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1  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / My wedding dress (pic heavy) on: May 22, 2006 03:20:54 PM
When my husband proposed to me last March, the only thing I knew for sure (other than the fact I wanted to marry him, of course!) was that I *had* to make my own dress. Being crafty people, we ended up doing most everything ourselves (you can see the full rundown here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=95443.0 ), but the biggest project by far was the dress. I spent a lot of time looking at patterns, dresses, pictures of dresses, etc, and when I saw this one, I knew I had found my dress:



Once I had this in mind, finding a pattern that I could modify wasn't too hard. Vogue 2803 (see it here: http://store.sewingtoday.com/cgi-bin/voguepatterns/shop.cgi?s.item.V2803=x&M=cart-login) was perfect in the front, and the back wasn't to hard to modify.

I raised the back, added grommets and corset-style lacing, and made the bow functional rather than decorative. The band was done in red rather than the pattern's white, and extended around the back to a hook-and-eye closure. I sewed a red band to the bottom of the lining layer, and voila! The dress of my dreams. Smiley

Action shots:

Even though the fabric I used for this dress wasn't terribly expensive (the whole thing, including the lining fabric, boning, grommet kits, and crinoline cost about $100), I wanted to make a muslin for fitting purposes. Here's me all excited to have the muslin finished and fitting properly (please excuse the bra straps):





Somehow, nobody was interested in my back while I was in the dress, so this is the only shot I have of it. It's in the middle of being ironed, so it probably isn't the best shot, but you can see the lacing and the pieces that will eventually be the bow. Smiley



The wedding party. I'm the same height as my husband, so I must have been doing some hardcore slouching in this photo. O.o



Walking down the aisle with my dads. If I wasn't standing perfectly straight (like in this pic, when I was walking down the stairs), the dress would bunch around the waist, which was a little annoying. I also lost about half an inch in my bust measurement between the muslin fitting and the wedding day, which probably accounts for a little of that looseness as well. That's what the stress of a wedding will do to you, I guess!

And one more, because it's one of my favorite pictures from the entire wedding:

The hardest part of this dress was definitely the boning. Tedious handsewing was not exactly what I wanted to be doing when I felt so stressed, but it was totally worth it. There is also something to be said for making your own wedding dress as part of the psychological process of geting married. I was really into this book, The Conscious Bride, which talks about the psychology of such a major life change, and it felt really primal to have my fabric all spread out on the floor, scissors in hand. 

Thanks for looking!

2  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / My totally DIY wedding! (super image heavy) on: May 15, 2006 02:41:16 PM
My husband and I got hitched in October, and I swear we must have been infected with some kind of insanity. Not because we married each other, but because we did everything ourselves, from writing the ceremony, to making the food, the invitations, and the dress, to doing the flowers. Though I look back on it now and wonder what reserves of energy we were working from, I also look at the photos and realize that I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. I had the wedding of my dreams, and we did it all for less than $2000 (almost $800 of which was our plane tickets from Oregon to Michigan!) Nearly the only things we *didn't* make were my husband's suit (a designer suit for $50 that actually fit his shoulders? Thank you, Goodwill!!) and the wedding rings!

First of all, the invitations. Please pardon my crappy scans; they really distort the color. These were pretty labor-intensive invitations. My husband designed them, then the two of us cut the paper, scored the folds, cut out the little window for "love" to peek through, ran a Sharpie along the inside of the cut-out rectangle (which really looked super cool -- better than the scan would have you think), cut and glued ribbon, and so on.



The front.



The inside. We also included a paper insert with directions to the farm for those who didn't know what we were talking about.



RSVP card. We used the "Love" stamps because not only were they appropriate thematically, the colors were *perfect*!



My husband also took on the duties as calligrapher (you guys don't go mailing my parents anything weird, k?). This was one of the less intricate designs, but, well, I have permission to post this one. Wink




This is the ceremony site itself. The aisle was decorated with potted mums from the farmers' market that were then given to James' parents as a thank-you gift. On the chairs were our programs, held down with rocks collected from around the farm. The flowers on the trees were done by my husband -- the poor guy hunkered down with flowers, scraps from my dress, ribbons, pins, and a Martha Stewart book for a couple hours -- but the results were soo beautiful!



Between the trees, we had an arch of candles in jars. Unfortunately, it was a little windy for the poor candles, so none of them stayed lit for the ceremony. I still think it looked nice, though. Smiley Our officiant (who is also my sister-in-law) wears a robe and stole made for her by my MIL! Craftiness abounds!



A close-up of my bouquet, though with some strange touches of pink that weren't there in real life. Oh, well. This picture doesn't show the gorgeous wrapped stems that my husband labored so hard on, and which were my favorite part! All the flowers for the wedding, apart from the potted mums, came from my husband's aunt's garden (is she my aunt-in-law now?).



The wedding party, with bouquets and boutonneires all done by my sweetie. Smiley Also, action dress shot! I'll post a more detailed account of the dressmaking on the clothing board in the next couple of days, but I'll give you a peek at the back, too:



Ahh, I actually had the dress of my dreams, and I made it myself! Sorry, still not quite over that. Might I add that the photography was done by my dad? Some of the pictures here are of course not album-worthy, because I'm picking the ones that show the craftiness off best, but he really did a fantastic job.



Aaand, the reception. Well, the food, anyway. The tables were outside, and were decorated with simple centerpieces: a white plate with a shallow layer of pebbles, three candles, and then mums around the rims. It was windy, so we had to keep it simple. We also had colored pencils and guestbook pages, along with signs asking our guests to create a page for us! We got some really awesome ones, well worth it.

In the background of this picture is my brother, who also DJed with his iPod. Crafty in it's own way, I suppose!

But, the food! We have pan-fried polenta hearts with marinara sauce; ravioli skewers with garlic aioli for dipping; pasta primavera with olives and basil; a plate of garlic and almond stuffed olives for munching, spinach salad with oranges, nasturtiums, and pine nuts; stuffed mushrooms; stuffed grape leaves; a crudite platter with white bean and sage dip and dill/"sour cream" dip; bread, both Italian and sun-dried tomato quick bread (made with beer!), with margarine and sun-dried tomato tapenade for spreading. Oh, and breadsticks! The breadsticks and the ravioli were the *only* things we didn't make ourselves!! Not pictured is an Italian soda bar that was a total hit with our guests. Some of them got really creative -- pomegranate-peppermint soda anyone??

What I think is possibly even cooler than having made most of the food is that many of the vegetables, including the sun-dried tomatoes used in the bread and tapenade, were grown by my in-laws on their farm. The morning of the wedding, I was out in the garden plucking bell peppers, baby carrots, and broccoli for the crudite tray. Smiley

Oh, also, our reception was totally vegan (because my husband and I are both vegan), and our guests went wild. They had never imagined vegan food being so good. If I had had it my way, I would never have told them (a well-meaning relative spilled the beans), but it was almost better knowing they had expected it to be not so great and then loving it anyway. Smiley



And finally, the cake. I cried when I saw how gorgeous it turned out -- I never imagined it being so beautiful. My mother-in-law made this from recipes I tweaked over the months leading up to the wedding. The top layer is apple-cinnamon tea cake with caramel-flavored frosting, the middle is orange spice tea cake with vanilla frosting, and the bottom is chai tea cake with vegan cream cheese frosting. This cake was *decimated*. (Also, the flowers that look black were actually dark red. Hahaha.)

Thanks for looking!

ETA: I finally posted more about the dress! Details here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=96953.0
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