Sheri Autry Couture

Fantasy in Bloom

Kristie LathamComment

Occasionally, an idea for a dress will pop into my head fully formed.

It doesn’t happen often – usually I carefully ponder fabrics, styles, and embellishments for a while before a design sets in my imagination.

This one, “Fantasy in Bloom,” was completely inspired by a quick glimpse of fabric in a specialty store, boldly colorful and shiny and calling my name! I knew right away it was meant to be the strapless bodice of a whimsical dress, a celebration of form and color. By the time I left the shop with a yard in my bag, I was imagining it paired with an extravagant tulle skirt, festooned with blossoms.

I couldn’t wait to create it!  

The simple strapless bodice was easy enough to craft, and I added sparkly rhinestone trim to make it even more eye-catching. Perfect! Then came the task of measuring and sewing fifty yards (yes, a full bolt!) of delicate tulle to fashion the layered skirt. I wanted it full and fluffy, an ethereal, floating counterpoint to that sassy bodice. Once the skirt was constructed, I festooned the top layer and added fabric blooms that I had pulled apart, reconstructed, and enhanced with rhinestones and crystals. I placed them around the bottom third of the skirt, picking up on the colors of the bodice. So far, so good!

When it came to connecting the bodice to the skirt. . . .Well, things got a little tricky at the machine. I was buried under all that tulle and actually needed a little help from a “fabric wrangler” so I could see what I was doing and wouldn’t suffocate in a beautiful cloud! It was finished just in time for a hard deadline – a photo shoot the next day. I was thrilled with the result.

This dress makes my heart sing, and I had a hunch it would have that effect on the models, too. Sure enough, when model Ekatrina saw it, she claimed it as “hers,” and as you can see, she did it justice. She wore it with joy and ebullience, perfectly capturing my intention. “Fantasy in Bloom” is my happy dress!

Photo Credit: Cesar Chavez Photography