Sparkling snowflakes

I haven’t seemed to have managed to get much sewing done in the last couple months but thought I’d share my quick Christmas decoration idea. 

If you read my last post you will see I made a hairvine from jewellery wire and beads so this gave me an idea to use up the bits left…..sparkly snowflakes. 

I’ve used 4mm Jewellery wire and a selection of different sized beads. Cutting a length approx 50cm I folded in half making a loop then twisted the wires together for about an inch before threading a bead along one end. 

Holding the bead about an inch along wire I folded it back on itself then twisted to along to end of previous twisted section. 

Repeated the process. 

With the last section I simply pushed the end of the wire into the centre of the twists to hide.

1st of many completed 

They are currently twinkling in my salon window😃 Merry Christmas everyone🌲

Bridal Sewing….all the other bits! 

Don’t worry I think this will be the final blog post telling you  all about the wedding… well that’s what Mothers of the Bride do isn’t it! 

So here’s a round up of the bits. 


This was a great easy pattern for a great range of veils. I made the version as shown in the main pic using the same tulle as the dress. 

Once cut out I stitched .5cm from the edge with a narrow zigzag then trimmed down as close to the edge as possible. 

This was then finished off by hand stitching beads evenly spread out along whole of circumference. 

The veil was then gathered & stitched to a comb which had be wound with ribbon. 

Hair Vine. 

With both me & the bride being hairdressers we knew the hair had to be right, & yes I was the hairdresser on the day! 

My daughter had looked at hair vines so with a bit of online research & lots of looking at pics I went & bought wire & beads. 

There are plenty of tutorials online but most seem to make as one long continuous piece & I wanted something a little more portable as I made most of it in short bursts on the train.

Cutting sections of wire approx 15cm long I threaded on a bead, folded in half & twisted for about 1cm before adding another bead bending another section then twisting again. 

The process was repeated then once I had a box full I twisted them together to form a vine. 

It ended up a little more heavenly beaded than planned but as you can squash & bend it, it would still give the effect wanted. 


Every bride needs somewhere to keep her lippy💄so I made a little purse in the dress fabric,  with a little wadding, & lined in the fabric of the grooms tie, using a purse frame. It’s a bit fiddly glueing the fabric into the frame but apart from that a nice little make for a gift.

I made one of these for the first time at a class at  Social Fabric but  unfortunately they don’t seem to have any planned at mo. There are lots of fantastic tutorial online & I find U Handbag great for supplies & tutorials . 

Ties & pocket squares. 

We couldn’t forget the groom & his men. Silk ties were made using a downloaded skinny tie pattern from proper Fit Clothing.

Finally for the little flower girl. 

My daughter decided it would be nice for her niece to carry something she could play with & keep so a rag doll in a dress matching hers seemed perfect. 

Made using a vintage doll pattern it was nearly as big as she was! 

So I think that’s the end of my wedding chatter. It was a fantastic day & worth every minute I spent sewing. 😃

Bridal sewing…The dress! 

Making the toile cleared a lot of worries from my head and the next big task was to choose the fabric. Not easy when you have a daughter who, by her own admission, finds it almost impossible to make a decision! 

Having looked around without much luck a friend suggested we take a look at samples she had from Platinum Bridal Fabrics. By looking at those ones & searching their vast website we were able to selected a few possibles & request our own samples.  The company will provide a couple samples free of charge & they are actually good size samples so are great to see the design. 

As well as the lace we also used a Matt duchess Satin & tulle from the same company. 

The body of the dress was made up as explained in the last post. Lining & corset first with an ankle length underskirt attached.

 Then the interlining,  to which the skirt was attatched, then finally the Satin outer layer. 

The button looping  was  also added at this point as the main fitting had been done. It’s a sort of braid that has slightly stretchy loops, I forget the real name but I bought it from Stone Fabrics although I see you can also get from Sew Curvy now too. 

The skirt overlay had 4 layers in tulle. Each layer cut slightly longer than the last & all handbasted on top of Satin skirt. The final layer had a lace edging that was machined to the sides & back before attaching. I choose to leave adding it to the front until the final fitting when I hand stitched it. 

Adding the lace edging to the curve of the skirt edge meant that it was best to pin in small sections at a time, cutting the tulle backing & overlapping to smooth where needed, before sewing with a medium zigzag stitch along lower edge then again around inner edge. 

At this point the dress only just fitted in my sewing room so it was a good job it was just the lace overlay to go! 

With the strapless dress complete we could still play about with the neckline ideas before cutting the lace, checking motifs were in the required place. 

Using my drafted pattenpieces as a guide it was then the scary job of cutting the lace out. I lined up the grain line with the design & cut each section slightly larger than needed so motifs were kept whole. 

The front & back panels were then basted at shoulders & pinned in position on bodice before hand stitching into place. 

The process was repeated with each panel, smoothing out wrinkles & cutting into shape as I went. There were plenty of fittings as I was being over fussy!! 

Now for the final bits… the neckline shape was cut & finished with the decorative edge from the lace , as were the armholes (sorry rushing by now so forgot pics!) Buttons were decided apon & I patiently stitched on all 27! 

I had cut a single motif from the fabric & handbeaded it to add extra sparkle so this was added to the upper point of the skirt side front. The same beads were also on the veil & hair vine which will be in another blog. 

Yay finished with 4 days to go! 😃

Bridal sewing- The toile 

How could I say no when my younger daughter asked me to make her wedding dress….many people told me I was mad or stupid but apart from the odd moment of terror it was a great experience😃

Before the decision was made to make it plenty of dresses of all shapes & styles had been tried on. Some styles were liked, many discarded, and we worked out she liked something with a bit of structure to it. 

