Saturday, March 15, 2014

Making a wedding dress

Silk Flowers

I have been sewing and crafting up a storm lately for my wedding. I made a beautiful dress with white lace and light blue silk. I also made a bird cage veil with handmade silk flowers and a petticoat.

Front of the bodice

Sweetheart neckline

I started with the Colette Hawthorn pattern and added a lining with a sweetheart neckline. I also changed the pattern so that it zipped up the back with an invisible zipper, rather than buttoning up the front. Then I changed the collared neckline to a scoop neck and added a scoop neck in the back. I did several muslins before starting the actual dress, so I could get the fit right.

Back bodice with darts

Pretty lace sleeve

Finishing the seam on the sleeve

I loved working with the lace and the silk. The silk felt so nice on my hands while I was sewing! The lace I bought has a lovely scalloped edge that I was able to keep on the edge of the sleeves. I cut the skirt out with a rounded edge, same as the Colette Hawthorn pattern, so I couldn't keep the scalloped edge of the lace. To get the scalloped edge back on the skirt, I cut the scalloped edge off the lace and hand sewed it onto the bottom of the skirt.

This is the dress before sewing the skirt to the bodice and before adding the scalloped edge to the skirt.

I will post photos soon of the veil and petticoat. I still need to make my belt. I bought some antique silk velvet ribbon for the belt. You will have to wait till after the wedding to see the finished dress!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Needle Felted Wool

Lovely little needle felted bluebird and cardinal

This past fall I took a class on needle felting at Home Ec in Iowa City. The class was great. I've been interested in needle felting for awhile, and I was soo surprised at how simple it is! I made the bluebird with the beret for myself and the cardinal for my parents. I crocheted little scarfs for them to make them look more festive  :)

Needle felted bluebird bundled up for winter!

Bluebird body before adding the wings and face

To make this sweet little bluebird, I started by compressing some wool roving into an oblong sphere. Then I took my barbed needle and stabbed the roving repeatedly. The barbs on the needle make the wool stick to itself and hold its shape. The more you stab the wool, the denser it gets. You can easily shape your piece by stabbing in some areas more than others, and by adding extra wool to areas that need to be thicker.

Attaching the beak.

Each section of the bluebird needs to be made separately and then attached to the main body. In the photo above, I am attaching the beak to the head. You have to keep some loose roving at the end of the beak (or whatever part you are attaching) and stab the loose roving into the main body. Amazingly the wool holds itself together just by stabbing it with the barbed needle.

Bird before adding wings

To add the special little details to your felted wool project, you just use the same method. Take bits of wool roving and stab it into the main body. It takes a little practice - but really its sooo easy. I finished my bluebird by making some wire legs and painting them orange.

I made my bluebird a sweet little polka-dotted beret!

Tweet tweet!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Cooper Christmas

For the first time ever - my sewing was mistaken for store-boughten. I made my sister a Colette Cooper for Christmas and I had to tell my family that I made it - they didn't just guess  :) Don't get me wrong, I obviously think handmade items are "where it's at," but I was just tickled. I'm very proud of this bag!

I decorated the inside pocket with girl scout and boy scout badges!

My sister loves camping, so I made her a camping themed bag compete with a compass, girl scout badges, and some water-proof matches inside. This backpack is made out of a recycled felted wool blanket, denim, and ripstop. I love the texture of the felted wool - it is gorgeous, however it was sooo thick it was difficult to fit through my machine! Next time I will probably use regular wool.

I found some sporty looking webbing - perfect for camping!

The pattern has a lot of pieces and many steps, so it took me a while to finish this one. It was totally worth all the work though. It was fun learning how to make straps and learning to install the hardware. I bought one of the hardware sets from Colette Pattern's store Gifts for Crafters. The matching hardware gives the bag a really finished look.


Despite the cold, my sister agreed to do a photoshoot with me the day after Christmas. We went for a walk in the woods behind our parent's house. I love how the bright red bag looks against the snowy background. 

Found some cool ice.

Striking a pose!

We had fun taking photos. Amanda did a great job as the model! I really want to make another Cooper bag for myself, but first I need to finish my wedding dress. I started cutting lace for my final practice version last night  :)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Nuptials Dress ~ Take 1

I've finally finished my first practice dress for my wedding! So my dream dress is a knee length dress with a scoop neck top and three-quartered length sleeves. Despite the simple idea, I couldn't find a pattern that was exactly what I wanted. What I decided to do was take the Colette Hawthorn pattern and alter it to fit my ideal dress.

Altering my Hawthorn pattern

I had already done a small bust adjustment to the pattern before I made my Wilderness Blouse. Some other changes I made to the pattern were swapping the button-up front for an invisible zipper in the back, changing the neckline, opening up the back, and tightening-up the arms. I think it turned out really well - if fits great!

I love how you can see my green hem tape on this photo!

I made this dress out of a pretty woven cotton plaid. I used hem tape for the first time on this dress, it was so fun! I don't think it's any faster than doing a regular hem - but the pop of color is great. This was iron-on hem tape, so I just ironed it over the unfinished edge and then sewed it on.

My actually wedding dress will be in a very pretty lace with light blue silk lining. I want to try and do the lining with a sweetheart top - if I can figure out how to do it. I'm going to do one more practice version before I move on to the real deal.

I did some tree climbing  :)

As you can probably see from the photos - it is cold here in Iowa! Brrrrr - these were some chilly photos. I want to thank my sister Amanda for trekking out into the cold with me to take these photos. She did a great job!

All bundled up!

I recently bought the Cooper pattern from Colette patterns. I'm so excited to try it! Is anyone else doing the sew-along?

Monday, November 25, 2013

I Love Seattle

Wearing my Hawthorn blouse in beautiful Seattle!

One of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen. It just got more and more vibrant.

Day 1

At the beginning of October I visited Seattle for the first time with my fiance Josh. We went there to see our friends Emily and Frank. Wow, what a great city - I loved it!

Fun at the farmer's market!

One of my favorite parts of Seattle was the public market. We went there everyday and found new things each day. They had beautiful bouquets, tons of local fish, and many talented local artisans.

Day 2

One thing I really loved about Seattle was the great parks. You can be in town, but still feel like you are out in nature. We went to a park in Capitol Hill with a water tower you can climb up and a whole garden patch of dahlias. 

Back at the farmer's market!

Climbing up the watertower.

The conservatory was closed for the day - but I took a peek inside!

That's a lot of Seattle pics for one day - I will share more soon! I really recommend visiting Seattle, I know I'll be back  :)