Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Time well spent

I finished making my veil today.  As I stated before, I relied heavily on the tutorial directions written by Jennifer Stern at CraftStylish. It couldn't have turned out more beautifully. Forgive the photographs.  Tulle just doesn't seem to show up very well on camera.

I used 108 inch wide tulle and rounded the lower corners.  Initially, I had planned on making it two layers, but once I had gathered the first layer, I decided there was more than enough fullness so I scrapped the second. (Anybody want some extra tulle?) 

After I had the shape right, I pinned 1/4" satin ribbon around the edge and sewed it in place using a straight stitch on my machine. This takes a LOT of time and can be really frustrating, so it's best to do it in smaller sessions.  Also, it is easier to pin the ribbon about half an inch in from the edge of the tulle, because it likes to slide around.  On my first attempt, I didn't notice that the tulle was slipping too far behind my ribbon.  I was just stitching a nice straight line through the ribbon and it wasn't being attached to the tulle at all. After adjusting, it gave the tulle enough room to slide, but I was still catching it as I stitched. But before you actually get to the sewing...

Did I mention that tulle likes to slide around? A lot?  It's going to do it vertically along your stitching line too.  I mastered this by finding the bottom center of the veil and marking it with a safety pin.  Then, I unwound my entire spool of ribbon and found the center point of that.  I lined up my centers when I pinned the ribbon in place and worked my way up on either side, moving toward the top edge.  This is also how I sewed it.  Start at the bottom center and work your way up either side.  The excess will get worked out as you sew and you won't have to worry about the ribbon being too short on one side.

Once the ribbon was in place, I trimmed the excess tulle along the edges so they'd be closer to the seam line and covered by the edge of the ribbon.  Then I cut the entire veil to length.  I chose the fingertip length of about 40 inches.  (Jennifer's directions list some other common lengths if you're looking for something different.)

After cutting the correct length, I followed the tutorial directions for gathering the top edge and attaching it to the comb. The initial attachment with thread was not difficult, but using the 1/8" ribbon was more challenging.  Firm, but gentle is the key to that step.  Several times I was worried I was going to rip the tulle trying to force the ribbon through the top. Thankfully, I didn't.  Sit down in front of a good movie and take your time with it. If you're going to cover the top of the comb with flowers or another large decoration like the tutorial shows, I would suggest skipping this step all together.  This took longer than sewing the ribbon around the edge.  It doesn't make much sense to put that much work into something that you won't see if you plan to cover it. That's just me though...

Finally, I used some hotfix crystals (pearls really) to edge the lower "sewing line" of the ribbon. I haven't used the hotfix tool much, but here are some things to keep in mind about it.  First, IT'S HOT.  It's just like using a hot glue gun, so don't go touching the tip unless you want to get burned.  The only real difference is that the glue is stored on the crystal, instead of being squirted out with a trigger. Second, it's possible to shove the crystal too far into the tip so it won't release onto the garment.  Keep a sewing pin handy to slide in the tip opening to remove it if this happens. That way, you won't have any issues with my first informative tip about hotfix tools. Lastly, make sure you have plenty of extra gems on hand.  Each gem is kind of a one-shot deal.  If it gets stuck in the tool tip they can start to burn, which affects their color, so you won't want it on your finished product.  Also, it's easy to have them fall out of the tool tip when you flip it over after heating the glue.  I had a couple that ended up adorning my heating pad, rather than the veil. 

Overall, the project was very easy to complete, but it took a great deal of time with the additional embellishments.  I'm very happy with the way it turned out.  It may not be as professional looking as a store-bought veil, but it's definitely good enough for a couple hours of wear at a small family get-together like we're having. And the final cost was still less that $20 after adding the hotfix crystals.  Can't get much better than that.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

The blog has officially been around for an entire year.  Very exciting indeed, but we're going to move right along now and pretend that I haven't been slacking on craft posts. *cough*

Last weekend I ventured out for the very first time to try and select a dress for my wedding.  This particular outing ended up being pretty disastrous thanks to a combination of horridly unhelpful bridal consultant, poor dress selection in my price range, and my own freakishly large rib cage that refused to fit into any gown despite it being 4 sizes too large for me everywhere else. In summary, by the time we finished I was extremely frustrated and angry.  Wanting to take back control of the situation, I began crafting my accessories for my big day, nearly the second after arriving back home. 

First up, a cute crochet shrug because I want my shoulders to be covered and 98% (or more) of the wedding dresses out there are strapless. (Can anyone say, Designer FAIL?) The pattern I finally settled on is  Berniolies Designs' Rainbow Shrug , minus the whole rainbow thing.  I'm making it out of a really pretty bamboo silk white yarn by Ella Rae, in the "Cloud" colorway.  It will look something like this when I'm finished with it.

Photo belongs to Berniolie.

The second project I started, which will probably be more difficult to finish, is my veil.  Jennifer Stern has an excellent tutorial at CraftStylish for how to make one (which I'm deviating from quite a bit). I plan to follow her construction technique to put it all together though.  The best part of this project...it's cost!  I purchased all the necessary supplies for $15 and change. From what I've read online, veils can easily be between $75 and $300, so I'm psyched about my savings.  If I do hit a rough patch and can't make it work the way I want, I'm still only out the fifteen bucks. My plan though is to use some Jolee's hotfix pearls to embellish the tulle, so I'll probably spend a little more on it in the end. Still...a great bargain.  I'll post some pictures once I get farther into the project, and determine if it is feasible enough to complete.

Ooh!  I almost forgot!  I also completed my Wilton gumpaste and fondant course this week.  Check out my super hawt cake that I made for "graduation". 

That's right.  I made it.  The fondant too. Pee Ess I heart Karen!