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Inaugural Gown

Ocrafty1's picture

I am so excited! I can't wait to see Michelle Obama's gown. The anticipation is driving me nuts!! LOL  I just heard on the Today show that her designer has been one from Chicago, but they didn't say who it would be for 'the gown.'  They also said that it is always nearly a state secret. I know there was a discussion about what she would wear as First Lady here earlier, but I can't find it ....so I thought I'd start a new one.


I really hope that Threads does an in depth article in an upcoming magazine.  They did one about Hilary's purple gown, back, I think, in '92.  It was very informative, and inspired me to look into more couture techniques, as well as discovering that there are tricks to the foundation of special garments that the pattern companies don't begin to address. Having learned most of what I know on my own, I had no clue.  When I look at the gowns I made for my daughters, I cringe at the way I did some things....sewn in chenille stems to stabilize a bodice neckline....OMG! LOL!! Had never heard of using tape! Boy, have I learned a lot from Threads!!!!


Wouldn't it also be nice if the pattern companies...especially Vogue...would include more of that info in their instructions? Most of the other companies seem to be geared toward beginning/middle level sewers.  It didn't used to be that way. Most of my vintage '40's through '60's patterns from McCalls do include instructions that tell to do padding stitches, etc., but the newer ones do not. I know the pattern companies try to make things easier...but there has been something lost in the techniques. Some of the Vogue patterns that I have seem to be geared toward advanced sewers, but don't tell how to do the secret tricks that are touched on in Claire Schaffer's "Couture."


Also, I wonder who/if will do a knock off pattern of the inaugural gown.  Can't wait.......!!!!!!!!!!


Deb

kbalinski's picture

(post #24340, reply #1 of 43)

Me, too! I'm sitting here with the TV on (getting no work done!) waiting to see "The Dress".  I agree, it would be nice to see the commercial patterns address those of us slightly more skilled than the beginner sewist, and throw us some challenges and instruction of their own. 


Kristine in Michigan

Ocrafty1's picture

(post #24340, reply #2 of 43)

I just finally got to see a fairly decent view of the gown.  I'm not that impressed. I thought she'd have more jewel tones.  It looks like it has feathers on it, but I can't tell for sure.  The views of the gown have been less than stellar.


I thought the dress and coat she wore earlier today was beautiful.  I'm not sure, but it looked like the dress didn't fit her very well in the hip area.  It seemed to have 'smiles'.  I watched the inauguration for most of the day.  The dress pulled each time I saw it.  The fabric was gorgeous and I'm sure the workwomanship is fantastic, but I was disappointed in the fit. I am thrilled that she used an unknown designer, a woman originally from Cuba who is now in Chicago for that dress.  And she used a young designer who, at least, studied in New York, for the ballgown.


Deb

fabricholic's picture

(post #24340, reply #3 of 43)

I haven't seen the gown. What color is it?

kbalinski's picture

(post #24340, reply #4 of 43)

Ivory or White.  Little feathers embellished the bodice and skirt.


I wasn't that thrilled with it, either.  I liked Mrs. Biden's gown much better, actually.  I just thought the shape of it wasn't that flattering.  Just my opinion...


On the other hand, I thought his speech today was fantastic.  I want to make a banner for my classroom: "Yes, we can.  Yes, we will.  But, we must work together."

MaryinColorado's picture

(post #24340, reply #5 of 43)

I was shocked that our new First Lady, Mechelle Obama's gown wasn't as flattering as the clothes we have seen her in so far.  I think she does better on her own.  President Obama's tux was not well fitted either, one shoulder puckered at the top, the sleeves looked like the fabric had been cut wrong,  the waist area and sleeves wrinkled every time he moved!  They both are usually so perfectly tailored!  I hope they never use those designers or seamstresses again!!!  So sad, they deserved excellence.


I am so happy it all seemed to go pretty smoothly, albeit the schedule was off a bit.  They will be so exhausted when they finally get tucked in tonight.  Then, who could sleep?  What grand exciting times! 


I am thrilled and hopeful about the future for the first time in 8 years!  Yahoo!  I pray for their safety and success and of course, for world peace one day!

