Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Of Bridesmaids and Blessings

My current sewing project is a set of brown linen bridesmaids dresses for an Etsy client. They are in a fun retro style (see sketch above) It's been in the works for quite a while, have had the bolts of fabric sitting around for a couple of weeks waiting on measurements which came last week. The fabric was on two huge bolts, plus a couple of yards on a little roll.

 So, bright and early Monday morning I set to work.  I washed/dryed the fabric on the little roll, got the first dress cut out and made really good progress on the construction. The next day I finished the first dress. But - I wasn't altogether happy with it. Oh, it was cute and it looked like the sketch, but there were several construction/finishing steps that I felt could have been done better - but that I didn't want to take apart and re-do now that the dress was done. So, I was in a bit of a dilemma and feeling really annoyed at myself and the world. ( you know how a sewing project gone sour really makes your whole world seem dark ). So I was trying to decide what to do. I knew I would feel guilty if I sent off a dress that I knew wasn't the best I could do....but on the other hand, ripping out all those seams and all that topstitching really didn't sound like fun.

So, while I was thinking about it I washed one of the big bolts of linen. When it came out of the wash, I knew right away that I had a terrible problem. The fabric was a completely different shade than the dress I had already made!!! What a sickening feeling. I would obviously now have to start completely over so that all the dresses would be the right shade, and instead of having a dress completed, it was back to square one.
Went to bed feeling very grumpy, but prayed for patience and that I would make the right decision.

This morning I again got to work, making the same sized dress over again - this time in the correct shade of fabric. However, now that I knew the type of finishing/construction techniques I wanted to incorporate, things went much easier, and I was able to complete the dress and be 100% pleased with it! 

So - in the end the whole fabric shade  fiasco turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

It's nice to know that God can take the little (and big) mishaps that happen everyday and work them out for good in our lives! It makes me happy.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Phantom of the Opera Dress

My most recent custom commission. A cream taffeta ball gown in 1860s style.

The request was for the dress to be similar to the one worn by Emmy Rossum in 'Phantom of the Opera'.

Bodice and skirt are two separate pieces. Slightly off the shoulder bodice is fitted and boned with little puffed sleeves.
Laces up the back with robbon through hand-sewn eyelets.

Fabric used was 'elegance taffeta' from It's a synthetic taffeta - but I love working with it, it's seriously the best faux silk I've ever seen.

Quite a fun project! I love the simplicity and elegance of a white or cream ball gown. :^)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mexia Reenactment Weekend 2011

This past weekend we attended a reenactment at Mexia, Tx and had a wonderful time seeing old friends, and introducting new friends to the hobby.

The girls.

The guys.

Notice the numbers?
I think we totally could have done a quick musical performance of '7 Brides for 7 Brothers.' lol.

Breakfast - scrambled eggs, bisquits and gravy

The guys got called over for roll call when they had just filled their plates with breakfast. But, the lieutenant was kind and said they could eat while in formation. This made me laugh.

Cim was made a Corporal for the weekend, as there were no other officers from the 7th Texas Dismounted present. He was glad to be able to command his own little group, and they went out to drill that morning before the battle, in which they played a very important part.

The 7th Texas boys under their battle flag.

A scrumptious luncheon.

It's become a tradition for us to go on 'midnight walks' in the moonlight on Friday and Saturday nights.
We always have a grand time visiting, snapping surprise pictures, and playing pranks!
The goodies all of us girls had brought didn't last long with so many hungry Confederates in our camp.....

The Confederate Reunion Grounds at Mexia have some gorgeous scenery.

A huge 12-player game (plus teams) of croquet after lunch on Saturday.

Our group ready for the dancing to begin!


A moment of prayer before the battle on Sunday.

Brother portraits after the battle:

It was a truly wonderful weekend - hands down best reenactment to date. :^)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Homeschool Cotillion and 1950s Dress

This past weekend 3 of my siblings and I (and Rebecca!) attended a Homeschool Cotillion, a formal dinner and dance.

It was lots of fun! Some of the dances and music were a bit more modern that I prefer, but it was great just being with friends!

The tables were all decorated with international themes...

Isn't Aspen cute? Her dress looked so pretty (I actually bought a dress for once! lol) and her curly hair was bee-u-tee-ful.

After the cotillion, some of our number (no names shall be mentioned....) were determined to get ice cream, so we all caravaned over to Brahms....aaand they were closed, then to Sonic....closed. Then to IHOP..... you guessed it. So, finally we found Whataburger - open! so, there we are at midnight sipping chocolate shakes. It was awesome. ;-)

Now, for you seamstresses who will be interested in the dress details,

it was made from this 1953 pattern:

Top material is pale blue cotton voile, under layer is vintage blue duponi satin. Sash is a pink organza ribbon. Oh, and the necklace is pink freshwater pearls on a silver strand. My very favorite piece of jewelry. :^)
The skirt was really fun - 2 full circles! Great for twirling!

the only back view picture I had...

On Sunday we had an even lovelier time riding/hiking around our friend's ranch, and visiting a bit more before heading back home.

That's one huge rock.

So thankful for the wonderful weekend and for safe traveling! :^)


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