Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Beginnings in Haberdashery

We've recently begun to venture into the "dangerous" world of men's clothing. Actually I quite like it - everything is, for the most part, straight forward and simple. Not nearly as fiddly as women's clothing.

 It all started out with a simple cravat for our friend Chris' birthday.
I really had no clue where to start. Thankfully I can usually count on The Sewing Academy to help me out with problems like these. This thread in particular enlightened me quite a bit. I had little time to do much more digging so we decided to wing it. Michelle donated a strip of her gorgeous, teal, silk taffeta to the cause (from the great sale a couple years back). :) And this is what we whipped up. He seemed to like it quite alot so we're counting it as a win. ;)
Shortly after our friend, Dave, commissioned a civilian shirt and 2 cravats.
For the shirt I started off with Laughing Moon #107 as a base. I made several modifications tho -most of which are listed in this post. I squared the bottom and left the side seam open about 4 inches. Then finished it with a simple hem. When I put the front placket in I simply cut the pointed end off and made it squared instead. For the placket on the sleeves I used the seam rather then cutting a slit for a separate one. Also on the back I gathered it to the yoke all the way across rather then just on the edges like the instructions say to. Had the lengthen the sleeves a bit too...  
I wish I'd had some bigger china buttons, but these are what I had on hand and I have such a hard time finding good ones that match. :-/ 
It was about 95% hand sewn. I find myself liking hand sewing more and more every time I do it... :)
In the meantime my good friend, Jasper, educated me more on cravats. He's extremely well versed on men's clothing and never ceases to be really helpful. :)
 I order some silk from Fabrics & Trims. The green I received - I ended up not using, but who doesn't like have some extra taffeta laying around. ;) The shot burgundy/black on the other hand was so lovely and worked out wonderfully. A kind lady sent me the perfect dark green for the other one. We all, immediately fell in love with it and wanted dresses out of it - so crisp and such a deep, rich color. Much to our disappointment there was only a enough for a few cravats. ;D The fun thing about cravats is that there is very few limits. So we have fun experimenting with all the different tips and options. I've been trying to remember how to tie them several ways. Its not as easy as it looks. lol
We're currently studying up on waistcoats - I've been told they are worse to make then jackets so I'm eager to see how it works out. :) Might also try our hands at pre-tied cravats - that shouldn't be to difficult since we make our selves pre-tied bows fairly often.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Lauren and Jonathan's Wedding Day

August 18th 2012 - it was on this day that my very dear friend, Lauren, was wed to her adoring fiancĂ©, Jonathan. It was a very happy day indeed! Everything was soooo beautiful, like a fairy tale and I couldn't be happier for the both of them! And now I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking... ;)
The gorgeous alter... 
Awaiting his lovely bride...
Here she comes!! Yay. ;) 
Isn't her hair like the most adorable thing ever! Love it! 
Making their vows! 
Mr. & Mrs. Peterson!
The Bride's parents
Mr. & Mrs. Burke!
They are some of the loveliest people I have ever met! I feel so blessed to know both of them and they have brought alot of joy to my life! 
The maid of honor, Lauren's gorgeous sister, Ariel! 
Oh look! Another one. lol My charming cousin Emily was also a bridesmaid! 
The reception was fabulous! All the decorations were so breath taking. I could hardly believe how creative they all were. :D It also confirmed in my mind that I want green as one of my wedding colors. ;) 
The streamer things for when they annouced them as husband and wife.  
There was lots of yummy things to eat! :D 
One of the beautiful centerpeices! 
Their cake was phenomenal!!! 
Such a vibrant and cheerful color! 
The flowers were sooo pretty! 
There was even little fishes! ;) 
I coud have stood there and drank this stuff all day! It was like the best thing I've ever tasted. lol 
Getting our picture with some of our reenactor friends.
Mr & Mrs. Hackmann 
Aren't the bouquets just lovely?!!? 
This little wall was such a creative idea! Everyone had alot of fun with it!  
Cutting their cake.. 
And this I had to post because Sarah looks *SO* cute and I'd like you to notice the adorable new hair cut she was sporting! :)
After arriving home us girls took a few picture since we were "all dressed up". :p 
Me and my best friend aka older sister Michelle. 
Megan sportin' the new bob! 
My stunning big sister, Michelle! 
Me and my baby. His name is Cody. ;)
Despite being a very bittersweet day (its hard knowing she's be living so far away and that we won't be able to see her often) was very beautiful day and I'm very excited to see how God works in their lives together!
For more pictures you can go here and here.

Love you girl and I wish you all the best! Miss you so much! ♥

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

First Adventure With a Wedding Gown

I can't put into words how excited and honored I felt having been asked to make a wedding dress!! And by one of my dearest friends - no less. It was *such* a privilege! I'd been dreaming of making one for along time. So as you can imagine I was beyond thrilled when my darling friend, Lauren, asked me to make hers!  

She did a bunch of searching in the couple months following her engagement and decided on this dress as the basic design idea.

As you can see its a bit 1950's inspired.
Source: via Lauren on Pinterest

Source: via Lauren on Pinterest
Less than a month before the wedding we began the actual creating process. We spent a 5 hours fitting session together one afternoon. Where we draped the bodice, measured for the skirt length, went over different options, etc.
The very beginning...forming the shoulder and side seams.
For safety reason we shaped the neckline on the dressform... ;)

So much pinning and tweaking...
Do you ever wonder how we make heads or tails out of these things??? Yeah so do I... lol

The final mockup. We did 4 all together I do believe.

We decided on this gorgeous silk chiffon for the material. Fully lined bodice and skirt, as well as 3 layers of chiffon for the skirt. Frankly I was a bit nervous. :D Close-ish time limits and having never worked with chiffon before. But I couldn't have asked for a better or more patient bride!
Getting ready to cut. A wee bit nerve wracking...

20+ yards of silk chiffon! So lovely.

We hand gathered all the layers of the skirt. Each one was 170" around... thus equalling 1360" of gathering threads and approximately 19,040 stitches. The bodice went together very quickly. I hemmed the 'sleeves' by hand, as well as over casting all the seams and whipping the armscye "hems"...only catching the lining. Easier said then done. ;) Oh and I just have to say the zipper went in perfectly on the first try! I think that could be a new record for me. lol They are one of the reasons I prefer pre-1920's sewing. ;) We did a very narrow serged stitch to hem the skirt. It worked okay and looked fine, but I think next time I'll do it by hand. Once again my historical sewing side coming out. Me and sergers don't get along.
Me and Michelle hand gathering on the shirts.
I think this shows how fun silk chiffon is to work with... lol
After getting the dress itself finished we had another fitting. Everything was looking quite nice, but we decided to add a sash to set it off.
The first try on of the actual dress.

Experimenting with different sash ideas.
Overcasting the waist seam - after I was sure I wouldn't need to be tearing anything apart. :).
The sash
Tiny little sleeves. Super fluttery and sheer. :)
Finally finished!
Just really liked this shot. ;)

The back....
All in all I think it took about 2 weeks to make it.
A couple sneek peaks of the day...

Keep your eyes open for a post in the next few days about the actual wedding where you'll get to see more pictures of the dress, complete, on the gorgeous bride, with the sash properly placed, as well as a fluffy skirt. ;)