Cityoflostsouls's picture

(post #24340, reply #43 of 43)

I had up an old Gatherings post but wanted to ask you if you had noticed that a coat Michelle Obama wore on her European trip seems to have been cut from the same design as the beautiful green-gold outfit she wore on Inauguration Day?  Her clothes can be lovely-sometimes.  I was very disappointed in her Inaugural dress-both color and style  The block print dress that received so much criticism  really was not the problem-she added a matching sweater that ruined the look.  I'd like to see that dress without that sweater.  I appreciate the fact that she wears her own style-its a breath of fresh air after the "uniforms" that most of the first ladies wear. I have a red and black block print dress that I love but I would never wear anything over it that would distort the look of the block print. I prints-I've never bewen able to wear prints-just me I guess.

Cityoflostsouls
GailAnn's picture

(post #24340, reply #6 of 43)

I thought Mrs. Obama's dress and coat for the were lovely. 


Did you notice that she had a scarf tucked into the coat?  I think any wrinkling or ill-fit could be explained by her desire NOT to wear a Winter coat over her dress....I think both coat and dress were underlined and lined for warmth.  It was probably a comprimise of style and warmth. 


This morning the "Fashion Diva's Blog" points out that since her leather gloves were green, perhaps the dress was not yellow, but rather a light yellowish-green.  Fashion Diva's also note, Mrs. Obama was wearing a cardigan under the coat.


No one wants our First Lady home in bed with a cold for the first 9 days of her tenure.


Sorry both Mr. and Mrs. left their hats at home.


As for her ball gown.  What is it with these one shoulder gowns?  Mrs. Reagan tried it, and it didn't do her any favors.  It is only the rare fashion model who can effectively wear the one shoulder. 


I agree Jewel tones may have been a better choice. 


Perhaps she could have looked even lovlier, but OUR PRESIDENT AND FIRST LADY DID US PROUD!


FYI:  I voted Mr. McCain, but Mr. Obama has my full support today.  Gail


Edited 1/21/2009 8:03 am ET by GailAnn

paddyscar's picture

(post #24340, reply #7 of 43)

There are great photos of all Mrs. Obama's outfits worn throughout the day, including a close-up of the fabric of her ball gown http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2009/01/20/us/20090120-INAUGURATION_11.html

I liked the purple coat she wore at some point during the celebrations - very stylish and flattering.

The coat and dress for the ceremony were described somewhere as lemon-grass, and I think it looked great with the sage green gloves. The style and knit lace were lovely. As a life long sewing enthusiast, the whole thing was brought way down (in my opinion) by the poor choice made for the lining. I would never have lined an outfit of that calibre and style with a colour that went with nothing else she wore, and it wasn't complimentary to the colour of the outfit.

Ocrafty1's picture

(post #24340, reply #9 of 43)

I found this site by googling 'Michelle Obama inaugural gown'.  It has a great close up of the skirt.   I really like it much better. I think she could have done a lot better. The strap looks like it was barely attached in the back. It looks like it in the pix on this site, too.  As I watched the First Couple dancing, I kept expecting it to break at any time.  There are also nice pix of Mrs. Biden's gown.


http://thisweekwithbarackobama.blogspot.com/2009/01/michelle-obama-inaugural-gown-pictures.html


I just think it looks like a prom gown instead of a gown for the First Lady.  Maybe it is a little too young for her, could be the fabric choice and not just the style...but I think it is both.


Deb

damascusannie's picture

(post #24340, reply #10 of 43)

I've been pondering Mrs. Obama's clothing choices throughout the campaign and what I've really seen are inconsistencies. I think that she is a woman who has no set style (she's been focused on career--both her own and Barack's--and she's still sort of finding her way.

I'm seeing a bit of a trend toward mimicking Jackie Kennedy, the cut of the swearing in dress and coat, with the little cardigan was sooo late 50s-early 60s, but the color, and the darker green gloves and hat, were certainly instances of her own personality coming through. She has an imposing presence and a bit of a challenging figure, especially if she wants to wear designer styles, which are made to look best on stick figure runway models.

