Dress Designing (Getting Started!)




I'm so excited to begin sharing tiny weekly updates about the creation of my upcoming dress line for Red Velvet (it comes out on March 1st!). So, here's the skinny…. last autumn Mallory contacted me to apply for an internship at Red Velvet. She had noticed this blog post and wanted to be involved in the creation and production of our first in house dress line! We worked out details and have been communicating long distance (she's a fashion student at DAAP in Cincinnati) all season. This past week she arrived for her ten week internship and we immediately jumped in. 

Here's what we've done so far…I sketched 12+ dresses (as seen above in sketches plus many more and tons of revisions since then…), we narrowed down the designs to our favorites, spent hours upon hours searching for the perfect fabrics, Mallory has been making the patterns and stitching samples and we already have quite a few of those underway. This coming week is designated for finishing patterns and stitching samples as well as testing fabric colors and prints. Plus I am working on a similarly styled accessory line. 


Say hello to Mallory! She'll be a part of our team for the next ten weeks.♥ Next week I'll share fabric samples and color inspiration. Thanks for peeking at our progress! It's a huge dream come true. elsie

  • Very informative posts on fashion designing, it is really help full and good.:)

  • These are all very beautiful, I like very much


  • Have a great 10 weeks together! I live in Cincy so I am excited to learn Mallory is attending to UC.

  • How AWESOME! I find Mallory’s ambition and initiative quite inspiring. She knew what she wanted, saw an opportunity to make it happen, and went for it. Good job! I wish her much luck for the future.

    Can’t wait to see what you guys put together!

  • Ooooh number 3 labelled “Pen Pal” Is one of my favorites, and it’d do wonders for your waist. I can’t wait for it to come out! Good luck!

    <3 Deanna

  • this is very very cute! i’m in love with them all! so pretty and colorful. exciting and inspiring! THANKS!

  • i’m so excited to see what you have to come.

    you’ll be umazing 🙂

    xo christina

  • So very exciting for you, and for Mallory, too! I’d DIE for an internship with you at Red Velvet….even though I’m too old, and I’m a mom of two and that’s just a pipe dream at this point 🙂

  • if I remember correctly, you once offered an e-course for opening your own small business, do you still offer this?

  • how exciting 🙂 i cant wait to see and hear more about the venture!!



  • What a smart lucky girl Mallory is! What a great time for both of you! Can’t wait to see what you come up with! (as always!)

  • Squeal!!!! My father is the Director of Art Education at DAAP in Cincinnati, so I just loving hearing such awesome stories about DAAP students!

  • what a great internship- mine was not nearly as much hands on. not to mention how great to work with someone so business savy! good luck with the new line, I’m looking forward to it!

  • Hey Mallory! I met my husband at DAAP in foundation design drawing class ; )and now he adjunct teaches there (in I.D.) And we’ve hired our own co-op this quarter too, a digital design major senior named Tim. Good for you for taking the initiative in contacting Elsie and landing such a sweet gig! Yay!

  • Oh Elsie! I sure hope number 11 (pie date) makes it into the mix! Hope to hear lots more about Mallory in the future. <3

  • Hello Mallory! 🙂 Hello Elsie!

    Guys, can I ask you for a favor? Could you please, at your web store, put some size mesurments in EU sizes. Or just in USA sizes, like “size 8”, it would help a lot. A lot. Because now, I have to do mesuring for every peace I love at your store, and honelstly — I don’t want to spend time mesuring and transfering from centemeters to inches/ inches to centemeters evry time for each dress! so I go way without buying anything. But, if you could just put “size 8 usa” it would help so much. Because I know what size 8 is in european (EU, as there is diffrence between UK, EU and Italian size mesurments)sizes.

    Could you please consider it?

    New line looks great! Good luck with it! Looking forward!

  • This is such an inspiring project! I love your blog because you are a fearless example of someone making their dreams come true. You do things that I want to do but limit myself out of fear. Reading your blog makes me feel like I can live my dreams, too! 🙂

  • These should be lovely! Can’t wait to see what great pieces you end up with.

  • I really love this Elsie! I’m amazed at all you do. It would be so cute if when the dresses are sold the tag had one of your sketches of the dress on it!

  • Thank you for sharing this! It’s very interesting! Not too many fashion designers give behind the scenes peeks. It will be fun to watch the progress! 🙂

  • welcome, mallory!!!

    elsie, your sketches are so adorable. i can’t wait to see them in person!

  • Looks awesome!! I absolutely love fashion sketches. I wish I could do better ones- i’ll keep working on it 🙂 Can’t wait to see the final products!

  • Hi, Mallory! We all are anxious to see the result of this lovelypartnership. Welcome and luck!

  • You have such a cute style of sketching! I have the same serger, it’s so great. I love that there are so many adjustments, so you can get the exact stitch that you want.

  • So exciting to see my ‘little one’ Mallory pursuing her dreams! Good luck on the dress line ladies! We’ll be following closely in the KY and OH 🙂

    XO, lots of love,

    Big Sis Sarah

  • I’m excited! I love that bold black and white striped one! Best wishes with your new project!

  • They’re beautiful and I’m looking forward to reading more about the line as it progresses. Best of luck.

