February 23, 2012
Posted In: Fashion | Sewing

Dress Success!

For those of you who don’t know, I have a side job as a custom seamstress and I recently did a project for Jessie Gilmor, who is a high school senior and aspiring future fashion designer.
Jessie has recently received some amazing news which she was so kind to share with me. With her permission, today I’m doing a blog post on her dress.

My initial contact call from Jessie was a conversation as to the extent of my capability to do a custom dress for a scholarship contest she wanted to enter for the Art Institute at Ft. Lauderdale, FL. In the official rules it states that the garment must be Jessie’s original design, but that the finished product could be manufactured by an outside source (this is where I come in.)

This is the pitch from Art Institute:

 Passion for Fashion Competition

Graduating high school students interested in either fashion design or fashion merchandising are eligible to compete for scholarships ranging from $3,000 to full tuition. Winners are selected on the basis of a garment design, product or plan, as well as an essay. One local winner from each Art Institutes location offering fashion programs advances to the national competition. 

Working closely with Jessie, I took her original sketch and sent her various sketches of my own until we were on the same page of what she actually wanted the final dress to look like. (It’s not always easy to draw what you mean, especially if you’re not an artist.) 

Just last week, Jessie emailed me with the results:  Her dress won the local scholarship and is moving onto the National Competition! 
I asked Jessie if she would mind answering a few questions that will reveal a little bit about her as a designer. My questions are in bold:
When did you realize you wanted to become a designer? And what other careers have you considered?
        – I have always loved clothing but it wasn’t until 9th grade when I started mixing Halloween stuff into my everyday style. I have also considered going into Graphic Design before I got into Fashion Design.
What are the three staples of your wardrobe?
        – Accessories, neon, and boots
 What is the one fashion trend you wish would just go away?
        – wearing your pants around your ankles or wearing denim jeans with a denim jacket or even worse…. with a denim shirt too X.X
 Is there a fashion trend you wish would come back in style?
        – 80’s neon, or 90’s-00’s pop fashion like the spice girls or A*teens etc, etc.
 Tell me a little about the creative process that goes into your designs. Where do you get your inspiration? And how did you settle on this particular design?
        – I don’t really have a “process”. I just draw my inspiration from anything and everything that interests me. I got the idea for the layers of fabric from a skirt I have. My mom bought it for me years ago and I never wore it until I decided to wear a hot pink petticoat between the outer lace and the lining. I liked it and got allot of complements in school and in public. I was originally going to use lace on the outer layer but then around Halloween I found the rainbow foil material and fell in love with it, lol.
 Is there a celebrity whose style you admire?
            -I am deeply inpired by Lady GaGa and Nicki Minaj.
 If you had to be buried in an outfit from your closet today, which outfit would it be and why?
        – Oh geez…… Please don’t make me choose! I would want to be buried with my ENTIRE wardrobe if I could, lol.

Jessie Gilmor

Congrats Jessie and good luck at nationals!


  1. Dani

    Cute dress! You guys pulled off a great design! Love it!

  2. Jenny

    that's awesome!

  3. Brinda

    Congratulations to Jesse AND to you! That is too cool.

  4. No One

    That dress looks like so much fun to wear! Awesome sewing job, and congratulations to both of you.

  5. Susan Flett Swiderski

    Congratulations to both of you. In no time, that talented young lady will be designing amazing clothes I can't afford.

  6. Connie Keller

    Wow!! The dress is gorgeous. You both did an amazing job. I can't wait to hear what happens at Nationals. Congratulations!!!!

  7. Jackie

    Beautiful work, as always. 😀

  8. Caryn Caldwell

    Wow! This is really cool! Best of luck to her. Sounds like she's going to do some great things!

  9. Sarah Ahiers

    Yay! congrats to both of you!

Who is Kimberlee Turley?

Kimberlee Turley grew up in California where she earned a degree in Fashion Design from FIDM in 2005. Soon after, she married her husband, who was neither Mr. Darcy nor Edward Cullen, but he’d read her atrocious first novel and said it was “good” with a straight face.

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