Tag Archives: Sybarites

Flamme Framboise….

It’s been a while since I’ve designed anything for a Sybarite. So when I picked up this fabric, Gothica decided no one else but her would have something out of it. And why not? It  suits her coloring perfectly.flamme framboise closeflamme framboise 3


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Urban Geishas

Madeleine Rose Couture


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CDDC Challenge 5-On the Red Carpet

Challenge Five: November 1, 2009

Due: November 15, 2009

On the Red CarpetThis week’s guest judge is known for his fabulous gowns. So it seems only fitting that this challenge be all about, On the Red Carpet. Design a fabulous gown for your fabulous model as she walks down the red carpet with the stars.

Guest Judge: Jim Faraone

November 2, 2009
I haven’t even finished challenge four yet and I’m starting to think about challenge 5. Ooh, red carpet. Gowns. My specialty!! I loooove gowns. The glamour, the couture, oh this is going to be fun. Now the question is- what kind of gown?

November 3-Choosing Fabric
I started doing some research on red carpet fashion, and I notice most of the actresses wore slimmer gowns instead of a ballgown. There were a few ballgowns like Dior and vintage Haute Couture designers but for the most part they were slimmer or flowy. Probably more practical. Can you imagine sitting for 3 hours in a huge skirt? Although I love doing ballgowns, I immediately think of this taupe/aqua shot silk taffeta and matching chiffon that I have been wanting to do a dress of. Someone mentioned in the boards about doing their dream gown.

Hmmm. That taupe lace I have that I have been keeping to make such a gown. I pulled it out, and guess what? It matches the taupe silk taffeta and chiffon. The chiffon appears a little more rust but because it is irridescent. It’s actually really beautiful, very different and an odd color. If I can make all of this work, I think it will be a gorgeous gown.

Challenge 5 fabric

Challenge 5 fabric choices

November 4- Choosing the Model

Which doll to use? Sybarites seem so runway and red carpet. I can pose them in such a stance to really show of a gown. And their figure! They really show off. Tonner is nice too. I think about my best girl, Margeaux. Gosh she photographs well, but I hold the fabric up to her and she just doesn’t look good in it. And there isn’t much Margeaux doesn’t look good in.
Margeaux in Asian Beauty
I think maybe Annalise. She can wear this color-she did a great job in the Christian LaCroix gown I did out of the same taffeta.
Annalise in Fleur de Lis
Wish I could use that gown for this challenge. I don’t have it anymore, but gosh did it turn out gorgeous. Now Bebe also modeled that gown and looks pretty good in the color.
Bebe in Fleur de Lis OOAK gown

We’ll draft the pattern for a Syb and it should fit a Tonner as well if I decide to use them. Antoinette might be good too, but I think I want someone a little more dramatic (and with a bustline).

November 6-Designing the Gown
I do more research of the runway and red carpet gowns. Since I decided to use the lace, I need to figure out how I want to use it. It’s actually a vest-a sample piece I bought from where I used to work. It’s paneled with the scallop so I am limited in what I can do with it. I originally was going to do a mermaid type skirt with the scallop on the bottom, so I think I will still go with that idea. I just need to figure out the bodice.

I started drafting out the pattern for the skirt- measuring each scallop and piecing it together so it looks right. A challenge since each panel is pretty much the same length and I want this skirt to train a little. I’m going to have to piece this together in the bodice or back and depending on the bodice I choose, I may have to have a longer bodice of the taffeta or chiffon. I know I want some kind of shirring of the fabric across the bodice, I did play with the idea of an all lace, one sleeved gown as well. I think it looks too common, I need to do something a little different.

Challenge5 skirt

Skirt so far

Challenge5 back panel

Back panel piece in

November 7- Changing my Mind
Such a busy day today. I’m up at 6:30 to get ready to get Maddie to her Campfire garage sale, then to Mizuno volleyball practice then to her parks and rec volleyball game. At least by 2pm we’ll be done.

I’m a thinker, visionary-I am always playing designs in my head, and can’t always get them on paper. So all this time while I am hauling her around I think of bodice designs. When I think of one- then I think of another. When we finally got home I sketched a bunch of different bodice options. Yes I think I know what I am going to do.
While we were at Mizuno I went into the CDDC website from my Blackberry just to see if maybe the scores were posted. Yes they were already up! I thought maybe it was still from last week when I saw Emilia had won again. Drats! Well congrats to her, but I missed it by 1 point!! Am I getting competitive or what? No, actually I am happy for her. I picked out her design and knew immediately I had tough competition. I had such difficulty with that challenge that it doesn’t surprise me. I am surprised the the judges got my design at all.
When I got home I looked over all the scores and judges comments. Then I start to think about what makes one better than another on the criteria of Originality and Creativity? I decide to write to Larraine and see if she can shed a little light on the difference for me. Maybe it can help me and the other designers understand what the judges are looking for.

