Friday, January 31, 2014


I'm sorry that I don't have more "growing" on this growinginseattle blog, but well, it is winter in the Pacific Northwest. There are kale, cabbage, radish, and broccoli starts growing under the lights now, but it'll take more time for them to be ready to do anything other than consume electricity and require regular watering. Here they are, just to prove that this is actually a blog about growing vegetables:

Now for the fun stuff. Way back in 2013 I had the opportunity to work with my sister on crafting a birdcage veil for my wedding. I used a tutorial from a blog I read called 17Apart, and improvised from there. I used many of these materials also for the sash I'm going to wear, shown below.

I bought:
(for the veil)
 - 1 yard of millinery netting
 - silk flowers (used for both)
 - 1/2 yard of tulle
 - 1 hair comb
 - 1/8 yard lace (to wrap the hair comb)
 - some glittery leaves (used in both)

(for the sash)
 - 3 yards of good quality ribbon
 - more silk flowers

     First I'll describe how I did the veil. I cut out the section of millinery netting that I was going to use, about a 36" by 9" rectangle, then trimmed the edges to make a house-shape. With a needle and thread I gathered the netting, and without tying off, set it aside. I prepared the comb by wrapping the lace ribbon around the end (so that I have something to sew the veil onto). Then I gathered the netting and attached it to the comb. (Full disclosure: I'd done this before with a smaller piece, 18" by 9", and it was too tiny of a veil. I ended up scratching it and buying more netting (an extra $2, gasp!) so that I could be happy with it.
     Then I prepared the tulle flower. I made a pattern for the flower shape using cardboard. This took a few tries... Then I layered ~30 layers of tulle on top of one another, and attached the cardboard shape to the top using pins. This was probably the most dangerous way of pinning it, but it kept the pins away from snagging the tulle, but I don't recommend it! I cut around the edges and was left with many layers of thin tulle flowers. A procedure like this leaves little tiny pieces of tulle everywhere - so grab your trash can and a shot of patience.

      To give the flower some volume, I staggered the leaves, with about 5 layers going one direction, then 5 more on top with a slight offset, nature isn't perfect after all. If you like nerdy analogies, we're going for more of a body-centered cubic, rather than a rock salt-type structure. Yeah, I just went there. Finally I secured the flower by threading a few times through the center. To finish the flower, I hot glued a rhinestone through the center (that I procured from a set of rings that I scavenged from a bridal shower).

I attached the flower onto the comb, and sewed on a silk flower, that looks prettier than anything I could have made. Gold sparkly leaves were the finishing touch. Future-hubbs was kind enough to model, we'll save me for the actual wedding.

     Alright, ready for the sash tutorial? It was pretty easy, basically I just got all my materials together and decided on a flower order. Thank you, wonderful sibling, for going shopping with me and being patient as we compared 100 different colors of flowers, and finding the higher-quality silk flowers. Here were my materials:
OoOo sparkly leaves. I love these so much.
I picked three approximately-the-same-size flowers, and moved them around until I liked the order. I ended up putting the fluffy yellow one in the center, because it felt more balance that way. Because I'm picky, I ended up trimming the fluffy yellow flower, to get it to be just the right size. Maybe I can't hide all my crazy.

Then I sewed each one onto approximately the center of the sash. I finished with some spectacularly-placed sparkly gold leaves to give it that extra pizzaz. To make sure that nothing would fall off, I went through one final time and sewed in a rectangle around every piece, including through the flower petals to make sure they wouldn't droop or bounce if I'm dancing (which I hope to be doing quite a lot of). Here's the final result:

Have you been doing any gardening or other projects recently?


Benjamin Leipzig said...

I really like the homemade flower it looks like its bursting out in bloom.

Sophia said...

Love the veil. The sash is my FAVORITE. Looks much better than the one from the store too!!