While I don't think that the ball gown is memorable, it's better than the black and red disaster she wore at the National Convention. I think she must cringe every time she's photos of that one. Mrs. Obama doesn't need a lot of fussy details on her clothing. I think that simple cuts, solid colors ( she can have some fun with them since she seems to be able to wear ANY color) and accessories with some "wow" factor will serve her best. However, when she's with the President, I think that she should tone things down a bit. She's an incredibly dynamic person in her own right, and she's actually a bit taller than he is when she wears heels, so I think that she needs to take that into consideration when they are appearing together.

I didn't think that Mrs. Biden made a great choice either. It was flattering, it fit her correctly, but did anyone else think she looked a bit like a pageant queen? I would have much preferred to see both women in simpler, more elegant dresses.

Annie in Wisconsin, USA
~~Doodlestein Designs Quilt Patterns
~~Finely Finished: Machine quilting worked on a treadle sewing machine.
See patterns, quilting, and National sewing machines at: http://community.webshots.com/user/damascusannie


Edited 1/22/2009 10:22 am by damascusannie

Annie in Wisconsin, USA ~~Doodlestein Designs Quilt Patterns ~~Finely Finished: Machine quilting worked on a treadle sewing machine. See patterns, quilting, and National sewing machines at: http://community.webshots.com/user/damas...
paddyscar's picture

(post #24340, reply #11 of 43)

Hi Annie:

"it's better than the black and red disaster she wore at the National Convention"

At last, another lone voice in the wilderness! I can not see what people saw in that dress, which only served to highlight her lower half.

Paddyscar

damascusannie's picture

(post #24340, reply #13 of 43)

Maybe I'm hypersensitive about this sort of thing, but I've had seven kids and my hips and stomach are no longer features that I want to draw ANY attention to! I would never, in a trillion years have worn that black and red dress.

Annie in Wisconsin, USA
~~Doodlestein Designs Quilt Patterns
~~Finely Finished: Machine quilting worked on a treadle sewing machine.
See patterns, quilting, and National sewing machines at: http://community.webshots.com/user/damascusannie

Annie in Wisconsin, USA ~~Doodlestein Designs Quilt Patterns ~~Finely Finished: Machine quilting worked on a treadle sewing machine. See patterns, quilting, and National sewing machines at: http://community.webshots.com/user/damas...
ThreadKoe's picture

(post #24340, reply #14 of 43)

IMHO the new first lady is one of a kind. She seems to break the mould as far as expectations go. She did not wear a traditional ball gown by any means. What I think what she was aiming for was a very feminine, fairytale type dress. It reminded me of the sort of costume that fairies or other mystical type creatures might wear to the ball. It worked for me in that light. Cathy

joyfulneedles's picture

(post #24340, reply #15 of 43)

Just a side note.  On one news show I heard the lemongrass dress and coat were lined for warmth, no specifics.  And they showed the green heels she wore with it.  I think the shoes were on Extra.  They were showing how you could find a lower priced copy.  They were pitiful (the copies. As if any yellow dress and coat with a scarf will do. 


I didn't know till yesterday that those bumps on the dress were feathers.  I am also guessing that dressing for and event where your clothes are seen in person must be entirely different that for film and photos. 

Stillsewing's picture

(post #24340, reply #16 of 43)

Whatever about the clothes, it was a great day on Tuesday and it is a great time to look forward to a bright new future both to US citizens and to those of us in the rest of of the world. Can I say congratulations and best wishes from an interested bystander who watched enthralled, the whole ceremony on Tuesday. May God bless them and keep them safe, and may the President be enabled to carry out all his policies and move his agenda forward. End of politics. Its just that I do not know any US people personally to congratulate so I have to do it here to my on line friends.

NansiSews's picture

(post #24340, reply #17 of 43)

Whether we liked the gown or not, is any one else out there wondering why she didn't have  it bustled at some point for dancing?  just curious, as I do bridals and proms.

Ocrafty1's picture

(post #24340, reply #19 of 43)

I wondered the same thing.  If her designer didn't know she was wearing it for dancing, he probably wouldn't have bustled it.  But she was stepping on it everytime she turned around, just to change directions.  I wasn't impressed.  I thought there were feathers on the dress, but according to what I've read, they were just 'embelishments' of chiffon or something like that....pretty, but too immature looking for a First Lady.  She's not 25 and she needs to dress like a mature woman who is representing our Country.