November 9- Judge’s Criteria
Larraine wrote back to me and said that she would post on the board what she sent to the judges for their judging of Originality and Creativity. Boy was the board active today. Since I found out what the judge’s look for, I change my idea yet again. Red carpet is hard to do an original of because everything has pretty much been done. And when you think of red carpet you think best dressed not worst. I always think Oscars or Emmys, but I guess one could do short, a tuxedo, or something else as long as it’s glamorous? I’m still staying with long and elegant. That is my style and aesthetic. I need to stay true to myself. It’s the little things that will make it different (I hope).

I got the front panel onto the lace for the skirt. I’m happy that it is really blending together well and you really can’t tell it is pieced.

Challenge5 beginning

Close up of front panel pieced in

challenge5 sample

This could be the start of an interesting design?

Please ignore my messy work area. Creative process in the works.

Funny, how as you start to put something together, how other things develop. An all lace halter gown could be interesting. But I think I am still going to stay with what I have planned. I was going to do a one shoulder but after getting that judge’s criteria- I decided it’s too common. Now sleeves aren’t done very often. Everything red carpet is strapless, or like this year, a lot of one shoulder. Hmmmmm….sleeves…

Sleeve ideas

November 13-Finally Underway
The sleeves just weren’t turning out how I imagined. I didn’t go this back and forth on the last challenge. Never have I questioned myself so much on designing as I have while doing this competition. I can see what the contestants go through on Project Runway. When you are being judged on your designs, a whole lot of other elements start to play.

I did a shirred bodice first and wasn’t sure about it. Something just wasn’t right. I don’t know if it’s because I am seeing them all over the place-especially on Tonner dolls. And then I started having problems with the front panel I attached- the silver thread started coming loose and fraying from the lace. So I ended up changing the design again. I now have a taffeta corset underbodice in which I will applique the lace flowers onto and morph them into the lace skirt.

Design sketch

Corset in progress

I need to make this one work because I don’t have the time to change my mind again. I still need to work on the shoes and make a clutch since all the actresses pretty much carry one on the red carpet. I can’t worry anymore about whether I can win or not. I’m creating something beautiful and we’ll just have to take it from there.

November 14-Final Touches
Well, the corset bodice ended up ditched too. For two reasons. One is the chiffon(which is such a @!tch to work with) would not lay right on the hips. It wrinkled too much since it was cut on the bias. Second was the sleeves were too common. Saw them everywhere-on Tonner designs, on the runway, just not original enough. And after reading the criteria again for Originality and Creativity, I decided to do one of my other designs.

Final design decision

Now I am on the final touches. And this is what is so time consuming. I’m making flowers out of organza ribbon and some of the taffeta to sew here and there on the gown. I need to bead some sections- I’m not beading all of it- don’t have the time.

November 17-Pictures Sent In Just In Time
I got my pictures sent in just in time Sunday night. I spent most of the day finishing up- and not without effort. I woke up that morning with a terrible cold- my nose was running, sneezing-ugh I was miserable- and I had a work luncheon to go to. Needless to say I persevered and made it through the day, got my gown finished and sent in.

On the Red Carpet entry

The pictures are up of everyone’s designs. There is some competition again. There’s a red one that is really pretty. I think it is Louos’s. I can tell which one is Emilia’s and Kathi’s too. My husband says the only thing about mine is the color- maybe the red background I used wasn’t the best thing- white might have shown off the color better. It’s so much prettier in person. The color just didn’t photograph that well and I should have kept that in mind more when I started. I just so wanted to use this lace. Well I think I will photograph my fabric choices first form now on- and on different backgrounds to see which will photograph the best. I think that is important in this competition as well.

November 21-The Judge’s Scores
Louos’s won. I knew it would. It is a really pretty gown. Emilia beat me again-this time by.5 which now makes us 2 points apart. Here’s what the judges had to say:

Shane: Theme: 3, Originality: 4, Creativity: 5,
Construction: 5

This fashion has a tremendous amount of potential but it also has several issues that keep it from getting the top score in theme. I absolutely love the colors and the fabrics that you have chosen! The manipulation of the bodice fabric is gorgeous. As far as issues go, I don’t understand why you only chose to bead certain areas. I think this fashion calls for beading throughout the skirt or no beading at all. The floral and bow adornment at the bodice is distracting and only takes away from your beautiful workmanship on the bodice. Finally the sheer lining and lace just would not be acceptable on the red carpet unless your doll is purposefully looking to create a scandal.

