April 28, 2010

Zipper today?

Maybe you're wondering, "Melanie, when are you going to get to that zipper?"  Well, I think I'll do it today.  It's not even noon, though, and I've already made 2 loaves of bread.  Yes, I'm having a domestic goddess day today.  :)

One thing I did do was dye some clothes to make them wearable again.  I had a super cute shirt my mother-in-love gave me that was white and then was accidentally washed with something red and turned that funky MaryKay pink.  The other item was a really cute skirt, also white, that had little yellow stains on it, as if someone dropped spaghetti sauce on it or something (don't know who that could have been).  I used a box of Rit Dye I found in Mark's Grandmother's sewing stash.  It was called Peacock Blue.  I dyed both items the same color, but the skirt was left in longer and is much darker than the shirt.  They both turned out nicely.  I'll post photos of them both soon.  I haven't decided if I want to sew different colored buttons near the bottom of the skirt just for funsies.

Okay, back to business!



P.S.  I am amazed at how tan I look in the previous post's photos of me in my dress.  Trick of the camera or something, but I like it!  Where was that camera trick yesterday when I took photos and looked pasty?

April 21, 2010

This morning I sewed the gathers on the skirt and sewed the skirt to the midriff.  Right now they're basted together, which is convenient because one of the seams didn't line up, and I'm going to have to undo everything and sew it again.  I'm not really as short as I look in the pic, but this was taken by my honey, who is quite a bit taller than me.  I still need to hem it, put the zipper in, dye it, and embellish.  I'm really happy with how it looks so far.  Plus, I put some cups in the top to test it, and they stayed!  I think it will actually work!  Yea!  Here are the pics, and I'm going back to work on it!

April 19, 2010

Putting it Together

Tonight I began sewing again after a few days of thinking things through.  I've decided not to build in one of my bras.  Instead, I'm just going to sew it and figure out what to do after it's finished.  I'm a creative girl, and I'm sure I can think of something.  

I sewed the lining on the midriff and graded the seams.  Oh yeah, I know what grading is now.  I'm a big girl sewer.  I've moved up a grade.  Sure, all the seams look like a drunk person cut them, but let's not be picky.  Speaking of wobbliness, I've realized it's quite the challenge to sew straight.  I read in a sewing book that it was important to practice sewing straight lines.  I thought, "What kind of dodo doesn't know how to sew in a straight line."  Since then I've realized....me.  :)  Oh well, I'm practicing on my wedding dress.  Ha!

I also sewed the right side seam on the skirt and skirt lining.  We're getting close, folks.  There is that zipper to contend with though.  And I think the midriff is too big and needs to be taken in over an inch in order to be more form-fitting.  If I wasn't worried about my boobs popping out, it wouldn't matter. 

So all I have left is
  • sew left side seams of the skirt
  • sew skirt lining to skirt
  • insert zipper
  • hem dress
  • figure out boob situation
  • dye dress
  • add embellishments
  • celebrate!
But now it's time to dance with my honey.  I've been giving him private dancing lessons in our living room.  So nice :)



April 14, 2010

Another Triumph!

You know how I thought I was going to totally ditch my idea for a top and use another pattern?  After talking with my honey, Mark, I decided to give it another go.  My previous work on the top was too pretty to totally toss away.  So, after some more tweaking, the cups and halter tie are done.  Check out the results:

I am thrilled with how it is turning out.  Now I'm working on the sides and back.  I need to add more fabric above the midriff under my arms and around the back to cover up the band of my bra.  I came up with a criss-cross idea that I've just made a muslin for, so I'm going to go ahead and cut it out of my main fabric.  Yea!  I have a tiny part of me wondering if I will need to put in some boning in the midriff to make the fabric more sturdy.  I really hope I don't have to do that (because I have no clue how to), so for now I'm going to push that voice aside.  

Back to work!



April 12, 2010

Color Choices

I found out that Rit Dye is eco-safe. Let's ponder colors for my wedding dress, shall we?

Apple Green anyone? This would look fresh with a tan and some sunshine.  This one says, "AHHHHH!!!! HERE COMES THE BRIDE!!"

Duchess Satin Apple Green

Crimson?  This one says, "Is this a wedding or a saloon?"  But I like it.

Ultra Sateen Crimson

Super fresh and pretty blue?

Medium Weight Linen Baby Blue

Those are the colors calling to me at the moment.



Decision Made with the Help of the Groom

Last night I felt very frustrated with how the bodice of my dress was going, so I asked Mark for his creative input.  Everything is easier and better when we work on it together.  So, after going over several different options with him, he suggested I go with one of the bodices on the dress pattern I am making my skirt from, and I agreed.  It is a V-neck and allows me to wear a bra (yea yea yea!).  I looked at the instructions this morning, and they look pretty easy to follow.  I'm going to make my muslin for it today and see how it goes.  I would put a pic of the pattern here, but it's kinda hard to see which bodice I'm doing by looking at it.

