Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Wedding DIY

 Despite the sheer volume of stuff needing done, the wedding DIY is on hold for the moment. Mostly because I'm working on a custom order for the Etsy store that's kicking my ass, but also because we're a bit stressed at the moment, what with kittens, and Jake's upcoming surgery, and holiday plans to deal with. But before all that, we actually did get quite a bit done.

There are 148 colourful paper birdies in that bag but since the photo was taken, we've gotten up to 226. We were actually making quite good progress on them - this lot were done while I watched back to back episodes of Upstairs Downstairs. But then we hit a problem. We didn't know how to hang them. Originally we wanted a cascade of cranes hanging from the ceiling behind us when we got married, but the venue wouldn't allow us to hang things from the ceiling. So then we thought about stringing them inside a folding screen, where the paper parts would normally be. But that was looking to be expensive, plus a logistical nightmare, what with the wedding being in Ireland. Also, it wasn't really the same effect. So we looked at other things - a wedding arch, pipe and drape event screening, all sorts. But nothing really clicked. Until yesterday.

I'm not a huge fan of balloons at weddings. I don't know why, I just don't like the look. But I've made a compromise on this point - no, we won't be having balloon centrepieces. I haven't compromised that much. Instead, we're going to get coloured matte balloons, fill them with helium, string the cranes from them, and let them float up to the ceiling. Then we'll tie them to weights at the bottom, and hey presto! Our cascade of cranes! The ceilings in the hotel are pretty standard, so it won't be super high. I'm pretty pleased with myself for coming up with that - I'm sure it's been done before and whatnot, but I was totally drawing a blank. And now the crane folding can continue!

We also folded 30 ish cranes in old sheet music, sort of as a tribute to the people who won't be there. Namely the boyfriend's Dad and my paternal grandparents, who were all very musical people. It seemed fitting.

Other than that, there's a ton of wedding crafts to be getting on with - we did mock ups of the hand-made invites, and they totally rock. But I'm a bit worried that they won't go down too well with some of the more traditional members of the family. There's also the small matter of fifty million paper roses to make (okay, not that many, but it feels like it!)

That's what a box of paper roses looks like. As you can tell, we're not going for any specific colours. We're not really having a colour scheme as such, so I'm opting for complementary colours as far as possible. I have no idea how many I'll need but I have tons of paper so eventually I'll stop :) In fact, this is the project I'm most itching to get on with, so I can mock up a few centrepieces to work out how many flowers I'll need - and I haven't even chosen the paper for my bouquet!

Anyway, that's as far as we've gotten. Things will be pretty quiet around here for a while. Jake has facial surgery on the 4th of July and we're understandably worried about that. I'll be sure to update you all on how he gets on.

Monday, 11 June 2012

My own sewing room ... at last!

So I've finally submitted my last assignment for uni, which is a huge relief and means that I can focus on sewing and wedding stuff without feeling guilty! I'm taking a year out now, so for the first time in a good while, I feel relaxed. The last time I took a break from uni, it was because I was pregnant, and anyone with kids knows that the first few months after a baby is born is anything but relaxing. This time around I've got lots of lovely projects to occupy my time, and the kids are all a little bit older and more manageable (in theory.)

Also, I now have my own little craft room. Up until last month, my sewing machine and assorted notions lived in the corner of our bedroom, and when I wanted to start a project, I had to wait until the kids were asleep and drag it all downstairs. And as for fabric, thread etc storage, it was non-existent. Well, we decided to move Olly into his older brothers' room, because that room is massive, and he seemed a little sad and lonely all by himself, especially in the mornings when he could hear them playing and mucking about, and he was stuck in his cot in the next room. The three of them are getting on well together in there, and they'll probably stay there for the foreseeable future. That freed up Olly's room to be turned into a craft room/ guest room. No actual decorating took place, just moving furniture around really, but I'm chuffed with it. I have a little haven away from all the chaos around here!

So this is the result - not as nice as some peoples craft rooms, but it suits me fine at the moment. On the right is my  sewing table. We bought a new table in Ikea, that has a wide, shallow drawer perfect for keeping thread in. The chair is just recycled from around the house. Next to the table you can just make out the top of my fabric basket.
The long curtains hide a whole bunch of stuff not related to crafting, but I cleared out one row of shelving specifically for my things. So my sewing box, cross stitch basket and various wedding related projects sit nicely in there, along with sewing and knitting books. And that's my wedding dress hanging up in its bag too :)
Then on the far left there's a hangy thing from Ikea that I keep all my yarn in. In spring and summer I don't always feel so much like knitting, but I'm trying to learn to crochet so I can make a few ripple blankets and amigurumi. Hanging on the front of it is pattern pieces for a skirt and a simple top I'm working on. I find it easier to hang up my cut out paper pieces on skirt hangers to keep them from creasing - that way I can use them again without having to cut a new pattern. And I can mark any notes on it, like add 2 inches to hem, or take in 2 inches from the sides. And underneath all of that is a box with paper for my wedding flowers in.

My little sewing nook. I finally got to display the last few pieces of art I bought a while back - various comic ladies in Victorian style dress. I also hung up some of the finished cross stitch samplers that we made for the store before we switched to PDF patterns.

So that's that! It certainly helps to have somewhere to lay out all my work, and not have to worry about tidying it all away again. I also take my time with projects now, fitting in half an hour here and there, instead of trying to rush to get it all done in one or two evenings, when I'm already tired.

My first post university project was a skirt, using the Crescent Skirt pattern from Sewaholic, which I love. I bought 2 metres of cotton lawn from the sale bin and got to work. Unfortunately there were one or two snags along the way, and it doesn't look perfect, but every time I do this pattern, I learn how to make it better. I also learnt that I don't like using regular polyester dress lining - it's too slippery and annoying! Anybody have any alternatives? I was thinking of using cotton muslin perhaps.

This is it all completed, minus the final press at the hem. I added a lace trim to the lining on a whim, and I really like the way it came out! The zip at the back in untidy, once again, as I really haven't got the knack of sewing them in yet, but I'm overall pleased with it. I also need to take it in a bit, as it's noticeably loose on the waist. Anyways, I'm going to be working on a dress next, but I have a custom order to complete for the store before I can start.

I'll be back fairly soon with an epic length wedding DIY update. I bet you can't wait!