BTS: American Girl On The Runway Round One (First Place)

Updated: Feb 5, 2020

Behind the Scened of Round One: Winter Theme

It was a dark and stormy night ...

Well, it was dark, at any rate. December 28th was a looooong day at the Dollie Dreams workshop. Christopher, our danseur, had just flown in on the red eye from touring with his ballet company, and the day of the deadline for Round One was the only day he had open in his schedule. He didn't have a costume yet - he didn't even have a pattern for his costume. It was going to be a long night.

Ellen and Lisa were both a little concerned, because Lisa's costume wasn't finished either ... it had been a VERY busy week, with Christmas just a few days before, and the first round of the contest was only a week long. Would the photo get done in time?

"Lisa, you look divine! Just one question ... those pins will be gone by the photo shoot, right?"

Making Christopher's Tunic Pattern

After getting measured and checking the fit of the tights, Christopher took a nap in the workshop while his tunic was being made. Lisa had to pause her fitting in order to give Christopher a chance to chat with Ellen about the details of his costume, and checked out her trial tutu skirt in the mirror.

"Can someone let me out of this? There are a million pins and I have to ... you know ... visit the um ... little room ... urgently!"

"Hey ... I'm still naked! When is this thing going to be done?"

Making Lisa's Tutu Pattern

Lisa's bodice took three attempts before it fitted just right. Make it up, rip it out, make it back up, rip it back out ... every seamstress knows the joys of ripping out. After several attempts at creating a gradual transition from the off white silk shantung bodice fabric to the nude tulle at the neck, the bodice was finally assembled with the pieced grey lace on it. The lace was around 7" wide at first, and was cut apart into motifs to create unique designs for Lisa's bodice and Christopher's tunic.

"That snowflake tutu has sharp edges! Anyone have some sandpaper?"

Ready for Bling ... at least for Lisa

Lisa, now in her completed tutu, gets to visit the Bling Department. Tension is high - it is getting late, Christopher STILL doesn't have a finished tunic, and his favorite coffee shop was nearly closed by the time he woke up from his nap and got his cappuccino and chocolate croissant order in. While Lisa surreptitiously nibbled on his croissant when he wasn't looking, Ellen sewed like lightning and finally got all of the pins out of Christopher's tunic.

"Will that glue be dry in time for the photoshoot?"

Bling ... and more bling!

Lisa had a quick photo taken of her five layer pancake tutu with its double hand pleated snowflake shaped top layer, silk shantung bodice and Swarovski crystals while Christopher was getting blinged. She also finished the last bits of the chocolate croissant while no one was looking. After all, Christopher had abandoned it ...

"I love the tutu but WHERE are my shoes?"

Finishing Touches - Dance Boots and Pointe Shoes

While Christopher was getting sparklier than he had ever been before, Ellen made the zip up dance boots with lace motifs. Lisa, trying to be polite, was stretching and getting warmed up for the photo shoot, going through their routine one last time to make sure it was perfect. As her old, broken down pointe shoes gave out a groan of complaint, she cast a nervous glance at Ellen to see if it was time for her new shoes to be tried on.

Finally, it was time!

"Christopher will never miss these lace bits ... can you put them on my shoes?"

Silver Pointe Shoes ... made in 12-1/2 minutes

In less than 15 minutes, Lisa had her pointe shoes ... with their pilfered trim. Admittedly, they did look great - so we decided just not to tell Christopher where the lace was SUPPOSED to have gone. After all, he had sparkly boots of his own.

"Those lights are as bright as the sun! And Lisa's bling is blinding me!"

The Midnight Photoshoot

Blinded by the bling - the costumes were done and magnificently sparkly, thanks to the Bling Department - shoes were on, dancers were warm and rehearsed, and everything fit properly. No more pins!

But it was after 11:30pm, and time was getting short. The set still had to be arranged and lit, the camera had to be set up ... at least the camera batteries were charged (don't ask about the LAST photo shoot...)

Fortunately, the set for the audition photo was still up, and just needed some rearranging. We all rushed upstairs to the film set in the loft, arranged the trees, camera, lights, dancers, and assistants and fired off a few shots. We said a quick prayer and rushed home to the computer to edit and upload the photos, and with a VERY gracious deadline extension, submitted them by 1:25am. Christopher was off to his next gig and Lisa was sound asleep.

Official Photo Submission - and WE WON ROUND ONE!!

A little Lightroom, a (very) little Photoshop, a pass through Snapseed for aspect ratio and filter, and we were uploaded! Hooray! Now the waiting begins.

"The results are in ... and Dollie Dreams won the first round by just a few votes!"

I was so surprised that we won - I am new to Instagram, after all, and Dollie Dreams was started less than a year ago. But I am elated! We had a celebration, and then cleared the decks to get ready for the next challenge! Happily, there are 10 days before it is due.

Victory! On to Round Two - Decades Theme

Click here to read about Round Two!

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