The One Constant is Change

I would never have predicted that this is where I would be six months ago: sitting at my kitchen table writing a blog post. For the past three years, I have spent my Thursdays and Fridays working with Karen in her home, sewing, designing, supply sourcing… you name it, we did it. Why the change? When the previous dance season was winding down and we were looking ahead, we had the crazy thought in our heads that we were going to have a lighter load this fall. We spent the summer working on promoting our Tiny Tutus and discussing possible directions to shake business up a bit, and in August we took a well-deserved break and spent far too much time and money on knitting and yarn.

One week after being adopted.

One week after being adopted.

Freya looking for a home.

Freya looking for a home.

So, how do you follow a rather up-and-down summer? You get a puppy, of course!! See, all those work days spent together included lunches spent enjoying veggies and hummus while watching cute puppy videos online. Toss in a few days of puppy-sitting for Karen’s brother-in-law and it was all downhill from there. In early September, after years of internal debate, Karen and her wonderful hubby adopted a little cutie from a rescue and named her Freya. It has been a while since they were puppy parents and life has been interesting since the addition to the family.

Freya is thriving and enjoying her yard!

Freya is thriving and enjoying her yard!

Mmmmm, stick!

Mmmmm, stick!

Since I spend a significant amount of time working in their home, Freya and I were getting along quite well, which I thought was surprising since I never considered myself a dog person. But then it happened. Labor Day morning, I was sitting with my hubby at the kitchen table surfing the internet over breakfast and we saw her. An animal rescue sixty miles from our home was going to have a litter of puppies up for adoption in two weeks. What makes this especially crazy is that our daughter had recently moved out and the house was finally quiet and becoming once again our own. After a bit of talk, we put in an application, got the call giving us the green light, and made plans to bring home a cute little darling of our own!

How could I resist this face??

How could I resist this face??

Chloe at ten-weeks and starting life with a new family.

Chloe at ten-weeks and starting life with a new family.

Chloe checking out her new home.

Chloe checking out her new home.

Chloe loves her yard.

Chloe loves her yard.

If I sit like this, will I get a treat?

If I sit like this, will I get a treat?

We have gone from thinking tutus all the time to puppies all the time! Although we have been preoccupied with house training, playing sock tug-of-war, chew toy hoarding, and interrupted sleep schedules, tutus have been fighting for our attention. We love our new puppies, but we love making beautiful tutus and costumes, too. And now that we have puppies, we need to work more, because these little darlings need some bones.

Posted on October 10, 2016 .

Introducing Pink Garden

pink green ribbon flower

The last in our series of Tiny Tutus is Pink Garden. This design was inspired by the embroidered organza that forms the overskirt and fluffy sleeves. The bodice is made of pink faille with an organza overlay trimmed with ivory and green embroidered trim dotted with Swarovski® crystals shades of green, fern and peridot. At the center is a large vitrail medium drop. The organza's pink and green embroidered leaves also inspired the matching hand-made green ribbon flower, sparkling with even more Swarovski® crystals, for the tiny dancer's hair.

Next week, we intend to introduce a new series of original designs for you to enjoy.

Posted on September 30, 2016 .

Introducing Crystal Blue

We absolutely LOVE this pale blue brocade with sparkling lurex thread!  We have used every bit possible, agonizingly squeezing pieces to prove we didn't have to waste one single swatch of this beautiful fabric.  After designing the tiny Snow Queen tutu, we had enough for only one more and Crystal Blue was born.  While I worked on the silver metallic and blue tulle skirt, Lisa found the silver sequins and applied them down the front, then unearthed the butterflies and ribbon to form the hair clip and provide embellishments for the sleeves and bodice.  Then, because you know it wasn't shiny enough, I lost my mind and liberally covered the bodice front with Swarovski® crystals in silver shade, blue shade, crystal AB, and paradise shine (and sprinkled a few on the butterflies for good measure).  The embellishments of this tutu inspired the name, which – totally dating me – causes the song to play in my head every time I see this Tiny Tutu.