While I was thinking about it this morning, I found this super cute dress:

Can you say cute?  Can you say easy?  I'm talking about the pattern, people, not myself!  HA!  I read the reviews and everyone said this was easy to sew.  Pah ha ha ha.  My initial sewing confidence is waning slightly, but I'm sure it will bolster back up soon.  Anyhoo, isn't her hair cute too?  I've really liked the white hair look for a while, but I haven't brought myself to actually doing it yet.  Picture me with white spunky hair and a dark red dress on my wedding day....drama drama drama!  Makes my mouth water (that happens when I think of vibrant colors).


In other news, Mark and I are working on our wedding website and hoping to have everything done this week so we can send out invitations.  We've just decided on an afternoon ceremony time.  Yea!  Things are going very smoothly.



Decisions, Decisions

I'm considering several different options to fix the top:

1.  Complete the dress without a bra insert and buy a low-back or backless and strapless bra or bustier to go under it.  Also could do a stick-on bra (for a D cup?  I'm not so sure about that).

2.  Continue to try to figure out a bra insert that is supportive and works.  I can attach bra cups, but they aren't being supportive at all or even staying in place at the moment.

3.  Redesign the top.

I haven't decided which way is the best at this moment.  I'm wondering why I had to like and design a top that didn't allow for a bra.  

Seriously, Melanie, what were you thinking? 

---I was thinking I wanted to look pretty, summery and fresh.

And now?

---I just want to finish my dress!

Okay, let's look at the alternate top idea.  

Another consideration is the weather.  My original design was based on thinking we were getting married in a hot climate.  Our new plan is Oregon, which will be a high of 65F.  So, here are tops that might work from patterns I already have:

Has a flattering V neck and maintains the look of gathering in the original pattern.  Plus, it has the midriff that is already in the original dress I've cut out.


Here's a cute adaptation from Julliams on PatternReview.com

I'm just not sure I like the cap sleeves.  'Cause they aren't really cap sleeves, they're kind of I'm-not-sure-if-I-want-to-be-cap-or-sleeveless sleeves.  Like the sleeves are still indecisive and "in the closet".  My inventive, creative self is thinking, "Oh, well I can just shorten the width a bit, easy peasy."  The part of me that just wants the dress finished and has a heightened awareness of the first bodice that I created "easily" that still doesn't fit right is not a fan of my idea.

The second pattern top option is from sewserendipity.com.  It was my original favorite dress design, but then I went in a different direction.  You have to use a little imagination to picture a dress in a solid color with a long skirt.  The major plus on this top option would be the sleeves, which would keep me warm.  That's also the downside.  I don't think I want sleeves on my dress.  Who cares if I freeze and shiver for 20 minutes of a ceremony, right?

The Torii Tunic

Check out this top.  I bet I could adapt my top to this.


I could add spaghetti straps to this one:


So pretty and simple, right?

Tonight I was at my future brother and sister-in-love's home, and my sister-in-love was asking what they should wear for the ceremony.  Earlier in the week I sent everyone pics of the costume (like gypsy, wizard, superman) they were going to wear, and because it came from me (known for being eccentric), they didn't know whether to take me seriously or not.  So, my sister-in-love asked what they would really wear, and I said maybe all solid neutrals, but I wasn't sure yet.  I said, "It depends what color my dress ends up being."  She asked, "Do you mean between white and ivory?  Or are you talking white or hot pink?"  She had the funniest look on her face.  I told her closer to the hot pink version, and her look - astonished horror/trying to be supportive/slightly intrigued was priceless!!  Hahahah.

Okay, way past my bedtime.  I'm going to meditate and hopefully have a better idea in the morning.



April 11, 2010

Sewed Top

Today, I sewed the top of my dress.  The skirt and back of the bodice have yet to be attached, not to mention the lining and anything else I decide to do with it, but here's how it looks so far:

It's a little busty, ya think?  Ha!  It's actually  a little big on the top, but I'm sure I can fix that pretty easily.  Here's the top next to the inspiration dress:

After comparing it with my inspiration dress, from naturalbridals.com, I realize that the top of each side of the bodice should come to a point closer to my collar bone, and there needs to be a wider V in the front.  There's no way I'm taking the gathering out at the bottom, so I'm going to find a way to make it look nicely finished without taking the entire thing apart. 

Tomorrow, Mark and I are having brunch again with his grandfather and dinner with Mark's brother & Sister-in-love, but hopefully I'll be able to slip in some sewing time.

That's the latest!



