Monday, October 27, 2014

Love That Style!

As some of you know, I love 1950's style. For a long time, I have wanted to make a 1950's dress (or several) for myself. The opportunity came with my church's annual Reformation celebration and dance. It's a costume dance, so why not go 1950's? I told my friend Emily, and she thought it sounded like a fun idea, so, naturally, we decided to match...because you're never too old to match, right? ;-)

We went fabric shopping towards the end of September, but of course, I didn't actually get to sewing the dresses until a couple weeks before the dance. In spite of this, I think I set a record. Both dresses were finished the afternoon before the dance - not a few minutes before, not the afternoon of, but over 24 hours before the dance. Don't expect this success to be repeated.

A long time ago, I had picked this dress out of one of my great grandma's old magazines. The picture isn't in color, but I imagined it must have been black with gold behind the lace on the top. It's just so elegant!

After a lot of cutting, sewing, and experimenting, two spools of thread (two entire spools!!), and a few late nights, the dresses were finished. Eight skirt panels plus several pieces on the top made for a lot of seams to zig-zag!

I pretty much made up the pattern based on the picture. I used another 1950's dress that I had cut out a long time ago and never finished as a guide for the skirt. One of my T-shirts served as the basic shape for the top. I love the lace we found! So pretty!

I also made this fun little 'half-hat' and curled my hair with pin curls to complete the look. The hat was made from some plastic cross-stitching canvas I had left over from my jean purse, and fur and lace from my scrap drawer.

I glued the lace and fur onto the plastic canvas with a glue gun. The flower, pearls, and elastic were sewn on. The elastic ended up being a little too loose, but bobby pins kept it on just fine!

The only part of my outfit that I did not make was my shoes. I really wanted pumps, and I finally found this pair for $5 at a thrift store. I love them!!!

So much fun!!

I really enjoyed making these, especially when Emily spent the night after the wedding and sat and chatted with me while I sewed (and afterwards we watched Frozen). Great memories!

I think this is my favorite dance dress ever! I'm going to have to find more opportunities to wear it!

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Little Bit of Business

I've got a few big projects going right now, one of them being dresses for a dance this coming Friday, and I also have a lot of projects lined up, which is a good thing, but...I don't think my life is going to slow down until January. Bring it on!

Just this past weekend, I had the privilege of being in a dear friend's wedding. Over the past few weeks, I was busy altering my and my sister's dress, and helping another of the bridesmaids alter hers. The dresses were so beautiful!! Overall I think this was the most gorgeous wedding I've been to. And I got to be in it!

We are all waiting (rather impatiently, I think) for the professional wedding photos, but here are some that my dad and sister took.

There was dancing at the reception, which is always fun!

I love weddings!!! And I may be a little biased, but I think this was the best one I've seen yet!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Step by Step: Skirt to Infinity!

As I'm sure most of you do, I have clothes hanging in my closet or stuffed in my drawer that I haven't worn in forever and don't think I ever will again - but they're just so nice I don't want to get rid of them! This skirt was one of those things:

Beautiful skirt, right? But I hadn't worn it in years. A friend's birthday was coming up and I wanted to make her an infinity scarf. I started looking through bins and boxes and drawers to see if I had any fabric that would work, and the skirt hanging in my closet caught my eye. The fabric was perfect for a scarf, a flowy sheer that would lay nicely. Here's how I did it:

Step 1: Cut two rectangles. I used an infinity scarf of my sister's to determine length - my rectangles were about 31.5 inches long. I didn't measure the width; I just cut it as wide as the skirt would allow.

Step 2: Sew the rectangles together along one side to make a long strip.

I used this stitch to finish the edges, since the zig-zag stitch tends to stretch out sheer fabrics:

Step 3: Sew the long edge together to form a tube. This step is actually optional. I didn't want to hem the edges because I was afraid it would make the scarf thick and bulky. If you don't mind the raw edge, you can leave the scarf open. I wanted a finished edge, so I went with the tube.

Step 4: Flip the scarf right side out. Match right sides of the two open ends together and sew around as much as you can.

You will be left with a little hole, like this:

Step 5: Fold the edges of the small hole in and sew them together to finish it off.

Done! Quick, easy, and such a great fashion accessory! Oh, and my friend really liked it. Success!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Elaborations on Pinterest Finds

A lot of work goes into planning and putting on a wedding shower. I recently collaborated with three other girls to plan one for a good friend of ours who is getting married in just a few weeks(!!!). Even with the four of us pitching in, it was a big job. But it was so much fun!!! First of all, working with the other three girls was a blast (one of them is my sister and the other two are good friends from my church). Secondly, it was really fun to be able to do something special for the bride-to-be.

The day of the shower, I got to go fabric shopping with this dear friend:

I think most people do not fabric shop the way I do. I hardly ever have the time to browse or the money to spend on whatever catches my eye, so I go looking for a specific thing, with the goal of finding it in the least time possible. Not a very relaxing way of shopping, I know, but it gets the job done. Someday, my habits may change. Like I always say, when I'm rich and famous...

Anyway, back to the wedding shower! We returned from fabric shopping just in time to finish decoration preparations. We had one hour before we were supposed to be at the location setting up. That was one crazy hour! We were cutting paper and sewing burlap and taste-testing coffee...and laughing at ourselves and each other. Then we loaded all of the boxes of decorations and trays of food into cars and headed over to decorate. Upon arrival, another crazy hour (or hour and a half) ensued. But somehow, everything got set up in time (with a lot of help from guests who arrived early) and the shower went quite smoothly. In fact, I was surprised at how smoothly it went - probably because of how crazy it had been beforehand.

All the decorations turned out beautifully!! Most of them had their origins in Pinterest finds. Here are some pictures of what we did, with links to the Pinterest originals.

Tissue paper flowers:

Burlap flowers:

My sister kind of came up with these on her own. Not really sure how she did it, but they were really pretty!

I had a bunch of long burlap threads that I had pulled from the edges of some table runners. I didn't want to waste them all, so I made them into flowers! These were probably the fastest and easiest flowers to make.

I love these pinwheels!

We were planning to use mason jars with tea candles in them on the tables, and I really liked the idea of burlap and lace covers for them. These were so quick and easy - just a little cutting and some hot glue.

As a filler to spread around the decorations on each table, one of the girls who was helping plan cut out a bunch (and I mean a ton) of birds from scrapbook paper. It added a really nice touch!

That's a lot of decorations!

Here's how it ended up looking:

My dad made these wooden candle holders for us to use. They went perfectly with the rustic theme.

The best part of the whole shower was how special and loved it made the bride-to-be feel.

It was quite a successful shower. In fact, the four of us who planned it feel so good about how things went that we think we could go pro...just kidding. But we certainly look forward to planning another one if we ever get the chance!