Making My Wedding Dress – Fabric and Embellishment

You’d think that the biggest decision when making a wedding dress is choosing the right silhouette, but it’s not.  This bit was really easy for me because I tried a lot of dresses on and figured out what was flattering to my shape and size. My idea all along has been to create a silhouette just like the muslin I showed you.

However along with the silhouette comes this dilemma of how to make this the most special dress you’re ever likely to wear. You want it to be dreamy without being over the top but how do you do that when the possibilities for fabric combinations and embellishment are literally limitless?
This has been my biggest struggle. You may think I’m mad for trying 3 different patterns for my bodice. You also might think I’m mad for drafting 3 different skirt variations for the bottom of the dress. But this part of the process has been easy. I’ve had a vision of what shape I’ve wanted all along but the actual look of the dress? No idea. Wait, no that’s not right. Too many ideas. Way too many ideas.
I’ve let it be known before that I am addicted to Pinterest. I shamelessly visit at least every day. I started a secret board to collate images of wedding dresses and blog posts about people who had made wedding dresses before. But then I had to go and make another board to gather inspiration that would really hone in on details of beading, sequins, appliqués and so on. This has really helped me to think about the little details rather than just the whole dress at once. Because let’s face it, a wedding dress is a really big frickin decision.
Confession time. I don’t like lace. I don’t like flowers. And I don’t especially like white dresses. Dilemma much?
So the real reason that I haven’t bought my fabric yet is because I just can’t envision what it is that I want. I’ve found this really great heavy silk in a lush champagne colour which is going to be the body of the dress. I’m going back to buy this really soon but what to have with it? I know I want layers of tulle over the skirt and maybe a layer of tulle over the bodice with some kind of embellishment but what? And how much is enough? Or too much? 
So I’ve spent some time staring at the pictures in my Pinterest boards trying to narrow down just exactly what it is that I want. These two pictures are the closest. Just chop the right one off at the knee and you’ll get the idea.
source                                                                                                  source
Embellished from top to bottom or just the bodice? Embellish literally from the neckline of the dress or leaving just that small bit of fabric at the sweetheart neckline to do the shape justice? This one below is also appealing to me even though the skirt shape is different. The design is delightfully asymmetric.
source
And then to add to all the decisions I have to allow for the fact that heavily embellished tulle on the skirt is going to affect the drape and how heavy it makes the tulle look in the final design. I’m also aware the if I want a heavily embellished beaded dress I have to start handsewing like yesterday. So there’s that.
Because I’m not big on beading and bling I’ve also been trying to imagine what my dress would look like if I played with some draping, fabric manipulation, geometric shapes or really anything fancy looking that would add to the dress without making me feel like I’m trying to look like a princess. So although the below pictures don’t have much to do with wedding dresses they’re my kind of beauty. And if I choose not to have beading and do some fabric manipulation or something else instead that would be ok because it would be more me than finding whatever version of beading is tolerable for me.
source                                                          source                                                        source
source                                                       source                                                               source
source                                                  source                                                                 source 
source                                                             source                                                        source
no source                                               source                                                             source
Ok so this set is a little bit wedding related.
source                                                             source                                                          source
I know that most of these are haute couture designs and I’m not going to be creating anything like them but they give me inspiration and allow me to dream big.
So do you understand what I mean when I say I want a pretty, feminine and romantic dress without it going too princess? Is that possible on a wedding dress?

I’m going to mull over this some more in the coming weeks and torture myself by looking at every fabric on the internet. If you have an ideas/suggestions/opinions let me know!

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Three Sewing Breakthroughs

I’m thinking a lot about learning these days, as I progress into my second month of intensive Swedish class. Learning a new language is a huge time commitment, and between that and a small business that keeps growing, it is often challenging to find ti…

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Fabric Giveaway Winner….

