Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fabric escapism

After I made this for my friend, I wanted a wristlet for myself and I came up with this. Since J. and I got engaged and spent our honeymoon in Paris I'm a sucker for all those whimsical Paris-themed fabrics out there. The one I used here is a linen print by Kokka.

I decided to stick to the colours of the tricolore and use scraps from my stash with this print that have a vintage or rustic feel. I love that mock cross-stitch print in the top left corner! It's from the Sew It Book Collection by Red Rooster. I'm newly interested in cross-stitch and embroidery, not least because of Alicia Paulson's amazing new book.

As you can see in the pictures, it's winter here, although people are still officially talking about "autumn". It's great that it snowed, because of the snow it's not as dark as it would be otherwise. What better antidote to the darkness and cold than pretty fabrics, some sewing and daydreaming of Paris?!

The handy inside pockets are really cute. I love that blue flower print as well. A late friend of my grandmother's gave me a lot of her patchwork supplies and fabric scraps some years ago. She was a great fan of the colour blue and the scraps are all very lovely and old-fashioned in the best sense. It's strange and wonderful to think how fabrics and sewing can connect people in a unique way. I didn't really meet this woman very often or know her very well, but she knew I was interested in patchwork and that was enough for her to be so generous. Now her fabrics are a part of my little projects and they make me think of her.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Dress

So my cousin and my father-in-law came to the rescue and here are some pics of the dress! Sorry, there is only one a bit poor picture of the whole length, but at least the picture shows you the nice weather we had ...! ;-)

My good friend and namesake Eva made me jewelry for the wedding. I hope she can find it in her heart to forgive me for customizing it into hair ornaments! (Bridezilla alert!!!)

More facts about the dress: the pattern is from Burda magazine 4/2009 and I used 3.8 metres of polyester duchesse satin and 90 cm of guipure lace. Plus 3.15 metres of viscose lining and an 60 cm invisible zipper. And thread, of course.

My biggest concerns regarding making the dress were the slippery nature of the satin, the sewing of the lace and the invisible zipper. The satin was easier to sew than expected. I had a sufficient amount of notches and also pinned the pieces together at critical points for more precise construction. The problem I had with the fabric was more linked to ironing, my puny household iron wasn't able to open the seams at the required low temperature, so I decided to invest in having it ironed at the dry cleaners, who did a great job.

The lace was also easier to handle than expected. I found that all you have to do is to fearlessly sew across the "empty spaces" and you'll be fine. I finished the seam allowances of the lace with a narrow zig-zag stitch.

The invisible zipper is always a bit of a challenge and I was afraid the satin would make it even more fiddly to insert. So I decided to prepare for it extra carefully. What I did was hand-baste along the centre back seamline and then iron it to the wrong side. Like that you can easily see the line along which the zipper is supposed to be sewn. Also, I ironed the zipper from the wrong side. Like this, the "ditch" you have to sew in to precisely insert the zipper is becoming more pronounced and the zipper application is a bit easier. Attaching the zipper I used the invisible zipper foot of my machine. Other things that help with zipper application are basting or pinning. With invisible zippers I prefer basting. Here's a video I found about this topic. If the zipper foot compatible with your machine looks like the one in the video, you're in luck! We had the same kind in school, but the one belonging to my machine is much more fiddly.

Here's what the dress looked like in the magazine. In this picture you can see the hem, which I think is really pretty. I also can tell you why the models have placed their hands in front of the photostory bride's belly: SERIOUS Bridget-Jones-style underpinnings required. No, not the ones with the leopard print ...

There's some more wedding-related things I wanted to show you. First, the bouquet, which turned out exactly the way I had imagined it:

It was so beautiful! My grandmother had it dried and now it's in Germany decorating the guest bedroom.

Here's J.'s matching lapel corsage:

AND: the amazing wedding cake my mother's friends made:

It was three-tiered and very yummy!

Thank you for your patience and excuse me for taking so long with this!!! I hope you enjoyed the pictures!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mrs. Tease

So here I am, back in the internets! I'm sorry for being such a tease, and I'm afraid that you'll have to wait for a little bit longer to see pictures of the dress! Sorry!!!!!! As you can imagine, being the bride and all, I didn't really have the chance (nor was it the foremost thing on my mind) to take pictures of the dress, so I'm waiting for our friends' and family's pics to slowly arrive here to see if there's a good pic in there for you!

In the meantime, I'm hoping to be able to appease you a little with pictures of the beautiful decorations my grandma made for the dinner we had after our civil service ceremony.

In Germany it's obligatory to have a civil service ceremony, a church ceremony isn't possible without the marriage certificate from the magistrate. So, if you intend to have a church wedding in Germany, prepare for two ceremonies!

The civil service ceremony was held in a tiny old church that is nowadays owned by the magistrate and it was really beautiful. Only our closest family plus my maid of honour's family were present. In the evening we had dinner at my father's house, and my cousins and their families joined us there. We were 23 people and had a really nice time with rustic food from my home region. My aunt, grandma, cousins and uncle helped us prepare the food and the decorations for the evening. The room you can see there used to be a pub, my family had a little pub business until 17 years ago.

I'm really glad I took these pictures! My grandma really did such an amazing job!

Hope to be back soon with more pics!