Once I had a shape to work towards it was on with the planning! 

Being a hairdresser that works on site for weddings, it’s surprising how many times I end up helping a bride do up her dress as the mothers or bridesmaids hands are shaking too much! I remember one bride having an internal corset in her dress which I thought that was a fantastic idea…..this sprung to mind as I started looking at construction. 

I made sketches & notes, many of which were in the middle of the night when I woke with a brainwave! 

Using a selection of different patters for reference I drew out the panels for the dress body &  cut the first toile. 

Then cut a hip length version in coutil for the corset section. Drawing on the lines for bone casing placement. 

With both layers the front and back sections were stitched together but side seams left open for fitting. After each fitting any changes were noted back on the paper pattern. The back corset panels were faced in lining and eyelets made. 

With the front corset added to the outside of lining & the back inside (hope that makes sense to you!) the side seams were stitched 

It took a bit of playing to get the shape of the skirt next for the upper curves on the front & back. In the end I found the best way was to draw the shap then  cut & spread the pattern to gain fullness, the butterick pattern back skirt panel was used for the hemline shape. 

Once all together it was time for the brides verdict… 

Didn’t get a pic of her trying the toile on but she loved it…….great result when you think it was made out of remnants & old curtain lining!

I’ve never spent so much time & effort on a toile but it was well worth it. I was able to work out problems and get the process straight in my head before starting on the real thing. It also helped to work out the fabric required before we seriously started looking😃

Mother of the Bride.. 

A month ago I was busy finishing my outfit with only days to go to the wedding. It’s not as if I hadn’t been planning it for ages but still it ended up a rush at the end. 

For over a year I’d been thinking about what I’d wear. I knew I wanted long. It’s not often I get the chance to wear something  elegantly floor length & it also meant no one would notice if I took my shoes off! I also knew I wanted green or purple. 

As soon as I saw Vogue 2237 I fell for the structured shape. 

But then had a little wobble & bought MaCalls 7407, because of the drape neckline, and some lovely feeling velvet from Goldhawk Road. 

However once I saw my daughters faces when I showed them I knew it wasn’t right! They loved the shape of the dress but velvet…..  

So the fabric hunt continued & I started to think of patterns. I had seen an perfume advert in a glossy mag with a girl in a flowing dress covered in oriental blossoms. My mind was set  and on a chance visit to Fabricland I found just the one (& a few others just in case my fabric stash was getting low) a cotton stretch sateen in pale green. A bargain at only £5.99 a metre. 

So it was back to pattern one. I constructed the dress in the opposite order to the instructions. Starting with the foundation. This was made using the main fabric backed with Power net from Sew Curvey. This gave a nice firm but comfortable foundation to the garment, especially when the Spiral steel bones were added


Once I was happy with the foundation I moved on to the lining. Again I used a stretch fabric, just a remnant so not sure of its content, but I only cut this to knee length to eliminate to much fabric being trailed along the floor. 

I used the lining to get the fit before cutting the main fabric. With only 2 pattern pieces it was very quick to come together and the lovely shape is achieved with the very unique shaped darts in the front. 

The little jacket was pretty straightforward too I omitted the shoulder pads as I forgot to ger some & decided I was happy without. 

I was really happy with my outfit on the day. It was very comfortable & survived the eating of a big meal & an evening of dancing. I needn’t have worried about taking my shoes off as flip flops were provide for all. 

( photo by Big Day Photography )

I will make this pattern again, maybe in a shorter version, and the only change I would make is to raise the front neckline slightly as it did seem a little low. 

I liked my dress so much that I had to put it on again as soon as I could. We spent our wedding anniversary in Sri Lanka so  Mr B took this photo of me on the beach before we went for our celebratory meal😃

A little Batik 

When given the chance to pop into a little Batik shop on holiday I couldn’t resist! They had a little tour of the process set up where they explained the stages and displayed some examples. 

They explained there are a certain number of designs they use which they draw out in wax, covering all areas, on both sides, that they want to stay white. The first dying process then takes place before adding another layer of wax to the design to protect the areas thay want to keep in the first tone. This is repeated until design is complete. 

These young ladies were sat around the pot of melted wax, dipping in the nib to draw with, before the fabric moved on to these troughs for the colour to be added & fixed.

It was amazing to see how thick the wax becomes from all the different layers. The fabric was solid looking until it was placed in the hot water to remove. 

I loved seeing how the process is traditionally carried out & of course I had todo just a little shopping. Unfortunately this shop didn’t sell any lengths of fabric,  only ready made items & small panels. Having seen the elephants on safari the day before ( which was amazing & im sure I’ll tell you more about that on another post) i just had to pick one as a memory😃

I think this will become the centre panel for a cushion unless anyone has any interesting suggestions…

Hello I’m back….

It’s been a while since I’ve managed to blog & this is just a quick update as to what I’ve been doing before I go off on a much needed holiday to relax. 

If you have read any previous posts you will know that I have been sewing  for my daughters wedding. It was a bit hectic during the final couple of months as sadly my father was ill & past away so sewing was put on the back burner. With long days off & late nights we got there in the end with a couple days to spare…. which were then fill with flower arranging, table decorating & finally loading everything in the car to transport. 

Here are just a few pics of my makes: the wedding dress, veil, hair vine, ties, flower girls dress & of course my mother of the bride dress! I’ll be doing separate blog posts for them when I get back. 😃 

Hopefully I will find a pic where my little grand daughter actually faced the camera! 

Mr B scrubbed up ok as well!!