Deb

suesew's picture

(post #24340, reply #40 of 43)

I, too, wondered why the ball gown had a train when she was going to be dancing. It would have been just as lovely without it. I also thought the coat she wore in the morning wasn't cut well. It just hung open all the time and I kept wanting to pull it up at the shoulders so it would hang closed and keep her warm.

miatamomma's picture

(post #24340, reply #41 of 43)

In this week's NEWSWEEk there are two large pictures of Michelle Obama in her dress and coat ensemble.  The first picture looks as if the left edge at her waist has been stretched.  In the second picture that same area looks as if it wants to turn out or stick out.  I thought maybe this happened when she tried to hold it together during the parade but these pictures are taken before that.


Sue

tcsewhat's picture

(post #24340, reply #42 of 43)

I am chuckling at everyone who says the white gown looked like a prom gown.  Obviously, you have not been to a prom lately.  DH is a HS teacher and we chaperone.  Prom gowns are all tight, revealing and bright colors.  Most have no straps at all and it is a wonder they stay up.  I know most girls use tape to keep their dresses on. 


The first lady's gown was nothing like a prom gown- maybe from when we went to the prom 30+ years ago.


I think it needed some work, but I liked it.  The sparkly bits were great and made the gown float.  But the one shoulder strap looked like an afterthought.  Jason Wu needs to work on that one.  And it should have been shorter or bustled, so she could dance.  I don't like strapless dresses on women over 35- looks like they are trying too hard.  So I was not fond of Jill Biden's dress. Did like the color though.


I heard both designers, Wu and Toledo interviewed on the Today show.  I got the impression that they knew she had their clothes- but no real idea of what she intended to wear them for.  And they knew she had similar stuff from other designers.  So there could not have been a lot of personal fitting and consultation.  They were both surprised to see she chose their clothes.  I think if they had know she was definitley going to wear their designs, they would have put more work into perfectly the fit and adapting the styles to work for her. But apparently the secrecy thing got in the way.

scrubble4's picture

(post #24340, reply #31 of 43)

joyfulneedles:  Yes it was lined first with wool and then with silk.  I think with the dress and coat so lined and the cardigan she wore underneath she probably was warm.  I know from biking in cold, rainy weather that putting on layers is a much better shield against the cold than on layer of something that should keep me warm.  Even really thin layers of cotton knit work.  In addition there must have been a lot of joyful warmth pumping through her body.  She didn't look cold to me she looked exhuberant. 


I would have worn something warmer myself, because I am always cold.  I celebrate that she could look so amazing on a day the rest of us would be bundled up.


Scrubble4

joyfulneedles's picture

(post #24340, reply #32 of 43)

Our new first  lady did look exuberant.  I was also glad to see the way they hold hands.  They both look very relaxed and comfortable in the spotlight.

scrubble4's picture

(post #24340, reply #33 of 43)

joyfulneedles: 


Yes they look like they like and respect each other.  Even with a large number of secret service folks to open and close their doors, I noticed President Obama escorts his wife to her side, opens and closes her door before going to his side to enter their car.  I think there are many ways this family is going to set new standards for us.  I look forward to it being the trend for children to be respectful to their parents while parents support  their children through challenging situations.  I look forward to it being the trend for husbands and wifes to show respect, courtesy and kindness to each other.  For a long time now it has been cool to be rude and ego-centric as well as indulging children about little things but letting them fend for themselves with truly traumatic or unique situations. 


I know they are just one family but in setting a tone for respect and kindness to those closest to them it will ripple out.  Vice President Biden and his wife also seem very much in love, kind and respectful to each other.  The world is not just suffering from greed in the financial world to me it seems we have been suffering from egocentric greed as well. 


I look forward to watching not just what the Obamas and Bidens do, but the effect it has on the rest of us in our day to day interactions. 


