Curve Balls

Posted on March 28 2016

Curve Balls
Happy release Day!  There's always a special nervous energy and excitement for us on load days.  It's the culmination of all of our hard work and planning - and the behind the scenes stress - that we put into a design and pattern, and it's super rewarding.  
We would be lying if we said this was easy, or every dress comes out exactly how we envisioned.  All of our pieces start out as a sketch, and all of them change and evolve to some degree before you all see them--some change a lot, some are born mid-production!   Every facet of the production process involves a tremendous amount of decision making - from fabric, to trim, to liner, to buttons, to the way a sleeve falls on a child's arm.  All of these decisions typically happen months before these dresses ever hit the market, or grace your daughters' closets - some happen in the final hour!  
All of our patterns are custom made for us, and sometimes what we have in our minds, technically doesn't translate into a beautiful garment.  We are human and we are learning -- sometimes our brilliant ideas turn out to be...not so brilliant, and sometimes we pull some last minute solution out of our rears, and it turns out to be a home-run!  
We have learned over the last several months to always expect the unexpected, to be flexible, open-minded and to adapt.  When we get crazy bad news about a garment, it's typically always on a Friday afternoon at 4PM, we typically all panic, and then the three of us somehow manage to pull out some magic.   The last minute dresses we have made - because a vendor shorted us fabric, or we calculated incorrectly, or we simply hated the way a design looked in reality - have turned out to be our absolute favorites!
Do ya'll remember that little dress called the Americana was a happy accident.  The fabric we had slated for the 3rd color-way didn't work for the pattern, it was a mess.  The Charlie you guys were supposed to get was a beautiful gauzey berry burnout plaid (we LOVE plaid) ---our production manager said there is no way, no how this is going to work for this dress.  We freaked.  We panicked.  We cried.  Then we rummaged through a pile of bolts we had stashed and decided our only real option was to use the pink pinstripe.   At the time we were all pretty unenthused about it, too!  We found some vintage trim I had hoarded in a stack in my office - one of the few I had enough of to complete the units - and voila - Americana was born literally days before they cut fabric for production.  Turns out, we kind of love the Americana A LOT...I think it turned out to be our favorite of the three.
Do you have a BlueBelle Charlie?  Turn it inside out, that's the original self fabric for that dress.  Our team miscommunicated that we would like to sew all of our Bluebelles on the reverse side of the fabric - yes INSIDE OUT - I mean I guess that isn't a typical request.   We ended up scrambling to find new vintage trim because the original velvet we had chosen clashed horribly with the new darker blue Charlie...end result?  Kind of perfect!
Mr. McGregors... originally an all white all bunnies Easter amazing is that charcoal pinstripe skirting!?  
Lets talk about Pink Pemberley.  Rewind back to our design phase of the floral Tatums, we planned to offer Green Gables and Delta Blues.  They were both beautiful and perfect and we were super excited about them.  We got a call, on a Friday afternoon of course, from our production team that they were short fabric to meet our target production numbers.  Like way short.  We had to figure out something to supplement the numbers, and we needed it like yesterday.  Most of our fabric vendors take several weeks to process and ship the yardage we need--we were super panicked and disappointed that we wouldn't be able to make many dresses at all - and we loved this dress so much.
 We stumbled upon the newsprint bodice fabric around 10 pm, it was way over budget, and the supplier didn't have a ton of yardage...but we bought everything she had and did a happy dance that we could finally use this amazing pink chambray cotton we had stashed away for a rainy day.  Holy wow.  This dress, that was never meant to be, is seriously breathtaking, and better than we could have ever imagined.  Sometimes we joke that we should wait and order all of our fabric at the final hour...although, I think our husbands would probably have us all committed!
We hope you all love the floral Tatums as much as we do.  We are so excited to see them on all of your sweet girls.  They were worth every ounce of frustration and stress that we dealt with along the way.  In hindsight, we can laugh about these things now.   We are positive it won't be the last time it happens, and we are confident we will continue to rise above whatever this crazy world throws our way.  We cannot wait to show you girls our "final hour", "friday-night" Frankie...we think it is PURRRRR-FECT!
Jenn, Kris & Tammy
Some more photos from our Floral Tatum shoot and the super talented Analicia Herrmann, 

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