Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Bridesmaids's Bouquets

The Bridesmaids's bouquets are done! They are smaller than my bouquet and brighter in color. They also have ivory ribbon instead of white like mine had. I'm having 4 bridesmaids...2 sisters, a cousin from out of state, and a friend here. They are going to look so pretty!

I'm getting so excited about the wedding. 46 days today!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Fake Fur Capelet

I really do not need another project at this time of my life. Okay, so today Jessica and I went to Hancocks to see if they had pearl-headed straight pins (they don't), and since Butterick patterns were on sale for $1.00 I couldn't resist looking.

I came home with a pattern to make a capelet, the fake furry fabric (on sale!!!) to make the capelet, and the ribbon to tie it in front. We have enough satin from Jessica's wedding dress to line the capelet. Ta da! Easy pattern, cute little cape for Jessica to wear as she leaves the church on her wedding day! Hmmm... I hope the weather will still be coolish in March....


Sunday, January 29, 2006

Bride's Bouquet

Originally I was going to just do silk flowers for the corsages and boutonnieres only, but last week I changed my mind and decided to go with all silk. There were several reasons for this change of mind.

1) I was getting a little uneasy about having to learn how to make bouquets with real flowers the day before my wedding. I'm going to have so much going on that week, that this will be one less thing for Mom and me to stress about.

2) I found the most beautiful flowers at Garden Ridge in OKC last week. They are even prettier than real roses and I could pick out the colors by sight (not something I could do if I ordered them through Sams like we were planning on doing).

3) I am a sentimental person, and I decided that I wanted to keep my bouquet more than I wanted fresh roses. In one of the homes Justin and I looked at, the owners had a glass cabinet that they had the woman's wedding bouquet on display in. I thought that it was really special, and when I saw it, I knew that I would want to do that too.

After Mom, Grandma, and I made the corsages and boutonnieres at Christmas, I found that I really liked working with silk flowers. Today I had SO much fun learning and making my bouquet and the smaller toss bouquet. It's fun to discover a new hobby!

I was really pleased with how the bouquets came out. The only thing that remains is to find some pearl headed pins or beads to put in the stephanotis flowers. I really like the look of the hand-tied bouquets with roses and stephanotis flowers. It seems to be really popular because I found lots of pictures online for inspiration.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Dress Progresses

Jessica's dress is looking so good, and I'm so proud of her! I want her to update with her progress. She spent a lot of time sewing last week, and the dress is coming along. Both of us have been pleasantly surprised that everything is going well.... no major sewing mistakes or anything like that. We went back to Helen Enox Fabrics last Thursday to buy some more lace trim, and the ladies there were so helpful in answering a few questions we had. I am going to put in the zipper tomorrow, and hopefully there won't be any glitches with that. There are four layers of fabric so far on the bodice, and two layers on the skirt, and I'm a bit hesitant about getting everything sewn straight and making sure the waist seam lines up correctly on the back. After the zipper is in, we will add one more layer of lining fabric, and then we will be in the homestretch with finishing the dress. (I can't begin to estimate the hours that it will take Jessica to sew the lace onto the border and throughout the skirt!)

Other sewing projects.... just in my mind thus far, in the planning stages. I want to make Ellen a dress to wear to the wedding. She does not really have a role in the wedding, but she really would like one. :-) I want to make her a dress, and possibly a dress for Emily and Jillian as well. Weddings are so fun for little girls, and they will need new dresses too, right?! Being sisters of the bride and groom is very special even if they will not be part of the bridal party, and I'd like to see them each with a special new dress, too. Of course, Emily won't care one bit since she's only 9 months old.

Right now I am debating between two McCalls patterns for Ellen, (McCalls were on sale for 99 cents!) as pictured below. I bought them both, but I haven't decided yet which dress it will be. Guess which one Ellen likes best? .... remember, she's 10 years old.


