Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Tale of A Wedding: Clothing The Men

I like to think I am fully responsible for all that hotness, but lets face it...there's some good looking dudes right there...
I started with the simplest bit first. The Ties. I found the perfect for skinny tie pattern on Pinterest. Which can be found here. I used the pattern exactly as posted. But I completely scraped the instructions. Mainly because I didn't want to fully line the ties and the steps of construction just seemed plainly slow and impractical...I just lined the tips up about 2 inches, sewed it into a tube, and turned it. The only issue I had with this was the ties wanting to twist up a bit and not lay smooth and flat.
In hind sight...go with the original instructions. You'll end up with a more professional looking tie. 
For the vest we finally choose Vogue 7488, view A. We left off the upper welts and the bottom ones are actually faux. (This girl is not a fan of the things and seeing as they will likely not be worn again I didn't feel they were necessary.)
We found the vest material at Joann's. Its a Charcoal dapple suiting by Sew Classics. Got the buckles and buttons forms there as well (yay coupons). (Note to self - they don't have 1" buckles like the pattern calls for, but the 3/4" one works perfectly!)
I found it interesting to compare the construct and shape of these modern vests to the mid-nineteenth century ones I do.
The only real issue we had was with the blasted covered buttons popping apart the morning of, when the guys were getting ready...I had made several extras, but I wasn't on site when it was going on to be able to fix them so that was super stressful (^thus me arriving and kicking in to quasi freak mode. lol).
As you can probably observe the only alteration I had to make to the pattern was in a few cases adding length....Tall men...All of my guys were long distance, but one so that added a dose of fun for sure.
I was happy my work even with stood some playful, rough housing! ;)
I had all the pieces, but the grooms vest ,done about 2 weeks before the wedding. There was some complications with who was going to make the grooms vest and I ended up finishing the last half the *night before* the wedding around 11:30. Thank goodness for a helpful sister in law that could sew the buttons on while I ran off to write my maid of honor speech. I was saying never again at the time... lol I don't know when, if ever I've felt that stressed out. Definitely not a wise move waiting that last minute.
And there you have it!
All the wedding sewing completed. Next step seeing how it all came together...

What do y'all think of the more casual look for groomsmen? Is this something you would choose?


Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Tale of A Wedding: Clothing The Ladies

Just a few short weeks after my sister got engaged back in April...we started planning the wedding wardrobes.. its took very little searching to find we weren't going to locate anything ready-made that would be suitable. Thus the quest for a pattern began. Michelle quickly decided on Retro Butterick 5603 - we thought it was a cute and flattering choice for all the different body types involved.
Fabric is always the tough part. We ordered several swatches. Some from and more from  OnlineFabricStore. We ended up choosing Plum Taffeta from OFS. Despite having previously seen the swatch. We had a bit of color shock when the 18 yard roll came. It was much brighter then we'd expected. We took it outside and did some detailed examining and decided we'd go ahead and use it. 
This dress definitely has some quirky bits.The neckband was by far the next most time consuming thing...they were constantly puckering and looking crappy. Can't have that now can we? All those hems were mighty fun too.   
However, by the time I got to the 5th dress - I had things down to a science... From start to finish each dress, on average took about 24 hours... I am not a fan of cutting out (okay I hate it) so that always slows me down a lot - but once its done everything is down hill from there.
Gunna take a moment to tell my future self that ^ is not something you want to be doing the morning of the wedding. Just trimming down seams for a smidge more room. But with all the last minute sewing I did - it just added unnecessary stress that I didn't need.
6 unique and beautiful ladies...and I personally think it looks pretty dang rad on all of us?! I had to make very few alterations. A couple length adjustments, alittle downsizing on one, and a bit of nipping in at the waist on mine (by far the hardest. My body shape drives me mad some days. I needed like a size 12 on the bust and a 6 at the waist...not fun at all. Thankfully lil sis is picking up pinning quite well).
That V in the back was such a bear to work with, but I do so love the way it looks. Totally my favorite part of the dress!
In conclusion I will just say its SO, beyond rewarding to look at those pictures and think I did that!! Yes, there were moments I didn't think I was going to make it thru and moments when I just plain wanted to be done, but in the end it was all worth it! I've created lots of memories along the way - it even impelled me find new music which, in turn, became favorites and will forever have special meaning because of it. I mean com'on who doesn't love that?!

