Friday, 31 October 2014

Wedding reflections...

Many thanks to all of you for your kind wishes for my daughter's wedding. I just can't tell you how wonderful a day it was. Everything from start to finish went just as we had hoped - it was such a memorable day full of love, joy and beauty.

Vintage inspiration.

For my 'Mother of the Bride' outfit I wanted to celebrate my mother's wedding in November, 1944 as it is almost 70 years from that day. She wore a navy dress and bolero jacket with tilt hat, three carnation cream corsage and cream gloves:

I took inspiration from Pinterest and put together a board- vintage corsages. Eventually I decided to crochet three basic roses in the gorgeous  Bergere de France 'Froment' which was the same as the butterflies I made for the table centrepieces, described in my last post here

Roses crocheted in 'Froment' using a 3.00mm hook.

I made up the roses and placed a mix of vintage buttons in creams and ivory, some little sparkly seed beads and some of my favourite Japanese toho beads in the centre.  

The 'leaves' were made from Laura Ashley 'Lucille' a deep rich cream silk. They are a simple square folded over and gathered at the long edge. I applied the whole piece to a backing strip and attached to my jacket with stitches which kept it in place much better.

I was delighted to find, incredibly, a jacket almost the same as the one Mum wore.  I remember her navy crepe dress and jacket so well as, decades ago, I found her outfit it in the bottom of her wardrobe. I was too tall for the dress but she let me wear the jacket to go out. I found an almost identical one by Havren. I am amazed by how styles seem to come back around!

Glove challenge!

I was on a roll with 'Froment' and challenged myself to make my own gloves in vintage 'fishnet' filet crochet. The actual crochet is basically simple trebles, but first the thumb shaping then the fingers sent me into a bit of a twist! Seeing the effect take shape though I was determined to see it through. At one point, about a week before the wedding I had just one glove completed-thought I'd end up looking like Michael Jackson. 

 I kept going with my favourite Aristotle quote : 

Practice then, I thought. Sort those fingers!


Loved finally doing the edging-so pretty!

Now all they needed was a vintage button at the wrist...

Through the generations.

With a navy dress to match, the search for 'the hat' had been on for some time. Have you ever seen something you really like but then searched around trying everything else, before coming back to that original piece you saw first? It seemed nothing was as fitting as this cute pillbox in navy silk with an oversized bow-uncannily like Mum's. 

Hat's off Mum! You always said you loved me in navy and cream, in a hat, and with my hair 'done up'. I  so wished you could have been there, but I could feel your love running through the generations as I saw my lovely daughter married. Hope I made you proud!

What a wonderful day-thank you for sharing it with me.

Best wishes
Alison xx

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Butterfly crochet and almost there...

I can't believe that the wedding is almost upon us! Less than two weeks away now ....these events when announced always seem so far in the distant future but the months and weeks have a way of slipping by so fast. I wanted to share with you a little more about my hand makes...

The table decorations are built around shabby chic birdcages in ivory- I had seen a few inspiring pics added to my pinboard and we managed to get ten gorgeous cages. They are quite tall and have silver candle holders, so I planned to add red velvet roses, trail ivy up the sides and light up the centrepiece with tiny warm ivory LED lights.  I really wanted a little butterfly to 'alight' on each cage and visualised they would be in vintage-look crochet.

I browsed at lots of patterns for butterflies but none seemed quite delicate enough/vintage enough until I came across this pattern on  Etsy-the pattern is available as an instant download for just £1.25.
Designed as a brooch, the butterfly looks like it has a double set of wings, giving it a 3D effect.
It is first created from a circle motif:
First I tried it as suggested using DMC Petra crochet cotton in natural. When the circle is made it is simply folded over-it looked so complicated at first but then made perfect sense!
The butterfly measures about 4 in across-lovely but definitely too large for the effect I was looking for. Nevertheless, I popped on the centre as suggested in the brooch pattern:
So cute! For me, this would be a little large for a brooch, but I think it would look great maybe on a headband. How would you use them?

Next I tried using this gorgeous Bergere de France 'Froment' crochet cotton. 'Froment' means 'wheat' but it is a very pale wheat, much more like the ivory of my daughter's wedding dress.

This time I used a 2.50. hook.

The results were much more delicate and just the right size! I then worked out a more sparkly 'body' by using craft wire and some of my favourite Japanese toho beads. I used silver lined crystal ones-I love these seed beads as they come in a larger size perfect for threading and more dramatic effects. 

A few evenings were spent creating several more. I love the feeling when you have practised a pattern so much you can do it without constantly checking the directions!

All ready to be popped on the centrepieces. 
Here's one I tried out:

Hope you like them!

Best wishes
Alison xx

Monday, 6 October 2014

Getting to the heart of wedding craft!

I really need to thank you all so very much for taking the time to leave such kind and thoughtful messages on my last post about the loss of our lovely dog Kate-  your kindness is truly appreciated-thank you. 

I have begun to crack on with the wedding crafts with a vengeance-less than three weeks to go now!

As part of the decorations and gifts my daughter wanted me to incorporate some of the little hearts I usually make using Cath Kidston fabrics. Generally I work to a simple idea using two fabrics and decorating with a ribbon message:

This time I wanted something a little more fitting for the vintage Paris theme. It was the perfect excuse to browse Pinterest and put together a board of ideas: 'Heirloom Wedding'. At last I could put to use some of that gorgeous vintage lace I have and seek out more Paris themed fabrics! 

I love fabrics which incorporate vintage photographs. 

I have some wonderful vintage laces, some left to me by my mother and wanted to include them as much as possible. I put them together with buttons, rosettes and a few fabric flower shapes made from scraps of Laura Ashley vintage fabrics.

I liked the idea of hand stamping motifs onto linen as well. I used  Versacraft ink as it seems to have much more depth when hand stamping on fabric. 

I tried out some ideas-the personalised label was made using a custom stamp: 

I used a little blue French toile linen for this one. The tiny rosette is a scrap of Laura Ashley vintage 'Wild Clematis'.

I planned to make these ones as special keepsakes for the main bridal party and thought it would be more special to make each one a little different. 

It was pure pleasure selecting vintage buttons and working with the gorgeous lace! 

A little touch of vintage Paris and lace from a vintage wedding gown went into this one,

I do hope the recipients will enjoy them and keep as a memento of the day.

Do you like vintage lace? How do you use it? It always makes me think of those beautiful weddings of the 1920s and 30s before wartime shortages set in! 

Ah... a vintage wedding in the city of light. Hopefully I will be able to create just a little flavour of this era for Laura and Adam on their special day! 

Have a lovely week
Best wishes

Alison xx