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1  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / CCC - Crafty Chessboard Centerpieces! on: May 08, 2009 04:50:52 PM
The backstory: I'm getting married in August.  I have a very large and very close-knit extended family.  My fiance, on the other hand, had a small extended family to begin with, and the of the few relatives he has, several have disqualified themselves from an invitation (his father and stepmother were abusive, and his mother's side of the family plotted to get his mother declared an unfit parent just so that his uncle with three daughters could get custody and thus have a male child...and then completely disowned my fiance and his mother both when their attempt at legal kidnapping failed.  What a lovely bunch!), and his grandfather's health is too poor to be able to attend.  So between the fact that we're getting married in my hometown and that my relatives outnumber his about ten to one, I was terribly concerned that my poor fiance would feel left out at his own wedding.

Then, my mother had a brilliant idea: why not make the theme of the reception revolve around one of HIS interests?  So we decided that the centerpieces would incorporate the OTHER love of his life: chess!

The result:



It's a chess king and queen standing under a chuppah (Jewish wedding canopy).  Half of the centerpieces will look like the one pictured, while the other half will have blue chess pieces and white chuppah poles.  The chess pieces are not "real" chess pieces, because we couldn't find any chess sets in which the king didn't have a cross on his crown...which, since we are Jewish, would be weird.  So the chess pieces are made out of three-inch wooden candlesticks from Michaels.  The king's crown is just one of the same wooden birthday candle holders we used for the base of the poles, just turned upside down and glued in place.  And the colors were chosen to match the bridesmaids' dresses, which are blue and aqua.

We're also thinking about baking a plain sheet cake for the wedding, using icing to make similar blue and white chessboard squares on top, and making a chess king and queen cake topper to match the theme, but my father thinks it would be too hokey.  What do you think?
2  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Hooray for strapless bras! (Image rotund) on: April 19, 2009 07:05:49 PM
This winter, for the first time ever, I finally found a strapless bra that fits me.  To celebrate both my newfound ability to wear fun, strappy dresses and my newfound ability to sew, I decided to try my hand at making my first tee shirt dress.

I took some inspiration from fellow craftsters Mizua and Miss American Pie, and came up with my own design.

One red XL tee shirt, one black medium tee shirt, one broken needle, one "uh, why is the machine trying to eat my fabric?", one "holy @#$%, I just stepped on a pin barefoot!", and about three-and-a-half hours later, I had this:




Without the cardigan:




I'm quite proud of it...my mother, who sewed almost all of my dresses growing up (and who finished making my wedding dress a few weeks ago), wouldn't believe that I hadn't bought it from a store until I showed her that I hadn't finished the edges of the cardigan yet!  Cheesy

I plan on wearing it to my fiance's graduation in June (red is his favorite color).  In the meantime, I've got four more Michael's tee shirts to play with...gotta love their $1.99 tee shirt sales!  Wink

EDIT: Edited to fix the links.  My bad!
3  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / My mother is a GENIUS. (Wedding dress photos!) on: March 28, 2009 08:44:28 PM
Okay, I didn't make this, but I just have to show it off.

My mother has been sewing since she was in first grade, and she got me started at a similar age.  Everything I know, I learned from her.  She's brilliant.  So when she offered to make my dress and veil for my wedding in August, I was thrilled...especially since none of the store dresses I'd seen had really impressed me.  (I'm a big believer in modesty.  Most wedding dress makers are not.  Also, I have an F-cup chest.  Strapless gowns--which are the "in thing" right now--will not work for me, even if I were willing to wear them.)

Now, finally, after two months of getting my knuckles rapped if I went anywhere near the sewing machine and hearing Mom go on cuss-ridden rants about chiffon, the dress and veil are done! (Well, except for the hemming, since we don't have shoes yet.)  Take a look:







(Don't pay attention to the glowing blue eyes.  My eyes always turn bright, glowing, spawn-of-the-devil red in photos, and there are things even Photoshop can't completely fix!)

The bodice is made of a flower-print ivory brocade.  It doesn't show up very well in pictures, because it's VERY shiny.  The skirt is ivory satin.  The sleeves and overskirt are both made of ivory chiffon and sewn with French seams, hence the swearing.  The bodice and skirt are both fully lined and fully underlined.  The veil is double layered and made from ivory shimmer tulle, and the back is beaded with ivory pearls.  The body of the dress came from one pattern, but the bell sleeves are from another, as the original dress pattern had floor-length Stevie Nicks sleeves which were gorgeous but not buffet-line friendly!  The bodice also required a full bust adjustment to fit me.  (Sigh.)

Mom is currently making herself an aqua, crepe-back satin mother of the bride dress.  I can hear her swearing about full bust adjustments as I type.  Some things never change.  Cheesy  

(Hopefully, when she's done with that, I'll finally be allowed to use the sewing machine again...and can post some of my own projects.)
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