Saturday, October 23, 2004

Making wedding stuff

I had a fun time making stuff for my friend's wedding a couple weeks ago. Now the pictures have come out.

I made silk shawls for the bridesmaids. Lessons learned:
  • I couldn't iron a double-folded-over edging into silk organza. Pin a lot.

  • Sewing raw silk organza edges into a folded border is hard. I bought black silk thread so the seam wouldn't show much, and then held the organza very taut, front to back, as I fed the pinned edge through the machine. Still, the tension in the seam pulled the organza together a bit, until I ironed the *&$! out of it.

  • Use a ton of water to iron silk charmeuse. But do iron, because it's worth it to get the piping straight.

  • Silk must be carefully pinned, particularly when you're sewing 7 layers together. Even so, I caught excess organza in the seam a couple times.

  • Use the right sewing needle to go through those 7 layers. When I used the needle I normally use for quilting, it made a scary "thunk" sound.

Sorry, no pics of the finished shawls at this point. They ended up black silk organza bodies, with charcoal charmeuse endings (folded over the raw organza edges) and purple charmeuse piping.

I was hanging around doing nothing on the wedding day and suddenly (but willingly) pressed into service making the ball for the flower girl to carry. The materials: a styrofoam ball, ribbon, and green "toothpicks" with wire already wrapped around the non-pointy end. The idea, as I saw it (but I Am Not A Florist) was to wrap the free end of the wire around a flower stem, then put the pointy end of the toothpick into the ball. Repeat until covered. Sounds simple, right? Lessons learned:
  • Plan ahead. Will you be putting leaves on the ball along with the flowers? Put them on first, dummy, or they cover up the flowers.

  • Pick flowers with strong stems. Flowers with weak structure will be soooo frustrating.

  • Wrap several flowers/leaves together onto the same toothpick. You probably don't have enough toothpicks, plus it goes faster.

  • Don't try to push the toothpicks in too far. Otherwise you push the wire or flower right off the toothpick just as it gets buried in styrofoam.

  • Attach the ribbon handle as strongly as you can -- it's going to be swung around by a 2.5 year old (cute Ava). Very firmly attach the ribbon to two toothpicks and stick them in at different angles so the tension doesn't pull them straight out.

  • Don't fret, there is no way to hold it without crushing some blooms or tearing off some petals now and then. After failed attempts at wrangling it with wire handles which backfired and tore off flowers, I just used the fingertips of one hand to support it.

  • Finally, don't worry. Everybody will love it anyway.

Actually, it turned out quite pretty. It's by no means the prettiest thing in this photo, but it worked. Many people helped out a lot and it was a beautiful wedding with a sense of cooperation. For example -- credits to Cheng for the photos I used here.

1 comment:

wendyspies said...

Lisa should also point out that her attempt was the last attempt at doing this difficult task. Hillary and a couple of others had tried to make the flower ball and decided it was too much of a pain in the biscuits. Lisa's beautiful work was a feat of great patience and experience.

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