Sunday, 28 April 2013

I have finished my underdress.

Hi Guys

I feel quite smug tonight because I have finished my underdress - so if everything else goes pair-shaped, I can at least walk down the aisle in that and not a pair of jeans lol.  Its hemmed and is the perfect length with my shoes (thank goodness) and I am happy with the fit.

So now the DIFFICULT BIT.  I made the toile for the lace overdress - cut an inch off the neckline to make it sit a little lower.  I then pulled out the basting threads holding each of the pieces together, and used my machine and bright coloured thread to mark the seam allowance all around the pattern pieces.  I then cut off these seam allowances.

The next part of the task is to lay the toile pattern pieces on my lace, trying to look at the placement of the motifs and then thread tracing each individual pattern piece on to the lace.

I managed to do a few pieces, 3 in total (the front pieces) and then saw a bit of a problem and I think I may have to remove the thread trading and start again.   Basically I think that I need to find the centre of my fabric and then work from the middle out - i.e the centre panel placed in the middle of the fabric and each piece as they would be sewn together moving away from the centre front.   I left the part finished work on my cutting table and will take a fresh look at it on Wednesday (the next opportunity I'll have to work on it).  But I am edging forward to getting everything finished. Oh by the way did I mention that I have NEVER WORKED WITH LACE LIKE THIS BEFORE other than the lace for my bras which is a lot smaller.

This is a 4 day week for me and then I am off  work until after the wedding, but here is a list of days that are already going to be quite full.

 3rd May -Friday I have to visit the lady who is making our cake and then go to the florist to select my flowers for the wedding party and the table decorations.

7th May - Tuesday -  go to hairdresser for a trial run of the hairstyles

11th May - Saturday - 25th Wedding anniversary party (gosh I have nothing to wear)

13th May - Monday - collect my friend from the airport - she is flying in from Houston and her first visit to the UK.

15th May - Hen night

16th May - Dinner with my friend and daughter

17th May - Nail salon and then drive up to the hotel

18th May - D-Day

Oh in addition to all the above, my darling Son is starting my new decking area so fingers crossed I'll have a nice new area to relax just before/after the wedding.

Catch you all later.................

Saturday, 27 April 2013

3 weeks and counting.

Hi folks just a quick check in with you all to let you know I have not  jumped off the nearest cliff following my recent series of disasters.

As mentioned last weekend I wasn't happy with my original bodice and cut a new one.  Wednesday and Thursday evening I made good progress by finishing the  new bodice, which incidentally finished at the high hip, whereas the other one finished just under the bust as an Empire line.  This gave me several options; do I attach the skirt in the same position as the first example as an Empire line or do I attach at the waist.

In order to help me make my decision, I marked the waist line with large tacking stitches on both the skirt and the bodice and then loosely stitched the two pieces together to see how it looked.  Nope didn't like that.  I then unpicked it and repeated the process at the Empire line.  Yes that was much better.

Today, I managed to fit the zipper, and a hook and eye. I added a few more layers of tulle to the underskirt and marked and stitched the hem. I have a couple more rows of tulle to add, and then I can attach the underskirt and I can give a huge sigh of relief and hopefully tomorrow announce that I have finished my underdress.

Phase two of this process is working with the beautiful, but very expensive lace to make the overdress.  I have made a toile top and just need to extend the skirt and then I'll be ready to lay the toile pattern pieces over my lace, making sure I take extra care the with placement of the motifs on the lace.

I feel in a much happier place now.  If I can get the jobs outstanding on the underdress completed tomorrow, that gives me 2 weeks to finish the lace overdress.

Jobs list:-

  1. Add 3 layers of tulle ruffles to the underskirt
  2. Attach underskirt to bodice lining and finish lower part of zipper (inside)
  3. Attach toile skirt pieces to toile top for lace overdress
  4. Unpick toile and position pattern pieces on lace
  5. Sew lace overdress
  6. Hem big girl bridesmaid dresses x 2
  7. Sew bridesmaid dress for pregnant daughter
  8. Sew little dress for Sofia who will be 1 week short of 3 months old.
If at all possible, I want to finish all of the above by the 10th.  This will leave me the 11th to enjoy a 25th wedding anniversary party for Mike's sister (without thinking I should be at home sewing) and leave me the week before the wedding for pampering, relaxing and chilling out (if that is possible) and the hen night.

I hope you are all having a good week.

Please bear with me, normal blog posts will resume shortly :-)    Happy Sewing one and all catch you later...............

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Thank you

Thank you for all your lovely comments left on Thursday's blog post - they were about the only thing to make me smile on Thursday and Friday. Yes I am definitely having flutters of anxiety, and now there is a big clock ticking away in the back of my mind but it does help knowing you guys are behind me willing me on.

