28 April 2012

for her trousseau

Over a year ago, Jennie and I saw a nightie in Anthropologie that she loved--it was soft coral pink with antique-y looking lace insertion. So when Jennie got engaged, I decided to try to make a similar nightgown for her. I used the Colette pattern Cinnamon, which I really enjoyed sewing. It's not a hard pattern to put together, and the shape of the gown is really attractive. It's cut on the bias and almost all of the seams are zig-zagged, so even though it hugs the body pretty closely, it's still comfortably stretchy.

I searched high and low for a coral pink voile that I liked, but never found the right color. My mom had been making table runners for the wedding from voile that she bought from Dharma Trading and dyed gray, so she suggested we buy some of that voile and dye it the color we wanted. Bingo! I bought the 52" Silky Cotton Voile and a little pot of their coral pink dye, which ended up being so much less expensive than the fabrics I'd been looking at.

I got some maline lace insertion to go along the neckline. I'd never inserted lace before but it's surprisingly easy. I was very happy that my lace lined up in the center!

Along the bottom hem, I attached lace that was leftover from her veil (more on that next post), which is the same "tulip" pattern of maline lace.

One note about the Cinnamon pattern: Sarai recommends that small-busted people make an adjustment to the bust and I will second that! I made a muslin straight from the pattern and it was quite baggy on me. So if you're A or B cup, a small-bust adjustment is definitely necessary. For the final nightgown, I followed Gertie's tutorial. I pinched a good third of the fullness out of the bust pattern pieces, and I probably could have taken out a bit more. So fair warning to ye of wee busts!

Here's the nightie all packaged up for the bride-to-be. The rose is one of my Morning Magic roses, which we planted to grow up our new arbor two years ago. They are growing and blooming like crazy and I think I've only fertilized them twice since planting them. Three cheers for hardy roses!

24 April 2012

my first foray into maternity sewing

This is one of our dearest and oldest friends who is expecting a little boy in two weeks! Doesn't she look beautiful?! This is because: a) she's just an absolutely beautiful person inside and out, b) she's glowing with happiness, and c) she's totally rocking this bridesmaid dress I made for her!

Suzanne was nervous about finding a maternity dress for the wedding that would fit her 8-month baby bump and be both comfortable and pretty. My mom and I boldly offered to make her a dress, which I ended up making because Mom took on so many other projects (you think I try to DIY a lot of stuff, I can't hold a candle to my mom!) I was a wee bit nervous as I've never sewn anything maternity and am still learning my way around my serger. Overall it went well, though, and the only mini-crisis was about a week before the wedding when my serger cut a giant hole in the bodice. ACK. Luckily, it all worked out in the end and she really looked amazing.

We used Burda 7630 which was a fairly simple pattern to work with and Mom and Suzanne picked out a lovely gray jersey from Joann's. It draped beautifully and we knew it would be a comfortable choice. And although the pattern called for both a zipper and a skirt lining, I was able to leave both out thanks to the stretchy fabric.

I made a practice dress which Suzanne tried on a few weeks before the wedding. We made some adjustments to the bodice at that point (the lining of the bodice was strangely small and made the entire bust fit much too tightly, so in the final version I just cut two of the regular bodice pieces to use for both outside and lining). We also decided to make the dress floor-length to hide ankles and feet which are now, toward the end of her pregnancy, swelling uncomfortably by the end of the day. I think the longer length made it look so elegant!

Jennie let each of us bridesmaids pick any gray dress we liked, so we got to show a bit of our own style. The gray made us all look like bridesmaids and it all looked coherent, but we didn't look like crazy bridesmaid clones all in the same dress. I don't know why they do that to bridesmaids! No one likes to be a crazy bridesmaid clone!

22 April 2012

Jennie's Wedding Quilt

I made Jennie a Single Girl quilt to celebrate her marriage.  That sounds a little odd (and Matt kept calling it a jinx!) but I just love the way it's a modern take on the traditional wedding ring pattern. A modern wedding quilt! Just what I wanted. This is by far the biggest quilt I've ever made--it's queen-sized at 85" x 92".

Almost a year ago, I started stashing away red fabrics for this quilt--the pattern calls for 36 different accent fabrics! Jennie's favorite color is red so I focused on red but ended up incorporating some red-oranges and yellows. It was surprisingly hard to find enough red fabrics I liked that were the right tone. I wanted to avoid purpley, dark reds so that it would stay on the very warm side of the red spectrum. I also wanted to keep away from too many pinks so that it wouldn't be girly--it is a wedding quilt so I wanted it to please the groom too!

I used Kona Coal for the background and I really like the way it sets off the circles. I chose it primarily because Jennie and Collin have two dark-haired cats but it also echoes their wedding colors. The bridesmaids all wore gray dresses and the flowers were bright red, pink, orange, and yellow. So it's very reminiscent of their wedding day.

Just the idea of wrestling this thing through my featherweight had me sweating so I sought professional help on the quilting and I am so glad I did! Suzan DeSerres of Singing Stitches in Chapel Hill did the quilting on a long-arm machine. She did an absolutely beautiful job and was such a pleasure to work with. We decided on a simple looping design that goes back and forth across the quilt. I LOVE it.

I found some cute percale sheets online to use for the back. I had read that quilting with high-thread count sheets can be a major headache, but these were 200-thread count which seemed to work just fine. It was nice to only have one seam to sew for the back!

The binding is made from two of the yellow fabrics I had leftover from piecing the front. 

Suzan used an 80/20 cotton/poly blend batting which makes it a versatile weight--light enough for use during the warmer months but still plenty hefty.

We actually ended up using the quilt as the backdrop of our ye olde photo booth at the wedding! Here are our friends Carl, Suzanne, and Kelli being all colonial at the reception. (The wedding was in Williamsburg, VA. It was AMAZING and everything turned out so beautifully!)

Jennie and Collin are just back from the honeymoon yesterday. I think this quilt will be part of a very happy home for many many years. XO