  • Congrats Mallory from a fellow DAAP fashion grad! So excited to see the beautiful stuff you ladies come up with!

  • love love love this! and i love those drawings! you should really think of making prints of them 🙂 because homegirl over here would totally buy one. just saying 🙂 good luck on the dress making!!

  • NIce to meet you Mallory !i am needing a cute new spring dress–excited to see what you create girls!

  • I love library and pie date!!!
    If anyway can get a clothing line up and running, it’s you Elsie!

  • Hello Mallory! This is pretty friggin’ exciting! Can’t wait to see everything! Yahoo!

  • Ohh what creativity – looking forward to watching you dress line come together. Every best wish.

  • That’s so exciting for you! I am sure the results will be amazing! Good luck.

  • The sketches look magical.
    I am so so so excited to see the final outcome.
    This dream of yours is coming true, and I am happy to watch it in the making. 🙂


  • This is wonderful!!! I’m so looking forward to seeing the line – the sketches are adorable. Also – please feel free to contact me if you ever have any questions about creating or running a fashion label. I’ve had my sustainable fashion line, Mountains of the Moon, for 10 years now (and am a new reader of your lovely blog!).

    Mountains of the Moon and Bubby & Bean

  • I went to school for apparel design and work as a designer in a corporate setting, but I’ve not created a full line since college. The thought of cutting and sewing all of those dresses sounds terrible to me. I think I might need a Mallory in my life, too!
    You two are going to have so much fun working on this project together. I’m excited to see more!

  • Welcome Mallory!! Your are in the midst of a wonderful opportunity, make the best of every second.

  • I love it, it reminds me of when we were young and all the dreams you had. Its so exciting watching you achieve so many of them! love ya and miss you! -Christie-

  • You two are truly inspiring! I have started taking steps to start my own business and reading blogs like yours have been a great comfort and drive to really make my dreams happen! I can’t wait to see what’s next for Red Velvet! Mallory you’re the best!

    xo, Strawberry Moth

  • That is so amazing.
    How exquisite it must feel to be manifesting such a big dream.
    The designs are lovely.
    You and your art are such a big inspiration <3

  • Your designs look amazing Els! Congrats on seeing this dream start and hello to Mallory 🙂
    xo, LA

  • i just love your sketches! i can’t wait to see the fabric samples next and then the final thing put together! it is going to be AMAZING!

    i am sure you are but have TONS of fun!


  • Wow, this is so exciting. I can’t wait till March 1st. Looking forward to checking out the fabrics you chose and maybe buying a dress. I’m sure Mallory is having a great time with you gals. I took your tutorial and it was very helpful. Thank You!

  • I am SO excited to see the final results of this project of yours! I hope they will be available for purchase to those of us that live far away 🙂 Hi Mallory!

  • Mallory is adorable, so naturally she fits right in! I am so excited for you and your dress line. Such a big undertaking but so fantastic! I love your sketches and dress number 11 will be finding its way into my wardrobe on March 1st!

  • The sketches are so adorable! How cool is that Mallory!!!! That is great! The dresses remind me of something Emma Pillsbury would wear, on GLEE! I love them all, they are precious! cant wait to see all your amazing creations!

  • This is incredibly exciting! It’s a blog girls dream…or most girls dreams for that matter. Congrats and I can’t wait to see more!


  • So very cool and exciting. Looking forward to seeing the dream become a reality.

  • Hello, Mallory! I’m so excited for the both of you! My goal for 2011 is to start sewing clothing for myself…from real patterns! This is so inspiring!

  • she has to be the luckiest girl in the world. wow, so jealous! and can’t wait to see these dresses, of course.

  • This is the best idea ever! What a creative internship. Best of luck to you, Mallory and I can’t waaait to see these dresses! Ahh!

  • OH.MY.GOSH. Those dresses are so cute they’re killing me! I can’t wait to see how they turn out. And way to go Mallory, what a fun way to do your internship!!!

  • I already want to buy the cute lil orange plaid dress! 😀 I’ll take a size 6 please!

  • This is so exciting! Mallory is such a cutie – she will definitely fit in with all of you:)

    Can’t wait to see the finished product!


  • Sarah, yes they will be for sale online in limited quantities. Thanks for asking! elsie

  • Best of luck Mallory! Sounds like it’s going to be lots of work & fun with excellent results 🙂

    Aoife x


  • Awesomesauce!! 🙂 I am actually going through similar growing pains…and it is an amazing feeling. I am still in the refinement process…but soon I’ll be stitching up another creation. Your sharing your experience is very inspiring to me…so excited for both our futures…although my launch will have to wait until I am finished with my Masters degree! Otherwise toooo much! Best of luck..and thanks for sharing! Rock on, Ladies…Hearts, Janna Lynn

  • I am so excited to see these!!! Will they be for sale online?


  • Mallory is a babe! + the dresses look adorable. can’t wait to see them brought to life 🙂

  • Oh my gosh! What a dream for both of you! I’m sure you have plenty of help, but if you need help in production, I’m a seamstress in Columbia. 🙂

    ps- I have that same serger.

  • Hi Mallory! I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with, AND the process of how you get there. This is exciting!

  • Hi Mallory!! Elsie, those dress sketches are FABULOUS. I am so excited to see the line! (both in-the-works and when it is finished!!)

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