I hope you are enjoying the new year. I wanted to give you a little sneak peek of some of my new 2016 solids challenges and upcoming ones.

Why solids for 2016? Solids are easy to spot mistakes and great to show off craftsmanship. Using only solids I will need to really get creative and think outside the box.

These are simply sneak peeks, I will go more into making these dresses in the future.

Solids Challenge Tracy McElfresh

This was challenge #1. I replicated my double-knit polyester dress. I chose wool with organdy underlining. The inside looks as beautiful as the outside. I spent hours hand stitching everything perfectly.

Solids Challenge Tracy McElfresh Solids Challenge Tracy McElfresh

I love this rockin’ 60s dress!

Solids Challenge Tracy McElfresh

I keep all of my dress ideas in little note book and when a decision is made I keep a record in my sketch book. These are pages from my sketch book.

Solids Challenge Tracy McElfresh

Solids Challenge #2 I wanted to work with satin to make a fairytale, 1920s, Art Deco wedding dress. I also wanted to learn some new skills. I learned to miter lace, make American smocking, scallop fabric and make a fabric flower.\n\nI designed this dress from the ground up. No pattern was used. This dress will be a part of Kelsey’s “The Dig” Project. She is inviting Dayton artists to mail her pieces to display and sell their work.\

Solids Challenge Tracy McElfresh Solids Challenge Tracy McElfresh

#3 Solids challenge will be exactly the opposite. I was sincerely inspired by the Dayton Art Institute’s  Art Deco, Japan exhibit last January. I’ve been wanting to make an ultra sexy black fitted gown with an Art Deco, lace, inset, butterfly on the back top of the gown.

Solids Challenge Tracy McElfreshDayton Art Institute

I can’t wait to start this dress tomorrow.

Trip to Florida, Tracy McElfresh

Girls weekend, this morning I flew back from visiting my friend that moved to Florida, Brenda, with my other bestie, Kelly. The weather was unusually cold and windy all weekend.

My #4th Solids Challenge is inspired by the architecture and colors of beach houses.

Solids Challenge Tracy McElfresh

Here is my inspiration picture.

Solids Challenge Tracy McElfreshSolids Challenge Tracy McElfresh

The flowers on the top right are vintage handmade pillow cases from antiquing on my Florida trip. I was happy to add them to my project as they’re all solid hand stitched appliqué. I’m thinking they fit well in the waist band and cap sleeves. The stitching on them is exquisite. I hope to be that good someday.

Solids Challenge Tracy McElfresh

Whenever I go out-of-town I look for indie fabric shops like the one I co-own with Jesy Anderson, Sew Dayton. I was told not to even bother looking for one in the St. Pete, Tampa Bay area. On our way to St. Pete’s outdoor market I spotted a sign that said, “Flip Flop Quilt Shop“. We went and it also happened to be their grand opening. I hope to post a full blog of my adventure on Sew Dayton’s website soon. I took tons of pictures and got the full story from the lovely owner Andrea.

In other news, Dayton.com noted me personally and Sew Dayton as Best Instagramer’s to Follow.

Thank you for reading my blog.

Tracy McElfresh
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