Monday, October 7, 2013

#4 - LBD Challenge - Studs Galore!


TOC:

Rules or Challenge 4

Challenge #4 had a fun theme! Here are the rules:

For this challenge, be creative and make a little black dress for your perfect night out.

Create a story for us. Are you going out with your husband on a romantic date or a fun night out with the girls? Where will you be going? What will you be doing? Your dress should be able to tell your story.

You will be judged on creativity, craftsmanship, how the dress tells your story, and fit.

What Is My LBD For?

For this challenge, I have made a dress to wear to the Opening Night of the Fall Antique Show at Fort Mason!

One of San Francisco's most popular social events, it also benefits the Enterprise for High School Students (EHSS), a non-profit career development agency serving San Francisco youth. The opening night is a festival of eating, drinking, music, socializing, of seeing, and of being seen. You can view photos of a past show in 2006.

My Little Black Dress, McCalls 6028, features a slim silhouette and is fitted via front and back princess seams, with a slit in hem the left front princess seam. The front yoke, and the back neckline, are embellished with silver-colored, two-prong studs made from nickel and steel - these strong studs required some effort to install. The back is finished with an exposed zipper.

I am also sharing this with Patti's Visible Monday!

Alterations and Modifications

I started with a size 14 (my usual before FBA). My changes were:

  • Narrowed the shoulder by 5/8".
  • I read on Pattern Review that folks found that the neckline is too high on this dress. I found the same. I lowered the front neck by 1".
  • The bust fullness on the princess seam was too high. I lowered it a couple of inches and widened it about 3/8".
  • Shortened the dress by 2", though only 1-1/2" on the center front panel because of the full bust adjustment to the side front.
  • Added a bit to the waist (in the front only).
  • Removed fullness from the hip all around. (I didn't measure.)
  • Used the hem slit in the left front princess seam.
  • Used the sleeve, but lengthened it by 5".
  • Installed an exposed zipper at center back. It was a YKK zipper I'd bought about a year ago from Zipperstop with a large ring pull. It was shorter than the pattern called for and a separating zipper. But it is not the boss of me. ;)

Studs

While I am not a huge fan of "shiny", such as sequins or patent leather, I am a huge fan of the edgy version of shiny: spikes and studs! I own no less than three pair of spiked and studded shoes and boots and I really enjoy wearing them. (Even though the spiked shoes can be a bit deadly.)

I was in my local bead store several weeks ago buying findings for earrings, and I saw the cutest spikes. I tried to buy a few, just to play with, but they had sold out. They had ordered more, they told me.

The first thing I did when I saw this challenge theme was to call them to ask if the spikes had come in.

Nope.

I was starting to figure out a Plan B, when Margy sent me one of her bookmarked links to an online store called, appropriately, Studs and Spikes, so I checked it out.

I was in love!

Late into Monday I was angsting over choose what to order from their bounty! Finally, very late on Monday, I ordered studs and spikes, along with a basic stud setting kit. I specified 2-day air so that they would arrive on Thursday. (One-day air would have been $45 for this order.) Then, on Tuesday, I thought some more. I thought and thought. It's difficult to buy supplies when you don't *really* know what you are doing.

And I couldn't fully decide what I was doing until I could play with the supplies.

It's a pickle, I tell you.

Around midnight on Tuesday, I made another order. This time only for studs in a different shape and several sizes. Again, I specified 2-day air so that the order would arrive on Friday. (Though, of course, I was hoping it would arrive sooner.)

My first order arrived late Thursday and I got busy with samples. I thought I had figured out my dress design (which I had partially muslined) and fabric, but that was now challenged. I started grabbing bits of other black fabrics in my stash and studding those, too.

I quickly decided that, as cute as they were, I preferred the studs on my dress-weight fabrics. The spikes require a very beefy base, such as a firm leather. (Though I will have fun using them on another project, as they are so cute!)

I'm glad I ordered a lot of extra studs, as it took me awhile to figure out the sort of interfacing I needed, and how to get the studs to line up properly. These studs are made from a fairly rigid metal made from nickel and steel. The prongs require force to bend. Also, once I had interfaced the fabric, it was more difficult to insert the prongs.

What worked best was to use one point from a pair of sharp embroidery scissors to make a small slit for each prong. After inserting the stud into the slits, I turned the fabric over while holding the stud so it wouldn't slip out, laid it out on the table, and used the Stud Prong Press to bend each prong. (The Stud Prong Press is included in the beginning stud kit and looks like a flat screwdriver with an angle in it. It also has a wooden handle, similar to an awl.)

Through trial and error, I discovered that to keep the studs secured to the fabric, that I had to bend each prong all the way in so that it touched the metal on the inside. Bending them flat, parallel to the fabric, was not enough - the stud could easily slide off. (Again, I doubt this would be a problem on a stiffer leather.)

