This has been another amazing week! I was sworn into the Kettering Arts Council, asked to teach and promote the “Makers Kit” at Wright Memorial Library, and approved to make 1910 period costumes for Carillons Historical park’s Culp’s Cafe.  I also pitched my idea to have a class at the Patterson Homestead House to Carillon and it seemed to go over well. Dayton dot com interviewed me for an upcoming article and The Silk Road in Cincinnati will be in touch with me soon about teaching my insta dress! There’s more, I have 3 secret dresses, 1 prom, 1 wedding and 1 for horror novelist JJ Philips that will be unveiled soon!

With so much in the future I decided to focus this post on a blast from the past. These Halter dresses were made before my blogging days. The halter neck dress is one of my most popular custom designs. History short version –  it was originally made for swimwear to maximize tanning on the back. In the late 40’s it gained popularity in dress wear.

This was a refashion of a kimono in 2010. I used every scrap although at the time I was not aware the technique of Japanese Boro existed.

This was my first national order where the client mailed me the fabric with his girl friends measurements.

Custom dresses for Diane!  Diane was one of my first custom repeat customers! I really loved making things for her.  She looks great in a halter top dress.

I still own this dress made in 2006, I have trouble letting this one go. I made it as a sample/model garment when I was a Hancock Fabric employee. That was my favorite part about working in a fabric shop. I could make whatever I wanted for free, it would hang in the shop for 6 weeks and then I got to take it home. I really learned a lot about sewing this way, hands on with no fear.

Autumn and Danielle, mother daughter team are both wearing the same design with different fabrics made by me. These two gals are priceless.

In my early days my younger sister, Sarah did a lot of my modeling. She was so easy to fit because I make just about all of my dresses a pattern size 10. Doesn’t she look amazing?

Artist love this style of dress. Here is fine arts painter Wendy Wager Harris and fine arts painter Jessica Roller wearing custom made halter dresses.

This is an outfit I made just for model, stylist and dear friend, Leslie Ruby Randall. I really should make this top again for summer.


















Dr. Who costume for a friends daughter.

Last, that is me! In 2008 we won a cruise. That is me in front of some Mayan ruins in Belize.

Behind the scenes~

My first embroidery with endless tea and scones class fully booked so fast that we made another listing. Sign up here !


Thank you for reading!

Tracy McElfresh

Tracy McElfresh is the owner of Tracy’s Sewing Studio LLC.
Tracy McElfresh

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