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

My cousin's dress

If you want to see pictures of the last bridesmaid dress in progress, visit my cousin's Xanga blog. She lives out of state so we couldn't make her dress like we did the others...fortunately her mom is an expert seamstress and the dress sounds like it is coming along well. She also includes a picture of the pattern we're using which I have not shown here.

Bonny and I have always been very close, but very long distance friends. (Usually only getting to see each other every 2 or 3 years at family reunions). This year will be special because because she gets to come to Oklahoma for my wedding in March and I get to go see her for her wedding in July.

Today holds more sewing and more wedding planning for me. Yea!
off to work,

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Here are a couple pictures of the muslin for the wedding dress. It's really a simple pattern (actually a couple patterns combined) and the bodice is almost identical to the bridesmaids. Changes made yesterday include raising the neckline slightly. It was just a little too revealing for my taste. Originally I wanted the lace to come up above the satin neckline for more sheer coverage, but now I've decided against that idea.

Notice the blue train...don't you love Wal-Mart's $1 a yard fabric? The bodice is made from a really cheap shiny satin. On the real dress it won't be so shiny and it will be covered with dense lace anyway.

Also, does anyone notice the stress lines on the bodice on the full length picture of me standing? We can not figure out what is causing those. The bodice appears to fit well and those stress lines only appear when I stand a certain way. Any ideas would be appreciated!


Day One and Two...

I officially started on the wedding dress yesterday. I am so excited...I had to tell myself to slow down and take my time because I could have easily stayed up all night working on it, but I don't do well sewing at night...my sewing performance goes dramatically down as I get more and more tired!

I was quite pleased with what I did get done yesterday though. I made some final alterations to the muslin, (decided on my sleeves ect.) and then got the entire bodice cut out of the satin, lining, interlining, and organza fabric. That took awhile because I was extremely careful. Then I marked my seam allowences on the interlining pieces (which will be closest to my skin). Then I hand-basted the 3 layers (satin, interlining, and organza) together on each bodice piece.

Today I sewed and pressed my princess seams. Tomorrow I will work on the lace for the bodice. I learned how to properly press alencon lace today...according to Susan Khalje, it is important to use a heavy terry cloth towel on the ironing board and place the lace right side down on that. This prevents the texture of the lace from being flattened during pressing. Next I learned that it is best to use a damp pressing cloth to protect the lace and to create a bit of steam to help the net on the lace to shrink and lay flat between the motifs. Needless to say, my lace looked a lot better after I pressed it!

I have spent quite a bit of time reading some of the books and articles I had on creating a seamless lace bodice. I decided not to cut out the lace and treat it as one with the bodice (even though that would have been easiest) because I didn't want the princess and side seams to cut through the designs on lace and mar its beauty. What I am going to do is to fit and shape the lace to the bodice front and the two back pieces (before the side and shoulder seams are sewn) by taking little darts or tucks in the lace, clipping the underlap and sewing the overlap in place. The lace will be pretty dense on the bodice. Because I am so small busted, and because the lace has some natural stretch, this process should work fairly well. It does in my head anyway. =)

I am so pleased with my lace. It is so perfect and exactly what I wanted! The top picture is the lace that will will use for the border along the bottom of the skirt. It will be cut apart to get two borders. The pictures on the bottom is the lace that will be used to cover the bodice and the sleeves. The border on it will go around the waist and sleeve hem. The extra motifs from the 1 yard we bought will be used on the skirt around the bottom to make the border come up higher.


Monday, January 16, 2006

Diaper Jargon

The three bridesmaids' dresses that we are making are finished except for the hems. We had some fitting issues with Heather's dress, so it took longer than we anticipated. Jessica is starting The Dress today.

I did manage to catch a little bit of sewing time to make Emily some new diapers. I just love using cloth diapers on Emily! Strange, I know, to most people. I'm thankful for my good cloth-diaper-loving friend, Tricia. We encourage and support each other in our habit. :-) She is so generous and recently gave me a bunch of covers that her Emma has outgrown. I have been putting them to good use! Thanks, Tricia!

