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 love@jenniferoberg.com 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 love@jenniferoberg.com 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 love@jenniferoberg.com. Happy New Year all! We look forward to a greener future!

Q&A: featuring local clothing shops of Maui

2.0 – Jasmine Bustamente, Owner of ÂME Maui, Paris

Continuing our Q&A series highlighting some of our favorite boutiques of Makawao and Paia is Jasmine Bustamente, Owner of ÂME Maui. In this series, you will hear about the passions and inspirations behind these local shops, some words of encouragement for the future, and reflections/lessons on navigating a business during the pandemic. Read all about what Jasmine’s insights and reflections below…

Q: Tell us about your shop, your ethos and your inspiration for starting your boutique!

A: ÂME Maui, Paris was born from Bulletproof Aura (Callie Mahoney) + Jasmine Honey Jewelry (myself) brainstorming ways to bring our own product and designs together as a collective as well as other artists and designers that are less known or not available on Maui. From that idea ÂME was born, just an online boutique and pop-ups for the first year, then we moved into a showroom for another year and now we have expanded into a proper brick and mortar in Makawao town. 

Q: How are you navigating your way through COVID-19 times?

A: Navigating through the pandemic has been interesting to say the least. I was fortunate enough to acquire our current location because our friends, Holoholo Surf moved into a larger space, so I wasable to move into their previous space. I wasn’t sure what to expect opening our first brick and mortar mid pandemic, but friends, family and the community have been very supportive. 

Q: What is the biggest lesson you learned from the pandemic so far?

A: The biggest lesson from the pandemic is being flexible and ready for anything.

Q: What can you share about sustainability and fashion?

A: It has always been important that everything is ethically sourced. I hand make all Jasmine Honey Jewelry pieces from start to finish so I understand the amount of work it takes. It’s important that the products at ÂME are ethically sourced and produced.  

Q: What is one product you are raving about right now in your shop?

A: The French vintage work bleus, popularized by French factory workers in the late 1800’s, they are highly coveted treasures hand selected by Callie in Paris.  We offer jumpsuits, overalls, trousers, and jackets, most pieces sell out almost immediately. 

Q: How can the community help your business and other local businesses impacted by COVID-19?

A: The biggest way people can help is shop local! Tell your friends and family to shop local, post your favorite places to shop on social media and there’s always the good ol’ coconut wireless. 

Q: What are you most looking forward to for the future of your shop and the community?

A: Pre pandemic we loved hosting pop-ups with lots of people & drinks flowing, we’re looking forward to the day we can do that again.

 

Thank you so much Jasmine for sharing more about your shop with us and how it has been navigating through the pandemic. We can’t wait to see what is next for your beautiful shop! As Jasmine mentioned, shop local to help your local businesses through these tough times. Check out ÂME in Makawao and support this amazing local business, or shop online through their website www.amemauiparis.com. Thank you Jasmine and stay tuned for the next Q&A! 

 

10 Reasons Sewing Makes Your Life Better

There are so many great life skills to have or to learn. Learning to cook, to do your taxes, to ride a bike, to make your own bread, to iron, etc.. One valuable skill that often comes in handy is learning how to sew! A button falls off of your favorite shirt or your pants get caught on an edge and rip or maybe you just want to make your own clothing design from scratch. The possibilities are quite endless. Nonetheless, it is so practical and fulfilling to be able to sew.

Apart from being incredibly useful to be able to sew, it is also great for your health and wellbeing. Checkout the 10 reasons sewing can brighten up your life:

