Friday, 3 August 2012

DIY I Do…or I Don’t?

So I announced a number of months ago that I had got engaged, and I’ve mentioned briefly in a few posts how stressful the wedding planning process has been. It all really boiled down to Robin and I wanting to get married abroad, but finding out that it just wasn’t feasible for family and friends. But for us, it was more important to have the people we love around us, sharing in our special day, rather than having sunshine and heat (let’s be honest - something we probably won’t get in N.I.!). Once we decided on a home wedding, we had the additional stress of budgets and locations that suited everyone…nightmare. I’m sure you are all aware of how expensive weddings can be – but it really is ridiculous how quickly things can add up!

Well, after a lot of deliberation, we have finally booked our venue and we now have a date – 6th July 2013!

I cannot tell you have much more relaxed I now am, and I’m actually starting to enjoy the planning process. Yeay! Obviously lots of things to organise, and this isn’t going to turn into a Wedding Blog, but I am thinking about doing some craft/sewing related things for the day so I thought I would document them here.

The question I have though is – how much do I tackle myself, and what do I leave to the professionals? I have two reasons for going down the DIY route:
1. Saving money!!! We are trying to keep the budget down as much as possible. It’s a difficult thing because as soon as you mention the ‘W’ word, prices sky rocket. But we are giving it a go anyway.
2. I think it will provide us with a much more personalised and meaningful day, and I know I’ll get so much satisfaction and pride looking at things on the day and knowing I had put my time and love into making it just right

I found this really interesting blog post on Style Serendipity which gives advice on tackling a DIY wedding. Do read it if you are thinking the same thing. I think the key thing I took away from it is – don’t bite off more than you can chew! I need to make sure that I’m not ending up doing every little tiny detail that really could have been delegated to a professional. As they mention: “Sometimes your time (and sanity!) is more valuable than money, and it can be well worth paying a professional to do an amazing job and make your life a lot easier.”

So, putting that thought to the side for one moment, here are the aspects of the wedding I’m thinking about take on myself (with the help of friends and family):



The Dress

Yep, this is the biggy! I’m still undecided about this at the moment. I have been doing a LOT of thinking and research into how feasible this might actually be. But at the moment it is still a possibility. Obviously, if I do decide to make the dress I’ll keep everyone updated as I progress. The sweet thing about this blog is that none of my friends or family read it, so I can reveal everything without worrying about giving anything away to anyone who will be at the wedding!


Because four of her seven bridesmaids had recently had babies, Katie chose an Empire-waist dress they all would feel comfortable in.

Bridesmaids and Flower Girl dresses

Perhaps a little bit insane to thing of making my dress AND everyone else’s too. Especially since I have never sewn clothes for anyone but myself. But I have lots of ideas. Plus, my mother is fantastic at sewing (my inspiration to take up sewing in the first place), so I may see if I can persuade her to make the flower girl dresses.



This is pretty much a definite. I have a fab idea and I’ve made and love the prototype so I’m good to go. Can’t wait to share it on the blog too!!


My mum seems to have taken this idea and run with it, she has even bought the tins already. I’m not precious about the cake at all, so I’m going to let her do whatever she likes!


1x1.trans Rachael + Brians Woodland and Fabric Wedding Invitations


Again, I think this will be a definite. I’m planning on designing the invites, RSVPs, order of service and thank you cards which we will then get them printed at Robin’s work which should save us a fair bit.



Argh, this is a tricky one. Everyone says – don’t do your own flowers, it’s too stressful. And I believe them. I know nothing about flower arranging! But seriously, I had no idea how expensive the flowers can be. My friend just told me yesterday that her flowers came to £1400!! What?!!! I had done a preliminary budget of £350 for my flowers, and even thought THAT was a bit too much!! Anyway, at the moment I’m thinking about getting bouquets and one or two displays done professionally, and then attempting to DIY a few decorations. We shall see!


JUST MARRIED Burlap Banner Wedding Rustic Bunting- We Do Custom Banners - Party Photo Prop


Things like the seating plan, table centres and just little things dotted around the venue. Should be easy enough to do myself, and I have a lot of plans and ideas for this already.


God, when you list it all out it looks like a LOT! But I have a year…that’s loads of time…right?!!!

So, as I said before, this isn’t going to turn into a wedding blog, but I am going to start a semi-regular schedule of posting inspiration, plans and progress as the year goes by.

