06 July 2015

The Wedding Dress

Goodness, it has been a bit over six months since I last posted. A lot has changed - we moved from our downtown-y apartment to a rental house in further out SE Portland (where I have a private sewing studio!), after 11 months of underemployment I started a job in June with a local non-profit health insurance company where I do fun data analysis projects, and I made my sister's wedding dress!

This post is about the wedding dress.

I started with Lekala Little Atlas Dress #5199 in her measurements. It is a bit unweildly to make a wedding dress when she lives in Texas, I am in Oregon, and the wedding was in Las Vegas, but we made it work through photos and chatting on the phone.

I used the bodice of the Lekala dress and drafted a 1/4 circle skirt according to her measurements. My sister crocheted an overskirt (and shawl, but it was too hot to wear it) which was so pretty.

I made the final dress out of Silk Dupioni lined with rayon bemberg. It was my first time using either fabric and while I liked the feeling of the bemberg, it was a bit of a bitch to sew due to the the shifting while cutting and sewing! On the other hand, the silk was fantastic to sew with because it had a bit of texture and did not shift around.

Here are the practice dresses:

Muslin #1 - Bed sheets from my mom's fabric stash. (Thanks, Mom!) My sister wanted the strap on the left, just narrower.

Muslin #2 - Fabric from JoAnn's. I used the straps from the Cambie Dress, but they were toooooo wide, so I took them in by 2-ish inches for the final product.

I have made this dress a total of 5 times - 2 linings and three fashion fabrics and I am now able to bust it out in about 3 to 4 hours. Doreen, if you ever need to renew your vows in the same dress, I can totally do that for you. : )

Here are a few more final photos (with Elvis. It was Vegas after all! If you are going to get married in Vegas, it probably should be done by Elvis). The straps should have been sewed a bit shorter, but at the final fitting, it looked like they were fine. My mom did the hand sewing to attach the straps to the dress (Thanks again, Mom!). I dislike hand sewing a lot.

Her bouquet is made out of "zipper roses". A friend from her work made all of them and she assembled them onto the foam ball. It looked super cool.

The immediate family.

Everyone who came to the wedding!

Here are a couple of photos from the after party:

Sister Selfie time!

Doreen is drinking all our wine!!

My siblings (minus my brother :( who wasn't able to make it). We all look the same and different at the same time.

I didn't make time to construct a new dress with working my new job, so I went to Nordstrom Rack to pick up a new dress. It was so novel that having a completed dress didn't take many complicated steps (scheming, cutting, constructing), long hours, and swearing - I just tried on a few dresses and picked the one that fit me the best. My sister, Beth (on the far left), though, made her dress, and did a super great job!

FYI: It is a terrible idea to go to Las Vegas anytime that it might be hot. The weather ranged from 27C to 42C+! But, as everyone kept reminding me, at least it was a dry heat. However, it was so hot, that I don't think humidity played a part in my uncomfortableness! Also, I recommend going to the Hoover Dam and taking at least the Power Plant Tour. It was really neat to learn about the history of the dam. Although, I think the idea of the dam providing endless water to the surrounding states is flawed, it really is an engineering marvel.

TL;DR: The wedding dress came out well, the wedding was so much fun, and Las Vegas was hot. A++ would do again.

As a side note, my husband has the same waist size as my sister, so I had the dress on him to trim up the unevenness from the quarter circle skirt. I wish I had taken a picture of him in the dress, but alas, the memory just stays in our heads.

02 January 2015

2014 Sewing Round-Up

I didn't sew as much this year as I desired to. We moved in the middle of the year and while being VERY happy about the move, I have been a little sad and directionless. I'm doing better now that I have more of a life plan made - anyone want to move to Oregon and join our Space Science non-profit? I am also giving myself permission to sew and not think of it as time wasted because I am not looking for a job. The things we get in our heads sometimes...!

Here is a round up of my favourite things I made this year and the not so favourite things. I gave away a lot of my handmade clothes to friends because it fit them better than me, so I don't have photos of all the clothing I made.

Belated San Francisco and Christmas write-up!

I was in San Francisco for a conference a few weeks ago. Well, to be clear, Matthew was there for the conference and I went along to see my space science friends, see the SFO sights, and go to sewing shops. While I was there, I saw a post on Carolyn's blog that she was \ in San Francisco for the same conference and was asking if anyone wanted to meet up for fabric shopping/coffee, etc. After my husband encouraged me to email her, we got together and went to Britex fabrics! It was my first time meeting up with another person who is as obsessed with garment sewing as I am. We had a great time chatting and walking through the fantastic fabric shop. Carolyn is friendly, super talented, and makes wonderful clothes. I'm glad I got over my social awkwardness to send her an email. Thanks for fabric shopping with me!

After our shopping excursion.

03 December 2014

Jade Skirt

I've been on a sewing streak this past week or so. I finished the Scout shirt I spoke about in the last post, but it has been relegated to the trash bin - dartless tops do NOT look fantastic on my bigger bust and the upper chest and back were much too tight for me. It is too bad because I LOVED the fabric I used. Oh well, at least I learned more about my serger and the insides were very clean.

On to something that totally worked for me! And I was able to serge almost all the seams!

25 November 2014

Sewing Fails

Not everything I make turns out super awesome, sadly. I have been working on this blouse thing from 9/2014 Burda Style for the past week or so in short chunks. Trace the pattern here, cut the pieces there, sew this and that.

24 September 2014

Elisalex Skirt

This past Saturday, Matthew and I attended a wedding of one of my friends. I first met her about 9 years ago when I worked at Welch Allyn for about six months. We have stayed in contact since then and I'm glad that I moved back in time to come to her wedding!

When I sew, I mostly sew things that are useful to wear and that I will wear a lot, cake as some people say. I don't really sew a lot of "frosting", but I think a wedding is one of those times when you can make some super dressy and fun. I used the skirt portion of the Elisalex dress and used a super shiny curtain I bought from the thrift store last year. I still have three panels left of these curtains and I don't know how many more shiny green garments I need in my closet! I procrastinated the sewing of this dress until the week of the wedding, so I decided to just use the skirt portion of the pattern because I just needed to fit my waist and I didn't want to mess with fitting the bodice on my body.

From September 24, 2014

06 July 2014

Wardrobe Architect: Part 2

Onto Week 2 of Wardrobe Architect.

This week we begin defining a core style using words that describe the mood, feeling, colours we feel best in.

05 July 2014

Wardrobe Architect: Part 1

Have you heard of the Wardrobe Architect series at the Coletterie blog? It is a 14 week series they put together to help you craft your sense of style.

I went through the exercises a few weeks ago, but I wanted to record my answers here for my reference and I am interested to know if my answers change in the coming years. I recommend doing the exercises yourself, I have found the introspection to be amazingly helpful. My sewing time is productive and the things that I create get worn more because it fits my style.

Let's get started!

22 June 2014

17 June 2014

I made me a coat!

During spring this year, I discovered that I was missing a lightweight jacket from my wardrobe. I have a heavy wool coat, a lighter wool coat, a rain coat, and sweaters, but nothing between the lighter wool coat and sweaters that I could wear on non-rainy days. I thought about buying the Everlane Trench Coat, but it sold out before I was able to purchase one, so I went searching for a sewing pattern.