Sunday, July 28, 2013

how to sew beads onto a wedding veil OR handmade wedding part four!

When my sisters and I got married (a long time ago!) our talented mother made our wedding veils. Well actually, she made the bridesmaids dresses for two of the weddings and even one of the wedding gowns...
that's how talented she is!
So when my daughter-in-law was trying on dresses (yes, I was blessed to be invited to tag along with Katie and her mom), I volunteered to make the veil. Katie wanted a long veil, Cathedral length, but simple in design. 

First I purchased a VERY inexpensive veil from a bridal website. It was sort of a 'Craigslist for weddings' website. Turns out it was long and skinny, oh so skinny! It looked like a long tail. Not to mention the color white was practically a purple/blue white. Since it was only $15 there was no harm done there. And I've since used it at a bridal shower just for fun!
In the meantime Katie's mom purchased the correct color white veil from the Bridal Shop where her dress was purchased. 
Even when it comes to tulle...there are a lot of different whites! Keep this in mind if you make your own veil.
Now, all I needed to do was sew thousands of tiny beads along the perimeter of the veil.
Katie picked out the beads and made a pattern about an inch long.
First an 11/0 (that's seed bead size talk) silver lined crystal followed by a tiny pearl. Next up 3mm pearl, then back to the seed pearl, 3mm pearl, seed pearl, 3mm pearl, seed pearl and back to the silver lined crystal.

Maybe a list is better for clarity?

silver lined crystal 11/0 seed bead
tiny round pearl seed bead
3mm pearl
tiny round pearl seed bead
3mm pearl 
tiny round pearl seed bead
3mm pearl 
tiny round pearl seed bead
silver lined crystal 11/0 seed bead

and repeat
again and again and again 
and here is how much I purchased:

silver lined crystal 11/0 seed bead - 4 containers (600)
tiny round pearl seed bead - about 1,950
3mm pearl - about 1,350
I didn't use everything but this gives you an idea of what will cover such a long veil. 
NOTE: I compared the glass 3mm pearl to the Swarovski Crystal 3mm pearl. HUGE difference in price.  I DO love the real thing but, the fact is, you are looking at the veil from afar and it just becomes a tiny row of beads. Only in examining the beads up close could you tell the difference.

When sewing on tulle you can't pull very hard or it will bunch up. There just isn't a lot of actual fabric to tulle!
Notice that my sewing line is about 1/2 inch from the edge.
I tried it closer to the edge at first but it was hard with how fine the tulle is.
I realized that it would be more stable like this and it would actually look as though it is right on the edge anyway.

My tried a few sewing techniques to keep the line of beads as straight as possible and this is what worked for me.

1. I put my needle through 3 beads then I went around the last bead and down through the tulle BEHIND the last bead. 

The thread can be seen on the side of the bead but barely. And I'm telling you, it can't be seen by people who don't sew and are gazing at the beautiful bride in her beautiful veil.

2. Now the needle comes back up through the tulle in front of the last bead, then through three new beads, then finish step 1.

3. After you have strung the third set of three beads on the needle and pushed the needle down through the tulle behind the last bead, 

go to step 4 BELOW.

4. Bring the needle up two beads back from where it went down and make a knot there.

5. After making the knot put the needle back down through the tulle and bring it up again in front of the last bead.

At this point you will repeat the process all over again. Going back every third bead and making a knot every 9th bead will secure your line of beads. It will become routine and you can probably vary it a bit. I may have done 4 beads instead of 3 every now and again!

If you notice your line going crooked or pulling too tight, just unthread the needle and gently use the tip of the needle to pull some stitches out.
Don't be alarmed by how little you may progress in the first hour. When I first started this project I barely went over an inch in an hour. Once I got my rhythm I was sewing 11 inches in an hour!

I spent 31 hours sewing over 3,000 beads onto Katie's veil and I enjoyed every minute of it!
And here's a little secret...
that beautiful photo of Daniel and Katie with the veil drifting in the South Carolina breeze?
happened like this:
oh, and that's my beautiful daughter Holli!

say you love it!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

handmade wedding part three • Origami Kusudama flowers

The second type of flower I made for my son's rehearsal dinner was an Oragami design called Kusudama. Kusudama is a modular Oragami flower that is made in units. It seems to be most common to make a 5 unit flower however, I made mine with 6.

PS I LOVED when my dining room table was covered with these beautiful bouquets leading up to the wedding!

Here's how it's done

 #1 • cut a 4 inch square 

#2 • fold in half as shown • use a bone folder or the dull side of a table knife to make the crease sharp

#3 • fold the right corner up to the top and make another strong crease

#4 • repeat with the left corner

 #5 • fold the a-c edge (refer to previous photo #4) 

on the left side over to meet the d-c edge

#6 • fold the a-c edge on the right side

over to meet the b-c edge

continue to make strong creases

with the bone folder

#7 • open the fold on the right side by placing your finger

in the outer pocket

gently pull it open and then flatten it in it's new fold (#8)

This is when your sharp creases will pay off.

It makes this step much easier! 

#9 • repeat #7 and #8 so that both sides are now flattened open

#10 • fold the tips down on both the left and right sides

toward you as shown

#11 • fold the left side in and the right side in

this fold will be easy because of previous sharp creases!

#12 • join the left side to the right side

I've ONLY used a paperclip to hold it together for the photo

so DO NOT fold it here!

just join the two sides together

use hot glue to join them.

repeat all the steps above five more times to create a six petal flower

a pile of petals  

Gluing the petals together to make the flower

#1 • a little hot glue on one side

#2 • gently squeeze together

do steps 1 and 2 for all six petals

#3 • a little hot glue on the outside

#4 • attach another petal

#5 • adding the third petal

press lightly keeping in mind that this is already half of your finished flower

#6 • you can add the stem here or after your 4th or 5th petal, just squeeze a line of glue on the inside of the flower as shown and lay your stem in the glue

finish adding your petals • six total

#7 •  Doesn't the bead look pretty in the center? Squeeze a dot of hot glue in the center

#8 • gently press in the bead

make sure that the hole in the bead doesn't show

#9 • TA DAH!


Sunday, July 21, 2013

handmade wedding part two • DIY paper flowers • Swirls

ok, where were we?
Good thing it didn't take me as long to make the flowers as it did to blog about them!

I made two types of flowers for the rehearsal dinner. The solid yellow ones were super easy. I used two different yellow papers. One was plain and one had a texture in sort of a linen look with a slight shimmer. I thought this subtle difference would add a little depth.

start with a six inch square

draw a swirl and cut on the line

 start rolling from the outer ring to the center

 in the first section of the photo below

 I am holding the rolled up flower fairly tightly

in #2 I have let go

in #3 I have bent the wire stem, bringing

the end up through the punched hole

that I punched earlier with a 1/16th paper punch

if you look closely at the first photo on this post

you will see the tiny punched hole

I used hot glue here to secure the stem to the flower

#4 shows a pile of flowers BEFORE I added the stems

you may or may not 

want to add some dots of hot glue

here and there between the layers

of swirls.

I did because I wanted each flower

to look a little different.

the glue holds some layers closer together

while pulling some further apart. 

My niece Emma made her own version of these for her wedding in July. She painted sheet music and book pages with water color to create her own paper. I'm guessing that she drew more swirls than I did as she had many 'layers' to her flowers. 
What a beautiful version.

her bouquet 

real greenery 
paper flower

even on the cake!  



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