Yesterday disappeared really quickly predominately because I was in the hairdressers having my hair done, so I didn't get home before 4pm.  I still had lots of household jobs to complete, but I did manage to sew the side seams of Sharlene's dress and tack her hem in place ready for sewing.  I also basted the zipper in the back of my dress, took it out, sewed it in, took it out and then sewed it in again before feeling quite unhappy with it and left it on my workbench around 9pm last night.

I did some more sewing on my dress today but not on the zipper.  Part of the problem is that I am not happy with the fit of the bodice.  I have cut a new, different shaped top for my dress, and added more structure into this new top, which I believe will also give me more support.

I haven't unpicked the original bodice of my dress, I want to finish the new one I am making first, which is half way finished.  Once I have finished it I'll see which one I prefer, and gives the best look for the design I am trying to create.

There will be no more sewing for me until Wednesday evening now because we are back in London, but I am eager to finish my new top on Wednesday.

Tonight we must decide on the words we want to use for the wedding service and send them off to the Registrar.

Hope you had a lovely weekend, we have beautiful sunny weather today, if we get a day exactly like today for the wedding it wil be perfect.

Thank you my friends, Happy Sewing, catch you later......................

Thursday, 18 April 2013

This time next month I'll be Mrs M..........

Do you ever have one of those days, well this is my day.

  1. Went to take my car from the garage and my resident foxes must have triggered the alarm and run the battery down.
  2. My sourdough was too wet and plopped on the baking tray (tasty but no height)
  3. I have gained 1 1/2 pounds while trying to diet for my wedding and that is after having cycled or run and sometimes both every day since Sunday :-( and eaten enough veg and fruit to supply enough methane gas to run a local power station.
  4. My sisters have managed to hijack my planned hen night and turn it into a possible nightmare, and now I have to re-think what I am going to do or if I want to do anything now.
  5. My credit card was frozen after signing up as an Elite member for the Runkeeper app and I had the embarrassment of digging in my bag for another card to use so I didn't have to leave a trolly of food behind.
  6. While ripping the skin off a chicken leg I managed to unhinge my gel nail
  7. I am trying hard to finish a load of work before I leave for my pre-wedding vacation on the 3rd May and more work keeps getting in the way of my progress on outstanding jobs
  8. I feel so stressed today that I haven't done any sewing tonight just in case my stress causes me to make too many mistakes. 
  9. I am stressed because I haven't done any sewing last night or tonight and still have loads to do.

The only redeeming thing to come out of today was a text message from my daughter saying do you realise that this time next month you will be Mrs M...........  I have to say this fills me with both fear and joy.  Joy because I'll be the happiest lady alive when my D Mike and I get married, and fear that I have a fraction over 4 weeks to get everything done before the wedding.............................

I hope your day has been better than mine, hopefully tomorrow will be much better.

Catch you later.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Just a little blogger hello and to say I am still at it.... 4 weeks and 6 days to go.

Hi Guys

I am still here, but figured that you didn't need a step by step run-down on how my wedding dress is getting along.

I am so glad that I started when I did because there is a lot of work in it - thank goodness I have 4 weeks and 6 days to finish it (hmmm is that enough time?).

Because there is a lot of weight in the skirt I decided I definitely needed a waist stay - at least this holds the dress up without me exposing parts of me that should definitely be under wraps at my age.

My current dilemma is trying to fit the zip in.  An easy enough task you might think, yes, but because of the design of the dress, I need the fit to be snug and somehow the dress is a fraction too big (might be the diet).... so there I was yesterday afternoon, trying to pin the back of my dress on myself to work out how much fabric I need to remove in the zip area (there is definitely too much).  Those of you who have done this many time before will understand how difficult this is.  Armed with sharp pins, it is inevitable that you will stick the odd pin in yourself, and of course I did.  I decided the best way was to baste the zip in at the point I marked it with the pins (lining and fashion fabric) and then try on again before attempting to cut or sew with the machine.

Ordinarily I could ask my D Mike to give me a hand, but alas, old-fashioned superstition prevails and I don't want him to see me in my dress before the wedding.

I'll continue hand-basting the zipper in this morning, and I also have Sharlene coming today to try on her dress.  Hopefully the basted side seams are fine, and its just a case of using a smaller stitch to secure the seams and pinning her hem.  I am not entirely happy with the sleeve on these two particular bridesmaid dresses.  I am hoping meticulous clipping and pressing will do the trick.

When my daughter Lauren was here last week, we decided on a different style of dress for her baby bump, and I plan on sewing this when I take my sewing/wedding vacation on the 3rd of May.

I have started to break in my wedding shoes by wearing them around the house when my D Mike isn't here.  I do look a sight in my PJ's and very high shoes, but who cares......  Another 20 weeks or so and they will be fine lol.

On the illness front, I am glad to report, while there is still a need to keep a tissue to hand, my cold has improved so much that I no longer just feel "ill", which is a great relief.  I just hope I can manage to avoid any further bugs or viruses until after the wedding.

