Posted in Sewing, Uncategorized

An Army of Emerys

Over a year ago, I decided to start making some special occasion dresses because 2017 was very busy with weddings and wedding related events for us. I hadn’t made a dress for myself for a special occasion since senior prom because I decided to make sewing my career and for a while it was hard to want to sew for fun at home. Thanks to TrishStitched, I now love indie patterns and the online sewing community but am lazy when it comes to cutting and assembling PDFs so I called on Christine Haynes’ Emery Dress (yay sleeves and a high neckline!) to get me through and just stuck with this one pattern. For all of these dresses, I cut a straight size 4 and then took out 2″ from the top and tapered to 1″ at the waist in the center back. I like to call them my little army because this pattern really pulled through in getting me through all of these special events!

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I made this first dress for my friend Larry’s wedding in October. At first, Larry’s cake was supposed to be gold and navy and I wanted to match the cake because cake is delicious and who doesn’t want to dress up to match a pretty cake? So I bought this Rifle Paper Co. Fabric from Cotton + Steel…and then when I got to the reception the cake was a different color. White, I think? Doesn’t matter. I still really liked wearing this dress and it was a really beautiful day watching one of my best friend’s marry the man of his dreams.

(Pictured above are some details from the wedding but not too many because I’m awful at remembering to take pictures. Everything was so beautiful and there was a live band that really got people dancing.)

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This Emery dress is also made out of a Rifle Paper Co. print for Cotton + Steel. A couple of months before Larry’s wedding, I realized I might need a dress for his rehearsal dinner. So I made this dress but without sleeves because I was a little short on fabric since I only bought two yards to make the free shipping requirement from Fabric.com when I was purchasing fabric for other projects I was sure I wanted to make. But I love tea, so anything with tea related paraphernalia on it is A-OK with me. It also fit the Beauty and the Beast theme of my friend Rose’s bridal shower the month before Larry’s wedding!

(Pictured above are some of the gorgeous details from the shower. Her bridesmaids really did a fantastic job! (And if you look closely, you’ll notice that my chalkboards got some more time in the spotlight at this shower as well!)

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I made this dress over the summer for a wedding we attended on Labor Day and then took it out again to wear for Rose’s rehearsal dinner just this past Saturday. I decided to try the half sleeved version for this one and then thought it looked weird on me so I gathered the bottoms just a little bit to 1/4″ bands to bring them in a little rather than cutting them shorter. I probably should’ve just made a casing and inserted elastic because the bands were just a little too tight but I always get a lot of compliments when I wear this dress so whatever. (If you look closely, you’ll notice my shoes are soaking wet from the snow that was falling the night of the rehearsal dinner!)

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This final dress was made for Rose’s wedding. I liked the look of the metallic fabric from that first dress in this post so much I decided I wanted another metallic dress for Rose’s wedding. So I just went ahead and ordered the first thing I liked from Mood Fabrics. Then it came in the mail…and it was SHINY! I guess the first dress was a lot more subtle because the metallic is just printed on but this one was woven with gold lamé. So I was nervous I’d look like I was trying to upstage the bride and bought this cardigan to wear over it to try to tone down the shininess of it (and also because it’d probably be cold out and it was!) But since it was around Christmas time, there were a lot of women wearing shiny dresses also so I had nothing to worry about! The front neckline was a little poofy because this fabric was a little difficult to work with and I guess something funny happened when I ironed it or cut it out. I really should have scooped it out a little bit but, again, I’m lazy so I left it and I swear it was fine if I threw my shoulders all the way back. I just panicked when Kevin took this picture because I’m awkward and at the last second decided to just pose with my hands in my pockets as I usually do in these dresses.

So here are some tiny pictures to prove that the neckline was fine if my shoulders were back. I swear! Also, doesn’t Rose look GORGEOUS in that center picture?!

Above are just some of the beautiful details from this wedding. It was probably the most gorgeous wedding I have ever been to and there was SO much food! I was really hating my dress towards the end of the night because I could hardly breathe after all the food I stuffed in my face!

So there it is, 2017 wedding season is officially complete and it was such an honor and joy to be a part of so many of my best friends’ big days!

