Funny enough, I have pictures of the steps of making the braid because I was in the background while other Christmas pics were being taken, so I put cut out the sections and put the steps here. Simple enough:
1a. Cut a strip of fabric about two inches wide. Cut three such strips and be generous with the length, you will need more than you think as the braiding will shorten them.
1b. Fold in half long-wise and sew a seam at 5/8" along the strip. It's important to sew exactly 5/8 from the folded edge for it to turn out correctly! You could, of course, use any width you prefer.
2. Attach a safety pin to the end and thread it through, then pull it all the way through to turn the tube you've sewn inside out. The extra fabric remaining in the seam will give some body to the braid; alternately, you could cut the excess off (and zigzag the edge so it won't ravel) to make the braid flatter, or pull some thick yarn through to make it fatter or to keep it "fluffy" for a garment that will be worn a lot.
3. Braid them, turning them so that you keep the seam at the back of the braid. I used the safety pin and wedged it into the sewing machine plate to hold the braid as I worked, moving the pin as needed so that I could keep good tension on the braid and make the braid links all even.
4. Hand sew it on the garment, so that the stitches don't show. I used the machine to zig-zag the end together first, then folded that under and hand sewed it, starting at the zipper edge on the back.
As I was designing, I took a section and ironed it flat to see if I liked it and decided I didn't like it as much as the not-flat version.
I had enough braid left over to make a nice hair piece or something for the flower bouquet, but knowing my daughter and her desire to keep everything very simple, didn't even suggest it;-)
I finished it just in time for my daughter's wedding celebration on Sunday! She emailed me some photos of dresses she liked and I made it without a pattern. To be sure that I could fit her, she had an idea from something she had read: put on an old t-shirt and wrap her body with duct tape and then cut that off. She mailed it to me and I stuffed it with with newspaper and put it on a hanger so I had a dressmaker dummy to work with:
To make sure I had what she wanted I got some inexpensive fabric of the same weight as the white silk of the dress and made a quick version of the dress a little big and mailed it to her. I had her pin it so it would be the right fit and then mail it back. Then I cut the silk sewed the dress.
She didn't want any fancy work--I really wanted to do some bead work and hand crochet on it, but the only "fancy" work she approved was the silk braid I made around the bodice. So it is really quite a simple design, but she is so beautiful (IMHO) that I could have sewed a burlap sack for her and she would have looked elegant! It has a built in bra and is backless. I put in a long zipper in the back.
It was fun making this. I've been making clothing for her since she was a baby (wow, that was 32 years ago!) I was so honored and pleased that she asked me to make her wedding dress. Of course, it got completed the night before the big day (honest, it would have been done way before, but you know how busy a craftsperson gets!) Anyway, I wanted to have her close by to do the final fitting and get the hem length right and she lives clear across the country on the opposite coast, so it makes sense to wait til the last minute, right?
About the calculus final--I learned calculus, and lots of even more advanced math, too, but I started sewing when I was 6 and by the time I was 12 was making all my own clothing. Now, guess which has come in more useful in my lifetime (I'm 54 now)? Granted, the math skills are what let me get high paying jobs so I could afford a serger, sewing machines, fabrics and all the other fun stuff. But even in scientific jobs, I have probably used calculus, um, maybe 5 times total in 30 plus years? Keep on learning math but if you don't quite do as well as you hope on any one calculus test, don't sweat it--if your life turns out anything like mine, your sewing skills will help you do things you love to do, and your math skills will give you entry into places that you wouldn't get into otherwise, like fun science research jobs.
Anyway, great job on this project! I love the way you thought it through, made it happen and came out with such a great final product!
Nice job! And they look really comfortable. My dining room chairs are also ones I got at Goodwill, gosh, now about 35 years ago, come to think of it. I've recovered them probably about 10 times. The last time was a year or so ago and the fabric I chose has NOT held up. I'm about to do it again. Did you put extra padding in? I put more in the last time I did mine, but I still think they could be a lot more comfortable. I'm not sure what to use, though. I used the same stuff I use for stuffing pillows and it just doesn't work very well. Any suggestions on what to pad with? Your chairs look great!
Nice job! I love the hair cut! Makes me think fondly of my mom, she used to love to pick up dolls at the thrift store and make dresses for them. She used to do fancy wedding dresses, mostly, because I think she loved all the lace. I love the modern look you chose, it is really cute.
notanotherxerox--how kind of you to say that! Maybe I can make you a gekko or something for a swap!
LiveLongandCraft--You haven't heard me plug for all my OTHER favs yet! I LOVE my electric kiln but mostly because I ABSOLUTELY ADORE my Barlett Kiln Controller, it lets me set the time and the cone setting and then just lets me know when it is done! (But this project didn't involve ceramics, so oops, shouldn't plug this here!) Or my sewing machine...ok, not here, either! I'll just tell you about my other fav tools when I use them on a project!
This was my first challenge entry and the "teacher" side of me popped out--I want to tell everyone how to do it if they want to make one, too!
Dragronflywer--I haven't given it to my nephew yet--planning to for Christmas! Hope he likes it! I just finished it this morning!
McJulie-O--I use the Hot Wire Tools for all KINDS of projects...I do these really interesting no-sew quilts where I take a foam board and use the Hot Wire Engraver to create channels to press in the fabric, then I lay out the fabric and make it like a pieced quilt. They come out really beautiful and elaborate, people love them. I'll post one when I get time. I also am doing a big bass-relief mural with foam using the tools. I've used them to make furniture that I coat with layers of the cement mixture and then use mosaic tile on...gosh, so many things it's hard to think of all of them!