3D Printed Wedding Rings

I was going to separate my 3D printed designs from this blog, but since one of the bloggers – Chui, requested to see the rings, I am very excited to share. She just finished making a pair of pants, if you’d like to see- just click here.

I decided, it’s now or never to add a 3D Printed section to this blog. So I’m choosing now. I’m also designing 3D printed pendants for my bridesmaids, and I also made a cake topper. I’ll show them to you within the next few weeks.

Yesterday, my fiance’s ring and my ring arrived in the mail. It’s one that I designed in a CAD program that can be exported for 3D printing. I ordered it in raw silver, hence the textured surface. Very rustic chic! Engraved are our initials, and in the middle is the Camargue Cross. A few months back, my fiancé gave me a plate, made from a local artist. On it, was the Camargue Cross. The cross is separated into three symbols, and combined as one:

1) The Cross is for Faith

2) The Anchor for Hope

3) The Heart for Charity

It became my inspiration, and so I felt that it would be perfect to be on our wedding bands.

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I can’t wait to say our vows!

xoxo

Designing A Wedding Dress …Again- Step Five

When I was making this dress, I didn’t know what kind of train I wanted, but I knew that I wanted to have a dramatic train. It was challenging because I wanted to wear a veil, but I felt that it could potentially interfere with the train. I had thought about a different headpiece, but I had pictured myself with a cathedral veil, as I walk down the aisle of a gothic style church, with arched ceilings and stained glass windows. So I said to myself, ” You know what, I’ll stick with that vision cuz it feels right”. So there you have it.

I still wanted to have something on the train, so with the leftover fabric that I had, I created a square (more like a trapezoid because it is more narrow at the start of the train). I sewed together the silk chiffon to the polyester nylon so it had body. I then cut out the rest of the beaded Alençon lace, and placed it on the fabric.

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Once I knew what I wanted, I hand appliquéd the lace.

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I sewed the leftover piece of the silk duchess satin to the square, as the lining. I then cinched in the top of the square…et Voila! My gown is 90% finished. I need to add the hook, hem the skirt and secure the zipper.

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My dress form is bigger than my dress!

 

 

So the next big step is to get married! Yay!  I’ll post photos after March 21st (that’s my wedding date). In the meantime, do come back and visit because I have more ideas in my head!

Signed,

I.Can’t.Stop.

p.s. I haven’t forgotten about the 3D printed wedding rings that I designed. I’m waiting for them to arrive from the 3D printer company :)

Designing A Wedding Dress…Again-Step Four

After three weeks, and about 3-5 hours every evening, I cut out, placed, and hand appliquéd each piece of lace onto the corset. It was like a jigsaw puzzle. It took a lot of thinking! My previous post shows the different layout options for the lace that were in the running, but I decided on this one.

IMG_1126 (1)I hand carried this corset from Brooklyn to Houston, and back. I had it flat packed in an Urban Outfitter cloth bag, and carefully placed it on top of my carry on. Most of the lace applique was done in Houston, using my Mom’s sewing needles, scissors and pins. I had my own thread, as well as an extra dress form that I left at my parent’s house. On the way back to Brooklyn, I checked in my carry on, so I carried it by hand. It was a little challenging, but not impossible. My fiancé slid it underneath the seat, on top of his bag, and when he needed something, he would just place it on his lap (or mine). I brought it back in one piece, and that’s all that mattered to me.

Over the New Year holiday, I completed the hand sewing part of the corset. I decided to add the invisible zipper at this time. I sewed a running stitch by hand, because I wanted to be accurate, and also, if my weight should fluctuate right before my March wedding, then God help me. I felt the best method to adjust this would be at the center back seam, where the zipper is located. It will be much easier to undo a hand stitch rather than a machine stitch. Once the dress is at its final stage, then I will stitch it down.

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When the skirt is attached to the bodice, I’ll also hand sew the zipper to the center back skirt seam.

 

The next step was to sew the lining. The lining is the same fabric as the self – Duchess Satin, because I wanted to feel the richness of this fabric. I fused it with interfacing, so I couldn’t sew the soft boning to the interfacing. I sewed the boning on the outside of the interfacing, so the sewing stitches are visible on the right side of the fabric. It really doesn’t look bad to me, so it’s all good!

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Inner part of the lining. The soft boning is not sewn in the seams. Instead, it is sewn in between the pieces. It was not sewn in the center front pattern piece.

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A close up of the soft boning sewn onto the pattern piece of the lining

 

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The right side of the lining, in Duchess Satin. The soft boning doesn’t really show through. Hanger loops are also added.

I attached the skirt lining to the bodice lining, which is the only synthetic fabric that I purchased for this dress.

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The lining of the gown

 

Once I finished the lining, I sewed the Duchess Satin skirt, which will be the inner layer between the lining and the chiffon. It’s not sewn onto the bodice yet.  I just wanted a visual, to make sure that I wanted chiffon instead of Duchess Satin.

