Sunday, March 5, 2017
Saturday, June 4, 2016
So, of course I get this awesome idea to make flowers to go on the cake. I'm thinking an ombré effect, starting with a cluster of flowers trailing down the side of the cake, getting more saturated as it goes. Of course, if I put all 5 of the colors we are using in the pallet, it will look busy.
Also, I don't want to spend another 50 hours making flowers, and they need to be simple and easy to attach to a cake. My awesome youngest sister (not the one getting married) is an accomplished cake decorator. I texted her for advice on how the heck do I get silk flowers to work on the cake. 'Toothpicks' she said. Of course! So practicle. I can put beads on the ends of toothpicks and shove the whole thing through the middle of the flower. Except pearls with holes the fit on toothpicks are huge. And have holes in the ends.
So.. Enter fimo clay. Baked on toothpicks. My sister pointed out that they resemble a slide of sperm... Lol
Then the cake topper - at first sis wanted natural peacock feathers to match the theme.
We sent pictures and texts back and forth until we agreed ivory feathers with ivory flowers was the way to go
Saturday, May 28, 2016
When my sister told me she wanted peacock feathers for her wedding centerpieces, I saw a great opportunity to stock up on feathers and make some silk flowers that I could turn into hats after the wedding. Win-win right?
Sis is going to Hawaii for her honeymoon, so I wanted to make something tropical that also fit the peacock color pallet she was going for. On my last vacation to Hawaii, I gathered some plumeria and hibiscus flowers, pressed them and turned them into flower patterns. I sketched and gathered pictures and inspiration in a smash book - I'm not a good scrapbooker, but the smash book was a good way to capture all of it.
So I used an orchid flower pattern I had already. I simplified it a bit, and used a combination of dying techniques for the petals. Even after simplifying the pattern and process, it still takes 2-3 hours to make each orchid. I made 50. How? Lots of help from my tolerant husband and my step son who made a little cash helping me out. Flower making sure beats weed pulling as a way to earn money!
The hibiscus were much simpler to make, my biggest challenge was replicating their long stamens. I considered fimo clay, peacock hurl ( I may still try that, it would be a really neat effect) and finally found some very long antique stamens online that resembled miniature rock candy sticks. I wired the petals to make them easier to shape ironed them with my flower iron and viola! I tried both silk taffeta and silk satin for the flowers, I still haven't decided which I like better. The taffeta is nice and crinkly, but the silk satin is more glossy.
I even made a pattern for the double calyx, which I think turned out really cool. When I was in 7th grade, I had a somewhat unorthodox teacher, who spent months on study of wild flowers and botany. We spent a lot of time dissecting and drawing flowers. Who knew that would pay off? Thanks Mr. D'Augostini!
Of course, hibiscus flowers come in many colors and shapes, but I took some liberties to keep within the color pallet.
Next I need to finish the rest of the flowers, trim the peacock feathers and arrange it all in vases. No, I'm not a florist. Hopefully the principles of hat design work for flower centerpieces too! Wish me luck!
Sunday, March 6, 2016
So let me first say, if you aren't familiar with Tudor Tailor, and you want to wear lovely clothes from the 1500's based on well researched, thoughtfully built and tested patterns do not stop, go to tudortailor.com now! They have an etsy shop too, and I can't recommend their books enough. That said, they really aren't writing and creating patterns for beginners. I'm a better milliner than I am a sewer. The time it takes to create an entire gown, soup to nuts, is a little beyond my attention span. This dress took me over 4 weeks, I had to break it into small mini projects, as I only sew and make hats for 10-15 hours per week.
By the way, I did not receive any products from Tudor Tailor, or any one else. I purchased the books and patterns myself, and my opinion, is just that, my opinion. Your mileage may vary.
If you don't want to manually enlarge the patterns in the Tudor Tailor book, you can buy them enlarged and ready to use. I used the "Pattern for Women's Tudor Kirtles and Petticoats - Small Sizes by TheTudorTailor on Etsy http://etsy.me/WhBA3a" and there are excellent additional details in the Tudor Tailor book that really helped supplement the instructions in the pattern.
If you do want to transcribe the pattern, I like to get the large office easel paper with one inch grid and tape it together to make a larger piece if needed. Then think back to high school art class, where you copied a picture using a grid. It works well, it's just time consuming.
I got a bias tape maker to help, I have used this gadget way more than I thought I would! I use it frequently for making the bias opening for my Coif hats too. I loved this red silk taffeta so much, and it went so well with the fabric. I'll bet everyone reading this knows what happened when I threw this in the wash! Yep, I forgot to pre-wash my silk, it bled all over the dress! Don't worry, this story has a happy ending, lots of stain remover, about 6 re-washes and the bleeding was mostly gone. The red has also faded in a really nice, well worn way. But I don't recommend that approach for aging your garb!
You can very slightly see the boning through the linen. It doesn't show at all when I am wearing the dress. I took some liberties on how I assembled the bodice, deviating from the instructions in some things like the shoulder seams. By the way, I got this fantastic linen and silk from Renaissancefabrics.net. They specialize in fabrics for garb from medieval through Victorian. Bonus: they ship quickly and are great to work with, sending swatches on request and prompt email responses.
All put together!
I tried it out at the Valhalla Renaissance Faire in South Lake Tahoe, Ca. I made my daughter a dress too, you can tell she had fun with it.