Monday, September 9, 2013

It Was Wonderful!

I know you must be wondering: Did she finish the dress? Did it fit? Was it wonderful? Did the beads fall off?

Well, Yes, yes, yes and no.

I didn't get the zipper in until the day before, but it did get in and it fit well. I didn't see her tugging it up all the time like I've seen some brides do.

I liked seeing people examining the bodice in search of dinosaurs.
The silk gave the dress a nice movement when the bride walk, a nice bouncy flow. I received so many compliments on it--and the bride.

So, here's a few not so great photos. I'll post more as they become available, and hopefully a few videos, too. After I get back home.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The End is Near!

The past week was crazy with all this. Most days I went to bed after 11 and woke up around 3:30 or 4 and got right to work. No sense laying in bed doing nothing when the project was consuming my thoughts! Then I spent hours at a time on it.

My work space is a mess. Threads and scraps everywhere. The termites must like the creative environment becasue they came back. Had the place retreated last Monday, but the rain we had reactivated them. After all the is over, we'll have to move things so they can do a more thorough treatment. Blasted disgusting creatures.

This first pic is the bodice as I'm prepping the lining. It ended up longer than I planned on...not sure what happened, but, it works. It's quite heavy.

This is just the lining and the boning. It's simply muslin for it's cottony comfort and absorbancy. I was thinking a silk/cotton blend would be luxurious, but stores don't carry that, and I didn't think far enough in advance to order it online. Oh well.

These are pouffies made of silk and organza to sew on the skirt. I'm just cutting petal shapes or making rosettes out of strips. I'm also using a leftover shiny tulle and a little rainbow lame for accents. They're sewn under the tucks.

Here it is, mostly finished. I spent yesterday wrangling with the tulle to make two underlays. Actually, I took this before I had it finalized, I think. The pouffies go where the blue strips are maybe. I put the strips there when I pinned up the tucks so I wouldn't miss any pins. I'm adding more, moving some around. It's not rocket science. Some of this was, but not this part. It's really more amazing in real life.

So, there will be a wedding dress. Today, I need to finish the tucks and pouffies and attach the bodice to the skirt. I'm also going to start my dress. Tomorrow, I will hand pick the zipper and work hard and hope and pray I get it all done in time for out flight Wednesday morning.

Diving back in!

Friday, August 16, 2013

So Over This--Except I'm Not

A quick update before I return to my exquisite obsession.

I wake up in the middle of the night and sew on more beads because that's all I think about. Then I move on to thinking about the skirt. We leave in less than 2 weeks-hopefully. If hubby can get his vacation time straightened out.

Augh! I grocery shopped the other day for frozen pizza and Marie Calendar pot pies. No time to cook. When I take a few moments to work on my novel, I can't think...

Most projects come to this. It reminds me of my college days at the University of Maine at Farmington's theater. In the final week before a production went up, it seemed like it wouldn't fall together. Actors still didn't know their lines and forgot their blocking. Scenery and costumes weren't done, barely any tickets could it all possibly come together?

Yet, every time, it did. Some better than others, but the show always went on. And it was always a relief and a let down when it was over.

Enough waxing sentimental. Progress.

The skirt after I finalized the shape of the hem. Don't worry, it gets better.

The bodice and skirt pinned to the form. The blue strips of paper mark the pins where I think the puffy petals will go. 

The 97% beaded front. If I can figure out how to hang it in front of a light source, the pattern will show up. Maybe next time.

 Pinned together on the form. Without the tulle. Oh, you can see the new termite tunnel behind the wooden artist mannequin. Yup. Sigh.

I really like doing this. I don't like the time pressure, but...sometimes life is like that. Could be worse. I know that for sure!

I've been watching mostly TV shows, or working in silence plotting my novel. I rewatched seasons 1, 4 and the first 8 episodes of 5 of Breaking Bad. I've started Drop Dead Diva, Damages, and have seen quite a bit of Kitchen Nightmares which inspired me to finally clean my refrigerator on one of those nights when I woke up at 3:30.