Diana & Janet Theme: 5, Originality: 4,
Creativity: 4.5, Construction: 4.5

The muted colors are highly effective and give an additional depth to the workmanship of the bodice.

You took a simple design and did something interesting with it. Bravo!

Judith: Theme: 5, Originality: 4.5, Creativity: 5
Construction: 5

Gorgeous design in wonderful hues. A perfect cut and fit for this curvaceous model. Stunning cohesive overall vision. My only question would be, is the velvet bow a tad too big for the delicacy of the gown?

Jim Faraone: Theme: 5, Originality: 4, Creativity: 4
Construction: 4

Simple yet elegant

Total Score:71.5

As far as the judges comments, I can see now what they see. I wish I could have beaded the whole gown- it was my intention but time ran out, and I was so sick that day of the final to get pics in I just couldn’t get it all done. Looking in the pics I see about the bow. It’s funny how pictures will show things you don’t see in person. When looking at it in person, the bow doesn’t look too big. Or maybe I just like it larger. Who knows- it’s all personal taste.

This keeps me in second place overall so far. Well, there are still three more challenges left. I’ve learned alot so far, I guess if everything was always perfect, I wouldn’t be learning.


Filed under CDDC, Doll Thoughts, Fashion dolls, sewing

CDDC-Challenge #4- On the Fashion Edge

Due: November 2, 2009

On the Fashion Edge – This week’s guest judge is an amazing doll artist. His OOAK creations are always on the cutting edge. This week you must create an avante guarde casual outfit(no you don’t have to use an Avant Guard doll) This
outfit must be edgy…think Alexander McQueen.

Guest Judge: Rob Thompson

Oct 22

It’s been four days since we received this challenge, and I am no closer to having an idea than I did the first day. I must be on fashion overload right now, because I just cannot get inspired here. I have looked at all of the edgier designers out there for the last four days. Think Alexander McQueen. OK. Love his stuff but I’ve been there. My whole Highland Punk collection was inspired by his Fall 2006 collection.
Highland Punk Collection by MRC

I’m having a really hard time here. I keep going to a red snakeskin I have and mixing it with the gold lace but then that is too much like my Asian Fusion collection that was featured in Hautedoll.
Red Snakeskin sample

Asian Fusion

Asian Fusion by MRC

I need one really good look and I am getting too many ideas, and having a hard time narrowing it down. Maybe I should just design a collection, and one look always stands out. There is one collection I have been dying to do for a while now and I might be able to incorporate an edgier look into it. I’ll have to delve a little more into that idea.

Oct 23

After doing more research and some sketching, I think I might have come up with something. I’m going with the snake. For some reason I just keep coming back to it, and it will look great on Mystique (Sybarite Swallow). She is such an obvious choice for this challenge because she is so runway-and strikingly beautiful with her smokey eyes.
But I am going to use it in a different way. I think I will still use a touch of the lace or free motion embroidered an applique. Actually the ideas are starting to evolve into a collection. The other collections I had planned, I think I will postpone. One I can do for early spring, the other that I mentioned yesterday I think I will do for winter.
I am starting to get some really good ideas, and today I found a really cool burn out velvet for a price I can’t even say because it was such a steal, that coordinates great with the snake for an OOAK gown. Now I have to get on the ball and sculpt some platforms to make a mold, since they take a while to make. Oh I hope this whole idea turns out.
Fabric selection

Oct 27

I think I have come up with a concept. The red snake fabric is really calling to me for this challenge, so I start to think about snake type words. If I am doing a whole collection now (as a side project) I need a name for the collection. A word comes to me
Yes, the giant serpent from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

I start to do research on this word and learn about its mythological origins. From Encyclopedia Mythologica:
The mythical king of the serpents. The basilisk, or cockatrice, is a creature that is born from a spherical, yolkless egg, laid during the days of Sirius (the Dog Star) by a seven-year-old rooster and hatched by a toad.
The basilisk could have originated from the horned adder or hooded cobra from India. Pliny the Elder described it simply as a snake with a golden crown. By the Middle Ages, it had become a snake with the head of a bird, and sometimes with the head a human.
According to legend, there are two species of the creature. The first kind burns everything it approaches, and the second kind can kill every living thing with a mere glance.