*** DRUMROLL ***** One blogger left 2 comments, 1 comment has been excluded from the countCongratulations Elizabeth Truscott aka Sewn By Elizabeth!Please email me your postal address so I can get this fabric out to you.Very excited to see what you…

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Baked Salmon with Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce

Salmon.  You know it’s good for you, but maybe you find the strong flavor a bit off-putting.  This may be the salmon recipe for you.The creamy Greek Yogurt sauce that accompanies this salmon recipe is fresh, bright and both complements and su…

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out & about

Before I get to the meat of this post, let’s have a lively discussion about photo files, shall we. For some reason every time I upload a JPG file to my blog, the image turns overly pixelated and blurry. This is a recent development because I used to us…

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Plans of Shocking Pink for The Mad Men Dress Challenge 3

Yes, it is that time again and I am in. Believe it or not I am working on a JOAN dress. The dress is from season 5, episode 2. One to always make an entrance, Joan wore the shocking pink beaded cocktail number into the office at mid day to introduce the new baby and receive reassurance of her place at the firm. I found the over dressed emotional wreck that is Joanie in this scene extremely endearing and the wiggle dress in my favorite colors to be right up my sewing alley. I have decided to use a floral for my fashion fabric a la Joan.  
My floral fabric has yet to arrive but my plans are in motion. 
First I attempted to find a pattern in my stash that matched the dress outline. 1960’s Simplicity 4650 was very close. 
I need to redraft the bodice and neckline as well as elongate the sleeves. 
Pattern adaption: 
I decided that because my bodice front would be two pieces I would also make my bodice back into two pieces. To do so I traced my vintage pattern and then adjusted for my broad back. I added my broad back width at the upper back shoulder dart and adjusted for my square shoulders. The shoulder dart was 1/8″ (0.32 cm) originally and  the dart became 5/8″ (1.59 cm) once my additional back width was added. Then I connected the upper dart point to the waistline dart point dividing the bodice back two pieces and adding seam allowances at the new seam line. 

 The bodice front was divided in a similar manner. After tracing my vintage pattern I extended the darts to the apex point and then shifted the side seam dart to the arm using a curved line to achieve my princess line. The bodice front was divided and seam allowances were added to the new seam line.
I made a muslin and will spare myself inter-webs embarrassment of personal photos. But it did not turnout half bad.

The only big fix was a gaping neckline, I had to wedge out 3 little darts. I also decided to adjust the neckline scoop.

Sorry this 1980’s scrap quilting cotton is SO busy you can’t really see my darts
Once the fit was set I was able to adjust for the bodice front gathers. I traced the side pieced then added lines across the pattern piece about an inch apart. 
The lines are slashed and spread from the curved bust line with 1/4″ in between each slash. The new slashed and spread pattern is traced and the gathered curved edge is connected. 
Note the difference in the pattern pieces. The original bodice side pattern piece will be the lining pattern without any gathers. My pattern is drafted. 
Making neckline piping: 
Joan’s dress has black satin piping, I am using a cotton sateen in shocking pink for my version of the dress.  

To make I first have to make bias strips. I fold my yardage on a 45° angle press the fold and cut the fold.

Then I measure and cut the bias strips. For the piping I used 1 1/2″ (3.81 cm) bias strips.
The bias strip is merely folded over rat-tail and stitched to form piping. I used an adjustable piping foot for stitching, it is similar to a zipper foot but is completely flush on the side to not to interfere with the cording. 

Finished piping for the neckline.

Wish me luck I am hunting for beads and have yet to decide on the belt. Should I use the bow belt from the pattern or the fabric wrapped closure belt like Joan? 
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Last Days of Winter Hounds Coat McCall’s 6800

Here in the Midwest United State the weather is still being a fickle beast.  One day we wake to snow the next sunshine. Meanwhile as spring has not sprung I managed to finish a coat. The pattern is McCall’s 6800. My variation is view C with the hi…

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Making My Wedding Dress – The Skirt

Welcome back to the next installment of the Wedding Dress Saga! I’ve still been revisiting my muslin one day of the weekend for the last couple of weeks to get the final pattern sorted.So last we spoke I had Simplicity 5006 made and sitting quite well …

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The Classic Aloha Shirt – Victoria Jones Pattern # 220

With winter almost over, it was time for me to put aside all of my cold weather patterns and start concentrating on my spring and summer wardrobe.  I have to admit though, I really am going to miss making my turtlenecks and long sleeve polo’s. &nb…

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Emerald Polka Dots and Bows Butterick Retro 5748

Just in time for the “holiday” that demands wearing green, I finished my Butterick Retro 5748. I have attempted quite a few of the Butterick Retro patterns, and this pattern in the series would be best for beginners. The biggest challenge is …

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Shoe Bags + Self Interview

So, I made some shoe bags. Why? I want to protect my nice shoes from dust and cat hair when I’m not wearing them. I also want to protect clean clothes from dirty shoe soles when packing my shoes in a suitcase. Shouldn’t nice shoes come with shoe bags from the manufacturer? Some companies include […]

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perfect pattern parcel: dandelion dress

Bare skin! Watch out now y’all. The earth is finally tilting in my favor after ignoring my pleas for like two full months. Though I prefer cold weather fashion, I will always prefer warm climates even if it means I have to stow away my beloved grandpa …

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Fabric Giveaway & Round-up: By Hand London ‘Georgia’.

