Mpressive Threadz Studio Blog

Sharing my love of sewing

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Sewing Help Needed!

pretty and polishedOperation Pretty and Polished is an event that allows students to select free prom outfits. At the event, friends and I have altered some of the gowns for the girls and pants for the boys. I am reaching out to sewists in the Washington, DC area and asking if you can spare an hour or more and help with minor alterations at the event.

Beginning sewing skills are fine! The minor alterations are shortening the length of the gowns by machine, taking in side seams, and hemming pants. If you can mark a hem, please help. If you can take stitches out, please help. If you can stitch a simple seam and can bring a portable sewing machine, please help.

The Operation Pretty and Polished event is Saturday, April 20, 2013 from 9am – 3pm at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington. Contact Julia Irving, the Community Outreach Coordinator Sixth District at the Metropolitan Police Department at 202-698-1315.

I want to be at the Operation Pretty and Polished event, but I can’t. A promotion at work gave me a new role, and the new role is keeping me from this year’s event. I plan to be there next year, but more help is needed this year.

Thanks in advance.

Sincerely, Doris



Prom Adventures – Final Chapter

Prom night is over and we have all recuperated.  My daughter and her friends looked glamorous and they enjoyed prom night.  They had their red carpet moment and it started with the limo.  This thing was as long as a bus and they walked a red carpet to enter it.  Big different from the brown Buick LeSabre that took me to my prom with my mother in the driver’s seat.  

I only have shots of two of the dresses.  D was meeting them elsewhere, so I did not get a picture of her in her dress.  Bummer.  I hope to get one from her. 

I love making party dresses and I enjoyed making these.  Today in the Washington Post is a story about an organization that gives new and used dresses to any young lady who needs one.  And there are plenty of young ladies who need help in these financial times.  My husband is still complaining about the cost and I made my daughter’s dress.  This organization is called Once Upon a Prom.   There are a slew of similar organizations.  Use the search term “Cinderella Project” and you will find one near you.  If you don’t, you may want to start one. 

Here’s an idea for the sewists out there.  We all have humongous stashes of fabric, which we may never get through.  How about taking a fabulous piece out of your stash and making a great party dress in any size.  Then give your creation to one of these organizations.  It’s a win-win situation.  Some young lady gets a beautiful prom dress that she would never be able to afford and you get a tax-break for a charitable donation.  This would make a wonderful sew-along.   I have to give this more thought.


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Prom Adventures – Chapter 4

Another one bites the dust.  The second dress is done.  I think of two words when I look at it, fun and sophistication.  It’s a beautiful blue, with a ruched midriff and a draped skirt.  I remember wearing the side drapes on the hips when I was much, much younger and much, much smaller.


I am so glad I remembered how to drape the pattern for the skirt on the dressform. 

I will be pulling an all-nighter on my daughter’s dress.  I can’t complain that she focused on school instead of prom dresses.  Her head was in the right place.  Today she received a letter from the school informing her that she is the salutatorian for her senior class.  That will keep a smile on my face as I finish her dress.

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Prom Adventures – Chapter 3

The most difficult gown is done!  G is scheduled to pick up her gown tomorrow and I will get pictures.  She is very petite (height and width). Her gown reminds me of a forties/fifties dream gown; organza over charmeuse with bling and flare.  Here’s the back and front of the gown.

 Work continues on the others.

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Prom Adventures – Chapter 2

The beading on the dress bodice is done.  I really have to learn how to use a tambour needle to do beading.  I just brought a tambour needle, but it will take a lot of time to master it, so I used a needle and thread to do this.  I did find a good video demonstration by Professor Bob Haven of the University of Kentucky.  Now I can see what I was doing wrong.  I will get to practice once these dresses are done.


The beloved daughter did not spend all her father’s money.  She caught some great sales.  With the remaining $35 she did as her father instructed; she paid the tiny balance on the limo and put gas in her car.


A recap of a conversation between daughter and older brother.

Brother: You got a date for the prom?

Daughter (with the bad-odor expression): NO!

Brother: Okay, because I would have to have a conversation with him. (punches his open hand with his fist and tries to look menacing) Why you don’t have a date?

Daughter: We didn’t want dates.  We are going as a group.

Brother: Oh no!  Don’t tell me you are one of those independent women.  (in a high pitch voice) I don’t need a man.  I got it going on!

Mother: She doesn’t need a man.  She does have it going on.  My friends and I went to our senior prom as a group.  Z went to hers solo.

Brother: Z! Not a good example. (lots of laughter from everyone)


Now it’s time to put the bodice together and finish the dress.


Prom Adventures – Chapter 1

A recap of the conversation as a father and daughter negotiates money for accessories to go with the prom dress.

Father:  How much money do you need?

Daughter: $100

Father: $100! 

Daughter: Yeah.  If I don’t spend it all, I bring you back the change.

Father: Let me tell you something.  The more money you give a kid, the more money they will spend.

Daughter: I’ll bring you back change.

Father: It that it for the prom?

Daughter: What do you mean is that it?

Father: I don’t have to give you any more money after this?

Daughter: I have to get my nails done on Thursday and my hair done on Friday.

Note: The father and daughter are in the next room, so I can’t see the father’s face at this time, but I am sure my husband’s eyebrows have arched up at this point, meaning “you have got to be joking.”

Father: What kind of accessories do you need?

Daughter: Earrings, a bracelet, a ring and a purse.

Father: Let’s go ask your mother.

Mother (calling out before they enter her sewing room):  Is this your red carpet moment?

Daughter: Yes.

Mother: She needs earrings, a bracelet, a ring and a purse.

Father (with exasperation): Here!

Daughter (taking $100): Thanks.

I try to make my husband feel better by telling him in two years when L goes to the senior prom we will have it much easier.  All we will have to do is rent a tux and chip in for the limo.  The haircut is free; my oldest son is a barber.

 He feels a little better.


Meanwhile, I am working on prom dresses.  One is an apricot-color organza and charmeuse gown.  It has a floor length full circle skirt.  Just marking the hem took a while, so imagine how long it took to finish the organza layer with a narrow machine hem.  I still have to hem the charmeuse layer and the lining.

I am also beading the back bodice. After three hours of beading, I am taking a break!