Welcome back!

24 Jan

So it’s been mighty quiet around these parts for the last couple of months.

This was not standard blog burn-out – I was busy getting married, twice, one two continents, to the same wonderful man.

Wedding number one was a full-blown married-at-home crafty extravaganza. I made my dress and accessories, did the decorations myself, made headpieces for the flower girls, made outfits for the flower boys, sewed runners and tablecloths, and made the favors and did the flower arranging with the help of some wonderful friends and dedicated family members.

I’ll be sharing some highlights of the wedding projects over the next couple of weeks.

Up first is the most time-consuming bit of the whole process: the saga of the epic underskirt.

I’m not that much of a planner when it comes to sewing – I’ve made a lot of garments and costumes for myself and other over the years, and I generally feel pretty confident in my ability adapt as I go along. The underskirt was a lesson in where a bit of math up front would have been helpful.

The underskirt concept was to do a crinoline-style skirt in silk organza, with soft grosgrain ribbon reinforcing all the horizontal seams. I bought 12 yards of 60″ silk, and then cut that into 5″ strips, yielding 144 yards of fabric to be gathered and sewn up.

That sounds like enough, right? Oh, silly seamstress! 30 yards of fabric and more than a mile of ribbon later, I finally had something that looked like it was big enough to support the overskirt I was planning. Even that wasn’t enough.

Luckily, I had an excellent supervisor. 

Finally, I got the message this just wasn’t going according to plan, and went to the Shanghai Wedding Market. The wedding market is in the same windowless building as the optical market, and the photography market. It’s one floor of prom dresses on steroids, fake flower bouquets, and suits that would bring Elvis blush with envy.

I hunted high and low for a crinoline to put under the one I’d made – no luck. Finally, I found a shop that had hoop skirts made from metal hoops encased in nasty polyester. I bit the bullet and shelled out my $15. The darn thing worked like a dream. I wore my silk underskirt underneath it as a shield from the nasty fabric, and to avoid feeling like I was walking around in an empty shell.

Post-wedding, the underskirt has gone to a certain crafty friend who will recycle it into something amazing. I can’t wait to see what she does with it.