Scrubble4

frygga's picture

(post #24340, reply #39 of 43)

>>>>>>there are many ways this family is going to set new standards for us. I look forward to it being the trend for children to be respectful to their parents while parents support their children through challenging situations. I look forward to it being the trend for husbands and wifes to show respect, courtesy and kindness to each other. For a long time now it has been cool to be rude and ego-centric as well as indulging children about little things but letting them fend for themselves with truly traumatic or unique situations.

You put this so well. I so agree. For years there has been dysfunctionality in behavior in so many areas. I could go on about this but I won't! The Obama family is such a relief to me.

sewelegant's picture

(post #24340, reply #35 of 43)

Let's not forget that this woman has been conditioned by the Chicago Winters.  I grew up in Montana and still get teased about their Siberian winters, but I have never been as cold as I was the two years I lived in Chicago and felt that wind whipping off the Lake in January! 

Ocrafty1's picture

(post #24340, reply #18 of 43)

You're not alone...I commented about that dress when she wore it too.  Awful!  Let's hope she gets some GOOD advice about fashion....maybe Tim Gunn could help her out, but I'm afraid she is probably pretty opinionated about what she wears.  Oh, well.


Deb

frygga's picture

(post #24340, reply #20 of 43)

I seem to be in the minority. I absolutely loved Michelle's outfits and especially the ball gown. It was different, interesting, not a cliche, and perhaps one thing I loved about it is that I personally could never have worn it! I am less than five feet and pale---that fabric would have made me look like a walking puff pastry because even though I'm not chubby, it would have made me look more horizontal. But Michelle, with her fabulous six feet!! She can carry off that fuzzy-look fabric (with the embellishments, it wasn't exactly slimming) without looking fat, and her powerful toned shoulders were beautifully shown off by the one-shoulder structure. In addition, the vanilla color was a wonderful contrast to her chocolatey skin. Very striking and not conservative or boring or out of the box, and told me a lot about her as a person---as if I didn't already know---that she's individualistic and confident and powerfully womanly.

The yellowish-green leather gloves accessorizing her morning outfit said the same thing to me. The light lemony coat-and-dress ensemble was conservative (to this eye), but the extra color note says to me, "I'm creative." I love interesting color combos, always have ever since I started dressing myself in junior high school.

I like very much the clothing she picks for her girls, too. It's always lovely and appropriate, elegant and never trendy, very classic.

It's going to be an interesting eight years.

Teaf5's picture

(post #24340, reply #21 of 43)

"A walking puff pastry"--hilarious!

I thought the gown made her look thicker through the middle, but it draped in a lovely, fluid way when she moved even slightly. She'd been standing and walking in pumps for more than twelve hours, so a gown that gave the illusion of movement must have been great for those ten different dance excerpts at all those balls!

The daytime outfit was beautifully made, but I was surprised by how much she had to fiddle with the coat all day long. After years of teaching, I always make sure that I can put something on and have it stay in place no matter how I'm moving. Before wearing anything new, I put it on and putter (neatly) around the house for awhile to see what needs to be fastened, simplified, or maybe replaced for better wearability.

On Michelle's coat, I would have pre-tied the lovely ribbons and then stitched them on top of a functioning silk-covered hook/eye or magnetic closure or an interior button/buttonhole. Some additional weights in the bottom of the coat hem would also have help keep her covered and warm. D.C. is rarely, if ever, warm in January, so a more secure coat would make more sense.

frygga's picture

(post #24340, reply #23 of 43)

Teaf5, I'm so glad you brought up the idea of magnetic closures. I've had them on better handbags, but never sewed with them.

I recently have been reworking some ready-to-wear light jacket tops, and finding they're not cut correctly to hang correctly in front---they sag and gap at the top of the buttoned placket---and struggling to find ways to position hooks-and-eyes to correct the hanging. I realize now, though, that perhaps a magnetic closure might have been an option, too. Can you or someone else speak to this? Have you used them?

starzoe's picture

(post #24340, reply #24 of 43)

For jackets that need closures for a better fit, I have used the silver interlocking closures that are used on Scandinavian costumes or on Scandinavian sweaters. They come in a number of sizes and are simply sewn on. I get mine at a specialty button shop, or you might find them in yarn stores.