Karen Pence chooses Indiana dressmakers to make inaugural gowns

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Six Indiana seamstresses are anxiously waiting to see what the world thinks of the gowns they made for former Indiana First Lady Karen Pence and her daughters.

Joyce Hittesdorf, the former owner of 'Something Wonderful' got an email from Mrs. Pence the day after the election requesting her to create eight custom gowns. Hittesdorf wasn't too surprised Mrs. Pence called since she made the former First Lady's wedding gown and the dress she wore to the Gubernatorial Ball when Vice President-Elect Mike Pence became Governor.

"At the time, she was just Karen," recalled Hittesdorf. “There wasn't a whole lot of pressure.”

This time, though, Hittesdorf needed a lot of help. She called up the new owner of 'Something Wonderful' Sarah Knochel, Donna Christian, Ellen Blacketer, Cathy Runion and Whitney Luckenbill to assist.

The women worked one-on-one with the Pence family.

"They'd bring in pictures and inspiration and we'd go through and help them design based on what they like and what's going to look good," said Knochel.

The women spent 470 hours in just about a month. The hardest part, Knochel said, was working around the holidays and the schedules of the Pence family.

While they can't reveal what the gowns look like yet, Knochel said they are all unique to the Pence women.

"The designs that the Pence women chose were kind of simple, so we wanted them to stand out and one of the ways they could stand out was the fabrics," explained Hittesdorf.

The seamstresses did share pictures of some details like the hand-sewn bead work which took more than 20 hours in itself.

"We've got everything from a big ball skirt to some flowy chiffon skirts to a really fitted mermaid," said Knochel.

One of Mrs. Pence's dresses has 57 yards of hem which is perfect for the Vice President-Elect to twirl her in on the ballroom floor.

The nerves are definitely kicking in as Inauguration Day nears, but Hittesdorf said her team is already pretty proud Mrs. Pence chose them.

"We all feel very honored, of course, and delighted that we can help her say something good about Indiana."

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