I found it necessary to stand over my workspace in order to get the right angle to exert enough force. When I went to bed late Thursday night, my shoulder (which is weak thanks to long-ago bouts of frozen shoulder) was sore from the practice run. By Saturday, my shoulder was throbbing after spending much of the day attaching studs.

My second order of studs arrived late Friday and, by then, I had run to JoAnn's to buy the McCalls pattern, cut out the yoke, and had started studding.

I had to take frequent breaks, but I loved the result! I am sold on these studs, which are beautifully made. I particularly like the pyramid and cone studs, which have an almost brushed finished. The dome studs are more shiny. (I prefer my metals hammered or brushed, rather than shiny.) Adding the studs to the interfaced fabric gives the yoke a hefty drape.

Here are a few pictures showing my progress:

The front yoke is interfaced with a fusible interfacing and all edges are stay-stitched.

Completed - the front

Completed - the back

Interfacing the back neck

Back neckline completed

Conclusion

This is an excellently drafted pattern and I will use it again. I love the stud detail. It is weighty, but in a good way. This will not be my last project with studs.

I am very happy with this dress! I am sure I will get a lot of wear out of it. Because of the stud detail, I will be hand washing it.

More Pictures

Shake! Shake! Shake!

Shake! Shake! Shake!

Shake my booty!

Pattern

82 comments:

  1. Wonderful! I love the shininess of it and the mix of textures!

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  2. This is a great LBD! I love it on you and you look totally fabulous in it.

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  3. You may never have had a LBD before, but this one is fantastic! The look of those studded shoulders is just amazingly Shams-style edgy...

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  4. Fabulous!! Those studs are the perfect embellishment and the whole outfit looks looks great on you. You have made an amazing LBD.

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  5. Love it! It is a LBD with a very edgy touch, very modern. I love all the details...And you look stunning!

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  6. You look so good in that dress! Not a basic LBD at all.

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  7. Oh boy, Shams .. you look so adorable . You really pulled
    out all the stops.. err.. studs. This was a pretty intense
    choice to execute, and your design, fortitude and focus
    in carrying it off so suberbly really showcase exemplary
    skills.. knockout. You're shining and glowing, and deservedly
    so. Absolutely you, the whole 9 yards: hat, dress, studs, hose
    and shoes. These segments are really challenging. I don't
    know how you all do it so well having a job also .. endurance
    as well as creative contests. It has to be exciting AND stressful
    with the deadlines .. you must have nerves of steel. LOL Now
    breeeeathe .. and all the best for great good luck!

    Joy from SG

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  8. Luv your dress. You look fabulous. Great job!!

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  9. Amazing! I just love the studded out shoulders. Very rocker chic!!

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  10. That is one bad girl little black dress;) Fabulous!! I've ordered fr Studs and Spikes before, great resource.
    Forgot to add that the hose and shoes are just perfect.

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  11. I'm just glad to know that all of your hard work turned out so absolutely fantastically amazing! I'm in awe of how you've risen to the challenge every week and created such amazing garments! This is another wonderful creation!

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  12. Wow, what a total look! It is amazing down to the last detail!

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  13. great version of this dress with your own touch - good luck in the competition

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  14. I did not think studs could look glam and very you. Great job.

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  15. This is perfect. Can't wait to vote.

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  16. Great. I'm going to come out and say what I am sure everyone is thinking. This is one BadAss dress and you look fabulous. Gosh, I hope and think you will win.

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  17. Your picture is going straight in my inspiration folder. It's brilliant: edgy and elegant at the same time. Thanks for posting all the construction details too.

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  18. Wow, I love this! Your studs are so meticulously placed--I think this detail very makes the outfit for me.

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  19. What an amazing interpretation of this pattern!!! Great looking dress.

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  20. I LOVE what you did with this LBD Challenge, Shams! In the spirit of the challenge, it is 'you'. You look particularly pretty in these pictures, so vibrant and happy. You hit the nail on the head!

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  21. Cute AND sexy! A winner, for sure.

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  22. My goodness, what a lot of work you did! The dress looks fantastic!

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  23. Amazing! You are SO creative. It's such a pleasure to read and see what you've made.

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  24. This is just perfect. I want one, lol

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  25. This is a fabulous LBD! Love the hat too. Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday, you look wonderful.

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  26. Va-Va-Voom. Great dress. I'm taking an almost paternal pride in your success in the Challenge.

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  27. After looking at each of your entries, I have to say you are So Consistent in designing truly outstanding and amazing garments, that are perfectly suited to your artistic style, AND perfectly fitted ... Every. Time. This is one classy dress, with that extra zing from the studs. (and the stockings, and shoes)...Yeah! Great job! Love your happy happy pics!

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  28. Wow, I wish I knew how to sew. This dress is fabulous.

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  29. Wow! Love, love it and yoru execution of the studs detail is spot on. You styled it perfectly, lace hose, shoes and hat. Your new body shows it off perfectly.

