After various delays, here's the final installment chronicling the adventure of making my wedding dress! (Read part one and part two.)
I toyed with the idea of draping the skirt somehow, over an underskirt of the lace, but couldn't come up with anything that looked right - and I liked how it looked with the lace jacket and simple, elegant satin skirt. So I set the draping idea aside. But I wanted a way to tie the satin from the skirt onto the jacket, in a way that would also outline the faux bolero look of the jacket.
Flowers were a good solution.
I made them in several different sizes - they were very easy, too. I made a basic yo-yo similar to the ones used for these shoe clips, starting with different sizes of circles. Once gathered, instead of letting them round, I bound them into petals - some with 4, and some with 5 - and sewed the centers full of small glass pearl beads.
So I made a bunch and began to play with them, pinning them to the mannequin.
Keep it simple? Three on each side?
How about continuing them in a single line all the way around the neck? I do like this look and maybe will implement it in a later project.
I could do an asymmetrical look like a corsage on one side...
...or do smaller matching corsages on each side, following the curve of the neckline.
That last option I decided was my favorite, so I went with that one, pinning them to overlap and then tacking them down. I soon decided that I wanted to tie in the pearls in the flowers by using pearls around the flowers - also softening the embellishment. So out came the pins again and I pinned individual pearls randomly around the embellishments and neckline.
It added a nice touch, though the pearls were tricky to sew in place without pulling the rest of the pins out! Everything coordinated beautifully, even though I was working with several shades of white.
All finished! All that was left was to press the skirt and cover the dress up to keep it dust free for the big day.
What a project! Certainly my most ambitious to date. It took a long time and was a lot of work, but I think it was worthwhile. And I don't think it turned out too homemade looking, which was my hope.
I love that now I have a true heirloom to pass on to my children. Maybe someday a daughter of mine will wear the dress, or the wreath and veil!
I didn't really have any sewing goals for the year, but just sewed what I needed to or felt like making, so it's interesting to see the variety of things I actually completed, and which ones ended up being the most useful and favorite.
One thing I've noticed in other vintage sewing blogs is that many times the seamstress will make variations of the same style of dress over and over, so that other than fabric and embellishment choices, many of their creations look the same to me. I was hoping to avoid that, and am pleased with the variety of silhouettes I made from three different decades this year. Though I am noticing I made more 1930s patterns than I'd thought, and less 1940s this year.
It looks like I made a nice variety of outfit types this year, both dresses and separates, and some 2 piece dresses for the first time - which I can wear as separates or together. I love that, and want to do some more!
In an overview of the year like this, you also get to see my own personal journey from glasses to contacts, and the difference losing another 15-20 pounds made. (Only as a result some of these outfits have to be altered or passed on because they are way too big for me!)
5 times this year I made the same pattern twice, something I usually don't do because I'm always excited to try a new one. But several of these were worth remaking, like this 1930s pattern - and of course, it makes it all the better when there are different variations in the pattern itself so you can make the 2nd version a little different.
I'm pleased with the range of fabrics I used, from linen to rayons of different weights, a few wool blends, and of course different kinds of cottons. I also used a variety of colors this past year, including uncommon ones for me, like green, pink, and brown.
Do I have sewing goals for this coming year? Yes! I want to sew more things I need, and most of all - sew from the stash! I have a huge amount of fabric and hope to get excited about fabric "shopping" on my own shelves. I'd like to continue the variety of silhouettes, fabrics, and colors implemented this year, and hopefully improve the photography, modeling, and historical faithfulness along the way.
I like the versatility of some of the pieces I made, from the mix-and-match outfits and separates, to dresses with removable bows and collars, multi-color accessorizing ability, or switch-out components. Though at the same time, some of my most worn dresses, especially for everyday, are the simple ones I can just button up and go.
So, for the 2016 countdown...that makes 12 1950s projects, 2 1940s, and 10 1930s. Plus a late '40s/early '50s project that fits in neither general decade's silhouette, and 2 transitional projects that are 1950s but can work for 1930s as well.
I also got a number of older projects photographed this year, which I enjoyed doing. Some of them I quite fell in love with again now that I've lost weight. Others, not so much - they used to fit me but now need altered or passed on. Sometimes a belt or sash can hide the too-big fit, but not when it's just too big all over.