Now I am thinking- the snakeskin for the jacket with a collar folding to represent the hooded cobra. The lace eyecap with feather headpieces resembles the head of the Basilisk. A sarong style skirt with a long flowing train to look like the snake’s body. I can picture it in my mind’s eye……
I just hope I can bring my vision to life.

Oct 28

I sewed for the best part of the evening and was able to get the base of the jacket finished. I need to do lining and figure out how I am going to do this collar to get the effect I want.
I made my mold for the platform boots I have planned and now it’s time to cast- let’s hope these turn out.

Oct 30

The last few days I have not had a chance to work on my garment except for casting several pairs of soles in an effort to get the heel right. The resin just wasn’t flowing in there correctly or my heel didn’t form right in the mold. They just are not working out. My fingers are raw from working with the resin and acetone and I can’t work with the stuff with the gloves I have on hand. O.k time to quit this I’m spending too much time on it and still have to finish my skirt and the rest of the accessories.

Nov 1

It’s due tomorrow. I have the jacket to finish, skirt to do, boots to make-oh am I going to get it done on time?

I work on it most of the day- figured out the collar and get the jacket finished. The lace for the cap I sew around her head and start spraying with fabric stiff(a little secret great for making hats). The boots- those are going to be a problem. What can I do for heels? I start to think about a mag layout I saw and how this model was standing on heelless boots. Those are the Nina Ricci boots I saw in my research of runway.
Baazar fashion spread

Nina Ricci boots

I’ll just chop off the heels and make them heelless. It’ll be like she’s ready to spring at her prey. OK that is decided.

Nov 2 Due date

Thank goodness we had an extra day for this challenge. I don’t think I would have made it otherwise. No one home to disturb me- I work quietly and make progress. The jacket is finished. I start on the boots and while each part dries I start the skirt. Figuring out that drape was a challenge because I had wanted it to do something else but was running out of time and it wouldn’t have worked out anyway. Overall- I made it on time with about an hour and a half to spare. I am happy with how my vision turned out I just hope the judges ‘get it’. This challenge proved very difficult for me as I am more classic in my aesthetic. I just hope I didn’t go too far out there.

Basilisk- Challenge #4 Avant Garde

Side view

Nov 7

I was so busy today- up and out at 7:30am for DD’s Campfire garage sale- then driving quickly up to volleyball clinic and back into town for a volleyball game at 1pm. Thank goodness for my Blackberry. I was able to log in to CDDC and saw that the scores were up. Did the judges get my design? There were so many great out there designs I thought it would be hard to judge. And Emilia’s- I could tell hers right away was very cool. She is pushing me in each challenge – but it is interesting to see our interests are similar. After reading her blog, her inspiration for the shoes were the same as mine. It’s hard to compete against someone on the same wavelength. But cheers to her for winning. I’m probably keeping her on her toes also since I am so close behind her. hehe

Well the judges had good comments and it would be interesting to find out how they determine each score-
Fashion like any art is a matter of taste-

Shane Theme: 4.5, Originality: 4, Creativity: 5, Construction: 5

Wow! This is a gorgeously made fantastic look! I love your molded gold headpiece!

Diana & JanetTheme: 4.5
Originality: 4.5, Creativity: 4.5, Construction: 4.5

This really hits the mark! Brava! The headpiece/hat is drop-dead gorgeous and I love the boots.


Exceptional! Truly avante-garde. Love the mix of fabric types and textures. Great fit on the jacket and the feather detail is a nice touch.

Theme: 5,Originality: 4.5, Creativity: 5
Construction: 5

Love the idea and mythology behind this design. The textured snakeskin fabric is great, the colors are foreboding and the mask a stroke of genius. All makes for an elegant and sophisticated outfit. The shoes are nouvelle mode!

Rob Thompson: Theme: 5
Originality: 5, Creativity: 5, Construction: 5

I really like this fashion; it feels Avant Garde from the start. I like the fresh cut of the jacket and the cut and drape of the skirt works to carry your theme through. The shoes are fantastic, I adore them! The lace cap with in scale feathers is a great detail. Again, I am happy to see you not use a wig with this fashion. The necklace finishes the look with just the needed little extra touch. This fashion fits everything I think of when I think of Avant Garde, edgy, and fashion forward. You achieved perfection! Bravo! And I want those shoes, in several colors!

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