Back to beading! Thanks for reading!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Crunch Time!

I knew it would come to this. Despite MONTHS of diligent designing and beading, the last weeks before the wedding are here. I wish I was further along. I have about 3 weeks until I want this finished and shipped.

 But the past months were tough. Sometimes my mind was to numb to decide where to stitch the next bead. Sometimes sewing tiny pieces of glass onto delicate fabric was a familiar comfort.

Weddings are always a bright point in life, but the trials of 2013 so far will make this wedding even more so. Good grief, I'm glad we have this to look forward to.

So, for this post, the pics are going to extend to the side so you can see more detail. My photographic skills aren't very good, but...

I basted the bodice pieces together to see if it would still fit because the stiching puckers it a little. It's pretty good, but I plan to make the seam allowances a little smaller to give some ease and room for the boning.

Still a bunch to do...

I also started the skirt. Here's a piece laid out on the silk. I added some for a hem. I took the skirt from the muslin, took it apart and used those pieces. I think the piece pictured is the side back for the under skirt. I found a very light mesh to sew onto it for stability but it still maintains the flow and lightness of the silk.

Here's a piece for the outer skirt that has to be tucked up all over the place so it needs to be longer. It will also be wider in spots so I hope that's not a problem. I took half the skirt pieces from the muslin and split them horizontally  two times and pinned them with eight inches between them, making each piece 16" longer than the original. I'm hoping that's not going to be too much for the short front. I'm sure experienced pattern makers or someone with better math skills would have done this differently.

I have both skirts sewn together. Next is to press the seams flat and sew them together at the bottoms, which could be tricky. I'll work on it today until my little sewing corner gets too warm and I get too cranky. Then I;ll move to a cooler place and write. Oops! I mean, bead.

Remaining to do:
1. the tulle underneath (sounds like a horror movie title)
2. the tucks and puckers
3. the lining and boning
4. sewing petals on the tuck and puckers
5. figuring out how to ship it
6. my dress
7. the father's attire

Well, I'm off to it!

Friday, August 2, 2013


These are so freaking adorable! A friend of the groom's designed them, and another friend printed them,
They made the little origami dinos!

Note the attendance menu choices! (I used my prodigious photo editing skills to blur their address.

The paisley-dino theme looks kind of familiar to me by now.

I wasn't able to attend the bridal shower, so I took a break from beading to make a table runner. There's 4 panels in all. I enlarged dino silhouettes I found online and did a reverse applique kind of thing.

The bride is at the point where she is weary of all the planning and just wants to get on with normal life.
4.5 weeks, sweetie.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Still At It!--Quick Update.

The skirt came back with no modifications needed! So, now I have a pattern.

And about 6 weeks to complete everything.

It's been a trying spring/summer this year. Serious health concerns. Termites. Heartbreaking developments in a family close to ours. Praying. Coping.


I've started the front piece, the last.

Shown are the back, side back and side front as they will be put together. They will need some finishing  work when everything is sewn together.

Add caption

I'm a little concerned the puckering caused by stitching without a hoop will make things a titch too small. I'm spending about 4 hours a day at this right now, until I can't see straight and the needle and beads no longer want to cooperate.

I have a design for my mother of the bride dress. Fabric is next. Also, must find shoes.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Skirt Update

For all the griping we like to do about the USPS, can you beat taking a package to the post office Friday afternoon and having it get from Phoenix to it's final destination Philadelphia on Monday. For under $4.00. Try doing that yourself.

Not watch, the next time I do this, like when Sarah sends it back, it will be lost. And I'll be screwed.

Anyway, she loves it! The size and shape are perfect, the length might be, too.
I wasn't sure she'd want me posting the whole picture, so I cropped for the skirt. We're both excited and although there are still plenty of things I've never done to do for the first time on this, I feel like I have the hardest out of the way.