Cheap 'n' Quirky Wedding

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I Dislike Tiny Clutches June 8, 2010

Since I dislike tiny clutches, I’ve been pretty concerned about finding a handbag for the wedding. I want something big enough to carry extra makeup, band-aids, lipstick, tissues, and everything. I realize there isn’t much I should have to carry on the big day, but I go nuts without having everything that I carry daily in one of my giant purses (they bridge on duffle bags.) So what did I do? I made my own giant clutch.

It’s by no means professional; it’s the first handbag I’ve ever even attempted. I used leftover materials from other projects: a sheet of children’s craft foam, an old white t-shirt to cover the bright green foam, the extra ivory voile material from the Martha Stewart flowers I made, as well as the flowers themselves (Emily, the amazing woman altering my dress, has made flowers for my dress and hair out of the excess dress material so I had to find a use for my flowers.)

The foam sheet I used for the purse, it was made of one big folded piece and 2 small side pieces

I would include instructions, but I really went into this blind. I took some photos to show how I constructed the form out of the foam. In retrospect, I would recommend going with a boxier shape and making a pattern for a tighter fit.

Stitching the big piece around the little side piece

The side pieces were 5″ by 2″ and I rounded the bottoms. The big piece is 16.5″ by 9.5″ and I wrapped it around the little pieces on either side. The nice thing about the foam is that you can stitch it with a darning needle so you can sew the pieces together into shape.

Sewing the foam

The basic shape of the clutch (just have to fold the top over)

Another retrospective recommendation is that you sew the lining onto the foam. I didn’t and now my clutch is unlined. At this point, it’s too ridiculous to try and add one (I’ve already attached the outer material to the foam and the flowers to the foam.) No one will be seeing the inside anyway. I pretty much cut the material around the foam clutch as I sewed. Not recommended. That’s why I suggest a more square shape and a pattern.

Sewing the material around the foam

Once I got all of that on, I sewed my flowers on! Flowers on stuff is so in right now.

Flowers on my clutch

And here’s the back. Right now I have it closing with velcro, but it’s not a satisfying solution.

The back of the clutch. It's still a work in progress.

So now I have a clutch that is 9.5″ x 6.5″ x 2″. Looks like it will fit my makeup, tissues, band-aids, camera, phone, eye drops, and more than I actually need on the big day. The moral of the story is if you can’t find something that fits your needs, put on your creative hat and make something that does. Plus I get to brag about how I made it.


My Martha Stewart Flowers April 16, 2010

Garden roses from the Martha Stewart pattern

I’ve been working on my Martha Stewart fabric flowers for a while now, the ones I mentioned in an earlier blog post. I went a little nuts and made a ton. See, the voile fabric was on sale so I bought a lot. $4 for a meter of green and a meter of ivory. So basically I have enough to use a couple of the large ones (attached to pins/brooches) on my dress and plenty of small ones (attached to bobby pins) in my hair in place of a veil. Since taking that photo, I’ve made many more ivory ones.

I’m kind of concerned about how the petals don’t stay up too well; I’m considering using hairspray to help the petals stiffen, but I’m not sure if it will stain the fabric. Maybe starch?

The large flower on the left is floppin'.

I mentioned that I plan to wear these in my hair and not wear a veil. Well, I tried making the flowers out of tulle to really be a replacement for a veil but let’s just say that I don’t recommend this type of material for this project. As you can see below, the tulle “flower” looks more like a pompom:

The pompom, err, I mean tulle flower.

Now I just have to wait for my dress to come in to make sure it looks decent. Gaaaaaah, I ordered the dress back in November, it should be here any day now. I can’t wait for it to get here!


Something Blue April 15, 2010

I’ve been looking for blue flats for a while now. Flats so that I don’t tower over my groom, blue so that I fulfill the “something blue” requirement. I didn’t think it’d be so hard! Well, after seeing blue and silver sequins (not cute, looked like fish scales,) studded straps, and other horrors, plus goooooorgeous heels I’d look like an Amazon warrior in, I found these:

My navy Joe Fresh flats

Look at my score from Joe Fresh! Damn, I’m going to miss Joe when I’m no where near the Canadian border. They’re not too loud, they’re blue, they’re flats, I can wear them again, and they were only $19! Really, no one is going to see them until the garter comes off since it’s a floor-length dress, but I still wanted them to be classy and simple.

I don’t mean to turn this into an ad for Joe Fresh, but I also got a $19 sundress to wear to the giant bridal shower, a couple of lip stains (my fave out of the lip stains I’ve tried,) and some jewelry. Gotta stock up when I go. My sister, who is one of my bridesmaids, even picked out her necklace to wear at the wedding there. It’s become an unexpected source for my wedding accessories.

The moral of this story is this: don’t be afraid to shop at a discount store for wedding stuff. If you were going to wear costume jewelry anyway, why not get $7 earrings that look like the $35 ones from a boutique? No one will know. Plus you can probably wear it again. I’d say it’s cheap and classy.


Two Pearls in a Pod April 4, 2010

Peas in a pod earrings

I’m not sure if this is a little on the casual side for my dress, but check out these adorable freshwater pearl earrings from Shana Logic. And they’re made to look like peas in a pod. Get it? Two peas in a pod! Like you and you’re partner may be two peas in a pod! Cute. If they weren’t currently sold out, definitely a maybe.


Fashionable Fabric Flowers February 28, 2010

I was lucky enough to be asked to help out with a photo shoot for a friend-of-a-friend who is in a fashion design program. I got to model a dress from the beautiful line created by two very talented young designers. This has given me so much inspiration for the wedding. Without giving anything away or posting any photos (the line must remain a surprise until they present it at a fashion show in April), I’ll just say that I’ve been inspired to use fabric flowers.

My wedding gown needs a little something. It’s a modified A-line dress with a dropped waist that starts about mid-thigh (is that right? Have I learned the right jargon from Say Yes to the Dress?) and it needs a little embellishment where it starts to flare out. I had originally considered a brooch, but after seeing the use of fabric flowers, I’ve now decided on my embellishment. Luckily, my MOH helped to make many of the fabric flowers used at the shoot, so I have an expert to help me make them.

Also at the shoot were flowery headpieces and fascinators. I decided a while back that I didn’t want a veil, now I think a fabric flower on a hair clip will be a great alternative. I wish I could post photos of their exceptional line, I’m sure you’d agree!

Since I can’t post the photos yet, I can give you a link to Martha Stewart’s photo gallery of fabric and paper flowers. I’ve been looking at this for inspiration for weeks now, trying to figure out how to incorporate them into the wedding. They’ll last forever so they can be made in advance, they’re unique, they’re cute, and while I haven’t priced out the supplies, I imagine they would work out to cheaper than going to a florist for centerpieces. I love love love the pom-poms! Or how about any of the following for a little dress embellishment or hair accessory?

Martha Stewart fabric flower boutonnieres

Or here’s an example of a fabric dahlia as a dress embellishment:

A Martha Stewart fabric dahlia on a wedding dress.

This will probably cost me less than most brooches I was looking at, it will make a bigger impact, and I like that it adds a personal, homemade touch to my dress. Perhaps some of the bridesmaids will want to wear one in their hair as well. I’m excited! We’ll see how excited the bridesmaids are when I reveal that there’s yet another project to work on. I’ll post photos when we work on them and maybe my photos from the photo shoot once the line has debuted.