  1. Body, Mind, & Spirit Connection – Sewing is a fulfilling exercise of connectivity between your body, mind, and spirit. Satisfying creativity, using your hands, and staying focused on your sewing project. Plus, you feel great once you’ve completed your project, knowing it was created by your own two hands!
  2. Improves memory – By memorizing many different steps, patterns, and techniques you begin to improve your memory in a fun and engaging way.
  3. Presence + Focus – Sewing is very meditative and peaceful. It can allow you to truly be engaged in the present moment, simply focused on whatever you are sewing. This can be hard today in our busy, busy world.
  4. Creativity – Sewing allows you to find another medium of creativity and self-expression in the clothes or items you wish to sew. The styles, patterns, or techniques you use can bring out a whole new side to your creative expression. Perhaps you design a whole new wardrobe designed by you! 
  5. Environmentally-conscious – Being able to sew allows you to recycle clothes more easily and to keep clothes longer by fixing up any wears or tears. Much of the clothes available today are produced by fast fashion companies who produce clothing that is not made to last. 
  6. Ethical Thinking – Once you begin sewing your own clothes you start to become more aware of WHERE your clothes or other products come from. It truly helps you cultivate mindfulness about shopping in general, ensuring what you buy is ethically sourced.
  7. The Perfect Fit – When you can alter and hem your own clothes, you finally can begin to appreciate clothes being able to fit your body perfectly, because let’s face it, our bodies were never meant to only fit into 4 different sizes.
  8. Screentime Detox – It’s difficult to avoid our screens, especially now that so much of our lives have gone virtual. Sewing is the perfect way to take a break from your screen and reconnect with the present.
  9. Finger Dexterity – Develop improved finger dexterity and fine motor skills through the nuances of learning to sew. Sometimes we take this skill for granted but it is so important for musicians, dentists, surgeons, and in a number of other careers. Sewing is a great way to improve this skill.
  10. Patience – patience is becoming lost in our world centered around ‘instant gratification’. This is truly a skill to practice and exercise, and sewing requires patience and a willingness to learn–both wonderful skills to carry with you!

Just some of the ways sewing brightens up our life! We hope you can find the same joy in it as we do at JOA. We offer private sewing lessons at the Atelier in Makawao. We would love to share this wonderful life skill with you! Get in touch if you would like to schedule a lesson. Email Jennifer at love@jenniferoberg.com. Mahalo!

Meet our Studio Office Assistant: Yasmine

Yasmine performing in Karen & Allen Kaeja’s work in London, UK.

Our Studio Office Assistant, Yasmine Lindskog, joined us this past September. She works behind the scenes at JOA doing administrative work, social media marketing, writing, and more. Aside from working with JOA, she is also a professional dancer and choreographer! Find out more about Yasmine in our Q&A below…

Q: How did you get interested in dance?

A: As a child I had so much energy! My parents put me in every activity, from softball to soccer to tennis to gymnastics to horseback riding to ballet. They put me in baby ballet classes when I was 4 years old and I loved it. I kept taking classes and started taking loads of different styles as I got older. I haven’t stopped dancing since! 

The early stages of ‘Places’ by Project Syntrex.

Q: What’s the most favorite dance you’ve been in or choreographed?  

A: This is such a tricky question, I have had so many wonderful experiences! Hmm one of my most memorable experiences was working for the multimedia art collective, Project Syntrex, in London, UK.  We were a group of artists living in London coming from Lithuania, China, France, and the USA. We spent a year developing and presenting a project that combined sound design, movement, and animations. What I loved about this project was the meeting point of art mediums, the DIY nature, its experimental essence, and the very humble beginnings of it all. We were working on a tight budget so our rehearsals jumpearound from an array of spaces: the Royal Festival Hall Cloakroom Foyer, classrooms in the University of London College, Studio Wayne McGregor, our kitchen, an East London Village Hall, and Guildhall School. It was fun to be jumping from space to space. We performed this piece in Haarlem, Netherlands, and at a few venues in London, UK. The piece in its entirety was performed at The Pickle Factory in East London. Definitely a fun and memorable experience!

Q: What led you to Maui?

A: A  close friend, Katie,  from my undergraduate was from Maui, we had lived together for three years in Long Beach, CA and collaborated on multiple projects over the years. When I was living in London, we would always talk and just start snowballing different ideas we had about art and dance. She called me one day in 2018, with this idea that I should come to Maui and collaborate with her on a project for Adaptations Dance Theater. I thought that was a wild idea, but the following day I called her back and decided to come visit for a period of time. I fell in love with Maui, its community, ADT, and the gorgeous nature.  I went home for the holidays and then moved in January of 2019 to start an exciting new chapter working for Adaptations Dance Theater and teaching dance for several schools across Maui. 