PS.  We set a date!!  July 3 in Oregon.  Everything is going so smoothly!  It's wonderful! 

April 5, 2010

Oh! Another Note!

Yes, I am still up from my all-night wedding obsession.  I just remembered some more great news to tell you.  Yesterday (Easter), Mark and I went to Mark's grandfather's house for brunch.  While we were there, I sat down to look through Mark's grandmother's sewing supplies with Mark's grandfather (his grandmother passed into Spirit over a year ago).  This week I've been wondering how I was going to get thread for my wedding dress and lubricating oil for my sewing machine without buying any new plastic (remember, Mark and I are going a year without buying plastic - NoNewPlastic.com).  Mark said he would be very supportive if I decided to buy some thread and oil anyway, which I thought was sweet.  Anyway, I opened up the cabinet with his grandmother's sewing items, and there were two tins full of different colors of thread.  I thanked her in my mind, because I knew she'd led me to that stash.  The second box I opened had an unopened package of sewing machine lubricant on top.  I was teary at this point, feeling so much gratitude at yet another sign from the Universe that everything I needed was being provided for.

You know what else?  I don't have sewing scissors.  I've been using the paper cutting scissors that are so dull, only the very tip is sharp enough to cut my fabric.  I've been cutting everything in 1/2 inch increments.  I couldn't buy more because they are all packaged in plastic, and we haven't found someone who can sharpen the ones we have yet.  Mark handed me 6 pairs of sharp, all-metal shears he found in his grandmother's case.  Thank you Etha (that's his grandmother)!  Miracles like this happen to me all the time.  I think of something I'd like in my life, I don't know how it will happen, and it just shows up.

Here's another great blessing this week.  I mean, I have so many, I could write forever, but here's just one of them.  We had a temporary decrease in the amount of income we would bring in for this month and next month, and we had no idea how we were going to make up the difference, which was about $1500.  Mark and I spoke daily about what our intuition was telling us, and we both felt very peaceful and that we should just continue to focus on the projects at hand.  We did that for several weeks, and then this week I did my taxes and cashed out an account that I didn't even realize existed, and that made up for $1000.  Then, Mark did some recalculating, we found more money we weren't expecting, and now everything is taken care of.  Isn't that amazing?!  I just love my life.  Even though I write and speak about positive living and using your intuition to create your ideal life, it's always great when I continue to get confirmation that it works.  Ha!  I'm always pleasantly surprised.

Okay, I think I'll go snuggle in bed with my honey now.



Early Morning Diary to Prevent Onset of a Nervous Breakdown

Good early morning to you!

It's 6:30am, and I've been up all night obsessing about wedding plans.  My hubby-to-be and I chose a date last night - July 3rd, but now we're talking about different location options.  I immediately started researching all the different options.  I don't know why I obsess so much.  My mind asks a million questions.  Not in the friendly, ho-hum way, but in the, "Oh my gosh, what about THIS!" way.  Six hours later, I have a list of some options for my honey to consider, and I have finally decided to move on.  Move on, Melanie!  Ha!  So, I figured I could work on my dress instead.  Or sleep.  Hmm...there's a thought.  However, I'm procrastinating just a little longer and writing a blog  :)

And now to properly introduce myself and my fiancĂ©:

Here's a photo of my honey and me:

and our kitty cat Cosmo:

Mark and I met almost 2 years ago, and he is everything I've ever wanted in a man and more.  He is definitely a dream come true.  I knew I was going to marry him before I'd even met him!  I saw his name on a website, and it glowed to me on the screen.  Immediately I thought, "That's the man I'm going to marry."  Of course, then my logical mind stepped in and said, "He could be 80 years old for all I know."  My intuitive side replied, "I hope not, because that's the man for me."  

When I first saw him, we were in a room with hundreds of other people, and even though I'd never seen him before, I walked right up to him and said, "Hi, you must be Mark!"  As I was talking to him, I literally saw sparks between us.  Big, quarter-sized white sparks that faded slowly in and out.  I'd never seen those before, so I stumbled over my words a bit while I tried to decide whether I should ask if he could see them too.  I figured it would sound like a cheesy pick-up line ("Hey, do you see the sparks between us?") or he'd think I was crazy.  We became friends and started dating two months later.  Three months after that we moved in together, and now everyday is filled with fun, adventure, and laughter with my best friend.  I love him so much.  

The sun is starting to rise outside my window.  I don't know yet if I'm going to sleep or sew, but I'm just going to reassure myself that everything with our wedding is working out perfectly.  Everything always does, whether I waste energy worrying about it or not.  Plus, if a miracle like meeting Mark and having this wonderful love can happen, anything is possible, even a beautiful wedding and wedding dress in 3 months.  