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My first instinct was right. The Duchess Satin is too shiny, so I still want to soften it with chiffon. When I put on the chiffon, I actually began to tear up! I know, I’m such a sap. It was like as if I had an epiphany – Whoa! That’s my wedding dress!

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Once I got myself together, I began working on the chiffon. Originally, I wanted the chiffon to be really drape-y, and to hug my hips more. I love that look. I experimented with a piece of chiffon (at the risk of messing up), and I realized that if I wanted to “flair” the chiffon, then that would require a center front seam. I didn’t like that idea. The chiffon is 45″ wide, and it would bother me if I had a seam down the middle. Also, the pattern is an A-line silhouette. I realized that I couldn’t fight this shape by making it more mermaid like, or else I should have worked with a different pattern. This is why the foundation, the pattern is very important. It’s much more challenging to manipulate the already sewn gown, than to manipulate the pattern. I can’t have it all! Realistically, A-line is still a much better shape for me, so I decided to cut out the chiffon in the same pattern as the Duchess Satin skirt. The chiffon fabric and pattern are placed on top of paper, because cutting chiffon is a pain in the arse. It is so slippery, that the best way to handle this is to cut it together with paper underneath. It’s just a roll of paper that I had, but if I didn’t have this, then dotted pattern paper would work as well. I was always hesitant to use my fabric scissors on paper, but I think I’ll take this chance because it’s not often I cut chiffon. Also, all I have to do is to have it sharpened again.

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So, this is where I’m at right now, and exhausted! I did so much, and I want to keep going, but my brain won’t let me. It’s a little foggy. This coming week, I have to re-do our wedding rings, because it takes awhile for them to be 3D Printed in silver.  Yes, I’m designing the wedding rings too. :)  I’ll have to come back to my gown the following week….with a fresh mind!

More to come! xoxo

 

 

 

Designing A Wedding Dress….Again-Step Three

In my previous post, I finished sewing the outer part of the corset (the self), using Italian, silk duchess satin. Inside this bodice, I used interfacing, and boning for structure, and stay, to control the neckline area. I don’t think it’s perfect (nothing is ever perfect when I create something), but it fits me beautifully, and I like the outcome. This is my “blank slate” before I begin placing the lace on it.

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I had already began carefully placing the Alençon lace onto the muslin. As I had mentioned in my previous post, I used leftover beaded and corded Alençon lace, so the lace wasn’t a complete roll. I loved the way it looked on the bodice, so I cut out pieces that I salvaged, and placed them onto the muslin fit sample bodice. Once I sewed up the duchess satin bodice, I started to play around with the lace on that instead.

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Beginning stages of the lace placement. I started to test it on the muslin sample dress

 

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One of the options in the placement of the lace

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Another option. I actually did many more, but that would be 10 extra blog postings if I showed them all!

I decided on this one pictured below. I love how it covers the bodice, and I cut out small pieces of lace to flow with the heart shaped neckline.

IMG_1089Cutting out small pieces and sewing them onto the bodice is very time consuming.  My neck and shoulders hurt from doing this, but it is worth the pain though. I am in love with the final look!

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Cutting out pieces of lace

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Hand sewing pieces of lace onto the bodice

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The Final Look!!!

 

In the photo above, I see that the hip area is sticking out a little, but when I tried it on, it fit very well. I think this dress form has a smaller waist than I do, and the boning isn’t relaxed (it was in a roll so it curves a little).   I still have to cut out more lace pieces for the back, and to fill in some holes. I also want to make sure the lace is securely sewn onto the bodice, so I have quite a ways to go. I might be overly detailed, but I read a great quote the other day which inspired me to perfect the design:

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Again, it’s not perfect, but it’s so personal to me and I put in so much blood sweat and tears so far, that it’s going to be perfect enough :) The next step after the lace is to sew the lining together!

More to come… XO

 

 

Designing A Wedding Dress….Again – Step Two

Before the holidays, I wanted to have my corset sewn up. As mentioned in my previous post, I bought my Duchess Satin ($50.00/yard) and Silk Chiffon ($18.00/yard) at Mood Fabric. I also bought some Polyester lining for the skirt ($2.00/yard). I plan to self line the corset with the Duchess Satin because I wanted to feel the silk against my skin. I contemplated on getting synthetic Duchess Satin, but I figured this is the only time I’m going to get married, so I’m gonna splurge a little! I bought about 4 yards of each (3 1/2 yards for the Polyester lining), leaving plenty leftover – just in case I F- up along the way. The beaded, corded Alencon lace was leftover lace I had in my pile of saved fabrics and lace. Because of that, I had to cut them out, piece by piece, to strategically and creatively place them on the fabric. I also added little notes of the lace placement on the bodice, because I knew that I was going to forget. I don’t really know if it helps, because I keep changing my mind, but lots of photos and labeling helps me visualize it better. Plus, it’s so meditative, and such a beautiful process to me, that it’s just part of the journey in creating my dress.

