Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Clothing

Ok, on to the fun part. You know, it took me a while to come up with a wedding dress design. Getting married is just not something I've ever thought about. I know it's typical to have at least passing fantasies about your wedding or dress sometime over the years... but I never did. I never planned on getting married, never wanted to ever before. Funny. So when I finally considered the fact that we might indeed marry at some point, I did some doodling and came up with a plan. In the end, the outfit looked almost exactly like this doodle.

 The basic plan was a pseudo-Victorian-ish outfit made up of 3 layered parts - a ruffly jacket, a short dress and a long underskirt. Using the tan and brown as 'beach' parts, and blue as the watery part to fit my Ocean Wave theme. I decided Stu and I (and my sweet little niece Daphne, the ring bearer) would be the only ones to wear blue. 

I made a Wave stamp and printed the design around the hem of my overdress, and added a single print to each of the maids of honor dresses and the pocket of the best men shirts. I kept everyone in rayon, to make sure they would all match. 

My biggest challenge was certainly with getting the dye colors just right. You wouldn't believe how hard it is to get a good tan! Sheesh. Not too putty, not too orange, not too dark or light. I was never so terrified as when I finally got to the real dye batches. But I had done 4 test batches and just had to get moving. Somehow it worked perfectly.

Since I was vat dyeing, what I did to pad the sample batches was to buy a bolt of muslin. I cut 2yd lengths and ended up with lots of nicely colored fabric to cover the tables at the wedding. Now, I plan on sewing them into skirts and overdyeing them for sale. Hey, they're all fulla our love vibes now. I can charge double. 

The blue was by far the toughest to get right. The biggest problem was that my jacket was 100% rayon, but Stu's vest was a rayon/linen blend. There was quite a color shift between the two... but somehow I managed to get very close in the end. Also, getting that perfect shade of sky blue - not too purple but not too aqua - was tough. Good thing I have skills.

Except for our fancy blue garments and the guys' Carhartt's (my Stu is a carpenter and I let him pick the pants), all the clothing was bought and dyed as is. There were plans early on for more sewing by my best friend Heather, aka sewing goddess. But she ended up moving and being in sewing limbo for a while. Also, it's very very difficult to sew for someone who lives far away. Still, it worked out great. I got all the girl stuff and the guys' shirts from my regular supplier. The jacket was premade, but we shaped the front and added the ruffle. The vest was made from scratch.

Oh and I got these killer boots too, which looked super cute when I took off the underskirt for dancing. WAY cute. So in total, including store bought stuff and sewing costs... all the clothing came to a little over $500. Pretty damned good, I'll say! And we could have cut that almost in half by foregoing the boots and sewing help.

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