The Big Question

No, not the proposal!  The question that as a seamstress and costumer I inevitably get…  “Why aren’t you making your own wedding dress?”

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‘Cause I’ve pretty much made them before, right?

My sister in particular asked this question after we purchased my Claire Pettibone dress.  It was indeed a question  I had given serious thought to, and even asked of other seamstressy brides.  I even know brides who have done it!  I even made my sister’s wedding gown!  But at the end of the day, it wasn’t what I wanted for me.

I’m not really superstitious, so the old adage of making your wedding dress makes your marriage a lot of work wasn’t phasing me.  And it wasn’t that I didn’t have enough time; with nearly 18 months before the wedding when we started planning, I would have had plenty of time.

In all honesty, it came down to wanting to be a little spoiled.  First, I didn’t want to have to do the work, I really did want that little bit of getting treated like a princess. Second – and this has a little more to do with the financial planning aspect – because I’m an experienced seamstress, I wanted something beautiful that I could be proud of.  I accepted the financial burden with this reasoning because I know as a commissioner how much work goes into really high quality sewing work.  I knew from the beginning that I was going to have to shell out the cash, but I knew it would be worth it.  I’m lucky that that’s an option for me!

Lord_of_Rimini_Beatrice_d'EsteAnd it was all true!  The experience of being surrounded with my girls while trying on the amazing dresses at Little White Dress – with the designer present! – was a completely magical experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything.  And I know that the beautiful dress that Claire Pettibone is creating JUST FOR ME is going to be a truly amazing work of art that I will treasure forever.

I am in awe of the brides who charge themselves with sewing their wedding gowns!  And I count myself among the ranks of brides who have made a carefully calculated decision about her dress… that’s pretty much all brides!  This is one of the most personal garments a person can ever wear, and all your reasons, as long as they’re true to you, are completely valid.

Besides… I think there will always be plenty of fancy dresses for sewing in my future!

What were your reasons for or against making your wedding gown?

And we’re off!

I took the opportunity over my spring break to test out some of my ideas regarding wedding decorations, favors, and centerpieces.  DSC00288Much of our décor is DiY, and I knew I’d need to test out my theories and create mockups to see if I actually like the look of what I’m envisioning.  Here’s my first try.

My dad was kind enough to give us this miter box with which to saw straight lines (HAHAHA).  Since I’ve opted to create centerpiece ‘vases’ from 4 and 5 inch diameter PVC pipe, we needed something that would help us cut the bottoms of each vase flat, so they would stand securely (this works out to much cheaper than buying glass vases, which run about $8-10 in the sizes we want.  A ten-foot section of PVC pipe was only $12 and will yield about 7 vases.  This of course only works because I’m covering them with paper).  We discovered how difficult cutting PVC by hand can be when we chopped the ten-foot pipes in half AT Home Depot in order to be able to take them home in the car.  Heh.  DSC00291It was a long process that resulted in a desperately ragged edge.  After that, we knew a miter box would be important to this process.

I also needed to paint the bamboo reeds something other than their original blonde color.  I opted to use the chocolate color from our palette, since it seemed more natural and we happened to have several cans of brown spray paint left from various projects.  I laid out several reeds to use for the test out on paper on the front patio and sprayed away!  I did it in two shots, one for each “side” of the reeds.  It seemed to go okay… until I picked them up to bring them in.  The spray paint was tacky to the touch and refused to stay stuck to the bamboo.  Yuck!  That really made me glad I did the initial test.  Even though the paint job was a failure, I continued on.

I kept going with an attempt to saw a section of the PVC alone.  This was a mistake, as it was too difficult for me to keep the saw straight AND hold down the heavy additional length of the PVC as it hung off the edge of the miter box.  Oops.  The results were rather amusing…

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Haha.  Miter fail.  I will employ Nick to do the sawing next time.

SO MUCH FAIL.  Even so, I had my first test piece pretty well complete, and I’d managed to learn several things NOT to do in the future, which was the point of the exercise after all.  I went ahead and used the sticky reeds in my original test piece vase, a purchased glass vase (nice, but not big enough!).  The look was rather nice, and seems to go alright with the faux mercury glass I’m also making.

