Archives for January 2021

Designing Your Wedding Gown

Where do you start when dreaming up your wedding gown? Well, there are many different places to start, but the most important is defining the essence of your dress. Are you going for a classic look, vintage, bohemian, sexy, elegant, bold, alternative, minimal or flashy look? Ask yourself, what is your style and what essence do you want to emit with your dress? 

From here you can begin to shape the vision of your dress. Once you have defined the essence of your wedding dress, selecting the details becomes much more intentional and intuitive. Do some research and find different images of wedding gowns that fit the essence you want. Check out social media, wedding magazines, blogs, or designer websites. Gather a collection of images you are inspired by and that fit the essence of your dress. You can make a few sketches mixing and matching inspiration from the different images you gathered. Try to pull together your favorite elements of the dresses you are most drawn to.

Now comes the fun! Selecting the details to truly define your wedding gown and create your vision. So I bet you are wondering, what exactly are all of the details to consider in a dress? Well, here are some of the main points to consider:

  • Silhouette Type – Mermaid, A-Line, Trumpet, Modified A-Line, Ballgown, Sheath, Tea length
  • Neckline – sweetheart, straight across, semi-sweetheart, v-neck, off-shoulders, Queen Anne, high neck, halter, bateau, jewel, illusion, square, asymmetric, cowl neck, scoop, grecian, and many more. 
  • Fabric – Silk shantung, taffeta, guipure lace, chiffon, point d’esprit, organza, satin, crepe, dupioni, batiste, brocade, charmeuse, damask, dotted Swiss, faille, gazar, georgette, mikado, moire, pique, tulle, velvet, voile
  • Train or No Train – Long train, medium-sized train, short train, no train
  • Bustle – French Bustle, Ballroom Bustle, English Bustle, American Bustle, Bow Bustle, Royal Bustle
  • Embellishments – lace appliques, beading, sequins, border trims, pearls, fringe, ribbon, crystals, edging, embroidery, gems, buttons

Before you know it, you will have a clear vision of your dream wedding gown! Now you can bring your wedding dress design to a dressmaker and truly bring your dream dress to life. Alternatively, if designing your dream dress seems daunting or intimidating, then consult your local dressmaker to help you dream up and design your wedding dress for you. If you work with a dressmaker they will collaborate with you every step of the way to ensure the details align perfectly with your vision. 

Master Dressmaker Jennifer Oberg is available for wedding gown design consultations and for creating custom wedding gowns. With over 20+ years of experience, Jennifer can help create the most complex, intricate gowns or the most classic, elegant gowns. Visit our gallery to see some samples or check out our social media accounts for past gowns. Email Jennifer at to book your appointment. Happy wedding gown designing! 

Sewing Lessons at JOA

At JOA we are passionate about sharing our love for sewing with the community. We believe there are so many wonderful benefits of sewing that can transfer to all areas of your life. Check out our previous blog aboutthe benefits of sewing here. The fun part about learning how to sew is that anyone can do it! As adults, we often lose the pleasure of learninga new skill or hobby. Sewing is the perfect solution to experience the feeling of learning something for the first time. It is so rewarding and satisfying!

One of the joys of teaching others how to sew is getting to see all of the beautiful things they create afterwards. Our past student, Meshay, created a whole collection of handsewn items as gifts for her family. Check them out below!

Words from Meshay about her experience with her sewing lessons:

My sewing classes with Jennifer were so much fun! I went into my first class not knowing much at all and in just a few weeks, I had completed the cutest twirling dress for my daughter. Jennifer was a fantastic teacher! She was encouraging and guided me through the entire process, answering any questions that I had. Since my classes, I’ve sewn many treasures for my family and friends. Hand made gifts are my favorite and I’m thrilled to be able to pour love into the gifts I give! Thank you, Jennifer, for being such an amazing instructor! “ – Meshay Christiansen , Sewing Student

Master Dressmaker, JenniferOberg, offers private sewing lessons at JOA for the beginner and intermediate level, ages 10-17 and 18+. If you are considering private sewing lessons, please get in touch with us. We would love to share our passion for sewing with you! Send us an email at or call (808) 757-5915 to book your sewing lesson appointment! Visit our Shopify to purchase your private lessons. Mahalo!

All About Bustles: Ballroom Bustle Part I

Good things come to those who bustle. If you aren’t familiar with bustles, we are here to tell you all about them and give you some examples of the many ways you can have your wedding gown bustled. In this first post about bustles, we will talk about what they are and we will share a ballroom bustle we created for a past bride.

What is a bustle?

You know the moment you watch the bride walk down the aisle at their wedding and you admire that beautiful train from the wedding gown trailing behind her? And then maybe some of you wonder, how on earth are you going to dance in that at the reception? And then the reception happens and perhaps you forget about that gorgeous, long train you were admiring earlier. 

Well, this is the beauty of a bustle. It transforms a wedding gown with a long train into a gown ready to take on the dance floor at the reception. The bustle brings up the train so it is completely off the floor. Bustles are both practical and fashionable. There are an infinite number of ways to bustle your gown. Every dress is very unique in regards to the bustle. Some dresses have just 1 bustle point and some can have 50 bustle points. The number of bustle points will depend on the length of the train and how complicated the train is. When you add a bustle to your gown, it is almost as if you have two different wedding gowns. Two for the price of one?! How lovely! 

The Ballroom Bustle

Below you can see some pictures of a ballroom bustle. Rather than creating the folds of a bustle on the outside, this bustle is created by bringing the train up completely on the inside of the dress. It is attached to the inside of the dress with hooks and eyes or ties and loops. The ballroom bustle is the most detailed bustle you can do on a big train because it takes dozens of bustle points to do it right.  I’ve done a ballroom bustle with up to 50 points on the inside. It is a wonderful option if you don’t want to have the look of bustle folds and pleats on the outside of your gown. 

The mother of the lovely bride pictured below, reached out to me and said the bustle worked perfectly during the reception. We were so happy! Stay tuned for future bustle posts where we will be sharing other styles and types of bustles. Happy Bustling!

5 Tips for Sustainable Fashion in 2021

In 2021, JOA has goals to promote more eco-conscious, sustainable, and green fashion. We want to start the year sharing some tips for greener fashion. We hope you join us in being more conscious about your fashion!

  1. Shop at secondhand stores – visit your local consignment or secondhand shops. There are so many hidden treasures, and lots of unique, vintage garments to be found. 
  2. Research the brands you are buying from – try to find out WHERE their clothes are coming from, and HOW they are being made. Look for ethical, sustainable, and eco-conscious brands. Try to avoid fast fashion when you can. It may be cheap immediately but the repercussions of  fast fashion outweigh that immediate great deal. Check out these 35 brands that are ethical + sustainable!
  3. Organize a clothing swap with friends – a perfect way to refresh your wardrobe! Get all of the clothes you are tired of wearing and have your friends do the same. Then organize a little event to swap clothes around between your friends. You will feel as if you just bought a whole new wardrobe but without the environmental harm of consuming more than needed.
  4. Upcycle your clothing – get crafty and restyle your clothing into something new. Add embroidery, beading, fabrics, new designs, etc. If you have a vision, but you need a specialist, get in touch with us. We would love to assist you in upcycling your clothing!
  5. Take care of your clothing – don’t over wash your clothing, hang dry when you can, use less detergent, and patch up any tears. Just simple care of your clothes can extend the life of your outfits to make sure they live a long life in your closet!

Join us in living more green this year! And please get in touch with us for any upcycling or clothing alteration needs. Send an email to us at Happy New Year all! We look forward to a greener future!