Monday, January 14, 2008

Midnight Garden - Photo Shoot and Final Thoughts

Here it is, front and back:

Does this make my butt look big?

Just kidding! I suppose it does, but it does make the waist look smaller! Hindsight, (no pun intended!) the inset could have been a *bit* smaller.

Here's the front close-up, and the cricket, too:

Blouse button detail:

I do feel a bit sorry for anyone else who models this and has to do all those buttons! I do like the way they look, though.

Here's the jewelry make of blue glass pearls and crystal silver-lined beads:

My first thought when putting on the necklace was, "Hmm. Looks like I'm wearing a string of blueberries. I hope I don't get hungry at a show." I might redo the necklace at some point, but I do want to keep it simple. The jewelry needs to compliment the ensemble, not steal the show.

Last, but not least, a few random shots from the photo shoot. These are my favorites of the day, and I did put a few in black and white for fun. My daughter took these, while most of the ones above were taken by my son.

You know, most of the time, I am *so glad* to finish an ensemble. It really can be a consuming, grueling process and there are times I'd just like to be rid of certain projects. I don't feel that way somehow with MG. I'm actually a bit sad to see it end. I can't figure out why, though. I am looking forward to Forget Me Knot!

What did I learn with this ensemble?
  • Keep working and reworking ideas until they become what you've envisioned.
  • Something is just right when it makes me smile.
  • Things that go wrong or get ruined are opportunities to make something better
  • Always pay attention to even the smallest of comments from friends. I never would have gone back and done the extra quilting had it not been for a comment from VickiW (bet you didn't know that, Vicki!) nor would the crickets have become what they are if not for Anne Stevens.
By the way, I do have one more special announcement regarding Midnight Garden, later in the week!

Q/A: Carolyn wanted to know, "How do you store your finished "show" pieces? Do you store the accessories with the piece? And how many of these have you made?" Well, I have a "few" of these, just like you have a "few" pieces of fabric (well, maybe not as many as your pieces of fabric, Carolyn!). I store them in one end of my closet at the end of my studio, usually in garment bags. Not all the garments are in all the time - there's almost always something out at a show. (In fact, American Beauty and Waiting for Spring will be showing in the Road to California Show next week, Jan. 17-20 If you're in the Ontario, CA area, go check out the show.) All the accessories are stored on the shelf above, with the proper jewelry and gloves stored in the corresponding shoe box with the shoes. I do have extra vintage hats and gloves stored up there, too in the hat box and large black box.

Parting Shot: Back to the Winter Wonderland. There's my son, helping to shovel out the driveway ridge after the 6 to 8" of snow we got today.


Vicki W said...

Summerset, it's absolutely perfect! Thank you for sharing this project with all of us. I can't wait to see it next month at Mid-Atlantic. I have to "white glove" at the show. I hope I get assigned to the wearable display so that I can tell people all about you and your incredible talent and vision! Congratulations a hundred times over!

Lisa Laree said...


It's just lovely. Thanks so much for sharing the journey with us.

Do you ever get to wear these wonderful pieces for Really Special Events, or are they just for shows/exhibitions?

Vicki said...

Fabulous photos! You really look "vintage" - especially the black and white ones. Perfect.

Now, I am eagerly awaiting the next big project.....and the velvet jacket!

Tany said...

You look like a vision from the past! Your entire outfit is perfect and balanced, I love the way you had your hair done to go with this gorgeous outfit (and I have a small request: close-up pictures of the hat!)! Vicki is right about the b&w pictures!

I love this style, with the hourglass figure, very feminine and elegant! It's very "you"!

Summerset, I congratulate you and I thank you for the privilege of joining you in this wonderful sewing journey! Though I am curious to what comes next, I'll take my time to enjoy this moment!

Mimi Jackson said...

Phenomenal! I am just catching up on my RSS feed today, so I didn't have to "wait" to see the final pictures. Unbelieveable work. Truly.

Oh, and no, it doesn't make your butt look big... it makes your profile look very "womanly"!

Elaray said...

That noise you just heard was my jaw hitting the desk! Midnight Garden is fantastic. The quilting, the appliqué, the embossed velvet - everything is just stunning. Break a leg!

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

There are no words to adequately describe how beautiful that outfit is...I just have to a moment of silence to salute its awesomeness and your talent...

Thanks for answering my question about your show garments.

Lori said...