Many blessings to you,


April 2, 2010

Want to feel inspired?

Want to feel inspired and get in the springtime mood?  Visit the Amy Butler website.  I go to the products section and look at the fabric lines.  She has slide shows of pictures with sunny skies, bright colors, fields, loveliness.  So cheery and happy!

She even sells organic bedding, which I think is awesome!  I just love green designers!

She has lots of beautiful designs and collections, so check it out and get inspired!



Very Early Morning Pattern Scouting

Good very early morning to you!  It's 2:14AM, and I was lovingly awakened by a Spirit Guide this morning urging me to write an article on MyMagicalJourney.com.  I complied, and now I'm up looking to see if there are new sewing patterns out.  Here's what I've found so far:

Vogue 1176
I love the bodice on this dress.  If I had this pattern, I would do it with a flouncier skirt with pockets.  I saw a dress with pockets hidden in the flounces (that's what I'm calling them), and it looked so carefree and cute!  This pattern shows it with a fitted skirt, which looks a little too stiff to me.



I mean, it's cute, it's flattering, but I'm wanting flirty and free....ahh!  Springtime!

Vogue 1175
This dress would not look good on me at all, and it would totally hide my beautiful hourglass shape.  However, it looks really cute in the picture, in my opinion.  Some things are just fun to look at.


Vogue 8645
This one does suit hourglass shapes, and I think it would look great with more color.  There are so many ways to mix up different colors and patterns with this design.  What were they thinking with just white?  Who knows.  Just being conservative I guess.  I'm in mega color mode.  I also know I don't normally like tie things - like bows and waist ties.  Maybe that would bug me.  Oh well, another fun one to look at.  Although, now I'm getting kinda bored looking at all that white, I'll nix this one.


Today, Mark and I ran many different errands and completed projects that have been in the works for some time.  Thank goodness!  I wasn't led to work on my dress today ---- err, I mean, yesterday---so I'll get to work on it today.

The other night (after receiving guidance on the bodice of my wedding dress in the shower), I was telling Mark about the Spirits helping me.  I told him how thankful I am for his grandmother's help and my grandmother's help, and I saw and heard the voice of a third woman who claimed she is the one giving me most of my tips.  My mom told me that she had been told years ago that she had a Spirit around her who sews, and that was before her mother passed on.  I don't know who she is yet, but I'm so thankful for any help.  I know I'm getting a lot of it.  I'm really excited about trying the bodice idea that came to me the other day.  People who choose not to talk to Spirits are really missing out, in my opinion.

My current sewing "HUH?" is facing.  Facing, interfacing....what is going on there?  I just don't know.  Thank goodness my current dress doesn't need any of that.  I was working on another dress, one that's going in the oopsy pile, that had a facing, interfacing, yoke, lining, interlining, megalining, potatofacing....all sorts of things I have no clue about.  And the pattern instructions are written as if I should know what I'm doing.  Riiiiight.

McCalls 5655
I don't think this one would look good on me either, but isn't it cute?  It's the pockets in the skirt thing.  I'm falling for it every time.  What do you think about this model?  It looks like she's saying, "Are you serious?"  Maybe she's saying, "A bow across my boobs?  Are you serious?"  I just realized that look would only go well for small-chested women.  Can you imagine some double D's with a huge bow?  I wonder what the top right variation looks like though (the blue one).  Back to patternreview.com to check it out.


Whoa.  Some people made some super cute dresses with this one.  I read that it doesn't have buttons, zippers, or anything tricky.  A major plus.  I also read that it runs big and has a tendency to make one look pregnant.  Just as I suspected!

Wanna know what I've been picturing in my head lately?  The weather is getting warmer, and I'm really feeling some....

McCalls 5813
Are these pants cute or what?!  Everyone who sewed them on patternreview.com made awesome pants, and they look great.  That's pretty good if everyone does a great job on them.  That bodes well for me.  Cause you know, sometimes....not so bueno.  Sometimes I find a great pattern, read the reviews and look at the pictures and think, "Really?"  Yikes.  But not with this pattern, which is a pattern for the pants by the way.


These say to me, "I'm a funky fun gal, and I like expressing my personality."  That's a good message I think.  Yummy.  These are CuTe!

That's all from me for tonight!


April 1, 2010

Revelations in the Shower

Last night, after writing the previous post, I got in the shower and was thinking about bodice solutions again.  All of a sudden, the solution was given to me.  I saw a picture of it in my head, and it was so cool.  I'll try it out tomorrow and let you know how it goes.  Since I had the spirits working with me there, I asked them several questions about the construction, and got clear answers.  Today, Mark and I had so many other things to focus on, and it was a day of rest as far as dress making goes.  I figure I'll be finished with the dress in the next few weeks.  Yea!