Posted on September 23, 2016 .

Introducing Fairy Doll

Fairy Doll is another Tiny Tutu inspired by a ballet variation.  Having made a number of Fairy Doll costumes over the years, we thought it would be fun to make a tiny one.  The skirt blends shades of pink and purple tulles, reflected in the ombre ribbon used to make the iconic bow headpieces.  The embroidered lace appliques featured on the antique purple jacquard bodice and tulle sleeves are embellished with delicate pearl beads.  The Swarovski® crystals used to complete this look are in antique pink, rose, and amethyst

Felicity particularly likes this version… she didn't want to give up the bows!

 

 

 

 

Posted on September 16, 2016 and filed under Doll Tutu.

Introducing Juliet

 

 

This week's Tiny Tutu was inspired by the fabric.  We had only a small bit of the brocade lingering in the stash from a Juliet dress made years ago (hence, the name) and long since sold to Homer Bryant of the Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center.  Sadly, we don't have a photo of the dress, for if we did, it would be featured right about here.  We also had a selection of ivory and rose tulles that seemed perfectly complementary to this brocade.  The off-the-shoulder sleeves are a result of playing with a variety of trim options that whispered what they wanted to be.  Yes, fabric and trims, especially lace, talk to us…. Sometimes it conveniently screams, other times, not so much.  The tiara was inspired by Lisa's work with lace tiaras for our rental clients.

 

layout pink lace tiara
Pink floral lace tiara

The Juliet is created from a pink and gold metallic brocade bodice and partnered with a skirt layered in ivory and rose tulles with gold enhancements.  The bodice embellishments and sleeves are comprised of peach-colored guipure lace embellished with sequins.  Matching lace pieces have been fashioned into a tiara on a peach-wrapped base.  The entire ensemble embellishment is completed with Swarovski® crystals in silk.

 
Posted on September 9, 2016 and filed under Doll Tutu.

Introducing Raymonda

This week's new design is Raymonda.  This Tiny Tutu is designed to emulate a full-sized tutu in our collection.  One of our clients was performing a Raymonda variation for Youth America Grand Prix.  Her choreographer told me, in her lilting Russian style, “Maybe something in a strong blue.”  So, I came home and started searching the stash because the volume is such there must be something suitable in my not-so-tiny collection.  I found the blue brocade and thought, “Ooooooohhhhh!  We can use this with a gold and blue skirt!”  Okay so far, but you have NO IDEA how hard it is to find blue and gold appliques we like to compliment this fabric.  Then Lisa, who admittedly has very little dance experience, questioned, “Will a tiara be appropriate with this variation?” while showing me a tiara design she was in the process of developing.  I said, “I don't care…. That is AWESOME!!”  So…. Long story short, we liked the finished design so well, we had to produce a tiny version, complete with tiara.

Raymonda is fashioned of a blue silk brocade with gold metallic accents.  The skirt is created from layers of gold metallic tulle and cobalt blue sparkle mesh combined with underlayers of various shades of gold and ivory.  The bodice is embellished with navy blue floral appliques paired with a petite gold center adornment.  Matching gold embroideries adorn the sleeves.  The ensemble is crowned by a gold lace tiara carefully hand-stitched to a navy-wrapped base.  Each piece in this Tiny Tutu costume has been enhanced with Swarovski® crystals in Dark Indigo and Moonlight.

We hope you enjoy this Tiny Tutu as much as we enjoyed creating it.

 

Posted on September 2, 2016 and filed under Doll Tutu.

Introducing Fantasy

To help celebrate our new online store, over the next couple of months, each week we will add a new tiny tutu and feature it here.  This week, the featured tutu is Fantasy!  


First, I need to say, blogging is not our strong suit; please bear with us as we figure it out.  Our goal is to keep you engaged without boring you to death, so make sure you let us know how we are doing.  We often get distracted and today our attention was drawn to the blooming hibiscus.  Isn't it beautiful???