So thoughts? What do you think of the style, color, etc?


*All photos credit - Jessica McDonald

Friday, September 27, 2013

Nick & Esther's Wedding

 September 1st, 2013
The day my big brother married his lovely Esther....
Our day started out around 9...we had breakfast then went for a 2 -ish hour swim. I must say it was quite odd to just be chilling before a wedding....especially one that of a family member...normally we'd all be running around as there is much to be done. :D
As you'll notice in the pictures their wedding was quite casual and the love for all things 'western' is evident. ;) They had the ceremony in one side of the community center and the other side was set up for the reception.  I was quite impressed with decorations and was a job setting it all up the day before...but as long as it looks good its worth it, right?
My gorgeous cousins! It was such a fun weekend spending time with them!
Dad, who married the happy couple, escorting my mom, one of the flower girls....
Here comes the bride!!! eee! Doesn't she look so happy?!
The wedding party.
And I just have to point out Andrea's hair - could it be anymore gorgeous?!?! I think not!
Still can't believe my siblings are getting married!
One of my favorites! I loved her big dress and cathedral length veil.
Unity ceremony - only Fireproof viewers will get this.
There was lots of food to be had. All homemade. (Literally Esther, her sister, and 2 friends made all of it...that included like 40 pizzas or something...)
My immediate family in its entirety or as it would be for 2 more weeks. (And, yes, we were in an Amish community.)
L-R: Dad, Mom, Michelle, Matthew, Nick, Esther, me, and Megan.
And with that they were off to they're new life together...
Michelle didn't haven't much time to upload their wedding pictures before her own wedding prep got in the way so there is a few here, but unfortunately not many...


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

American Duchess Giveaway: 1930's Claremont Oxfords

Ms. Lauren over at American Duchess is giving away a pair of her fabulous new 1930's Claremont Oxfords....
Aren't they completely adorable?! Love em!
Anywho...Y'all should definitely check out the giveaway and her whole blog is really just awe-inspiring for us nerdy, history types.. ;)

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Saga of A Wedding Dress

I went back and forth for months over what I would wear. It was my big brothers wedding, after all, I needed something special. I couldn't decide between something fitting to the theme of their wedding (western) or something more futuristic that represented the true me. I just wasn't feeling the normal inspiration that usually comes over me when I have a special event to outfit myself for. Thus everything I was coming up with was completely off the wall and just plain quacky. Finally at the end of July I remembered a picture of simple 1940's dress my bestfriend had sent to me...
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All the sudden I was extremely excited and immediately started locating the components I needed to complete this puzzle...
I first ordered a hat off Etsy. After several days the seller canceled the sale and wouldn’t respond to my messages.....I was quite After all, I’d spent hours searching for the thing and thought I'd found the perfect one. 
In the meantime a friend pointed me towards Aris Allen’s reproduction shoes. I knew there was no way I’d ever fit my monsters of feet into originals. So I ordered a pair of these. I was soooo thrilled when I tried them on they made my feet look tiny and are soooo perfect for the late 30’s early 40’s not to mention the superb construction and how comfortable they are….I did, however, decide to go with a different size. So back those went. They were definitely a pleasure to work with and I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again. Fabulous customer service, quick shipping, and just an all around wonderful product! (Yes, I love shoes.)
The search for the perfect hat continued. I didn’t have a huge budget for one and wanted something nonintrusive. I picked out several then after looking at them more I would decide I didn’t like them any longer…Finally I found a couple on eBay that I liked. I took a vote and ended up choosing a repro felt one. It was coming from Australia tho and it was at this point less then 2 weeks till the wedding. I once again got lucky tho and it got here with several days to spare…so much worrying…in the end for no reason, but nerve wracking at the time none-the-less.
Finally my attention turned to the dress..Not sure why I hadn’t thought of this earlier, but I NEEDED FABRIC. I searched the internet a bit and found a few plausible options, but it was soon apparent I’d waited too long to order anything. Plus I wasn’t really happy with the colors of any of them… It was then necessary to make my yearly trip to Joann’s. Much to my joy they didn’t let me down. I found a lovely red 70% wool suiting…It was perfect – as was the 40% off coupon I was able to use. :P