Have any of you gone DIY for your own wedding? Or helped a friend with theirs? Any thoughts or any tips? I’d love to hear them all!!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Featured on Burda Style

I was so excited to see that my pink scalloped edge skirt was featured in a recent Style Gallery on the Burda Style website! They did a piece on the scalloped trend that has been around for a while recently and put together a gallery of member projects to compliment the article, and that’s where I spotted myself!


I have to say though, I think mine was perhaps a bit of a cheat to be included as everyone else in the gallery had painstakingly measured, sewn and cut their scallops, while mine were part of the fabric! Saying that though, it did take a fair bit of work to make sure my scallops matched up at the sides. Not quite the same though!

Some of the others that I Love from the gallery (click photos for links):




Check out the rest of the Gallery if you fancy a bit of scallop inspiration!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

My Summer Sewing Swap Haul!

Whoops – a bit late in getting this up!!

For those of you who don’t know what the Summer Sewing Swap is, the lovely Kerry from Kestrel Finds and Makes arranged a wee sewing swap for any bloggers who fancied signing up. I jumped at the chance and was very lucky to have Dibs from Dibs and the Machine as my swap partner.

After a quick chat via emails we both agreed to surprise each other with our swap gifts. I spent a good time trawling through her old blog posts and tried to get a vibe as to what she would like to find in her parcel. I then turned to the internet to make my purchases and am subsequently still waiting for one final thing to arrive! Epic FAIL! I’ve apologised profusely to Dibs about the very late arrival of her swap parcel, but she has graciously told me not to fret as she is now off on her hols until the 17th August (lucky duck!). Anyway…I hope it will be winging it’s way to her very shortly…and I hope she likes what I’ve got to her.

Dibs was, however, a lot more punctual with her parcel dispatching and I was completely overwhelmed by her amazing generosity. Seriously – this girl went ABOVE and BEYOND the call of the swap. Her reason – she couldn’t decide what I would like so she just sent me a bit of everything thing! Take a look at this pile of goodies:

sewing and flowers 002

Holy Moly!!! Ok, let’s break it down into sections. Dibs said she had written a lovely note explaining her choices, but forgot to put it in the envelope before posting, so I shall attempt to guess her thought processes…

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Here we have two lengths of gorgeous stretch lace in black and pink, which I’m guessing are for me to make some more knickers with. Plus 3 narrow stretchy elastic (probably for underwear) and some two lengths of very pretty narrow lace!

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Two lengths of gorgeous fabric. Both cotton I think. The one on the left has an almost moleskin-like feel to it, while the one on the right has a bit of stretch to it. At the moment I’m thinking nice skirt for work with the left, and I’m going to see if I can squeeze a shift dress out of the blue/black fabric.

sewing and flowers 005

This lovely collection was bundled up together, which made me wonder if perhaps Dibs had put together a little project for me. We have a length of really soft pale yellow jersey fabric, a length of light and soft striped cotton, some thick elastic, some pretty decorative lace and some narrow elastic/strap. What would you make out of this? I’m thinking perhaps this is to be made into a vest/camisole and shorts combo? Jersey vest with spaghetti straps and lace detailing, and then stripy elasticated waist shorts (or trousers if I can get the length).

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Yep, there’s more!! I honestly can’t believe how much Dibs sent my way…I am so lucky! Ok, so here we have the coolest little book called “Designer’s guide to color”, which basically is filled with loads of colour combining options. It’s a really great inspirational book which will help me think outside the box when it comes to colour combining. Next we have the “Handbook of Crochet Stitches”. I have ‘learn to crochet’ as one of my 12 in 2012, so I’m guessing that was Dibs thinking behind this book. I’m so excited – I haven’t even started to attempt crochet so this will be a little kick up the butt and a lot of help! Finally from this section is the gorgeous Simplicity 2250 by Cynthia Rowley. I don’t think I have mentioned this pattern on my blog, but I have been wanting this for a while…so Dibs must have just read my mind instead!!! Awesome!! I’m thinking it would make a gorgeous Honeymoon day dress in Chambray.

sewing and flowers 008

The final lot. This one is a total mix of goodies. some lovely eyelet floral trim, an apple shaped pin cushion, a fabric marker, some sewing machine oil, more elastic, some shirring elastic (which I’ve never even seen before – how do you use this, does anyone know??), 2 packs of green seam binding and finally, a cut of really awesome purple faux snake skin – which is destined to be turned into a fab envelope clutch bag I think (what would you make out of it?)!

So…not too shabby hey?!!! OMG, I cannot believe how many fab things I got!! Thank you so so much Dibs!!

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