It's fun to look back and see where I've improved this past year... which projects turned out better than expected, or were a bit of a disappointment for one reason or another...which ones I've ended up wearing most, or have gotten a lot of attention on the blog. And which photos are my favorites! Sometimes hair and makeup turn out perfectly - other times, it's more like, "What was I thinking??"
I already have my first 2017 project complete and am starting on my second one, this time to fill some gaps in my closet. I have a number of new patterns I'm dying to make, and some lovely fabric to use up, so pairing things in the stash and crossing off projects are already several things on my list that I'm working on. I'm so excited to see what takes shape this year - there's something magical about taking a flat piece of fabric and turning it into something shaped, expressive, and lovely.
After various delays, finally here are the proper photos from my wedding day! The snapshots I put up shortly after the wedding only captured a few glimpses of the day. Time to share all about the event, which is certainly one of the biggest days in my life. :-)
The sun came out bright and clear, after a torrent of rain the night before. Everything was soaked, but we'd still been able to do some of the setup the night before.
After working madly for hours wiping things off, setting the tables, bringing out the decorations, doing first aid on the bouquets, and food prep - the time drew close enough that it was time to start getting ready.
We may or may not have done some peeking out at the guests...
All sorts of pretty details were in readiness.
Being helped into my wedding dress. All those tiny buttons took a while to button up!
Mama helped me put on the Bride Pearls, and my veil...then I looked in the mirror and lo and behold, I was a bride!
Meanwhile in another part of the house, the guys were getting ready.
By this time guests were constantly arriving, and things were busy outside.
My talented bridesmaid Mikaela played such a beautiful prelude on my sister's harp.
We're almost ready to start! Everyone's waiting - the flower girl...
...and the groom!
(I'm upstairs pretty impressed by the fact that I'm not really nervous, and enjoying the harp music!)
Time to seat the families...
After seating his mother, Dustin joined the pastor up front. It's time!
The bridesmaids descended to Canon in D played by the brass group.
Now everyone's waiting on me. And I'm just realizing that I must be a little nervous after all because my knees are trembling as I'm ready to start down the steps.
I joined my father at the bottom of the steps and he escorted me to the front where he transferred his authority to Dustin.
The bridal party then was seated, for a short opening message on the glory of marriage.
One amusing thing that happened was that flies and bees were very interested in our bouquets. I was protected by my veil like a mosquito netting and the other girls were envious! :-)
My father gave the main sermon, addressing part to Dustin and part to myself, detailing our responsibilities and roles toward each other and before God. Then he called up the bridal party for the exchange of vows.
I thought I would cry, but somehow I didn't. Now it was time to exchange rings.
And we were pronounced Man and Wife, in a blessed, eternal, and life-changing bond.
After that, there was a short blessing and benediction, then we were presented as Mr. and Mrs. Dustin Clay, and retired to the strains of Mendelssohn, which is the recessional I'd wanted ever since the time years ago when I first saw It's a Wonderful Life.
The receiving line.
Meanwhile the guests not in line visited and mingled, and the bridal party and families stayed close by for photos to follow.
Hey look! We're wearing wedding rings!
My sisters took turns manning the guest book.
Once everyone was through the receiving line, it was time for formal photos, which we kept as short as possible because the reception was waiting.
With our parents...
With our families...
With the bridal party...
And of course, with each other!
The fall colors were so beautiful, and the yard had so many pretty spots.
It's going to be a real trial choosing which ones to frame!
Photos over, we headed back to the upper lawn to be presented and seated at the bridal table.
My brother (dapper, isn't he?) was the emcee, and he also had put together a playlist of fun favorite love songs of all types, from country to vintage big band, to play while we ate and visited.
Our servers were very capable and kept bringing us plates of yummy things!
We cut the cake, and Mama brought us the top tier to keep in the freezer for our first anniversary.
Things were winding down. We visited and hugged folks and signed the marriage certificate; one of my sisters collected my things from the house and put them in the getaway car, where we took more photos (shown in the earlier post)...
Then it was time to try not to cry as I hugged my family and mother goodbye. This time I was truly not nervous - just at peace - when I left, alone with my new husband...our whole lives ahead of us.
More than two months later, we're still on our honeymoon...and I'm still the most blessed bride in the world!
Dustin is the most considerate and kindest of husbands, and so perfect for me. I can never thank God enough for bringing us together in such a marvelous way.