Hands down Georgia is my favourite pattern. I have never had a pattern fit me so well! Now, I’m sure that any other pattern could fit me just as well if I put in the time, effort and patience into making adjustments. Unlike other patterns, there i…

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rosa flora

What’s the worst thing that can happen if you try to sew at the same time as you’re cooking dinner? Alright, maybe not worst, because that would be like catching your WIP on fire or dropping pins in your soup without realizing it until it’s too late.He…

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Welcoming Spring with Ruched Sleeves

Such a beautiful, sunny day in Goteborg today. The days are getting longer, the streets are smelling of fresh earth, and before we’ll know it Spring will be here! (At least for us in the Northern hemisphere.)With Spring on my mind, I’m finding myself r…

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Welcoming Spring with Ruched Sleeves

Such a beautiful, sunny day in Goteborg today. The days are getting longer, the streets are smelling of fresh earth, and before we’ll know it Spring will be here! (At least for us in the Northern hemisphere.)With Spring on my mind, I’m finding myself r…

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Two Crust-y Solutions

They are a common site in kitchens with kids (and probably some grown-up kitchens too):Chances are, if you are a mom, dad or have ever fed anyone under the age of 10, you know that for some kids, crusts rank right there between brussel sprouts and mush…

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Sydney Spoolettes

The blogosphere is an awesome place to hang out but it turns out meeting up “in real life” with fellow seamstresses is pretty damn awesome too.Recently a whole lot of Sydney Sewing ladies gathered for lunch and fabric shopping in the city organised by …

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Finished Project: The ‘Georgia’ Mini Dress.

Ahhh, another BHL Georgia, I really can’t get enough of this dress. I love By Hand London patterns, their style is my style! So glad I found them, they have rekindled my love for sewing.About October last year my maxi dress obsession beg…

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Finished Project: The ‘Georgia’ Mini Dress.

Ahhh, another BHL Georgia, I really can’t get enough of this dress. I love By Hand London patterns, their style is my style! So glad I found them, they have rekindled my love for sewing.About October last year my maxi dress obsession beg…

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spring sewing: a plan

How can I call myself a blogger if I have never done a wardrobe planning post with carefully curated photos of all the beautiful stylized garments I want to make and wear for the upcoming season? I’ve never even been to the Polyvore site, whatever that…

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Blue & Gold Invitations

This was a fun invitation to design for a Blue & Gold Banquet.  My sister found this cute Minion coloring page and asked if I would design an invitation with it!  She found the Cub Scout minions HERE.   I LOVE these cute little minions!

Becky – tcbotb.com

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Wardrobe Strategy in Pictures

Hello little chickadees!! I’ve missed you!After a wonderful time in Toronto where I’ve accomplished a lot on the work front, it’s good to be back in my things — namely, it’s good to be back in my sewing things. 🙂 I’ve spent a lot of time thinki…

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a winter coat just in time for spring

Hi Ya’ll! I’m very excited to show you my newest make for the Mood Sewing Network! I know everyone is clamoring for spring, and the last thing you want to look at is another reminder that it’s still, alas, winter, but bear with me here because I’m real…

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Turn my blog into a book!

Okay, so I’m a little excited about my blog book that came in the mail!!  One of the main reasons why I blog is to journal about our family vacations, birthdays and everything going on in our lives.  Then I will get my blog printed for the year.   My family LOVES to look through our blog books and they are super easy to make!

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Finished Project: The ‘Georgia’ Maxi Dress.

My boyfriend and I were invited to be guests and witnesses at my friend’s wedding ceremony. I felt so grown up, I’ve never been a witness before!! It was a garden wedding, so of course that called for a beautiful floral dress… who am I kidding, I wou…

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In with the old and out with the new or I’ll be doing some vintage sewing by jove!