Midnight Garden is stunning. Your look is perfect for this garment. Thank you for sharing with us the process, I have thoroughly enjoyed it.

Cherie said...

Lovely, just lovely - and I think we enjoyed the journey as much as you said you did! Love the hairstyle also, as above, would love to see a close-up of the hat! I wish I had been there to see you "smile".

Theresa said...

The total picture, the completed outfit and the styling look immaculate-really reflecting the era. Congratualtions on completing the project-I really enjoyed seeing your journey-inspirational-keep following the vision

Erica B. said...

The complete outfit is just outstanding. I love the retro styling... it's just breathtaking.

Sigrid said...

The photoshoot is a wonderful impression of your garment. Like others said already, you really completed the style with your accessories, hair-do and b/w pictures. Really something to be proud of and I would be surprised if this is not a winner.

Sue B said...

one word: Stunning

I am in awe at what you have created here Summerset, it's absolutely stunning.

Nina said...

WOW! I followed this outfit from the beginning and know i want to congratulate you to this absolutly wonderful final. This is real passion for sewing and fashion.

LauraLo said...

Oh Summerset, this is one of the most beautiful, splendid things I've ever seen! Your entire outfit is perfect and now, it doesn't make your butt look big... you look beautiful!
I love the way you've done your hair and the little hat. I love those black and white shots. I love everything about Midnight Garden!

Isabelle said...

Wow... You look straight out of the 50s. Do you have a time machine at home? No, I guess it is more a sewing machine, meticulous hands, and boundless imagination. :)

I just love everything about your outfit, Summerset. I don't think the peplum is too big - it is so feminine. After seeing the V&A exhibition, I can tell you that this wouldn't have looked exaggerated at all at the time.

I adore the darling little hat! Looks great over your longer hair.

Lastly, the last two pictures are perfect. You could print them out on quality paper and use/sell them as postcards!

If you do not get prizes with this outstanding work, something is very wrong with the world.

Debbie Cook said...


Thank you for sharing all of your hard work along the way to this gorgeous final outfit.

Anonymous said...

The outfit is great! You look so beautiful in it. Thank you for taking the time to photograph and write.

You make me want to see vintage garments.


paco peralta said...

Summerset .- congratulations on the final outcome. The dress is wonderful and accessories, hat and gloves as well. I particularly love the shoes you remind me of DIOR style of the fifties. Congratulations on the photos (you have some good photographers in your children greetings to them). Greetings and good health to enjoy this suit so wonderful. Paco

StegArt said...

Wow! Fabulous!

Anonymous said...

I have one small comment/suggestion, which I am hesitant to word.
Up close, this is the most exquisite thing I have ever seen. The detail is amazing. From a distance, i.e. looking at the small pictures, the flowers and vines blend into each other and look, forgive me, a little bit heavy. Perhaps some shadowing might help to divide it slightly, add dimension to the piece and make it appear more defined from a distance? This is how most people will see it at a fashion show. I do not know if this is important to you or if it matters with the judging only, which will be closer up.
Forgive me for being anonymous. I mean no harm.

Anne Frances said...

It's amazing! And the hat and gloves just add that extra something. SO elegant. And if I had any tiny part in it, then I'm honoured and flattered!

Emily said...

Beautiful. I actually really love the blouse - the beaded trim is gorgeous. Of course the applique on the jacket and skirt are also beautiful, but I like the unexpectedness of the blouse underneath. Another project excellently done! Congratulations!

fasturnfun said...

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Just ring (800) 729-0280 and ask for me (or email to Thank you, and Happy Sewing!

Connie Bontje said...

Gorgeous, just gorgeous! But you already know that. I got excited when I read that one of your pieces was going to a show in Ontario! But then I read CA!
Good stuff girl...On to the next!

Anonymous said...


Just one comment, change the earrings...drop earrings were not really the style that would have been worn with that type of suit...I would suggest a simple single strand of pearls and a matching button type of earring.


Marji said...

Your work is exquisite. Beautifully done.
Now I have a suggestion, which was prompted by a line in your post.
Since your show collection travels, (which I did not know) might you be able to put up a sidebar list of which cities you have garments in and the dates of the exhibits? It would be a shame for someone to miss and opportunity and find out later that one of your creations had come and gone.

Carol said...

You just look like you stepped back in time, so lovely. Wonderful for you.

Cennetta said...