Posted in Party Time!

Harry Potter Themed Bridal Shower

Back in April, my friends and I threw our dear friend, Lauren, a Harry Potter themed bridal shower because she is the ultimate book worm and this particular book series is a favorite among all of us. Since these books were such a vital part of our childhoods, this shower was a lot of fun to plan and I thought it’d be fun to share about it in my first blog post because so many hours went into the execution of it all (lead by our fearless leaders, bridesmaid MVPs Sara and Sahar!)

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First of all, I was so excited to get to reuse some of the chalkboards I made for my own wedding. My intention when I first made these chalkboards was to hopefully reuse them for some aspects of my friend’s upcoming wedding related events and I was so happy we got to reuse them so soon because weddings can be so wasteful sometimes (there, I said it!) Also, Sahar’s handwriting looks so cute!

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There was a bookshelf off in one corner of the venue, which served as a perfect nod to the restricted section of the library at Hogwarts. Sahar’s so clever! Isn’t she clever?

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Each of the guests had a golden snitch waiting for them at their seats. Sahar created the file for this treat and one of my favorite projects at one of our crafting meetings was cutting these out.

The contribution I’m proudest of is this combination of the Harry Potter placemats underneath the book page floral arrangements. I made these mats using fabric purchased from fabric.com and the flowers are made of book pages from an actual Harry Potter book using the ranunculus template from liagriffith.com. I felt bad cutting up one of Sara’s old copies of Harry Potter, but I felt better about it once I got home and realized the book was missing the first three chapters. This was a time consuming project and things got really busy at work, so luckily Sara and Sahar came to my rescue in the last few weeks before the shower to help me get enough made in time to fill out all the vases. Team work really DOES make the dream work! (Haha…)

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Another time consuming project was these bottles. Each one had to have the original labels scrubbed off (which was really hard!) and then Sahar made these new Harry Potter themed labels to go on them instead. Then they stuck a candle in the top, lit it and waited for the wax to melt and drip down the bottle. (Side note: If you’re wondering what that word on the cover of that book is, so am I. This edition of Harry Potter is from Rose’s awesomely extensive collection of international HP books.)

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This is The Three Broomsticks! And Sahar made actual butterbeer on the day of and it was delicious!

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Who doesn’t love taking Polaroids?! This is our photo booth station and I was also happy to finally unload all of this extra Polaroid film leftover from my wedding. (I really over bought…I still have two packs of film left at home. Whoops!) There are also Harry Potter themed props in that case!

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One of the coolest backdrops I’ve ever seen. Sara strung all of these envelopes together on fishing line and then hung them to the ceiling behind the bridal party table. Sara even hand wrote Harry Potter’s address on each envelope! Isn’t she the cutest?

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Speaking of the bridal party table, here it is, adorned with Sara’s beautiful handmade sign! She made stencils for each letter on the computer and then spray painted them onto this burlap banner and I think it came out so, so great.

Another cool touch was these potion bottles. Sahar mixed water and food dye into bottles and then applied these labels she made to them. I think it added a really cool touch to the atmosphere like “Ooh!!…Potions…!!”

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Some games were played and the winners got to take home these really cute succulents in these adorable little vases Sahar found at Party City. It’s like we’re in Herbology! Get it?!

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Honeydukes! So much candy!

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And last, but certainly not least, the party favors! Each guest took home a bottle of Amortentia, the most powerful love potion, with their very own wand attached! And it tastes exactly like Prosecco! The girls spent hours and hours squiggling really cool designs onto some dowel rods using a hot glue gun, painting them all brown and then finally, sealing them with varnish. This might have been the most time consuming project of all and I wish I could’ve been around to help out on this one more but…you know, life and stuff.

All in all, the shower was a success and Lauren seemed really happy with all of it. *High fives all around!* Planning a shower like this only takes 4 1/2 months, a lot of man power, and five friends who all really enjoy each other’s company! Phew! (And maybe also a mother of the bride who didn’t bat an eye when we handed her a butt load of receipts…!)

 

UPDATE:

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The gorgeous thank you card my sister designed for Lauren to send to guests after the shower is now available in our Etsy shop as a PDF download and can be found here.