Three days before we were to leave for the wedding I was, at long last, able to start the actual creating process of the dress. Once I got home from work on Tuesday evening - I started making the pattern. I used McCall's 3129 as the base. The thing has been around forever and much to my surprise was still in the pattern books when I went to Joann's the other day! Some of these things just won’t go away. The biggest job was bringing the princess seams straight up to the corners of the neckline rather then curving to end in the armsyce. I did this on the front and back. We decided the back of the neck should be squared, as well, instead of  leaving it high and rounded. Next I slit the front side panel and added bust darts. Never been a fan, but they are kind of necessary to achieve that vintage silhouette I was looking for. Lastly I shortened the skirt about 11”. That allowed 2 inches for the hem which ended up being about perfect! Then began the real fun. The mock up fit nigh on perfectly. I decided to end the bust dart about an inch sooner and that’s all I had to change! Yay for simple things, right!?!
The next night I started cutting out. That went fairly quickly…altho I do believe I threw a nap in there at one point. (Let me tell ya these last few weeks of wedding prep are stressful as all get out) I got the basic construction done to where I could try it on...Started getting excited and feeling relieved that it was lookin better then I’d imagined it would. The next day I threw the zipper in. I was so proud - got it in perfectly on the first try! And it was a new method for me. Woohoo! ;) My lil sis then got more practice taking side seams in. I always have a hard time getting princess seamed things to fit right on my body shape. I’m just a few inches shy of being a ‘perfect’ hour glass…I have enormous hips, a nipped in waist, and then a fairly large torso above that …Never fun seeing as I want the fabric to do the same and it has such a strong mind of its own…Either way…we prevailed…The rest the construction went smoothly till I got to putting the lining in. I decided to take the shoulder seams apart so I could use the lining instead of any facings (trying to figure out to accomplish this kept me awake the night before. lol) Upon trimming the neckline and giving it a closer inspection - I discovered, much to my horror, that the center panel was a ¼” shy of hitting the corners of the neck…I’d forgotten to account for the fact that the sides of the neck angled out and once I put a full seam in there it would be off…To say I was disappointed would be an understatement! This once perfect dress...totally screwed up…grr…things like these drive me crazy! Alas, the cooler head triumphed and I decided I would just have to get over it…
Next came the make-up. This picture was kind of my inspiration...
I went with a full white shadow,  perfecting the winged liner was perhaps the hardest part…not used to doing it quite so…what can we say…dainty? I wanted the whole upper lid lined, preferably very thin on the inner eye swelling and then turn turning to an angled wing. My issue is usually symmetry from one eye to the other. :p I used Maybelline New York Master Duo gel liner. That danged stuff was expensive…. 
The hair....I REALLY wanted victory rolls or at least a few swirly things, but I had no one to help me and I ended up running out of next go round perhaps?
And that, my dears, is how this get-up came to be…

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Galesburg Heritage days 2013

Over the weekend we were finally able to hit our 2nd event of the year! Our schedule has been so crazy we've been skipping out on a lot this year....and when your like me and live for the few days of the year you get to see your dearest friends....sadness overcomes me...Needless I was over joyed to finally be able to hit one!!!
The traditional - Galesburg Unmentionables shot. I'm thinking this one should go on the wall.. lol ;)
I don't think I've ever been to an event with more beautiful weather!!!! Moderate temperatures, a bit of breeze and NO rain. For this time of year that's unusual...normally the heat would be stifling. So wonderful and such a breath of fresh air from our last round of events.
Much time was spent in dream land...

Or just lounging around in general.... 

We got to see the fabulous Meister family. That's always a fun! I'm constantly in awe of the new wardrobes Ms. Sarah has created each time I see them!
Beautiful little Miss Anne.
Big sis' last hurrah as a single lady...its gunna be sad not having her around at events anymore...nostalgic much? (yess.. :( )  In other news I think my hats suits her very well, no?!?!
Yours truly... I brilliantly forgot sun screen and somehow we ended up with a slat bonnet missing every single slat...all that to say...I got a horrid sunburn. Hopefully I won't be making that mistake again anytime soon.
 Lil sis was, infact, there...just didn't make it into any pictures... o.O
Dat hat!!! This, people, is how its done!
Looks like a bit of skepticism going around..wonder what that could have been about. lol
I always have a favorite event picture...Without a doubt...its this one....
The day had its slow moments, but the highlight for me was getting to spend time with my bestfriend who I hadn't seen for almost a whole year. Thus I accomplished what I went for - so in the end its all a win!!
The rest of our pictures are here
And that's a wrap folks!