Okay, back to business.

One fine morning, I went into the studio to work on the tiny tutus and happened to see the embroidered lace butterflies (many thanks to Urban Threads) stitched out the day before, intended for hair accessories, and thought “Ah-ha!” Could it be that the lace butterflies would fit perfectly to provide the ideal detail?  Knowing Lisa was on her way, I pinned a few in place, let them sit and I quickly went back to sewing skirts to bodices.    My unimaginative engineer husband happened to wander through (something he does when bored) and comment “Those are cool.”  Lisa was immediately more ecstatic in her reaction to the lace embellishment and started toying with the idea of making a smaller version to put into a headpiece.  Enter snowball moment… which will be saved for a later blog.

Fantasy features a two-tone mulberry silk dupioni bodice with coordinating organza skirt edged with multi-colored metallic thread, sitting atop layers of turquoise and grape tulle.  We stitched out the lace butterfly using the same metallic thread and then delicately hand-stitched it in place, enhanced with Swarovski® crystals in shades of heliotrope and vitrail light.  The matching flutter sleeves and headpiece are decorated with small embroidered butterflies and sparkle with even more Swarovski® crystals.

Next Friday, we will introduce another tiny tutu.  Please share your comments below, and if you have a special idea for a tiny tutu send us an email or find us on Facebook.

Posted on August 26, 2016 and filed under Doll Tutu.

Blue Swan Accessories

New from OCDivas, we are introducing our new line of Blue Swan accessories.  Available in a limited range of ready-to-purchase options or custom order to your specifications.  Our first products are a variety of nature-inspired hairclips and headbands.  We currently have a number of embroidered butterflies and hand-crafted ribbon flowers to choose from, all embellished with Swarovski® crystals.

 

Visit our store today and choose your favorite before they are gone.  As usual, standard shipping is on us!

Posted on August 19, 2016 .

Big tutus... little tutus... tiny tutus??? Tiny Tutus!!!

Kaleidoscope in progress

Kaleidoscope in progress

Tiny Luna moth replica.... SOLD!

Tiny Luna moth replica.... SOLD!

 

Have you ever wondered what we do when we are not working on a custom commission?  We create one-of-a-kind doll tutus.  Using the same quality materials we use for our full size versions, we craft doll tutus that reflect our love of beautiful things.  Each tutu represents something that inspires us.  It might be nature, or music, or an actual dance, or even a fabric or trim that we find.  We then choose fabrics and embellishments that evoke our inspiration.  Sometimes this includes designing and creating our own embellishments to realize our vision.  The look is then completed with the creation of sleeves and a coordinating hand-crafted hair ornament.  These ensembles will make any doll feel special or may be put on display to add a touch of elegance to your room, for these are designed as works of art.

Posted on August 13, 2016 and filed under Doll Tutu.

Photo shoot... Shoot me now!

Oh what a day!  Never imagined this particular day would be so exhausting.  Started out working on a few custom orders; kanzashi style hair bows, applying ribbon to the skirt of yet another child's special occasion dress, and attempting to organize the looks for an upcoming fashion show.  Then the team arrived and it was time to prepare for our most anticipated photo shoot:  to capture a few of our tiny tutus.   We were excited to have booked a model with previous ballet experience; at least that is what we were told.  When our new model, Felicity, arrived, we quickly learned the definition of difficult.  We thought working with tulle was a challenge, but then we met Felicity.  Now, we know some models can be demanding, but not only is Felicity demanding, she is outright stubborn, inflexible, and positively rigid.  Several times we requested she show off the tutus in a ballet position of her choice and all she did was take a stand against any position.  The only thing remotely balletic about her was her bun.  Thankfully, we had an entourage of dressers available to assist Felicity in her wardrobe changes, for she found them all to be quite disjointing.  Even with all these minor set-backs, we finished the day with some great pictures, showing the skill of our designers.

Posted on November 3, 2015 .