Monday, April 30, 2012

Wedding Dress Ideas

Yes, I'm not getting married until next Spring, but my mind is already running crazy with wedding ideas and inspirations.

I know that once it gets near I'll have to be busy thinking about packing and moving, so I would really like to be able to get lots of the smaller wedding things - including decorations, clothes, etc. done ahead of time, and put away ready for the big day!

I'm trying to keep my dress a complete secret from Jordan. (and since he also reads this blog I can't share too many details.....) It will be a historical 1860s style, of course, but what *exactly* will have to be a surprise...However, I *will* give you a little sneak peek into the material and a few dress images that have been inspiring me lately.

So, the fabric. It's already been ordered and I have it in hand ready to go....though I won't start on it for probably a couple of months. The dress will involve two different fabrics:

#1. Ivory silk taffeta from Renassaince Fabrics.
 Gorgeous stuff - love the way it catches the light!

#2. White cotton voile from Dharma Trading.
I have used this many times before - as always it is sheer and floaty and wonderful.

As for the dress style, I have a pretty exact sketch and idea in mind (not to say it won't change during construction, though! lol) But it took alot of different inspiration to get me there. Here are a few of my favorites:

As beautiful as some of the above examples are, I've never been able to see myself wearing a veil. Not sure why, but it just doesn't fit. So I'm thinking about going with a simpler option, some sort of a natural looking floral wreath. Many, many of the victorian wedding ensembles I've looked at have featured a crown of flowers, either fresh or paper - mostly in combination with a veil, but I think it will be equally pretty without.

19th c. painting

Paper flower headdress, c. 1860

Even Queen Victoria wore one! ;)

I thought about buying from one of the many Etsy shops that sells such lovely bridal hair pieces,
 such as 'The Honeycomb'

But, in the end I decided to order the supplies all separate and make my own. I may even end up making them for some of the other girls too! I'm excited to see how it turns out! I have never attempted something like this before so hopefully it won't be too difficult...

I would love to know if you girls have any thoughts/input for wedding inspiration!

Monday, April 23, 2012

1860s White Shirred Bodice

A new-favorite 1860s item - delicate white shirred bodices. My first attempt at doing all-over shirring, and my first accurate 1860s white bodice. A bit scary at first, but it turned out well!

This piece was comissioned for a display at a museum house:

Representing what  the wealthy lady of the house might have worn.

The main inspiration - vertical shirred bodice, with some type of lacy trim at each shirring line.

More inspiration and research.

A preliminary sketch, once the basic style had been decided. A slightly more open neckline, plain but full bishop sleeves.

The finished product:

The lovely creamy-white barred sheer cotton voile and the delicate lace trim were both provided by the curator of the museum. Both were just perfect for the project!

The only major thing I changed up from the original sketch was putting hidden hooks and eyes at the front of the dress instead of buttons. I just worked better with the lining up of the vertical rows.
The white cotton lining is dart-fitted, and then the (much longer) sheer bodice piece was gathered in rows and then pulled up to fit. It took some fiddling and adjusting to get all the rows to line up even going over the shoulders and such, but all in all was much easier than I had anticipated.....


The bodice is shown paired with a plaid silk skirt and black velvet ribbon belt. When it is on display, it will be shown with a lovely rosy-pink silk taffeta skirt. (making that next...)

I'm thinking about making a sheer-shirred bodice for myself along the same lines at some point. I think a correct bodice/skirt combination would be a refreshing change at a reenactment event, and a fun alternative at 1860s dances and get-togethers, don't you?

Monday, April 9, 2012

I'm Engaged!

We just returned from the Shiloh 150th reenactment last week.....and I have some wonderful news to share!

I am engaged!

Jordan and I first met briefly back in 2008 at a get-together at a mutal friend's house during a visit to Tennessee. Since then he and my brother kept up a 'phone friendship' off and on, then last November we met up again when my brother invited him to come down to Texas to stay with us to work on a month-long job we had going. So, with Jordan working with my brothers during the week, and spending week-ends and rain days at our house, it was a great time to get to know each other and we began finding out just how much we had in common. We were both praying separately about a possible future relationship and both felt strongly that God was leading us toward each other. Just before Christmas as Jordan was preparing to go home, he asked my father for permission to court me.

As Jordan left to go back home to Tenneseee soon after, we started talking on the phone quite alot! A month later, at the end of January, my whole family was able to go to Tennessee to visit our friends for a week and meet Jordan's family.

We had been talking about attending the Shiloh 150th reenactment since last summer, and were very much looking forward to finally being there! I was anticipating it even more since Jordan would be there! It ended up just being my two brothers and I driving up for it, and we got there on Wednesday night.
Jordan asked me to get up early and come see the sunrise with him on Friday morning. I was completely surprised when he asked me to marry him, and presented me with this lovely antique ruby ring.
And I of course said 'yes'! So happy! :)

We snapped these few impromptu engagement photos on Saturday morning, as it ended up raining most of the rest of the day on Friday.

We both feel that the best part of our story is that we can see God's fingerprints all over it! :) It's humbling and incredble to know what a loving Father we have, who would design two people to be such a perfect match for each other.

I know when the time comes, it will be hard to leave my family and Texas,
but I'm already beginning to love the beautiful Middle Tennesee countryside.

After the reenactment we had a wonderful couple of days at Jordan's house spending time with his family, wading in the creek, watching another sunrise, taking walks in the woods, and picking wildflowers.

I feel so incredibly happy and blessed and am looking forward to the new life God is presenting to me!
Jordan is currently working on building our house,
and we are planning a period 1860s wedding for next year!


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