Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wedding Chantilly

us wedding day 1
Finally--the dress! Above is a photo of Rob and me taken in the hotel lobby before my brother's wedding. I finished the dress way back in September and knew that I wouldn't have the time or resources for a proper photo shoot on the actual wedding day, so I had one at home when the dress was finished. Just so I could show you the details I love!

wedding Chantilly 4
This is, again, the Colette Patterns Chantilly dress, the same pattern I used for my birthday dress. I really love this pattern. There is a LOT of hand-gathering so it takes a bit to cut out and construct, but it is SO worth it.

wedding Chantilly 1
I used an Innocent Crush voile (possibly my favorite print/fabric to come out in the last few years; definitely saved for this special project!) by Anna Maria Horner for the outer layer and a light pink cotton lawn for the lining. The dress is really lightweight and floaty, but it's still a lot of dress! Or, skirt, rather:

wedding Chantilly twirl

wedding Chantilly 3
This version has pockets, which is awesome!

wedding Chantilly hem 2wedding Chantilly underskirt 1
I also wanted to make it a little more fancy than my previous version, so I added two rows of bias ruffles to the hem. It's a little trick I learned from this book. It pushes out the lining just enough; not as much as a petticoat would, but I didn't want to steal the show, plus I wanted to keep the dress wearable to the office and more casual functions.

me wedding Chantilly 1
Bottom line: I adore this pattern and highly recommend it for a party-feeling dress! I also want to note here that my jewelry is by Stonehouse Studio and I really really love it. I can't decide if I like the necklace or earrings more...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Bridesmaid bags

A bags side
*sigh* I always have the best of intentions with keeping this blog more updated, but it always gets away from me. If you're still reading me in your feed or checking back for updates, thank you for sticking around!

As you may have noticed, it was wedding central with a lot of my summer crafting. What you see above are the six bags my future sister-in-law (now ACTUAL sister-in-law!) commissioned me to make for her bridesmaids. She really liked this spring tote I had made previously (using a pattern from Stitch magazine), but it needed some adaptations. Anne wanted the bags to be large enough to hold a pair of flip flops, a bottle of water, and other assorted necessities.

A bag inside
I took the same general shape and made a few dummy bags, eventually deciding on one that was about 15" square, then rounding off the bottom corners. Because the bag was smaller, I wanted to reduce the number of grommets in the top, too, but that posed some issues as well: How was I going to get the strap to be outside in the right places? I fixed this by adding a small channel on the insides to thread the strap through.

A bag tag
Anne chose all of the fabrics to go along with their wedding colors of purple and silver. I machine embroidered initial tags to go on each of the straps. They're completely removable, but I figured six girls with similar bag contents would want an easy way to tell them apart!

A bag all 6
This project was a bit more time-consuming than I initially thought, what with us changing fabrics a few times, adding the strap channels, and then all that hammering to insert those grommets! Still, Anne was incredibly gracious and complimentary about them. After she gifted them to her bridesmaids at the rehearsal dinner, most of them came over to hug me and thank me for the bags. And then, while we were hanging out in the church before the ceremony, one of the photographers came over, asked if I was Tim's sister, and then complimented me profusely on the bags! It was so so sweet, and a much-needed boost of confidence before I had to get up in front of all those people and do a reading during the ceremony!

So, while these bags are grand, I still have to show you my dress and jacket for the wedding! I wasn't in the bridal party, so I was able to craft my own.

Also, Hilary and I will be vending at the Holiday Craft Market in Beverly TOMORROW! If you're in the Boston area and would like to come out, we'd love to see you! You can see a peek of our wares from our recent farmers' market table (and me freezing my butt off outside) in Hilary's Flickr stream here.

ETA: I am in love with all things Colette these days, but I just adore this post! I think Sarai is doing everything right and can't wait to get my hands on her book!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I took a workshop... and a bloat of hippos

bloat of hippos 6
Wow, time is flying! And I'm not posting. I mentioned in my last post that I was going to discuss an amazing workshop I had taken that past weekend, and now it's been 2+ weeks since it finished and not even a peep from me!

bloat of hippos 10
Well, better late than never, right? I first heard about this workshop via Elise's blog post about it. I had never actually met Elise, but I had seen her around (we live in the same 'hood) and had bought some of her cards and a fantastic Foxy Like a Crafter tote, which inspired my birthday party this past year. So, yeah, I'm a fan...

bloat of hippos 13
Anyway, the class sounded like exactly what I needed to get my little business going, so I signed up. A few days before the class started, my partner in craft, Hilary, signed up, too! Together, we had the best time that weekend. Really and truly. We emailed each other on Monday to say how bummed out we were that class was over and how spoiled we had been to spend a weekend with other creative people, talking about our art and being inspired. It was such a treat! Elise blogged a bit post-class here, so it sounds like even our instructor enjoyed it.

bloat of hippos 15
I came away with a notebook more than half full of inspiring tips and must-do lists. I have decided that YES, I do want to open an Etsy shop, and I want to do it right. I'm hoping to launch the official Kitty Kitty Crafts store in early 2012, but there is so much I need to do first! Still, now I have some great checklists and the tools I need to take the first steps.

bloat of hippos 1
Once the class wrapped up, I spent the entire next week working on inventory for a farmers' market booth (failure, but that's another post), and then rushing through a version of Colette's Peony dress, just in time to wear to the rehearsal of my brother's wedding last weekend! I spent five days in Cincinnati celebrating with family, and now that I'm back, I'm absolutely exhausted! BUT now that the wedding is over with, all of my top secret still-marked-as-private Flickr photos can now be revealed! Look for more posts coming soon.

All hippos in this post are stock for my upcoming holiday show, Nov. 12! If you're local, I'd love to see you there!