Friday, October 29, 2010

Wedding Dress

I spent several hours frustrated with the wedding dress yesterday and today. The lace edged fabric was not wide enough to go from the waistline seam to the edge of the train. I thought and thought about it and finally figured out that the only thing to do was to piece it. So I put a seam across the train right about at floor level. It seemed like the best place where it would be the least noticeable. Then sewing on the lace was such a hassle. It puckered all up and down the seam. I ended up serging the seams and that totally straightened them out. We bought a beaded trim yesterday to go along the top edge. I'm done for today.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Couple Customer Quilts

Here's photos of a couple October customer quilts. They were both pretty large so required quite a few hours to do. Both have lots of feathers.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Wedding Dress

The beading is getting done on the wedding dress. Very slow process. I am not knotting each bead in the back but each cluster of beads. First we started with just the center beads which are a small diamond shaped plastic bead. After doing a couple of these, it was easy to see that there was not enough sparkle in just these kinds of beads alone. So I bought some glass seed beads. They have a silver metal look on the inside of each bead. It's just the right touch. It looks like a snowflake -- just what Charissa wanted. I'm just adding until it seems like enough. My goal is to finish the beading this week and the rest of the dress next week!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Today is the service for my father-in-law, Louis Glen Jarmer. He passed away on October 12 after two long weeks of struggle and pain resulting from a difficult surgery. He was a good man, a faithful husband and caring father. Probably one of my fondest memories is when we arrived home from Russia with our two Russian children, exhausted and so thankful to be back on U.S. soil, there he was at the gate (and Rick's mom too) to greet his two new grandchildren. That spoke a lot to me about his character. The other great memory is how he was always interested in what I was cooking, canning or really anything going on in the kitchen. I liked that about him. He will be missed in our family's lives.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Back From Quilt Retreat

I'm back from quilt retreat. It was a very good time. We enjoyed the Spokane area quilt show, shopped for some fun new home decorative items, sewed, watched girlie movies and talked a lot. It's always such a good break from everything else that is routine. This year I sewed a lap quilt for my daughter and her soon to be husband. They both love movies and this fabric was given to me about a year ago by a quilt customer. It was very simple to put together except for that diagonal seam that runs through the center square. But after some work and using tape to get the two pieces lined up and then stuck together the picture in the center came out nearly perfect. I hope to quilt it soon and give it to them at one of their showers. I also made an apron, worked on my dresden plate quilt, and a small fall wall hanging. It was good to get some of my own work done!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Off to Quilt Retreat

I am off to quilt retreat today. It almost got canceled for me. Yesterday my father-in-law passed away, so leaving on a quilt retreat didn't seem like the best idea. But my mother-in-law and husband both thought I should still go. His service won't be for a week and a half probably. In the last year and a half, there has been so much death in my life. The most difficult for me was my granddaughter last summer, but there's also been two cats, our dog and now my father-in-law. Death brings about a sobering look at life and eternity. I believe there is more than this life. I believe what the Bible teaches about a heaven or a hell that await all mankind beyond this life. Most importantly I believe that the hope of eternity lies in having a faith-based belief in Jesus Christ as the only way of salvation, the only way to heaven. So for me, even though death is difficult and sad, there is always this hope -- this certainty that this life is not all there is. That is my greatest comfort. I look forward with great anticipation to a great reunion in heaven. That will be better than a quilt retreat! (But I am looking forward to a fun retreat)
This photo is from our 2003 quilt retreat. It will be the same 3 friends on this retreat (one is my sister).

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wedding Dress

I haven't worked on the wedding dress as much as I wanted to last week. The day I hand basted the skirt pieces to the underlining, it took so long that I was burned out on sewing the dress and didn't sew at all for the next two days. Then I ran out of the one lace fabric that goes under the organza layer so I won't be able to put the whole skirt together and sew it to the bodice until I can purchase that fabric. It was very expensive fabric too, so we're waiting for a coupon to make that purchase. The good thing is that I feel now like I'm on home stretch. Everything is cut out, the bodice is sewn, and the base fabric of the skirt is together. Today or tomorrow the beads/sequence should arrive and then those will all have to be hand stitched on -- a job I'm delegating to the bride!
For this photo, I pinned the two layers on top of the base skirt fabric. The top organza layer will be brought up at different points around the skirt and feathered flowers will be in those spots. That will allow that beautiful lace around the bottom to show, and it will wrap around the edge of the train too.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Yesterday's Progress on the Wedding Dress

So far so good. I'm pleased with how things are coming along. Yesterday I sewed the bodice pieces. This was (in reverse order from how you see the dress), the lining, the corset, then the top layer has the underlining, the base fabric (a polyester shantung), organza, and lace. After I sewed the bodice pieces together with the organza layer on top, my daughter came in to look at it and said, "I wanted the other lace on the top"! Fortunately it only meant taking out the side seams since the lace needed to cover the top with as little seams showing as possible. But that was a trick on the front, getting the lace to look right without the seams over the bust area. I ended up basting the lace down while the backing part was placed over a pressing ham to get the curves right. It worked. Then the lace edging was cut around the design and tacked on to the top of the bodice piece. You can see by the picture that the bottom part of the lace is not tacked down yet. It will be, but since there is a lot of beading to add, I didn't see any sense to do this now.
The waistband was tricky too. It consists of underlining and the base fabric with the organza fabric gathered on top. When I first gathered the organza and put it on top of the base I could see that it was going to be difficult to get the gathers to look nice all the way across. So I ran gathering stitches about every 6 inches all the way across the waistband. Then after gathering all those areas I had someone hold each end of the waistband while I ironed the gathering all the way down the length of the waistband. Then I took out the gathering basting. It made it look much better.
Today I will start on the skirt and train. This time I will ask my daughter what it's supposed to look like before I sew anything :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Working on the wedding dress

After one day I'm already behind! I had hoped to have the corset, lining and the rest of the bodice cut out yesterday. But alas, other things to do got in the way and I ended up only getting part of the corset done. The steps are: take apart the muslin. This will be used for a pattern and also will serve as the underlining unless it has too many marks on it. After taking apart the muslin I used it to make a paper pattern. This may not have been necessary but I wanted to be sure and get it right. I used the paper pattern to cut out the corset and then the lining. This part of the dress will not have the empire waist band but will go all the way down to the waist seam. After cutting out the corset, I sewed the 7 pieces together and then added boning. So far it just has 6 boning strips. That is the minimum for a strapless dress. It may have two more in the front -- not sure yet. The corset will also have a elastic strap like a bra strap at the bottom. So I added 1 1/2 inches to the corset pieces at the bottom and will turn this under to make a tube for the elastic to fit through. The elastic will have a hook and will fit quite snugly just above the waist. This will give a lot of extra support. We don't want that dress slipping off halfway through the ceremony! I'll continue to post pictures all through the construction -- who knows it may help someone else sew a wedding dress. I'm no expert, but I am enjoying the process.