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All in all, it’s not looking too bad!  I think a more natural stain will look a lot better on the bamboo reeds (and also be a lot less hassle than trying to spray them), but you can get the general idea of the look.  I really love the paper-covered vase, I think it’s a nice foil to the wood texture of the bamboo and it takes the edge off what could become way too much glass for the more soft, informal look we’re going for.  I’m really enjoying creating and learning as I delve into our DiY wedding projects!

What’s your favorite wedding DiY, yours or someone else’s?

Baby’s First…

My friend’s beautiful daughter just had her first birthday over the weekend.  She specifically asked for handmade gifts, and I was delighted to get the chance to create this fun little project that I saw recently over at Craftzine Blog.  I didn’t make mine into a game, but included instead several different options for a delicious sandwich: peanut butter, jelly, ham, and cheese, and two pieces of bread, of course!  Each piece was machine-stitched with the name of the item, as well.  The birthday girl loved it!

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Refia, finally!

A quick (and hilarious) shot from Animeland Wasabi of my Refia costume.

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I love tea from Starbucks.  I need a slightly different wig, as this one was a bit light and definitely too short.  But otherwise it was a great, comfy, fun costume!  Love it!

Additionally, I plan on participating in the For Japan With Love Bloggers Day of Silence on Friday.  Bloggers will keep a day of silence for the people of Japan, as well as direct donations toward shelter boxes.  Don’t forget that you can also donate by text to Red Cross, or donate via your PayPal account, like I did this morning. =)

thing-a-day twenty-eight: the final bite

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I finished up the felt apple by attaching it to a headband.  The month-long dash has been a great one, and I move on with a lot of energy into preparing myself for the final stretch of student teaching, and onto job applications!  Hopefully this last project – an apple – with bring me some luck as I go!

I will be taking off the rest of the week (I know, you are SO going to miss me after a post every day of the last month =p), but expect me back next week… probably with wedding stuff!  Ha!

thing-a-day twenty-seven: apple one

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Yesterday I spent most of the day putting in applications for teaching positions, doing this until late at night.  I didn’t spend much time crafting, but I did pause to make this little felt piece, in honor of the first applications of my teaching career being sent out!

thing-a-day twenty-three: Refia’s earrings, part one

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I started out with some gold feathers/leaves charms and enameled them with some nail polish (which is still technically enamel! hee!).  Glad I had that green polish in the bathroom.  Tonight they are drying and tomorrow I need to acquire gold-tone earwires to complete.

Also, the stars.

Even though I’ve been posting daily about my thing-a-day adventures, I’ve still been reading and enjoying my growing list of blogs on Google Reader!  I feel like I’ve *starred* just TONS in the past little while, and they really deserve sharing.  So here they are!

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How-To: Felt Pizza Set @Craftzine – So adorable!

How-To: Photorealistic Gadget Pouches @Craftzine – Love these!  So simple, so stylish!

Texas Twosome: Ceremony Part 1 @Weddingbee – I was enchanted by their vows.

treasure hunting: keys @Design*Sponge – I love keys, what can I say?

sewing 101: stuffed hearts @Design*Sponge – These would make great gift-giving devices for wedding parties, eh?

modern twist: studio trivetz @Design*Sponge – These are fantastic, and I want some.

Keeping Track of Allen Wrenches @ApartmentTherapy – No seriously, who doesn’t have a million of these?

Shades of Grey @Weddingbee – A great post for me because I too am looking at grey dresses for my girls.

And of course, BHLDN, care of Anthropologie, has been all over the blogosphere.  As if you didn’t already own my soul.

So, where have you been this month that needs to be shared?

thing-a-day eighteen: something fishy…

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For today, fun pink shell koi become a pair of swimming earrings.  I liked the copper findings as a contrast to the bright pink!

thing-a-day seventeen: Refia’s Brooch

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I’ve started working on Refia from Final Fantasy III.  Since I’ve made other faux metal and armor from craft foam and had a lot of success, I decided to go that route with this small piece.  It’s made of two layers, one for the base, and the other with the cross shape.  The entire piece is covered with white glue which stiffens the foam and makes it smooth for spray painting.  A little gold spray paint, and it’s done!

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