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  30. This is so freakin' fantastic!! The best LBD I've ever seen. You look like a million bucks--love how you've styled the whole outfit, and you look so pleased with the results (as you well should). It has been way fun to watch you progress through this competition!

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  31. Wow! I definitely want to try this! I love studs too, amazing!!!

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  32. Another absolute WOW of an entry! And would ya look at those shapely gams!

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  33. Absolutely love this on you! Amazing.

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  34. Love it! You look wonderful girl!. I tried using studs on a knit top and didn't have a setter and they all started to fall off! I still have quite a few studs and am heading over to the site you linked.

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  35. WOW. Just - WOW. You look AMAZING. Can you tell I love it? Heather

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  36. Love the dress, and your styling. Great hat, great sunglasses. Love the addition of the sleeves. The studs? Beauty knows no pain.

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  37. good grief you are going to totally kick it on opening night. They better watch out for you! Fabric Mart is going to faint when they see you, too!!
    (Also brava for all of that work bending the studs to fit!)

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  38. Another WOW!! You look amazing and the work is astounding!

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  39. OMG! That is unbelievably fantastic! I knew your take on a LBD would be fun and unique, but WOW. You took it to a whole new level. Love the studs!

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  40. Wow! I, like you, have never had a LBD and couldn't imagine a version that I would actually want. But this is it! The studs elevate it to an edgy personal statement. Bravo

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  41. Hope to come back to read the other comments, but just have to say: As soon as I saw the first pix, I thought, BUT OF COURSE!!! It's perfect AND perfect for you! Go Shams!

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  42. This dress is so you! You have put a lot of thought and effort into this dress and I really hope you win.

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  43. I have that pattern too. Have never made it up because...not sure why. Now you have inspired me to try it. Don't know if I can do studs. But a different color just in the front panels would look great. Thanks for the inspriation.

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  44. Wow, I LOVE you in that dress! You have really made a stunning version of a LBD (which can often be a little boring dress). Just wonderful - I am really enjoying watching what you are coming up with in this competition!

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  45. You are just so damned adorable! This LBD is the best. Good luck!

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    1. Amazing! Adorable! Stunning! you are looking so good. Great LBD.

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  46. Holy cow! You are a gladiator honey

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  47. Well, one thing's for sure...you are feeling GREAT in this LBD :) Looks terrific, too! Interesting treatment with the studs, but frankly, I'm a little concerned you're going to spike yourself with the bracelet...LOL!

    Great job - enjoy!

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  48. Wow! You really outdid yourself on this one. It looks terrific! Is there a link for voting?

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  49. Love the dress...it's "all that and more"!!!!! You have my vote this time too!!!

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  50. Shams, you rock! Totally fabulous dress. And if you had made the opposite adjustments to the fit, I'd be asking to borrow it from you!

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  51. Love it! Love the studs, the dress, your styling. Beautiful!

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  52. Wow! The zipper is a great addition. Love it

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  53. I love: - this pattern, - the studs (if you were to mention this to me without my seeing them, I would have been skeptical) and - how it looks on you. Edgy and VERY useful. Thumbs up!

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  54. Shake it baby! Shake it! You look fabulous! Great work (as usual)! Love it!!!

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  55. Those studs are super cool! What a great dress you've made! You totally rocks this one!

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  56. Fabulous. Love the studs. That's actually a nice pattern -very flattering. Do your neighbors think you're crazy?

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  57. You are really good under pressure! Each of your challenges has been a big success. I love this dress and thanks for all the tips on working with studes.

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  58. I was surprised to see that the studs were added before construction. I'm curious to know how you sewed the seams on those pieces - hand sewing; special Prasser foot; special needle position? Really - just brilliant!! Congrats!

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    1. Excellent question, Jan! When I have a minute I will update the blog post. But I used a zipper foot and it worked very well.

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  59. Wow you look so rocker chic! I would totally wear this dress!!

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  60. To quote everyone else "fantastic"! What a wonderful dress and it looks wonderful on you as well - and the way you styled it - perfection. the pattern you choose works so well with the studs, the fabric, everything - Brava!

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  61. Love, love, love. Great inspiration, and it looks fantastic on you!

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  62. F A B U L O U S ! ! What a great idea!

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  63. BTW - If you ever want tips on adding studs to shoes or boots -- or to straps to go around your shoes or boots, just ask me margot at sassyfeet dot com!

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  64. Great to see you in a dress - especially such a studding one! Terrible pun I know.

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  65. You look marvelousssssss! I love your dress! Great job with the studs and zipper. Really nice job with the entire look.

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  66. Love the story, love the dress, and love all your efforts. You look divine ... quite edgy and evening-y ... great shoes with your dark sheers. So elegant. And so glad I stopped by to read how it was done! That's not the best part (you in the dress...) but the most useful!

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  67. Definitely a WOW piece! Great job!

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  68. Thanks for reviewing this pattern and rocking this style. You're such an inspiration.

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