The Wedding Dress – Continued

My wedding dress started off life as the wedding dress my Grandmother wore to her wedding in 1954 to my Grandfather. It was then worn by her sister, Joyce. By the time it came into my possession, it had spent many years in storage, was full of holes and had little yellow spots all over it.

I wrote a little about starting my dress here.

I chose the song “Shut up and dance with me” by Walk the Moon, to walk down the aisle to pretty early on in wedding planning. I took inspiration from the lyrics “a backless dress and some beat up sneaks” and went searching for a pattern that was tea length and backless!

After scouring pattern books for a suitable dress pattern that fit all my requirements, I settled on Simplicity 8289.

I used Simplicity pattern 8289 to make my dress

I made a tester dress from lace and satin I bought off the discount table at Spotlight. I shortened the length of the shorter dress pattern by 6 inches. This was a great length for a party dress, but maybe a little too short for a wedding dress! I made the wedding dress three inches shorter than the pattern, which was perfect!

The test dress! And a test set up of our glasses display! And a hair/makeup test too!! A day of “tests”!

Once I started working with Grandmas dress, it quickly became apparent that the lace was extremely delicate and would need some support. I decided to sew each piece of lace to a piece of tulle. I used seed beads, Swarovski crystals and seed pearls to stitch the two layers together.

Before cutting into the lace, I cut the pattern from the tulle and basted this to the lace, then cut around this.
To be able to cut the entire skirt from the lace of grandmas dress, I had to make the front panel into three sections, this meant I wouldn’t have a seam down the middle of the front of the dress.
Seed beads, Swarovski crystals and seed pearls have been stitched to hold a layer of lace to a layer of tulle. Photo credit Studio Vita

The pattern sewed up relatively easy once I had beaded all the pieces. I did struggle with were the facings meet at the front, and ended up having mum hand sew them into place, which did the job.

Sewing in the zipper. I really need to get an invisible zipper foot if I even need to do this again!

I even managed to salvage two button loops from the cuffs off Grandmas dress and use them as the closure on the neck of my dress, with some of Mums pearl shell buttons!

The dress has three layers. The outer layer is lace from Grandmas dress, sewn to tulle. The middle layer is silk, sourced from op shops, the bodice has silk dupion to give it a bit of structure, whilst the skirt is a very light weight silk. The lining is cotton voile.

Photo credit Studio Vita
The front of the dress
Photo credit Studio Vita.
The back of the dress
Photo credit Studio Vita

I absolutely LOVED have a circle skirt, especially since our first dance was swing! I wore a rainbow petticoat underneath, and I was just like a little kid, showing off how high I could make my skirt twirl!

Photo credit Studio Vita
Photo credit Studio Vita

It was important to me to make my own dress. It was an absolute honor to be able to re-purpose my Grandmas dress. And I hope that this dress will be continued again, maybe my children or niece will re-purpose it? I hope this story isn’t finished! I hope this story will continue writing itself!

I have to add, I never completely finished the dress. There was some beading around seams that I just never got to. But it kinda felt like one of those structures, that if it was ever truly finished, it would cause some kind of apocalypse! haha.

A Wet Felt Wedding Bouquet

I’ve shared with you some progress shots of HOW I made my wedding bouquet, but never showed you the finished product!!

And I defiantly think it’s worth showing off!

Photo credit to Studio Vita!

Photo credit Studio Vita

I wet felted all the flowers. I used a rainbow of merino roving and a little bit of sari silk fibre to give some interest to each flower.

Photo credit Studio Vita

A felted ball become the centre for each flower, and beads were hand stitched around these to add some sparkle.

Photo credit Studio Vita

I added a few trinkets, a pink brooch Mum had given me at some point…

Photo credit Studio Vita

A butterfly that belonged to my Grandma…

Photo credit Studio Vita

I tied coloured ribbons around the stems to hold it all together.

Photo credit Studio Vita

I love it so very very much. And the best bit? I get to keep it forever!!

I purchased an Ikea lightbox to keep it in, and it is now proudly displayed on the side board in the living room!

Produce Bags

In an attempt to reduce our plastic usage, we have moved to using reusable produce bags for our fresh fruit and veg. I was given a handful of curtain sheer remnants, which were perfect for making these bags! I have a lot more curtain sheer fabric leftover from making curtains for the entire house, so I will be making many more of these to share around!

Materials:

  • Scraps of sheer curtain fabric (or other light, meshy, fabric)
  • Cotton drawstring (or ribbon, something that can be used as a drawstring)
I cut rectangles of fabric approx 14 inches by 22 inches. This size can be varied depending on what size bag you like. The size of my fabric remnants determined the size of mine! But they turned out to be a great size!
Fold your rectangle of fabric in half and pin the edges.
Sew the edges together using a quarter inch seam allowance.
Trim the seam allowance about half way. We are going to sew the seam again to make sure its nice and strong and able to carry a bag full of apples!
Turn inside out and sew edges again, enclosing the first seam. This gives you an enclosed “french” seam for an extra strong finish.
sew
I squared off my bottom corners. To do this, take the corner and flatten it out so there is fabric either side of the seam. Use a ruler and pencil to mark one and a half inches from the point.
Sew along the line.
Turn right side out. You can see how it gives it a nice boxy bottom.
Now to make a casing around the top of the bag. Fold over about half an inch, then again another inch. Pin.
Sew, leaving a gap at one edge to pull drawstring through.
For the drawstring, take the drawstring, tie a knot, then push a safety pin through the knot. Push this through the casing you just sewed around the top of the bag.
Knot the two ends together.
And now your all set to go shopping!