I found time to ensure I watched episode two of the Great British Sewing Bee.  Sadly Tilly and Mark both got eliminated, but our dear Ann is still in the running so good luck to her.  I have really enjoyed the show, and hope that this will not be the only series, roll on episode 3 on Tuesday evening.

I have taken the odd foray into the blogging/PR/SG world to see what is going on outside my own little sewing cave, and there have been some fabulous creations.  I took advantage of the Sew Direct buy one, get two free offer last week, and I am now the proud owner of even more patterns that I will never have time to sew up.  There are one or two gems in there, that I just can't wait to get my hands on, so watch this space, but not until after the wedding :-(

Right, I need to get back into my sewing room to get a couple of hours work in before our guests arrive.

Catch you all later.....................

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

39 days to the wedding.

Ok things are getting serious now.  39 days to the wedding!!!!!! Yikes.

Saturday was a non-productive sewing day, but very productive in terms of finalising some of the wedding arrangements.

First stop was to pick up my DGD Alana because we needed to buy shoes for the little bridesmaids. Once she was safely strapped into her car seat we headed off to our venue previously blogged about here to select the menu and give them numbers etc.

Next was the cake tasting - let me tell you folks, this exercise was not good for my pre-wedding diet.  Michelle (the cake maker) came out with a tray of samples for us to taste with the following frostings; strawberry and lemon, chocolate fondant and caramel and crunchie (an English chocolate bar made of chocolate covered honeycomb).  I am not a lover of chocolate cakes or toppings so I didn't like that one, but Alana ate the whole cake, so got the seal of approval from her.  I loved the strawberry and lemon one, hmmmmm yummy.  The Caramel and crunchie one was nice but very very sweet, so not to my taste.

We spent a long time talking colour schemes, and what Art Deco features we wanted on our cake.  Michelle was getting very excited, I think this was a first for her.   We settled on a 4 tier cake, with different fillings to accomodate everyone's tastes, of course including the chocolate one which Alana and others will love.

 Michelle called me yesterday and said would I mind if a photographer came and took a photograph of her, Mike and myself with the cake so it can be published in a wedding magazine.  Of course not, only happy if it will give her more business - Move over Cake Boss.

Once we had finished a guided tour of the garden, chickens that provide the eggs for the cakes and the dogs, we headed off to meet with the photographer.

Next stop was getting the boys kitted out.  They are doing the typical dress-hire, and because we are still trying to keep to our vintage theme, they had exactly what we wanted, but not in stock.  The boys all got measured and now its just a case of picking up the suits before the wedding.

Next on the list was shoes for the little ones.  I decided on little leather ballet pumps and both the girls were so cute padding around the floor in their shoes.

I have done quite a bit of work on my dress now, and needless to say because my D Mike reads this blog I can't post anything here, but for those of you who are members of SG you can find a preview post there.

Catch you later......................

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Wedding sewing progress

I now take my hat off to all those people who sew for clients, especially wedding sewing because that is how I feel right now.

I had to give myself a schedule to get through all the wedding sewing, and I am not far from achieving this.

Alana's dress - done
Ella's dress - done
Esme's dress - done (and she loved it) no alterations required
Natalie's dress - done (except for the hem - bias hem hmmmmm oh so looking forward to that-not)
Sharlene's dress - nearly finished I just need to sew side seams (dress and lining) and insert zipper and hem.

This just leaves around 4 hours work on Sharlene's dress, however I am full of a head cold again, and finding it hard to concentrate, but hopefully I can do a little each evening between now and Friday night, so I am just left with completing my dress and starting my daughter's which is a little bit of a problem as her baby is due around the wedding date.

Below from left to right, Esme's dress BurdaStyle 02/2012-142 Natalie's dress Butterick 5710, Alana and Ella's dresses Butterick 5705.

Saturday we have a really busy day: 10:00 hrs - menu selection at the venue, 12:00 hrs - wedding cake sampling and design selection, 13:30 hrs - photographer, 14:30 hrs suit selection for the men, followed by shoe shopping for the little ones.

I can't believe that on Saturday it will only be 6 weeks until the wedding.  I don't actually have a complete wedding dress hanging anywhere right now.  My friend Viv covered my tiny buttons and sewed the bodice of my underdress, and I have sewn the seams of the skirt for the underdress, but that is as far as I have got.  I spent a little time experimenting with some fabrics last night, in an effort to achieve the look I want for the bottom of the skirt and believe I made some progress, but needless to say I have loads to do.

Apologies for fewer posts, and a lack of comments on other blogs, but my mind is on other matters and hopefully things will get back to normal post wedding activities.

I will close this post with a comment on the BBC2 show The Great British Sewing Bee - I thoroughly enjoyed the show and I believe that you can get it on You Tube too if you are not UK based.  There are two ladies that I recognise, Tilly from the blog Tilly and the buttons who gives more inside info on the show on her blog, and Ann Rowley who is a wonderful contributor on Artisan's Square who replies to quite a few questions from members on the thread.  I am really looking forward to the next episode.

Catch you all later...................