The diapers I just made Emily are pocket diapers with a microfleece inner layer, a pul outer layer, aplix closures, laundry tabs, crossover tab, t&t without the topstitching, and a microfiber insert. I realize that most of this diaper jargon won't be comprehensible to many of you unless you use cloth diapers too--- kind of like a secret language for cloth diaper users!

I'm posting pictures of Emily and her new diapers, and also a picture of the knotted dolls that Tricia made from the same pattern I used. Tricia used flannel for her dolls and I think they are adorable.

off to see if Jessica needs help on The Dress.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Meet Jellybean

This made me smile! Meet Jellybean...

adopt your own virtual pet!

Monday, January 09, 2006

zipper progress

So, I haven't worked on the dresses for two days. I really don't have that much left to do...I just need to do it. I need to sew the lining in Heather's dress, sew the sleeves in Heather's and Tonya's dress, have Mom do all the hand work, and then we just need to hem all 3 dresses.
Tomorrow I resolve to do better. These dresses need to get done, because I am ready to work on THE dress!

Warning: the following may not make any sense to non-sews. (or to those who sew for that matter!) But it now makes perfect sense to me!

For some weeks now Mom and I have been thinking, debating, even arguing about how we are going to go about inserting the zipper in my dress. Our problem is that we want to use an invisible zipper because it looks so much better then a lapped zipper, but we also want to do the hem where we sew the satin and lining right sides together to finish the edges, thus reducing the work of hemming...and we could not figure out how to make that work-- because of the necessity of keeping that back seam open all the way to the bottom to insert the zipper.

So, yesterday Mom and I went to a bridal fair in OKC and the lady from Helen Enox, the bridal fabric store here where we bought our fabric, was there with a booth. She was amazing! I asked her about the zipper and she said to just leave the seam open all the way down, put in the zipper as normal, then match my skirt bottom seams together with the dress on the inside, sew all the way around the circumference leavning a 12inch section open to turn the dress..and that can be sewn by hand or machine later.

It was a classic lightbulb moment. I was astonished. Why didn't I think of that?


Friday, January 06, 2006


We are making progress on the bridesmaid dress...My friend Tonya (who is also one of my bridesmaids!) spent the last two days helping me sew. Thank you Tonya! You are the BEST!

Dress #1 is done except for the hem, Dress # 2 is almost done. It needs the sleeves put in, the lining sewn down by hand, and the hem finished. Dress # 3 needs the most work. We got it cut out today and got the bodice sewn together.

I'm definitely learning a lot...I think I could sew princess seams in my sleep now! And I can do them without pins!
I'm also learning how important it is to make muslins of the pattern before cutting the fashion fabric. We had to make different alterations for all three girls and we wouldn't have known that without a practice bodice. We discovered that my one sister is very short waisted and that Tonya is broad across the back, and we discovered ways to fix the patterns to fit them. That was pretty exciting for me. I'm going to have the prettiest bridesmaids in the world!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Results Are In

The decision has been made! The sleeves will underlined with the satin.

Okay, we realize that most of the comments left were in favor of the sheer sleeve. However, we also received a number of emails voting for the lined sleeve.

Poll results:
22 Responses
10 votes for sheer
12 votes for lined

Neither Jessica nor I voted. :-)

Ultimately, Jessica made the decision for the lined sleeve because of the 4 bridesmaids' votes: 3 voted for the lined and only one voted for the sheer.

We are sorry to disappoint those of you who really liked the sheer sleeve better. Hopefully you will like the end results anyway. :-)

Thanks to all who participated!


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Which Sleeve???????

Taking a poll.......

Which sleeve do you think looks best? Please comment with your opinion.

Jessica and I have been working on the bridesmaids' dresses before starting her wedding dress. This dress is almost finished except for the bodice lining, the sleeves and the hem. We are trying to decide on the sleeve style, and so far we have mixed opinions. Okay, please help us decide!