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Labeling placement on a piece of paper on top of the muslin sample

After that, I cut out my corset on real fabric. I was a little nervous! I was like – I am cutting into $50.00 fabric. Who in their right mind would buy $50.00/yard fabric except for….people like me. It’s the quality of silk Duchess Satin from Italy that I wanted, and I got it. I started to obsess over all of the little flaws on the fabric but I had to really just keep going. Nothing can fix the flaws, so I had to just think that it was the nature of the fabric….because it was. After I cut the fabric, I cut out two types of interfacing – A fusible woven interfacing and fusible non woven interfacing. I don’t think I would normally use fusible, because I prefer to sew in the interfacing to the lining and the self fabric. It gives it a smoother finish.  However, this is what I had leftover in my piles of fabric so I risked it and used this instead. I also cut out stay, it’s where you sew  along the neckline. It is about 1- 1 1/2″ wide, and it controls the neckline so it stays in place. Organza (silk or synthetic) works well to keep the neckline in place.

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Cutting out the stay

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Cutting out all of the pieces of the corset

 

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Ready to sew!

 

Before I actually began to sew,  I fused the woven interfacing to the self, then I fused the non woven interfacing to the self lined lining. I then sewed the stay to the neckline. Then I sewed it all together!

 

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I only sewed the self fabric together (no lining yet), because I want to add the boning to it….but I ran out of boning! I bought about $2.00 worth of covered boning which is about a yard. I miscounted and so I need to get another yard. Here is it so far.

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It looks just like the photo without the boning, huh? Everything looks the same to me too. It’s white on white, but the boning is right in between the princess line seams. It’s a bit monotonous, and I wish I can produce a dress in 10 minutes, but I’m stubborn and I refuse to make the insides look like crap. I want everything to be as pristine as I can make it. It’s a process, and I want to document it so I can look back and read all of the steps I went through. It’s so amazing when all of these small steps become one final goal.

Once all of the boning is sewn into the self, the outside looks like this photo. It is time to place the lace onto the bodice.

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More to come xoxo

Designing A Wedding Dress…Again – Step One

I’m in love with my wedding dress design process again. I know that it would be THE DRESS when I would feel very emotionally attached to the process. I can’t believe that I’m actually designing my wedding gown. I was waiting for that moment where I could feel at one with the gown (sounds very Zen and spiritual, but that’s just how I design). Once anything felt forced, I would stop.

I think that deep down inside, I really wanted embroidery and beading. I felt that it would be pretty expensive to do that, so I was feeling challenged at what I really wanted. After more sketches, and more draping, a dress popped in my mind.

Here, this is a basic pattern that I had found 5 or more years ago. The Sharpie marker are lines of how I would do the lace, and the charmeuse.

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Believe it or not, this basic pattern was used for my close friend Clara, who got married in 2012. I created her gown using 100% Organic Silk, except for the sash, which was regular silk charmeuse. Her dress had over 22 pattern pieces. Sometimes I look back and think…how in the world did I do that?

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The dress that I designed for my friend Clara

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Anyway, back to my wedding dress….

After I drew the lines, I remade the bodice to have a heart shaped neckline. I dug into my box full of leftover fabric and lace that I’ve used or collected over the years, and I found this beaded, corded, Alencon lace. At first, I felt that it was too traditional. I don’t really know what compelled me to cut out a piece and place it on the muslin, but I did.

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When I saw how it looked on the muslin, my heart told me that this is the direction to go. I tried different variations of placing the lace on the muslin, and I really don’t know which direction I want to go, but we’ll see! I think I can have my embroidered and beaded lace dress after all! I started to cut out the lace, because it’s leftover lace, so I have to creatively and strategically place it on the bodice, and just hope for the best.

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The funny thing is, I don’t really know what the end result of how the lace will look, but I do know that it will turn out beautifully.

I bought my Italian Silk Duchess Satin, my Silk Chiffon in ivory, and I’m so excited to keep going. The skirt was taken in about 1/4″ at the hip, so it contours my hip, and the train will be extended to about 4″ longer. Okay, gotta run and make my skirt pattern. Until then….xo

Designing A Wedding Dress – Step 5 – I’ve changed my mind

I thought I knew what I wanted but I really don’t. For me, it’s very difficult to design for myself and after months of research, and building a gown that I thought I would like, I decided last week I didn’t like it. I’m back to square one.

Previously, I used this Burda pattern below, and I was going to make a bodice with ruching and a bubble skirt. After some time of building this silhouette, I felt that it didn’t suit me. After 100’s of sketching and researching for inspiration, I came up with another design. I won’t waste anyone’s time by posting the step by step, because I might change my mind again. So, I’m going to make it first.

I’m putting the button on pause for my gown, but I did come across this beautiful Naeem Khan dress that has a similar silhouette to the Burda pattern I had purchased, but will no longer be using. It’s nice inspiration to those who might like this. I would say to use the Naeem Khan dress as inspiration, and turn the gown into your own. You can use lace at the bodice and taffeta skirt, or beaded bodice and organza skirt. It’s your dress, so it should be personal to you. Until then, xo.

Burda Style Wedding Dress Pattern 7086

Burda Style Wedding Dress Pattern 7086

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Naeem Khan as inspiration