Hey pickle pies,

Hope everyone isn’t too wet and wistful after what has according to the news been the rainiest period in the UK in 250 years.  I for one have been soggier than Rich Tea that spent too long in the mug with all the training for the London marathon that I’ve been doing around our rain soaked shoreline.  Although it’s been foul I’ve felt like a titan.

This was me high above B town running 12 miles in 60mph winds and diagonal rain *Rocky face*
The good thing is it’s all for a great cause Age UK who do wonderful work with older people and what’s a little running in biblical weather, chafed boobs, aching limbs and creaking bones when you’re raising £2000.
If you would like to donate then you can find my page at Just Giving.  Any sponsorship is gratefully received 🙂
 In the midst of all the training  I’ve had a little problem with my left knee but thanks to my super physio all appears to be well and with 7 weeks to go I tackled the Brighton half marathon to see if all the stretches and rehab were working.
It turns out all is well and despite getting sunstroke post race I managed the half in 2hr 14 mins, which considering I wasn’t properly hydrated, it was hot, I hadn’t trained for 2 week and it was my knee’s first race outing I was over the flipping moon 🙂
As previously spoken about I will be running the last mile in a handmade dress, which I’ll be able to tell you more about when I get the nod from the dearest darlings at By Hand London.  I will say though I’m bloody well pleased with it!  
The talk of sewing leads me nicely into what this post was meant to be about as opposed to running though I’m afraid when you train for a marathon it kinda takes over a bit and I’ve even been running in my dreams.  The only benefit of this is that waiting on the finish line was the Gos with cocktail in hand. Anywho back to sewing. This time of year is whenever everyone starts making plans for what they want to achieve and I’ve been making them in my head and need to commit them to a post. As fortune would have it one of them was to kick my ass and sew some of the lovely vintage patterns in my cabinet. This ties in nicely with the deliriously pretty Marie of a stitching odyssey who is steering us all to retro glory with her vintage sewing pattern pledge. Some of my favourite bloggers are on board and I can’t wait to see their efforts. So let me make my pledge here and now:
I Rehanon of Miss Demeanour do solemnly swear to make at least three vintage patterns from my stash over the course of 2014 as part of A Stiching Odyssey’s vintage sewing pattern pledge.

There I’ve said it and now it’s gold for go!  I haven’t made up mind completely yet but one that deffo will be featuring is the Good Life dress as I’ll be in the past life if I leave it any longer before making it.  It’s not my usual style but hell with bare feet, home brewed cider and some mud on my face I’m sure I can rock it 🙂

I’m going long sleeved as I need that amount of flounce in my life!
For now though I’m off to run further than I’ve ever run before.  14 miles in total so exactly 0.9 miles more than I’ve ever run before but still 🙂
Love Miss D
xxx
read more

In with the old and out with the new or I’ll be doing some vintage sewing by jove!

Hey pickle pies,

Hope everyone isn’t too wet and wistful after what has according to the news been the rainiest period in the UK in 250 years.  I for one have been soggier than Rich Tea that spent too long in the mug with all the training for the London marathon that I’ve been doing around our rain soaked shoreline.  Although it’s been foul I’ve felt like a titan.

This was me high above B town running 12 miles in 60mph winds and diagonal rain *Rocky face*
The good thing is it’s all for a great cause Age UK who do wonderful work with older people and what’s a little running in biblical weather, chafed boobs, aching limbs and creaking bones when you’re raising £2000.
If you would like to donate then you can find my page at Just Giving.  Any sponsorship is gratefully received 🙂
 In the midst of all the training  I’ve had a little problem with my left knee but thanks to my super physio all appears to be well and with 7 weeks to go I tackled the Brighton half marathon to see if all the stretches and rehab were working.
It turns out all is well and despite getting sunstroke post race I managed the half in 2hr 14 mins, which considering I wasn’t properly hydrated, it was hot, I hadn’t trained for 2 week and it was my knee’s first race outing I was over the flipping moon 🙂
As previously spoken about I will be running the last mile in a handmade dress, which I’ll be able to tell you more about when I get the nod from the dearest darlings at By Hand London.  I will say though I’m bloody well pleased with it!  
The talk of sewing leads me nicely into what this post was meant to be about as opposed to running though I’m afraid when you train for a marathon it kinda takes over a bit and I’ve even been running in my dreams.  The only benefit of this is that waiting on the finish line was the Gos with cocktail in hand. Anywho back to sewing. This time of year is whenever everyone starts making plans for what they want to achieve and I’ve been making them in my head and need to commit them to a post. As fortune would have it one of them was to kick my ass and sew some of the lovely vintage patterns in my cabinet. This ties in nicely with the deliriously pretty Marie of a stitching odyssey who is steering us all to retro glory with her vintage sewing pattern pledge. Some of my favourite bloggers are on board and I can’t wait to see their efforts. So let me make my pledge here and now:
I Rehanon of Miss Demeanour do solemnly swear to make at least three vintage patterns from my stash over the course of 2014 as part of A Stiching Odyssey’s vintage sewing pattern pledge.