Shopping Bag Pouches

I wrote the tutorial for my shopping bags last year. For Christmas this year, I made sets of shopping bags for Guys side of the family. Instead of just giving them a stack of bags, I decided to make it into a shopping bag kit of sorts, making a little pouch for the bags to go in, complete with a key ring to keep a trolley token on!

I made the pouches using the leftover fabric from making the bags.

After cutting out bags out using my shopping bag pattern, you end up with scraps looking like this. To make a pouch, you will need the scraps from two bags.
You will have a large section of fabric, with curved corners, and pieces attatched to the sides. Cut the attached pieces off, so you are left with a rectangle like shape with two curved corners.
You will have four pieces of fabric the same size, that look like these. If they are not quite the same size, trim them a little so they are.
cut a rectangle approximately five inches long
iron both edges into the middle, then in half.
stitch close to the edge
Pin two pieces together along the top edge, right sides together.
sew along pinned edge
iron seams to one side
Lay the two pieces rigth sides together, making sure centre seams line up. Pin at centre. Fold loop piece in half. This will be sandwiched between the two layers to one side.
The loop is sandwiched in between the two layers, about an inch down from the centre seam. I put a key ring on the loop before sewing in, as it is easier to do now rather than later. Then make sure it is pinned in. Then pin right around.
Sew right around the edge, leaving a opening on the end opposite to the end you attached the loop to. This will allow you to turn out the pouch.
Turn right sides out. It should look something like this. Stitch the gap closed, I was lazy and did a top stitch with the sewing machine close to the edge, but hand sewing this could be neater. It will be on the inside though, so should never really be seen!
And then the magic happens. You kinda just stuff half the bag into the other half, smoothing out edges and corners as you go. It should look something like this. Top stitch around the top seam, this will hold everything in place. I also added a snap in the middle to hold the top closed. I didn’t get photos of that process, but follow the instructions on the snaps packet and you should be sweet 🙂

In most of the bags I made, I put a keyring on the loop before I sewed it in. I didn’t do that in this one, I put it on after, which made it a little harder, but equally achievable!

Since the laws in Canberra changed, forcing all supermarkets to chain their trolleys, we have had to carry a coin to detangle the trolleys before use. We sourced little trolley keys, which come straight out after unlocking the trolleys, so you don’t have to worry about finding another trolley to get your coin back!

The set of bags complete 🙂

I hope all that made sense 🙂 Please feel free to contact me with any questions!

Have a creative week!

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Happy New Year! I hope 2019 has found you well!

What a year 2018 was! It was one of the harder years, but it was also one of the most rewarding years!

nine of my favorites from 2018

I started the year out, unemployed (by choice) and organizing a wedding!

In March it was apparent that I needed structure in my life to perform to the best of my abilities so I entered the workforce again. It didn’t take long to find a new job, and it didn’t take long for them to promote me. I didn’t commit to more than 3.5 hours a day though, which gives me a nice amount of time to work on my creative en devours.

I built my web page again, this time based in WordPress. I committed to blogging every Wednesday, and I am pleased to say, once I started in May, I haven’t missed a single week!

I used most of the imagery from my first web page and transferred it over to word press. This gives me easy functionality of things like blogging.

We landscaped the front and back yard. This was a massive task! We build raised garden beds that span across the back fence, laid grass in the front yard, and planted lots of cool things.

The front yard is looking amazing now!

The “Colourful Wedding” gave me a lot to work with! I learnt a heap of new skills and made many gorgeous pieces. I made a LOT of pieces. The list includes :

  • Screen printed favors bags
  • Felted flower bouquet and hair pieces and boutonnieres
  • Invitations and brochure
  • Hand dyed shoes and tie
  • Wedding dress

As well as all things me and Guy worked on together

  • Wishing well
  • LOVE sign
  • Arch
  • Bar sign

And at the end of all that, we were happily married on a hilltop nearby and the reception at our house!

Married! Photo credit to Studio Vita

We welcomed two babies into our friend-family, which, of course, meant making two new baby quilts! One with animals and one with bright stars.

My shopping bag pattern became my very first tutorial! And I am ecstatic to say, I know of three people who have used it! So yay! My instructions worked!

So many bags have been made from my bag pattern!

I learnt to dye all the things! Guy challenged me to dye our wedding shoes and a tie to match. And then I started dyeing yarn and then roving. Dye has opened up a whole new world of possibilities!

Dye all the things!

I developed my obsession with spinning even further! I spun quite a bit in 2018! It is very calming and great for talking down the anxiety!

spin obsession!

We hosted Christmas lunch at our house, Guy cooking up a feast!

Christmas fun!

I made many Christmas presents. This included :

  • 3 sets of shopping bags
  • 3 sets of hand spun/hand dyed wool
  • A felt Optimus Prime softie

In between Christmas and New Years, we installed new cupboards in the studio. This required pretty much emptying the entire studio, building the new cupboards, and then trying to fit everything back in!

And then we finished the year off with a water fight in our backyard with all our lovely friends!

water fight!

Looking forward, I am hoping 2019 brings more quiet and calm. More time for friends and family.

I already have two projects lined up. The first, which I need to finish in the next couple of weeks, is a volunteer sewing job for the new local school. I am making a bunch of mattress covers for the preschool rooms. I am very keen to play a part in our little community!

The second is a commissioned quilt. A close friend has asked me to make a Family Tree quilt for a special birthday. I am really excited to get to work on this one!

Me and Guy will also be jet setting again this year! This time we are headed for Europe! We have four weeks to explore Spain, France, Belgium and Netherlands. This is our delayed honeymoon!

Honeymoon Euro trip 2019!!

I have a list of other things I would like to work on this year. Things that include improvements for the blog, maybe an Etsy store, lots of sewing, creating, up-cycling and finishing off projects started years ago!

Whats on the horizon for your 2019?

Have a creative week!

<3 Cate