Q: What do you see in your future?  What are your goals for dance?

A: I see myself entering more collaborations and multidisciplinary projects. Recently, I have been experimenting more with finding movement through other art mediums such as film photography, sound/audio design, and video editing. Some future goals for dance are to choreograph/direct movement for an opera, an immersive art exhibition, a large-scale site-specific piece, and a film or tv series. I also want to continue to explore ways to make contemporary dance more accessible to people. I would love to develop an intergenerational dance company/art collective. And one day I would love to have a space of my own, a meeting point for artists, a place to experiment with new ideas, share, collaborate, create, and talk. There are so many possibilities, I am constantly stumbling into new ideas and areas of art that I want to explore. I especially love working for Jennifer and being more exposed to the fashion and design world. It has given me so much inspiration and new ideas to draw from! Thank you for welcoming me into the Atelier Jennifer! You are such a talented artist and inspiring boss! 

Thank you for sharing with us Yasmine! Find out more about her work at www.yasminelindskog.com. And check out some backyard dance films she made with her roommate Hallie during the pandemic. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram at @jenniferoberatelier to stay up-to-date with happenings at the Atelier!

Performing at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Artmixx in February 2020.

Inventing the Abbotts

Inventing the Abbotts + 1950s Dresses

When I worked in Hollywood, I made costumes for various films, tv shows, and private clients (you can see the full list here). Inventing the Abbotts (1997) was a fun assignment. I worked on a vintage 1950s dress for Liv Tyler which was worn in the dance scene. The dress was covered in a beautiful small flower trim. It turned out that the dress was too small for her. Our skilled costume shop team had to get creative to find a way to make it fit just right!

We ended up adding panels on the side to make it larger around the body. Then we went on a scavenger hunt for that vintage trim in one of Los Angeles’s enormous fabric stores. Guess what?! We found the exact same flower trim to match the dress! We carefully attached the new trim to the panels and blended it seamlessly with the old trim. It was perfect! The dress fit perfectly and you couldn’t even notice the difference where the new fabric and trim were added. 

Recently, we have been working with a client who had the same issue. She came in with an adorable 1950s style dress that was too small. We took fabric from the skirt and made clever panels on the sides to help extend the dress to fit her just right. It was the exact same problem we had with Liv Tyler’s dress. Steady, careful sewing by skilled artisans make this problem not a problem anymore. It is amazing how any dress–too small or too big–can be altered to fit just right.

Also, fun fact, Liv Tyler is the daughter of Steven Tyler who happens to live on Maui. It is a small world!

A story behind the gown

We worked with the award winning graphic artist, Wailani Artates of Artistry8, on a custom wedding gown a few years ago. Wailani came to me with a clear vision of what she wanted her wedding gown to look like. It is always such a treat to create and collaborate on a dress with another artist.

Wailani recently won her 4th Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award for the graphic designs of Amy Hānaiali‘i’s 15th album, Kalawai‘anui, alongside Kumu Hula and fashion designer Micah Kamohoaliʻi of Waimea. We did a Q&A with Wailani to chat more about her custom wedding gown inspirations and process, memories of her wedding, and about her recent award! Find out more below…

Q: What was your inspiration for your wedding dress?

A: Well, at the time, I despised anything sparkly and lace for some odd reason. My tastes were more structured, less traditional. I actually couldnʻt find a single silhouette that had this shape without sparkles. We even traveled to Oahu to find something that sufficed. 

Q: What was the dress design process like for you?

A: Being a designer, I literally took two silhouettes and photoshopped them together to create what was in my head. I then found Jen by googling “seamstresses on Maui” and was so lucky to have found her.

Q: How was it working together with Jennifer? 

A: She is the most amazing person, with or without a needle and thread in hand. We became fast friends andended up creating together at different capacities beyond my dress. She suggested this structured translucent fabric for the bottom half of the dress to provide some texture and it was gorgeous, something I didnʻt think of. She also created a bra in the dress because the back was low and it held up literally so well.