There I’ve said it and now it’s gold for go!  I haven’t made up mind completely yet but one that deffo will be featuring is the Good Life dress as I’ll be in the past life if I leave it any longer before making it.  It’s not my usual style but hell with bare feet, home brewed cider and some mud on my face I’m sure I can rock it 🙂

I’m going long sleeved as I need that amount of flounce in my life!
For now though I’m off to run further than I’ve ever run before.  14 miles in total so exactly 0.9 miles more than I’ve ever run before but still 🙂
Love Miss D
xxx
read more

No More Brown Guacamole

“Ugh, my guacamole always turns brown!” could top a list of First-World problem statements I’ve caught myself saying.

You’ve heard of First-World problems, right?  They’re some of life’s minor complaints and irritants that those of us who have been blessed beyond measure find ourselves uttering because we have it so.  crazy.  good.
Things that folks in many places around the world couldn’t even comprehend saying because they have much bigger, larger or more urgent worries.  
So while browning guacamole is far from a catastrophe, it is something that I’ve tried, unsuccessfully, to conquer for years…until now.
Sweet Pea Husband gave me an idea a few weeks ago, and ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to share with you that it is a fool-proof, easy and simple solution.
The answer?
Water.
Yes, just water.
(Isn’t it cool that many of life’s issues, whether large or small, often have very simple solutions?)
Here’s how it works:
Make up your fresh guacamole.  Need a recipe?  We like making this simple guacamole:
Eat what you want, share what you want or keep it all for later.  Place in a lidded container:
Smooth the top:

Cover with water so no part of the guacamole is exposed:
Refrigerate until you’re ready to eat or serve, then remove from the fridge:
Simply pour off the water, stir in any minor residual water and enjoy!:
Same guacamole, one day later!
Because avocado has a lot of healthy oils in it, the water doesn’t seep into the guacamole (oil and water don’t mix, right?) and any trace of water you mix into the guacamole doesn’t change the texture or flavor.
Pretty cool, eh?
Life is sweet,
SPC
read more

No More Brown Guacamole

“Ugh, my guacamole always turns brown!” could top a list of First-World problem statements I’ve caught myself saying.

You’ve heard of First-World problems, right?  They’re some of life’s minor complaints and irritants that those of us who have been blessed beyond measure find ourselves uttering because we have it so.  crazy.  good.
Things that folks in many places around the world couldn’t even comprehend saying because they have much bigger, larger or more urgent worries.  
So while browning guacamole is far from a catastrophe, it is something that I’ve tried, unsuccessfully, to conquer for years…until now.
Sweet Pea Husband gave me an idea a few weeks ago, and ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to share with you that it is a fool-proof, easy and simple solution.
The answer?
Water.
Yes, just water.
(Isn’t it cool that many of life’s issues, whether large or small, often have very simple solutions?)
Here’s how it works:
Make up your fresh guacamole.  Need a recipe?  We like making this simple guacamole:
Eat what you want, share what you want or keep it all for later.  Place in a lidded container:
Smooth the top:

Cover with water so no part of the guacamole is exposed:
Refrigerate until you’re ready to eat or serve, then remove from the fridge:
Simply pour off the water, stir in any minor residual water and enjoy!:
Same guacamole, one day later!
Because avocado has a lot of healthy oils in it, the water doesn’t seep into the guacamole (oil and water don’t mix, right?) and any trace of water you mix into the guacamole doesn’t change the texture or flavor.
Pretty cool, eh?
Life is sweet,
SPC
read more