Monday, 21 March 2011

All Wrapped Up

Last week I finally managed to finish the custom wedding order I was working on. I had to make 40 lavender bags as wedding favours for a wedding this weekend. If you read the last blog post, you will remember that I made them in an ivory silk with a purple tulle top and matching ribbon bow. The tulle had been sent by the bride to be and she was quite keen for me to try and use it.

Whilst I was making the favours I was asked if I would also be able to make a wrap for the bride to wear around her shoulders during the photos. There was certainly enough fabric, so I was happy to design something.

As tulle is very lightweight, I knew the ends of the wrap would need to be weighted so that it fell properly when worn. The obvious solution was beading, so I decided to buy a length of beaded trim. Easy .... or so I thought! How wrong could I be?

Whilst getting hold of beaded trim is easy enough, finding the right colour proved to be a bit of a nightmare. The tulle was a deep aubergine purple colour. The first fabric shop I tried didn't have any purple, the second didn't either but assured me that they did in their other store and had it sent over on a van that night.

The next day, I went back to the store with my tulle sample for colour matching. Yes, the beading was purple but it was a bright bluey purple. Completely wrong. The shop was very helpful and together we pored over their supplier's catalogue trying to find the right colour and ordered a couple of samples.

To be on the safe side, I tried another fabric shop in another town. They had purple but it was pale purple, so again no good. I found some possibilities on a website and also on eBay. I politely requested samples, even offering to pay for them plus postage. Neither bothered to reply!

True to their word, the fabric shop phoned to tell me the samples were in for me to look at and thankfully one of them was a good enough colour match to work, so I ordered the beading. A week later, I still hadn't heard, so phoned the shop. They phoned their supplier and rang me back. The beading had been sent but was now missing with the courier!

Thankfully, two days later, I got a phone call to say the beading had finally arrived. I had two weeks until the wedding, so I have to admit I was quite relieved. After all of that hassle, making the wrap was not too much trouble. Tulle is a bit of a nightmare as it is so light to work with and it slithers around all over the place.

I decided to make a double thickness wrap for extra warmth, so folded the tulle in half and used an embroidery stitch along the edge to hide the seam within. The two ends were then simply turned in on themselves and used to sandwich the bead trim in place. It was a bit fiddly but it worked well.

As I said before in the previous blog post, I think it is lovely that the favours and bridal wrap are made from the same piece of fabric, as it ties the wedding together. Having sent off the wrap and favours last week, an email from the bride's mother said that the bride is delighted which is always good to hear.

Just when I was thinking job done .... another bride contacted me yesterday and asked if I could make 25 lace lavender bags as favours for her wedding in 4 weeks time. Thankfully, I don't need bead trim for those.

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Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Wedding Favours

A few weeks ago a regular customer asked me if I would be able to make some favours for her daughter's wedding at the end of March. Needless to say, I was delighted to be asked and more than happy to make them.

I was sent a sample of some dark purple chiffon fabric which the bride to be had apparently bought years ago and was quite keen to use. There was also a rough sketch of a lavender bag design which I felt wasn't really suitable for the fabric and that was all I had to go on. It is worth pointing out that I have never actually met the bride to be or her mother. We have never even spoken on the phone, as we always correspond by email. It is actually quite strange designing something so personal for someone you know nothing about and for a wedding it has to be right.

As the favours were for a wedding, white or ivory was obviously a good starting point and I felt that you needed a good quality fabric as well, so opted for an ivory silk slub and a slightly satiny fabric with holes punched through it in a flower shape. I wanted to try and incorporate the purple chiffon somehow too and bought coordinating ribbon. I also found some purple flowers in the fabric shop which were a more blue purple but I thought they were worth thinking about.

In the end, I came up with four designs, two in each fabric, in two sizes, with different combinations of ribbon, chiffon and flowers ....

I sent them off for approval and had no idea if any of them would be suitable or not. Thankfully, the bride to be and her mother liked my ideas and the final decision was 40 favours made up of the silk, in the larger size, with the chiffon at the top and the coordinating ribbon tied around them. So a cross between all of the designs in the end!

I have to admit, seeing them on mass, I am really pleased with them and think they will look fabulous on each place setting at the wedding breakfast.

The bride has now also asked if I can make her a shawl with the remainder of the chiffon which I hope to make shortly. I think it will be lovely that the wedding guests will be taking away a lavender bag made from the same piece of fabric as the bride's shawl. It will be a lovely, lasting memento of the day.

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