Q: What was your favorite memory from your wedding?

A: My favorite memory was seeing my husband cry when we said our vows. He is a reserved person and doesnʻt show his emotions publicly ever, but as he said his vows he cried. It was unexpected for me and such a beautiful memory Iʻll always hold dear.

Q: Can you share more about your recent win at the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards! 

A: Sure! The Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards is like the Hawaii Grammyʻs. Itʻs such an honor to just be nominated. Iʻve been nominated 7 times and won my 4th this year. The gravity of being a Hoku award winner is huge for me, being on a stage and holding an award that music legends my grandparents grew up with, music that we were raised appreciating, itʻs just so big for me and my family. Music plays such an important role in life, it takes you to a time in your past, an instilled memory. We create these memories for our children and music plays a big role in our day to day from morning jam out sessions to bbq live streams (these days). 

The other part of this event that I love is the fashion. Oh, the fashion!!! Jen and I should get together one year. Every year, my husband and I try to be thoughtful of the album Iʻm nominated for by being inspired by  the experience, the name of the album, or even the artist to honor them and that process in some way. We also love to honor our ancestors and Hawaii. One year we wore kapa, another lauhala. I took my daughter one year when it was too difficult for my husband to leave our baby, and we wore lā’ī (ti leaf) that was treated to look like leather. Always so fun to do it up and try to top it every year. 

We can’t wait to see what Wailani creates next! Such a wonderfully talented artist in the community. We wish you all the best with your beautiful family! Thank you for sharing your insights and reflections with us! Follow her Facebook Page to see what she is up to next: facebook.com/artistry8. And for any custom gown inquiries send us an email! Mahalo!

A story behind the gown

Often people ask if we only design wedding gowns, so we thought we would share more about the other elaborate dresses we have had the joy of creating! We collaborated with Maui artist Hermine Harman on a Queen of Hearts gown for the annual Imua Family Services Gala last year. The theme was the Carnival de Venice Mascheranda Grand Ball! We wanted to share more about this gown we created and the talented artist, Hermine. Find out more about Hermine, her artwork and the gown we collaborated on with her….

Q: Your artwork is often filled with vibrant and rich colors! Can you share with us your inspirations and influences for your art?

A: I love vivid, bright colors and gravitate to them because they light me up and make me happy! [Influences include] My garden, my home, my beach walks, flowers, animals, travel and photography. 

Q: We collaborated on a Queen of Hearts gown for a Gala you attended. The gown won Best Costume that evening! Can you share more about this event and your glamorous outfit? 

A: The fabulous Queen of Hearts gown was created for the annual Imua Family Service Fundraiser last year. They throw the most fun, exciting event on Maui and raise a lot of money for this worthy organization that supports children and families with challenges. The theme was Venice. I was thrilled to be the winner of a weekend at The Hyatt with a couples massage and a sunset dinner on the Beach cooked to our order. The challenging part was walking, climbing onto stage and learning and dancing the minuet! Working with such a talented artist [Jennifer] who was very detail-oriented was a creative, warm pleasure!  Fittings were just simple. The mask I wore, I had purchased in Venice more than a decade earlier!

Q: What art project(s) are you currently working on? What is driving your artwork today?

A: Currently I’ve completed the first three series of a collaboration with Liat Choucroun soon to be shown at the Enchantress Gallery by Bootzie in the Shops of Wailea. Other new work in my Mid-Century Modern series completed during the pandemic will also be on my new wall at the same gallery. I’m also taking another class from my mentor, Nick Wilton during this time. During Covid I competed nearly 20 pieces.

To find out more about Hermine Harman and her wonderful artwork visit her website at www.hermineharman.com. Also, if you are on Maui go check out her new series being presented at the Enchantress Gallery by Bootzie in the Shops of Wailea! If you have any elaborate, intricate gowns or costumes you are dreaming up, get in touch! We would love to help bring your vision to life. Mahalo Hermine for sharing your art and reflections with us. We can’t wait to see your new series!