Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Rachel's Wedding Dress - Part 4

In my last post about Rachel's dress, we got the fit of the bodice correct.  After I came back from Korea, we went to pick out the fabric for the bodice, choosing a slightly creamy white silk stretch charmeuse.  We also bought matching silk charmeuse fabric to replace the skirt lining.

As a reminder, the dress originally looked like this:

Rachel had taken the dress apart for me, including the lace bits, which I recut into sleeves and the top layer of the side panels for the bodice.  There was a good amount of the lace, but they weren't really as big as I would have liked.  Rachel has a long torso, so the side panels were quite long.  Therefore, I needed to stretch the lace in different directions to fit the pattern I would cut.  This caused a few problems later in the construction process, but mostly worked because the lace was pretty stretchy and was supposed to be taut on the bodice. 

Here is the only process shot I took:

You can see the pins holding the lace in place on the edges. 

After cutting the silk panels of the bodice, I painstakingly cut the different lace pieces: the sleeves (including a cuff for each sleeve), the front side panels, and the back side panels.  I then put together the inner layer, which had some stretchy fusible attached to the self to provide stability and boning to provide structure.  Then I put together the outer layer, including the sleeves.  Those two layers were attached together.

Rachel had cut the skirt lining for me, so I shirred the edges slightly and attached it to the lace skirt.  Then those were attached to the bodice.  Finally, the zipper was attached to the dress.  I also sewed a hook and eye at the top of the zipper and snaps on the sleeve cuffs.

Along the way, I had Rachel come over and try on the bodice after the first couple of steps, to make sure that the fit hadn't changed dramatically using this fabric.  It turned out to be more stretchy than I anticipated so we had to take it in in the back.  We didn't want the bodice to be too tight but it also would have looked bad if it were too loose.

I finished the dress a couple of weeks ago and took it to Rachel's place to take some preview shots.  Her wedding is in January, in about a week, and I'm excited to attend.  I'll be playing violin before and during the ceremony as well. I'll post professional and more detailed shots once she gives them to me after the wedding, but here are some taken from my iPhone and camera.

In the first few shots, she's wearing a hat she bought for one of her bachelorette parties or something.  She will be wearing a short veil for the ceremony though.  In all the shots she's wearing costume jewelry she purchased for the wedding, as well as a belt she made herself, which is Swarovsky crystals sewn onto a long gros grain ribbon.  She hasn't decided if the ribbon will be tied in a bow as shown or with a closure at the back.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Maine! (and some Boston)

Back in early October, my high school best friend forever Pooja and I took a trip together to Maine.  I've been wanting to go for a while, partly to see the Rogue's Gallery store in Portland (whose interior I had read about in a fashion blog) and the L.L. Bean flagship, but mainly because I heard Portland and the surrounding towns are pretty cute.

Pooja is currently an OB/GYN in Boston, so I met up with her first in Boston, though not before completing the last few stops on the Freedom Trail (it became an obsession of mine when I visited her when she first moved to Boston and I downloaded the Freedom Trail app for the iPhone).  I never did it in college, so when Pooja moved to Boston I felt like I had to finally get it out of the way.

Smallest house in Boston?

First ship in the Navy (I love boats)

My shadow.


More boats!

The view under the bridge.  I find see through bridges and walkways scary.

Following the red line of the Freedom Trail.

Once we met up, we rented a tiny car and I drove us to Maine.  I floored it so that we got to Maine in less than 2 hours (it would have been faster but we hit some traffic along the way).

Taking advantage of the second iPhone camera to photograph myself and Pooja while driving.

A view of the relatively empty roads.
First we drove to Portland.  You can get into the museum for free on Friday nights so we checked it out.  It was cute.  Then we got some Thai food for dinner before heading to the bed and breakfast.  I did most of the trip planning and decided we would spend one night in the middle of nowhere at a place called Wolf Cove Inn.  Thanks to GPS, we were able to find it fairly easily.  Once there, we showered, had some wine, and settled in, both fairly exhausted.

Self-portrait time with the iPhone while Pooja chats on the phone.
The next morning, after a yummy breakfast prepared by the nice innkeeper, we explored the premises.  I had picked this place not only to get a feel for a more remote place but also because it is right on a lake (I love water).  I had hoped we could go canoeing but the owner gently discouraged us because it was so windy.  He told us a story about how a woman had once gotten stuck on the other side of the lake because it was so windy.  We decided we didn't want that to happen to us so we just walked around the grounds.

The Wolf Cove Inn.

They had a cool little boathouse where you could sit inside and stay relatively warm (safe from the winds) while still having a view of the water so we sat inside for a bit.


Then we took a walk through the neighborhood and saw this cute little house.  It made me want a little house, and Pooja and I daydreamed about starting our own bed and breakfast.

Finally, it was time to leave.  We went to Freeport to check out the LL Bean flagship and other outlet stores.  Pooja asked me why I wanted to see the flagship so badly, seeing as LL Bean is not the most sexy of retail stores.  I don't have a good answer, other than that my mom has an LL Bean credit card so we get stuff from there once in a while.  And I like visiting clothing stores like other people like visiting museums.
Check out the big boot in front of the store.

This was the hunting section of the store.

They had an aquarium.

I've never gone camping, so I decided to hang out in the tent to see what it's like.

Pooja picked up this cute jacket at The North Face:

Then we went to a Turkish restaurant for lunch, where Pooja used my ToyCamera app to take these shots of me.

Then we went to our second bed and breakfast, The Elms.

Old school radio that was part of the decor.

Our room.

Even the bathroom was cute!

Cool wallpaper and art.

Another random room I took a photo of.

Once we had checked out the place, we went back to Portland.  I made sure we checked out Rogues' Gallery.
Cobblestone street near the shop.

Despite her expression, she liked this map.

Changing rooms.

Store interior.
Once I had drooled over the Rogues' Gallery decor, we continued walking around the streets of Portland.
I was too lazy to photoshop this image, but the sign says "Life is good."


In front of a mural she liked.
When it got to be evening, we decided to go see The Town.  I love Jon Hamm although is character in this movie was not as sexy than Don Draper's.  After the movie, we went for a late dinner at what I believe was Gilbert's Chowder House (I don't remember for sure).
Dinner (and beer).
After dinner we headed back to the bed and breakfast.
We shot pool before hottub and bed.  There are no hottub pics.
In the morning, we were greeted with a yummy and visually pleasing breakfast of eggs benedict cooked by one of the innkeeper dudes (Scott and Matt) -- unfortunately I'm forgetting which was which but they were really friendly and sat down to breakfast with us and the other guests.

Afterwards, it was time to drive back home.