Friday, April 15, 2016

My Haute Couture Club of Chicago Fashion Show garments!

This past Sunday I participated in the Haute Couture Club of Chicago's 2016 Annual fashion show, The Art of Fashion.

on the runway!

This is my first year as a member of the Haute Couture Club of Chicago and I plan on staying a member for a very long time. It is a great diverse group of designers, sewers, seamstresses, sewists, bloggers and people who just love to sew from every walk of life from all over the Chicagoland area. There are even several out of state members. You can learn more about the HCCC on the website,

I entered 3 garments or outfits in the show this year. This was only my second fashion show and boy was it exciting! I woke up Sunday morning with butterflies in my stomach! The venue, The Burnham Ballroom in the JW Marriott, Chicago, was simply gorgeous and made an amazing setting to hold the fashion show. The runway ran almost the entire length of the runway with a professional photographer at the far end. I was feeling blessed that I was onsite early and asked if I could help the photographer out with testing. This gave me a chance to get comfortable up on that runway. Although, once the room filled with almost 220 attendees those butterflies did a back flip!

Through my day job, I am very comfortable speaking in front of an audience but this was slightly different. I wasn't talking, just walking and trying to remember to walk slowly, purposefully and with a smile. A real smile not a forced smile that makes your face hurt. By the time I got to my third garment it was old hat and I was really enjoying myself!

My first garment was in the iArtist section, Fashions from member-created textiles, and was a graphic jacket, silk culottes and tank top. This was a super fun project to work on! I loved collaborating with my sister and artist Jen Torres. Here is the excerpt from the program:
Stephanie King designed her fabric to incorporate the shapes of sculptures created by her artist sister, Jennifer Torres. She had Spoonflower print the design on a cotton/linen blend canvas. Working withe the Counter-Points Jacket pattern by Gail Patrice Designs, which features a back pleat, Stephanie placed the pattern Motifs strategically to maximize the graphic effect. She lined the jacket in orange silk. Her culottes are a combination of Butterick pattern 6178 and Eureka! Pants that Fit, made with green 4-ply silk crepe lined in lime silk.

My inspiration!

I plan on a full blog post just for this bright, fun and funky outfit. Stay tuned!!

My second garment to walk the runway was my French Jacket and Pleather Fringe Skirt. You know all about the french jacket already! See previous posts here. The pleather fringe skirt was so much fun to make and wear. This outfit was entered in the Third Dimension section which was a challenge to incorporate techniques that give texture and added dimension to garments. Here is the excerpt from the program:

Stephanie King met the challenge with a mixture of surface textures. Her inspiration and point of departure was a fun textile made of pleather fringe on a mesh backing discovered at Fishman Fabrics. Steph draped the skirt and sewed portions of the fringe by hand to hide the seams. For a pop of color, she lined the skirt in fuchsia stretch charmeuse. Steph made her black tweed French-style jacket from the classic Vogue 7975 with a modified neckline and she incorporated traditional three-piece sleeves. She used the fabric's selvage as an embellishment, along with authentic Chanel trim purchased from Susan Khaljie, and vintage Jablonex glass buttons. The lining in a vibrant silk print of fuchsia, red, rust and black.

Fuchsia stretch silk charmeuse lining.

wide ponte waistband with 2 inch elastic.

My pleather fringe skirt was actually fairly easy to work with. It just required a little thinking and careful construction. I cut the textile on what would be the cross grain due to the direction of the fringe. This meant i used the selvage as the hem. (if you can even consider it a selvage!) the waist is a wide piece of black ponte knit with 2 inch wide elastic. Luckily enough the pleather fringe was soft enough to gather nicely into an elastic waistband. This meant I did not have to deal with any darts or zippers. I made a muslin of the skirt out of a black ponte cut cross grain. this simulated the properties of the textile almost perfectly. Once I had this designed how I wanted I cut this apart and used it as pattern pieces for the pleather fringe. Worked perfectly! The hardest part was hiding the single center back seam and the area around the shaped waist. I had plenty extra pleather fringe so I was able to cut small pieces of fringe and hand sew them over the seam area as well as in the area of shaping at the waist to fill in any blank spots.

hidden center back seam!
seam hidden under individually hand sewn pieces of fringe.
My last garment in the fashion show was my YSL Mondrian inspired dress. This was entered into a segment called Modernize Mondrian with Your YSL- A challenge to produce a modern take on the famous Mondrian YSL dress.

Out of my three garments this is my least favorite and for only one reason. I have lost 40 pounds since I made this dress in the fall and it just looks way too big on me. Due to the construction methods it is almost impossible to alter, probably easier to make an entire new dress!On with the show... you can see my original blog post on this garment here.
Here is the excerpt from the program:
Stephanie King used a modern fabrication- Ponte Knit- in an array of fall colors for her interpretation of the Mondrian/YSL dress. She updated the design further by making the self fabric flat piping grid lines much narrower than the original. She worked to stay true to the original silhouette while making sure the fit and shape are appropriate for a plus size. Construction called for some innovation when dealing with as many as eight layers of fabric at adjoining seams.
My dear friends Wendy Grossman, myself and Sarah Veblen.

I had a fantastic experience at this fashion show. Having my daughter and my friends there to support me was fantastic and being surrounded by an amazing group of talented and like minded fashion lovers was just superb!

My amazing and supportive family and friends!!
Melissa Janowicz (my daughter), myself, Krystal and Emily.
 Until next time!! Happy Sewing :)


  1. Your garments are great! You always inspire me.

    1. right back at you!! It's great to be able to have great friends to work with.


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