllix Ryan Ruby

Photo Credits: Allix Ryan Ruby

Photo Credits:  Allix Ryan Ruby



Photo credits: Allix Ryan Ruby

After working on a few other wedding alterations this one was much more enjoyable.  Knowing what to expect helped me to enjoy every part of the process.  Plus having Abby hang around while I worked just added the cherry on top.  I’m so glad I was able to work on a special project that will be remembered for years to come!


– The Tailorette




May 2017



Biltmore Costume Display

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A few weeks ago we took a trek up to the Asheville to view the grand Biltmore Estate along with the award winning costume display.  Seeing the Biltmore was incredible, however, the costume display was the highlight for me.

The first glance of the Biltmore…

Costumes from “The Golden Bowl”:

“Pride and Prejudice”  Darcy and Lizzy Costumes:

“Sleepy Hollow”:

“Anna Karenina”

“Jane Eyre”

“The House of Mirth”:

“Far From the Madding Crowd”:

“The Portrait of a Lady”:

A few photos of the indoor structure….

After taking a closer look at the display, it gave me a new motivation to aim for a higher standard of quality historical dresses.  There’s so much to earn and explore!

-The Tailorette



February 2017



Upgraded Studio Space

Written by , Posted in Studio Update

It all started with a few more additions to the crew.  A friend of mine handed over three vintage mannequins from a retired pattern designer for free.  The space in my sewing room was limited, but I knew someday I wanted a large enough space to line them all up.

My sister kindly offered to let me switch rooms so I could have the larger space.  After thinking it over, I quickly moved and rearranged, and before I knew it, I had a new studio.

(L-R) Burnadette, Mavis, Edna, Girly, Francis, and Manly

Absolutely loving the extra window space!  The light in the morning is just right.

Old Studio…

New Studio

A few projects have already made it’s way through this new work space and I can’t believe how efficient work is going!  Last touch to be made is a new cutting table about 50″ by 60″.  That will come a little later… I plan on building it myself.

-The Tailorette




January 2017



2016 In Review

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It’s been a full robust year.  Many times I reflect on how fast the year has passed, but somehow 2016 seemed to go by in slow motion.  Maybe it’s because I have learned so many things that my perspective on life is so different from last January.  It almost seems like a different era.  Working on my small business has brought sanctifying lessons, exciting experiences, and a revised vision for the future in many different ways.

After sifting through photos and projects, I am even more motivated to continue to work harder, diligently and manage my time better. 

I did not make these two grey quilt tops below, but I finished them on the longarm quilting machine.

A quilt project for Cotton Berry Quilts.  Longarm Quilted by my Mother, Christa.

Digging into 18th century costumes for the first time.

A custom bridal cape for friend.

A little bit of upholstery.

Little girl’s dress in the process of being made.  This dress will show up in my Etsy shop.

Piecing quilts.

Studio Pictures.

Dresses made for The Tailorette Dress Shop.

A glimps at inventory.

There is one thing that is consistent after every year is learning to walk by faith and trust the Lord every step of the way.  There are ups and downs, but it is the tough times that shape and grow us.  I can say with confidence that I look forward to the hardships as well as the good times in the coming year.

Happy New Year!

The Tailorette




December 2016



Cream 18th Century Polonaise Dress

Written by , Posted in 18th Century, Finished Projects

With the new year coming to an end I wanted to get another 18th century dress on list of finished projects for 2016.  This one is made out of the same pattern as the other dress, but I did make a few minor changes to give it a different look.

Here is where I made a change in the trim.  Because the fabric is upholstery it was too thick to do gathers… so I decided to do pleated trim.

Instead of adding the ties to hold up the skirt, I permanently bunched the back of the skirt.


One of my next projects for the new year is perfecting the undergarments for this era.  I still feel like I could perfect the shape a little better.  You may see a post in near months of 2017 on that.  🙂

The Tailorette




November 2016



1860s Camp Dress

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One of my goals for 2016 is to create several different dresses other than the regency era.  With so much attention going towards restocking my Shop, I am just now getting to the stash of fabric in my closet waiting to be cut up into new ideas.  The year is almost over, but I’m determined to reach the goal.

At the beginning of summer, I stocked up on a few different fabrics to get me started on some new ideas.  This plaid is my favorite from the stash, so I decided to start there.





The bodice ended up being on the baggy side of things, so I set the mannequin to the right size and started working from there.




Pinning where the bodice need to be taken in.


Pressing down the gathers to eliminate the extra puffiness.


Cutting out out the neckline.


Successful fitting!




Below I am measuring the thread so I could hand sew the cartridge pleating for the skirt.


Hand stitching…


After attaching the skirt and adding a few finishing touches, the dress was finished!






Happy Thanksgiving y’all!

– The Tailorette




November 2016



Civil War Remake

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You might recognize this gown from a previous post almost exactly a year ago.  It is, in fact, the same exact design, but not the same dress.  I enjoyed making this pattern so much that I decided I would make a replica, with a few minor changes.  This one is made out of a solid print, not a subtle pin stripe like the other one.  I also used less trim on the sleeves and added an extra tuck at the bottom of the skirt.  This time I modeled the dress, rather than using the mannequin.  There’s just something about having a live model that brings the design to life. 







What I love most about this style is the simplicity.  There’s not too much frilliness, but just enough embellishment to add character and interest.  One thing I have found is how much I enjoy working with solid fabrics.  You can find a basic design and add the extra detail that normally wouldn’t show on a printed dress.  It allows me to exercise more creativity and brainstorming when it comes to constructing the gown.  

I do have many other ideas… hopefully sometime in the near future there will be newer designs coming up in my shop.  You may even see a few more 18th century popping up here and there.

Until next time,

-The Tailorette

Click here to purchase this dress.



August 2016



Fripp Island

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Living near the east coast has our family exploring a little more than when I was growing up.  With the many different historical towns and beaches, it’s too much to resist.  This summer we ventured out to Fripp Island and Beaufort, SC for a little exploring. Four days was just enough to get a good flavor .  I loved discovering the nooks and crannies of small towns, the beach, daily bike rides and quality time spent with people I love.  



In my wrestling and in my doubts
in my failures you won’t walk out
your great love will lead me through
you are the peace in my troubled sea

In the silence, you won’t let go
in my questions, your truth will hold
your great love will lead me through
you are the peace in my troubled sea

-Rend Collective 






After a few days on the beach, we were ready to see outside our vacation area.  Beaufort was beautiful!











Beaufort’s neighborhoods were fascinating! 






I do enjoy vacation, but I am glad to be back in my studio!  There’s something about working with my hands and keeping my creative juices going that I miss when I’m away.

-The Tailorette